Sunday, March 08, 2009

Detroit's Race Card-in-the-Hole

“Don't you say his name here.”

--City Council President Monica Conyers forbidding a white suitor from uttering the name of Barack Obama in the presence of Detroit's black leaders

Just imagine how ugly Detroit’s race-baiting leadership would come across if President Obama hadn’t birthed us all into a post-racial utopia?

I hate this subject like hell. But I realize that if we can’t talk about race, we can’t talk about jihad. Not because jihad and race are the same thing, (they are not the same thing!) but because the same self-censoring tricks that were deployed by race hustlers, (and then gay-rights activists) to prevent Americans from being able to speak, or even think critically about racial matters (or homosexuality), have been taken up and perfected by jihadist spokesmen and defenders.

Put another way, the nagging inner voice that forbids you from thinking that a black person can be a racist or that homosexuality is not “normal” is the same voice threatening you now that you’d better not dare associating Islam with terrorism.

Last Sunday Detroit News editor Nolan Finley, whose opinions are generally expressed at a moderate temperature and in a calm tone, had the sort of outburst that might have been illustrated in the old cartoons by mercury rising in a big thermometer so fast it breaks the glass as the top and spurts right out.

It captures some of what is going on in this area, and why, so I’m posting it in full.

Elect a crazy council, get crazy results

Nowhere is Michigan's brain drain on greater display than in the Detroit City Council chambers.

My hopes for Detroit's future faded as I watched the tape of last Tuesday's council meeting, the one that considered the Cobo Center expansion deal.

It was a tragic circus, a festival of ignorance that confirmed the No. 1 obstacle to Detroit's progress is the bargain basement leaders that city voters elect. The black nationalism that is now the dominant ideology of the council was on proud display, both at the table and in the audience.

Speakers advocating for the deal were taunted by the crowd and cut short by Council President Monica Conyers, who presided over the hearing like an angry bulldog; whites were advised by the citizens to, "Go home."

Opponents were allowed to rant and ramble on uninterrupted about "those people" who want to steal Detroit's assets and profit from the city's labors.

A pitiful Teamster official who practically crawled to the table on his knees expressing profuse respect for this disrespectful body was battered by both the crowd and the council.

When he dared suggest that an improved Cobo Center would create more good-paying jobs for union workers, Conyers reminded him, "Those workers look like you; they don't look like me."

Desperate, he invoked President Barack Obama's message of unity and was angrily warned, "Don't you say his name here."

Juxtapose the place and the faces and imagine a white Livonia City Council treating a black union representative with such overt racial hostility. The Justice Department would swoop down like a hawk, and the Rev. Al Sharpton would clog Five Mile Road with protesters.

But in Detroit, dealing with the council's bigotry is part of the cost of doing business. As is dealing with its incompetence. (I'll pause here and excuse from that indictment Sheila Cockrel and Brenda Jones, who supported the Cobo deal, as did Kwame Kenyatta, who although he's an avowed nationalist, most often votes in the city's best interests.)

Emmet Moten, the developer who just opened the Fort Shelby Hotel downtown, was at the meeting and found it appalling. Moten went to Lansing in 1983 on behalf of Mayor Coleman Young to successfully lobby for a regional tax to support Cobo.

"And now we're saying, 'We don't want your money,'" Moten says. "If Coleman were alive today, he'd be outraged. It hurts, it really hurts."

Now, Moten says, "we Detroiters gotta be outraged."

Outraged enough to go to the polls in November and elect a brighter, more responsible council. Moten and others I talked with this week are encouraged that mayoral primary voters picked Dave Bing and Ken Cockrel Jr., the two most rational candidates on the ballot.

The test now will be whether it's those primary voters or the angry council crowd who represent the real Detroit.

As Moten notes, "You can't fix this for us. We have to fix it ourselves."

Nobody can help Detroit if voters again elect a City Council composed of separatists, clueless dowagers and the apparently insane.

I could take a couple exceptions to Finley’s account, (he’s far too kind to Coleman Young, who was the Johnny Appleseed that planted this generation of racist politicians), but I’m all on board with Finley for daring to use terms like “bigotry,” “black nationalism,” “separatists,” “clueless,” and “insane.” In this week’s piece he added another, “segregationist.” (“A 22,000-mile view of Detroit's despair”).

These are extremely hard terms, but accurate, and they need to be said. These days, and for a long time now, Detroit's problems with racism have been primarily a majority black problem, not a majority white problem. It isn't the legacy of Jim Crow, or the Ku Klux Klan, or slavery that makes Detroit in 2009 the most segregated city in America: that legacy is thanks to the 40 years of "black consciousness" politics, ordinary Democratic Party corruption, and hireling religious leaders who substitute a gumbo of crackpot race theories, Marxism, and get-rich-quick promises for the gospel.

If black Detroiters want to claim total ownership of Detroit as spoils of the civil-rights "struggle"--want to keep claiming Cobo Hall, and the waterworks, and the DIA, and the Zoo, and saying "that's ours, and that's ours, and that's ours," then they need to take a good, hard look at that old charge about Detroit’s hopeless segregation and admit that, “yeah, that's ours now, too.”

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