|The 1967 Black riot in Detroit -- America's version of the Revolution of San Domingo|
The documentary chronicles key portions of the city’s history, ranging from the automobile boom and former Mayor Coleman Young’s Poletown Plant to the July 1967 riots and subsequent STRESS police task force’s sometimes lawless actions. “DEFORCE” touches on the corruption in Kilpatrick’s tenure as mayor, shows a panoramic view of the differences on the border at Grosse Pointe Park and looks at the well-publicized crime statistics and how they got to that point.
“It’s bad to other people because other people didn’t grow up over here,” said “Nod,” a Detroit resident in the film. “But to us, it’s just regular. … It’s nothing to us.”
In 2006, an estimated $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion in drugs was trafficked through Detroit, as chronicled in the film. Of the 21,000 murders that have occurred in the city since 1969, many are drug related. In the first six months of 2004, 65 percent of 800 shootings in Detroit were drug related. In the same time span, 100 U.S. soldiers were wounded in Afghanistan.
“The most disturbing statistic that I’m always (repeating) is more than 21,000 people have been murdered since 1969. That’s the population of Birmingham or Sterling Heights,” Rodney said. “We’ve desensitized to the violence in the city. … If there were a shooting at Groves, it would just turn peoples’ worlds upside down and they’d pull their kids out of schools.”
They also put it this way: Spanning the three decades of the Northern Ireland Civil War in the late 20th century, Detroit’s murder rate was more than six times that of Northern Ireland during that same time period.
Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involv- ing blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.• Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty- five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.
• Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
• Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.
Forty years ago race and class was on the minds of Americans too — when The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders released its report on the urban riots of 1967. That report, more commonly known as the Kerner Report, with its stark conclusion that "Our nation is moving towards two societies — one white, one black — separate and unequal" — was a best-seller. It was also the source of great controversy and remains so today.
Referencing the Kerner Commission report has become rhetorical shorthand in some ways.
For critics it suggests wasteful federal spending programs — for others, societal goals and potentials not yet met. In covering the 40th anniversary report USTODAY headlined its 40th anniversary coverage "Goals for Black America Not Met." The article raised some ire when quoting Robert Rector of Heritage Foundation: "Rector says the report ignores a major cause of poverty: single-parent homes. He says 70% of black children do not have a father in the home." That sentiment earned this response from Elliott Currie, a member of the Kerner Commission, 40th Anniversary Task Force: "The implication is that it's the heedless behavior of black men — rather than the strains of a blighted economy and a legacy of discrimination — that is responsible for the continuing crisis of poverty and racial disadvantage 40 years after the Kerner Commission."
Deforce - 120s Trailer from Daniel Falconer on Vimeo.