|Detroit -- built by whites, destroyed by blacks (in only forty years). The same thing happened in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe|
On this and most things, black Detroiters rallied around the mayor. His election and the transfer of power that followed had had a profound effect on the mood of the city. Detroit was now a proud black town, the largest black-majority city in the country – and the one where blacks wielded the most political power. The mayor’s office, the school board, the city council and the courts were increasingly African-American. Outside of government too, black professionals were gaining ground. Though most finance and industry were still in the hands of whites, a small black elite was emerging: sleek, well-dressed developers and money people, many of them newcomers, doing a thriving business with the city government. As exciting for many Detroiters, the public face of the city was changing. The images on billboards, the mannequins in department stores, the television personalities and radio announcers all seemed to have changed color overnight. Black music filled the airwaves; soul food restaurants opened around the city, and even traditional restaurants downtown were suddenly filled with black people. For many city residents, it added up to a cultural revolution. “Blacks,” one resident noted jubilantly, “ are saying ‘Detroit’s ours now.” The change was palpable and apparent to any visitor in people’s bearing, their clothes, the proud way many kept their houses and lawns. Even the culturally remote New York Times understood. Detroit was becoming the black capital of the nation, it wrote, “certainly, the black working-man’s capital.”
Just like white suburbanites a few miles away, heady black Detroiters saw less and less reason to reach out across the city line. Regional governance would have meant the dilution if not the end of their newfound black power. Not only would it have required compromise with the suburbs; it would have meant a return to subordinate, minority status. An earlier generation of blacks might have been seen the appeal of cooperation. But for the hungry young professionals coming up in Detroit – men and women looking forward, at last, to shaping their own destiny – metropolitan integration was unthinkable.
What they liked about Coleman Young was what black Detroit had always liked about him. “He’ll tell white people off in a minute,” said his authorized biographer, black political scientist Wilbur Rich. “He’s tough, combative, confrontational. That’s reassuring to a lot of black people.”
Detroit blacks believed their mayor when he told them they could extract cash from the suburbs – and form the state and the federal government – without any strings attached. They rallied behind him when he blamed whites for what was wrong in the ghetto. (p. 318)
Detroit ranked first among the 50 largest cities in taxes and last among property values in a 2011 study by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass. Detroit taxes on a $150,000 house were $4,885, twice the national average of $1,983. The city's average house price, $16,800, was nearly 10 times lower than the next lowest, Mesa, Ariz.
Resident Gregory Henderson said lowering taxes makes sense. He pays nearly $2,600 a year for the East English Village home he’s lived in for 30 years and believes he gets little to show for it. The street light on his block has been out for 10 years.
“If you lower property taxes, then you are going to make more,” Henderson said. “More people will move into these vacant houses ... that aren’t paying any taxes.”