Posted by: johnhourihan | November 14, 2013

Why the president and Senate should help Detroit


A friend of mine who lives in Detroit asked me what I thought of what is happening to his beloved city.
Detroit is being bankrupted, and its inhabitants are living in a government-made substandard city.
He  is angry that the government is sending money to Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and many  other foreign countries and ignoring Detroit.
“What is wrong with this country?” asks a man who gave much of his life to the defense of the United States by serving a lifetime in our Army.
He says he is angered that the Governor did nothing but bad for the city and the president is doing nothing to help.
He says “screw those foreigners, they don’t deserve our help … take care of our own first … what the hell have they ever done for us?”

Well, this is what I think, John.
It appears to me that whether or not we get money by cutting back on foreign subsidies or from somewhere else, the Democrats in the federal government should do something about Detroit.
Why?
Because the government and politics caused it, and because this is going to spread to other cities.
Why won’t we?
Because we caused it, and it’s going to spread to other cities, and we are afraid we won’t have enough money to take care of all of them.
Suffice it to say, there are already a host of cities that meet the requirements imposed on Detroit to put it into bankruptcy.
The way I see it,  the auto industry moved out of the city (some of it moved out of the country) but a lot of it and other jobs moved to the suburbs of Detroit.
By about 1980, the city of Detroit had become predominantly African-American, and there were a lot of right wing whites who were in a hurry to show how black people could not govern themselves.
So, when the workforce attempted to follow the jobs the suburbs, the Federal Housing Administration refused to give mortgages to black Americans.  Don’t tell me that is not true. Even after redlining supposedly became illegal it was happening.
To make matters even worse, financial institutions wouldn’t give home improvement loans to fix the housing inside the city.
If you can’t get to work, you lose your job. If you can’t move to the suburbs you can’t get to work. If you can’t fix your house you live in squalor. And if the people who own the place you rent live in the suburbs they don’t care.
Then to make matters worse the insurance rates for cars and houses inside the city skyrocketed.
Why didn’t the state help?
Put it this way. If all the black Americans and Hispanics are forced to live in one place, gerrymandering becomes so much easier.
Therefore, right wing white people became the rule of government thumb in southeast Michigan, and they placed that thumb squarely on the neck of Detroit.
Not only did the state not help, instead the state began “cutting back” civil servants,” so services were cut back, schools were closed, police were less prevalent, infrastructure began to break, well you get the idea.
Quality of life plummeted, and it was blamed on African Americans in the city “not being able to govern themselves.”
That’s politics. Folks.
This situation is going to spread.
Why?
Because blacks and Hispanics normally vote Democratic, and Republicans would dearly like to fix the districts so all the Democratic votes are in one place.
Why?
The GOP wants the House of Representative to be the most powerful governing force – more powerful than the Senate and more powerful than the president.. They can’t win a national presidential election. If you think the GOP can elect a president ask yourself how they lost twice to a black man with no prior experience. They can’t win statewide Senate elections because the Senate vote is a statewide vote, BUT they can gerrymander the districts so as to elect enough Representatives to control the House.
This is what they were trying to do by shutting down the government last time, and what they will be trying to do when they shut it down next time.
Republicans are trying to alter the government of the United States so the president is a figurehead and the House makes all the rules.
Detroit is just the first casualty of a civil war.
Politics and racism caused it, and the government should do something to fix it.

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Responses

  1. God that’s scary. And doable.


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