A city they were to maintain after driving whites out with high crime and a massive riot in 1967 that Life magazine dubbed, "The Negro Revolt."
Tamar Jacoby wrote a book called, "Someone Else's House." She argued integration had failed in America, but that the government should do even more to make sure it succeeded.
In her book she offers this valuable glimpse into what life was like in Detroit directly following the election of its first black mayor. The year is 1974:
In Young’s first year, there were 801 murders, up from 508 just three years before, and the old label “Murder City” gave way, in the press and the streets, to the grimmer still “Kill City.” Even as the numbers rose, the crimes themselves grew nastier: old-fashioned one-on-one sexual assaults became gang rapes, stabbings were replaced by shootings, and unruly fights by execution-style slayings. Hardly a week went by without a major horror story on the front page of the papers. Police investigators were shocked, as one put it, by “the way the public accepts the homicide rate.” Indignation, the copy told a reporter, had been replaced by a “ho-hum, another murder.” The department was baffled by a rash of inquiries from citizens about the number of slayings in a given week- until it came out that the curious callers were organizing office betting pools. By 1975, the idea of killing had become so banal that the department reported a spate of what it called “insurance murders” – for the cash benefits. Crime, one wag remarked, had become the city’s leading growth industry. Private guars, locksmiths, manufactures of anticrime devices and perpetrators: these, the joke went, were the only people making money in Detroit in the mid-1970s. “It’s wild, just wild,” one cop told an out-of-town reporter. “You see it on TV. Here in Detroit, we practice it.” (p. 328)
The Detroit Free Press reported widespread discontent in the city. Half of the population, including 43 percent of black residents, said they would move of town if they could, and when asked why, a large majority cited the climate of fear. “I’d leave in a minute,” said one man, a black auto worker. “There’s no law in the city, no substantial law – and you’re just a sitting duck.” (p. 330)
|So, how's the whole "freedom" thing for blacks work out in cities like Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Camden, Newark, Chicago, Gary (Indiana), Oakland, Baltimore, New Orleans...? Law and order was the first causality|
Crime figures for the first quarter of 1976 once again put Detroit near the top of the list of the most dangerous American cities, and many in the regional establishment urged the mayor to find some place else to cut-anywhere except the police force. But Young insisted that there was no alternative- - that other monies could not be tapped for the department – and that the crime problem was much exaggerated anyway by hostile reporters and white suburbanites. People complaining that downtown Detroit was unsafe had, he complained, “a racist perception of the city.” (p. 333)
It was the last straw for the rule of law in Detroit, and what little order there was broke down completely. Within days of the cutback in highway patrols, teenage bands from the neighborhoods descended on the roadways. Rocks, bricks and masonry rained down on passing cars from pedestrian bridges above the expressways. Youths roamed the highway system in old jalopies, “accidentally” bumping better-looking cars, and when the drivers pulled over to exchange insurance information, the kids surprised them with a gun in their ribs. One man who stopped to change a tire was beaten senseless by a pack of roving teens. A woman whose car broke down was abducted to an abandoned house and raped repeatedly over several days.By midsummer, the department reported that it was taking up to 4 hours to respond to 911 calls, and reductions in courtroom police had led to several violent incidents, including on in which a lawyer pulled a gun and fired wilding at judge and jury. In August, half a dozen terrified judges announced that they could no longer take the risk of appearing in court to hear cases. (p. 333)
As America celebrated its bicentennial in 1976, the city that contributed so much to the victory abroad in World War II had been taken over by the very people who demanded "victory at home" in their 'Double V Campaign' -- with white people, who were virtually 100 percent of the population of Detroit 100 years ago, effectively purged from government and fleeing the city their ancestors built, the Motor City became a black metropolis.The summer of 1976 was shocking even by Detroit standards. Looting of downtown stores became an everyday sport – not something reserved for special occasions. In on struggling neighborhood in the northwest of town, shopowners reported replacing plate-glass windows as often as twice a week. Black and white, shopmen and customers, in big department stores and mom-and-pop grocers: among the few businesses remaining inside the city line, no one was spared. Against this background of daily robberies and muggings, a handful of particularly grisly individual crimes stood out. A popular community priest was robbed and brutally murdered in his rectory. A legal aid lawyer’s leg was broken when an auto thief ran over him in his own car. But most terrifying – and relatively new to most whites – were the teenage gangs that flourished that summer. Groups called the Bishops and the BKs (short for Black Killers) waged open warfare in the neighborhoods. They also ventured occasionally into the central business district to prey on suburban shoppers and one evening rampaged through the expensive Pontchartrain Hotel. Coming by chance on a private party, 20 youths tore through the opulent dining room, overturning tables, stealing pursues and screaming, “Black killers! Black killers! It’s all about the Black killers!In truth, whatever happened now, the damage had been done – to Detroit’s image, its hope for economic revival, its chances for sharing in the prosperity of an integrated region. White perceptions of the city, already soured by 1967, would never recover from the summer of 1976. (p. 333-336)
Today, black people have officially performed a technical knockout (TKO) of Detroit.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Both recovered nicely from atom bomb attacks to contribute to the economy of Japan; Detroit has been sucking the blood of the American taxpayer just to stay alive since blacks took over in 1974.
The summer of 1976... the city officially died. Law and order broke down. Commerce left the city. Whites rebuilt Detroit and civilization in the suburbs. Blacks set in comfortably to govern their new metropolis.
Today, in 2013... few will dare mention this uncomfortable truth.
Don't be afraid too.