Friday, September 06, 2013

Detroit and it's issues

I've written about this before, but am in the metro area, so it's good to revisit it. While the origins of Detroit's problems are complex, I think it's worth noting that for a long time there have been plenty of people in the suburbs who have wanted to help out Detroit, who have wanted to see the city come back, but who have been rebuffed because their skin is the wrong color. These are folks who *like* the city, but unfortunately in the past, because they were white, they were considered to be interlopers, people who wanted to take over the city and co-opt it. Perhaps this is changing, but, quite frankly, if the people who live in a city are mostly poor and have little access to resources themselves, and they rebuff the people who actually have resources, who want to invest in the city, what can you do?

Folks talk about the racism of the suburbs, and it's certainly there, with Sterling Heights being nicknamed "Sterling Whites" and Dearborn having had a longstanding racist position on the part of the cops, something that changed only in the past two decades or so. The point, though, is that the people who wanted to help out Detroit weren't racists. They were fine with African-Americans, liked the black culture of Detroit, and they still were not welcome.

At least in part, Detroit shows what happens if you don't recognize who's trying to help you and instead pursue a policy of cultural purity.

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