Protests from hell


It amazes me that protest groups march, taunt, disrupt and demonstrate over issues that have little to do with the overwhelming despair faced by the average Detroiter.  None has made the slightest contribution to the improvement or advancement of the city.  These political mercenaries have boundless expertise in running their mouths — and nothing more.

The UAW, AFSCME, NAACP and Council of Baptist Pastors, among others, are busy holding news conferences or blocking traffic. Their supporters have staged 1960-style marches with the intent of painting Gov. Rick Snyder’s emergency manager decision “anti-democratic.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network has taken to the airwaves to accuse the governor of attempting to undermine voting rights and “the will of the people.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson added his tired voice to the mix.

We know that the Detroit vote is mostly lost to apathy, a self-imposed disenfranchisement. In non-presidential elections, for example, voter turnout in the city is around 20-percent. And there’s no evidence that political power has done much to reverse the deterioration of the city.

Who ordained these pseudo-champions of the people as the only legitimate voices of Detroit? Where did they get the moral authority?

These hypocrites have never run a business or created a job. They sat on the sidelines as unemployment among city dwellers swelled to more than twice the national average. They looked the other way as the city became deluged with untenable levels of crime. They helplessly observed generations of uneducated children become hopelessly mired in poverty.

By their silence, they sanctioned the fracturing of families. Neighborhoods plagued by deplorable abandonment and blight were beyond their powers of prevention.

Not one organization could prevent Detroit from becoming the murder capital. And they couldn’t stop the stampede of outbound residents and the loss of more than half the city’s population.

Further proof of their impotency is a long-festering sore associated the violence visited upon the young. The same people that feign concern about the fiscal crisis were AWOL when it came to diverting high-risk children from criminally violating the life, liberty and property of their neighbors. Missing are principled, committed role models who feel obligated to get down in the trenches and wage war against self-generated destructive forces among the aimless young. It is this leadership “void” that allowed the urban terrorist to become a sad commentary of how the moral outrage about Snyder is misplaced.

The sum of these pathologies is directly or indirectly linked to “pretenders” that now shamelessly advance conspiracy theories to justify the absence of solutions. Rejected is any suggestion that the “enemy within” makes the city immune to self-reliance, resourcefulness and recovery. And nothing will fundamentally change if their anti-Snyder crusade derails the EFM process.

The utterings and actions of Jackson, Sharpton and their self-promoting clery-cult followers are more attuned to holding Detroiters in psychological bondage than helping them rise above their miserable condition. Intoxicated with their ability to generate media coverage, these power-mongering agitators use divisiveness for  political advantage — or to get paid. It is they — not the system they rail against — who have failed the people.

It is not a betrayal to criticize these articulate but dysfunctional demagogues for their shortcomings. Too many communities became neglected and desolate under their watch. The survivors are left with a social and economic calamity that won’t be corrected through civil disobedience or further exploitation of the downtrodden.

Sadly,  those who identify with their messages of doom find pleasure in wallowing in a perpetual state of victimhood; self-righteousness, self-pity and anger. Liberating them requires an uncompromising resolve by “authentic” leaders who are capable of playing a responsible role in containing the sinkhole that slowly swallows the city. Unfortunately, Detroiters may have to look elsewhere for the voices of reason.




6 thoughts on “Protests from hell

  1. Residents of the City of Detroit and Detroit’s political leadership brought the mess they are mired in upon themselves. In the 2010 election, as you point out, 20% or less of the eligible voters showed up at the polls to vote. This apathy is inexcusable. Detroit voters had the opportunity to vote in the last election that produced our current Governor and they made the decision not to show up just like voters in other communities who made the same decision. AWOL regarding civic responsibility. PERIOD! Activism is great but a victim bitten by the snake of indifference and intellectual lethargy cannot be rescued two days after the venom of the bite has paralyzed the quarry.

  2. Mr. Johnson, you are completely off the mark and isolated in your thoughts. Tomorrow, we will show you that it is not a handful of the usual suspects lining up to fight this fascist takeover of democracy in Detroit. I don’t care for those so-called leaders you mentioned, but I love democracy and it is my right as a citizen of the United States to have my vote count. It is insulting and incorrect for you to assume that the people who oppose the EM care nothing about the city and have done zip.

    It is odd that the great escapists, many of whom earn their money in Detroit, are first to point the blame finger which is evidenced in so many hateful online comments and commentaries. Take the money, build the burbs…then look back with fire-breathing contempt at those who remain. We need suggested ideas that are proven because bloviating takes us nowhere.

    I will be among those protesting this week for several reasons. First of all, I took a long look at the last mayoral/city council ballot and could not find the name Kevyn Orr anywhere on it. So, he’s illegitimate as Detroit’s official leader; when he walks into City Hall on Monday more than 50 percent of black people in the state of Michigan will be under the leadership of non-elected managers; 75 percent of black elected officials will now be sidelined by carpetbaggers appointed by Lansing; Orr’s not bringing a dime to help; he, himself, is a tax-avoiding deadbeat; and please, Mr. Johnson, show Detroit and the rest of the nation how EM’s have turned Michigan cities around. Write that column. Oh, that’s right, you can’t because there is no data to support EM’s.

    I have a friend who works for an organization that has been successful at reducing the number of children in foster care by keeping families intact. Their research shows if a family can be made whole again, rather than removal of a child from its home, the children will have a better outcome in life. That is the same principal that applies here. There is no need to obliterate democracy by usurping the power of our ELECTED officials to turn the city around. We need to heal the city internally.

    Huge mistakes have been made in Detroit by outsiders and those directly responsible for governance. Toss in an economic meltdown, racism and Detroiters who have made terrible decisions, and you find the disaster that plagues us now. The answer is not placing Detroit into municipal foster care. The city needs to heal itself with the help of outside intervention working with elected officials…not against them.

    It took 60 years for Detroit to get to this dire financial situation. Kevyn Orr claims he can turn it around in about six months. Wow, I guess it’s great we’re entering the Holy Week because obviously Orr plans to arrive at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center with a bunch of miracles up his sleeve on Monday, March 25, 2013.

  3. Well stated Bill. Thanks for articulating the majority who don’t drink from the cistern of racist demagogues portending to front for righteousness. Jesse “Seagull” Jackson and the local band of un-merry pranksters led by JoAnn Watson, esteem the furtherance of a polarizing agenda more than any real care for Detroit. You just hit one out of the old Tiger Stadium. God bless your heart my brother.

  4. Bill

    I agree with you 100% in this article. I just returned from Monterrey, Mexico. They are eating our shorts when it comes to manufacturing. These are the jobs that use to be in Philly, Detroit, Baltimore and Chicago.

    The Mexican have a great work ethic. They also have there problems but you’ll see them work rather than protest with guys living in the 60ties Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

    I work as a Chemist in Highland Park

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