Alex Kellogg

Alex P. Kellogg is a reporter for The Detroit Free Press.

Recent Articles

Requiem for a Disaster

Images are what make films, and no footage shot in the past year could have provided more powerful imagery than that of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed lives from Florida to Louisiana to Mississippi. Spike Lee's epic and complicated documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts , poignantly weaves reams of astonishing footage into a complex, heartfelt examination of the fate of both a city and the nation that seemed to stand by as it was swallowed by the sea. That it has taken the one-year anniversary of Katrina to bring the nation's worst natural disaster -- one that went largely unabated by governmental relief -- back into our collective consciousness says a lot. Lee doesn't beat this message into our heads, something he has been criticized for in the past. Instead, the director allows the people who lived through the disaster to tell their stories. The film follows dozens of them through the course of the past year as they recall what they endured -- and survived...

Father Knows Best

When Nicholas Berg, a 26-year-old freelance contractor who fixed radio towers, was beheaded on videotape in Iraq in May 2004, it marked the beginning of a new wave of violent retaliation by Islamic militants -- and a sign that a more brutal war lay ahead. So when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq and the man personally responsible for Berg's murder according to the U.S. government -- was killed earlier this month, Bush and other government officials championed it as a major victory. Yet one person, Michael Berg, Nick's father, found little to celebrate. The 61-year-old retired teacher who lives in Wilmington, Delaware, has said that al-Zarqawi's murder simply perpetuates a cycle of violence the United States refuses to bring to an end. Berg, an outspoken pacifist, has been deluged by the press recently about his views and the meaning of al-Zarqawi's death. He spoke with TAP on Thursday about his calls for Bush's impeachment, the road to forgiveness, and his bid this...

A Father's Thoughts

When Nicholas Berg, a 26-year-old freelance contractor who fixed radio towers, was beheaded on videotape in Iraq in May 2004, it marked the beginning of a new wave of violent retaliation by Islamic militants -- and a sign that a more brutal war lay ahead. So when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq and the man personally responsible for Berg's murder according to the U.S. government -- was killed earlier this month, Bush and other government officials championed it as a major victory. Yet one person, Michael Berg, Nick's father, found little to celebrate. The 61-year-old retired teacher who lives in Wilmington, Delaware, has said that al-Zarqawi's murder simply perpetuates a cycle of violence the United States refuses to bring to an end. Berg, an outspoken pacifist, has been deluged by the press recently about his views and the meaning of al-Zarqawi's death. He spoke with TAP on Thursday about his calls for Bush's impeachment, the road to forgiveness, and his bid this...

Changing the Game

On a recent episode of Chappelle's Show , (Tuesdays, 10 and 10:30pm, Comedy Central) its star and host, Dave Chappelle, performed a sketch as a black George Bush (accompanied by, among others, comedian Jamie Foxx as Tony Blair and hip-hop icon Mos Def in place of then-CIA chief George Tenet). In Chappelle's skin, Bush is a unilateralist who rolls straight gangster-style, with a grimace etched on his face and the necessary contingent of anonymous thugs at his side at all times. As the Bush administration did in real life, Chappelle's Bush bases his case for war with Iraq on the phony evidence that its leaders bought “yellow cake” in Africa. In the sketch, however, the yellow cake is not the enriched uranium actually used to support the case for war, but literally yellow-colored cake wrapped in a napkin and presented as evidence that Saddam Hussein is capable of building weapons of mass destruction. Chappelle mocks the flimsy evidence on which Bush based his case for war, as well as the...

A Dream Deferred

In the 1960s, as counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Derrick Bell helped make sure that white-controlled school districts across the country were abiding by desegregation orders. In 1971, he became the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School. He left Harvard in 1992 and is now a visiting professor of law at New York University. His most recent book, Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform , was published last month by Oxford University Press. The 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board education ruling is on May 17. Why is it important that we remember this event? It is worthwhile to remember the skill and persistence of the mainly black lawyers who got these cases to the Supreme Court after a 20-year effort. This was an era in which black lawyers were not held in high regard by most whites and more than a few blacks. And we certainly should remember the black parents and children whose belief in the law was...

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