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  •  What mistakes? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    icemilkcoffee, Bob Love

    I've looked at this pretty hard, and as far as I can tell the quality of the City's leadership is actually irrelevant.

    The problems are three-fold:

    1) Like all rust belt cities, Detroit is surrounded by incorporated suburbs that cannot be annexed and will never die. Grosse Pointe, population 40-50k, for example has five mayors for no reason anyone can explain. This means the number of square feet in Detroit is limited. Since the 50s people have been demanding ever-larger houses.

    2) In the late 60s Detroit's white population ran a particularly stupid, brutal, racist police department. one of it's officers ultimately plead Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity to murdering nine black people. Blacks responded to this in a way that was also brutal and stupid (albeit more understandable): the biggest race riot before Rodney King.

    3) Unlike almost all rust belt cities, white racists in the City had a place to flee to. The guy who thought of the elite police unit Psycho Racist Serial Killer Cop served in was elected Sheriff of Oakland County within a year  of being drummed out of Detroit.

    IMO the mayors who could have saved Detroit served 40-50 years ago. When the City was 29% of the state's population, if a Mayor had said, "Shit, we need more square feet, we have to annex much of Oakland and Macomb Counties" he probably would have gotten his way.

    If he'd integrated the police in 1965 we wouldn't have had the riots.

    In other word: yes Kwame sucked ass, but by the time he got the job there wasn't really anything he could do.

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