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View Diary: Why Detroit has Problems (25 comments)

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  •  You've really oversimplified the history. (7+ / 0-)

    For one thing--White flight began WAAAAY before the 1967 riots. That migration started very soon after the end of WWII, and it was aided and abetted by the post-war benefits to (white male) veterans which made suburban housing more appealing and affordable, the construction of freeways in the 1950s--not coincidentally, smack-dab through the traditional black neighborhoods of Detroit--AND, not least, the economic disinvestment in the city by the auto industry that basically began right after the end of WWII. Oh, and let me not forget the redlining and other forms of discrimination that kept black people out of the suburbs for much of the post-war suburban boom. There's actually something to be said for observing that Detroit hasn't had a good year (except for the war years) since 1927.
    I highly recommend two very valuable and insightful books about Detroit history and development in the 20th c.: The Origins of the Urban Crisis, by Thomas Sugrue, and Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit by June Manning Thomas.
    What you've mentioned here is just the most recent fallout from generations of racism and disinvestment. It will help you understand a lot more about present-day circumstances if you go back to understand more about how we got here.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:17:32 PM PDT

    •  Of course I'm oversimplifying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate

      It's a Kos Diary, not a 500-page PhD thesis.

      There's plenty of evidence that the riots are a reason Detroit has a non-Hispanic White population under 10%, whereas Cleveland et al have white populations in the 30s and 40s. Coleman Young himself pointed out that in the years immediately after the riots white flight was 22k in 1966, but in the 30 months after the riot almost 200k left.

      Those other cities had riots, but those riots did not result in dozens of deaths, and nobody dates Cleveland's decline to it's race riots. The same cannot be said of Detroit.

      •  If you were sincere in grasping (0+ / 0-)

        what's going on, you'd educate yourself. Then you could write a fair and still succinct overview.
        Resorting to the "riots" to explain the change in Detroit's demographics is naive and ill-informed.

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 04:21:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You've got a mistaken assumption... (0+ / 0-)

          The primary point of this post is not to talk about we got in this mess. It's to describe the mess. Ultimately (probably tonight) I'm planning on posting my solution to the mess, and in my experience if you spend a lot of time talking about a political mess people stop talking solutions and start talking blame game.

          As for "educating myself," frankly I can't think of anything that would be less useful for me then reading a book on Detroit. My Dad worked closely with Ken Cockrel Sr., so he was involved in the Poletown case. He was involved in Coleman's struggles with the DPOA. Mom was a born Detroiter with a degree in Urban Studies, whose working career was in City-funded non-profits. Unlike my sister, I was absolutely fascinated by public affairs from a young age so I paid pretty close attention. My own career has included a run against Jewel Ware, a stint as a Precinct Delegate, and many years on the board of a state-wide non-profit.

          So feel free to post the specific issue you want me to cover, and I'll probably educate you on it.

          •  Then given your background I'm even more (0+ / 0-)

            disappointed that you provide such a simple "[description] of the mess." Answering the question "why" usually does imply paying some attention to the process; without that, then why else would you put your money on claiming the riots as a root cause, something that happened almost 50 years ago? What you wrote belies your claim of indifference to causes.

            My point still stands regardless of the high degree of your family's and your involvement in the city's politics. Congrats to you all for being so involved, for that matter; it's great that you were so active. As flawed a human being as he was, I am still sorry that Ken Sr. died so young. I would imagine that your father would have something interesting to say about that. But you are doing no one any favors with this series; as it is, you'd be better off describing these direct experiences you've had and extrapolating from them.

            Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

            by peregrine kate on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 04:45:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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