|Charlie LeDuff stares into the black abyss of 90% black Detroit in his book -- and closes his eyes from the truth|
During Detroit’s great expansion between 1920 and 1960, nearly half a million blacks came north from the cotton fields of the South as part of what is known as the Great Migration. Detroit was seen as the Promised Land, where a man could buy himself a house with a patch of grass, just as long as he had a job to pay for it. (p. 43)
Detroit reached a peak population of nearly 1.9 million in the 1950s and was 83 percent white. Now Detroit has fewer than 700,000 people, is 83 percent black and is the only American city that has surpassed a million people only to contract below that threshold.
The blacks wanted out of the ghetto and now the whole city’s a ghetto,” said the blue-haired bartender at the VFW hall… Young ruined that city.”
Frankie was smiling at the bartender. “I guess that depends on who you’re asking,” he said with a dismissive wave of his cigarette. “And which side of the Eight Mile you’re standing on. Blacks might think you ruined it when you left without cleaning up your mess.” (p. 44-45)
|Binelli writes how blacks waved to white vacating their city in the early 1970s -- today, blacks threaten riots as whites try to bring financial accountability to the black metropolis|
When I was growing up in the eighties, though, the riots were still invoked with the compulsive regularity of a fresh grudge. This was in the suburbs, of course, where the grudge was not always expressed politely, and where even today, blame for Detroit going off the rails harks back to that distant summer [PK NOTE: the 1967 Black Race Riot that Life magazine dubbed “The Negro Revolt”]. Meanwhile, across 8 Mile Road, an entirely different oral history had been passed along. University of Michigan Professor Angela Dillard, a black Detroiter whose research focused on racialism in the African American religious tradition, told me, “The black middle class, in some ways, has good narrative about the riot. My uncles talked about how they stood on the border waving at the white people leaving, then bought their homes! It wasn’t such a terrible thing when these people who had been terrorizing us for decades left.” (p.112)
|Alien Nation: Thy name is Detroit|
The Department of Transportation says one-fifth of the lights along freeways in Metro Detroit aren’t working — and copper thieves are mainly to blame.
“We are responsible for about 5,500 light poles and also about 5,000 individual lights that are installed beneath overpasses,” MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi told The News. “Right now we’re estimating 1,100 outages to those poles for a number of reasons.”