|Black-Run America (BRA)|
Suffice it to say, some of the quotes received regarding pricing information for this 'project' were tempting. They'll go lower, for economic activity and aggressive growth exactly a phrase used to describe the direction these cities are going. The Visible Black Hand of Economics has played itself out. What is left, well, is the legacy of the Great Migration of Black people from the south:
Not far away, the danger might well have been human. Much of Detroit is horribly dangerous for its own residents, who in many cases only stay because they have nowhere else to go. Property crime is double the American average, violent crime triple. The isolated, peeling homes, the flooded roads, the clunky, rusted old cars and the neglected front yards amid trees and groin-high grassland make you think you are in rural Alabama, not in one of the greatest industrial cities that ever existed.Peter Hitchens wrote those words, in a haunting piece for the Daily Mail in the UK. Not once did he mention the overwhelming role that Black people had in downfall of Detroit, though he does discuss the criminal trends of 84 percent Black Detroit that helped convince white people of the need to pack up their belongings and flee. As everyone knows - who reads SBPDL - 1960s Detroit was only 26 percent Black, though this portion of the population were responsible for 65 percent of the violent crime in the city.
A journey eastwards along Mack Avenue is simply sad. The city is sinking back into the deep forests and grassy plains that were here before Europeans ever came to North America. What buildings are left are seldom used for their original purpose. A once-grand bank is a sweet shop. Sordid-looking bars sit alongside the chapels of obscure religious sects. There are whole schools with no children to attend them. Step out of the car at the petrol station and you are immediately accosted by pathetic wraith-like figures in grimy clothes, with the prematurely-aged faces of drug abusers. This is urban failure in all its shabby misery.
Recall that the Great Migration of Southern Blacks to cities like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit was from cities like Birmingham, St. Louis, Albany (Ga.), Savannah, New Orleans, Memphis, Columbus (Ga.), Macon, Columbia, etc. What do all of these have in common in 2012?
You don't have to answer. You really don't.
Just know that Hitchen's prose on the fallen state of Detroit would accurately describe the ruin in all of the cities listed above. And a good many more. The reasons for the decline never changes.
Flipping through a recently purchased Images of America collection on Detroit (well, two: Forgotten Detroit and 20th-Century Retailing in Downtown Detroit), it became apparent I was like looking at images from another world. Those same streets that Hitchen's story spoke of being on the cusp of returning to nature, were instead filled with happy, courteous citizens, contributing to the building of mankind's great achievements.
Now, Detroit is America's Atlantis. In the pages of Images of America photo collections, a Detroit long a memory sits eternally frozen for all to remember. Any of the pictures captured of but one, brief moment in time from long ago - that when juxtaposed with Hitchen's column - serve as a powerful reminder that race is all that matters to a city's survival rate.
|Exist: Civilization once thrived in Detroit|
It is the faces in these pictures, smiling and enjoying life in the very same spot of a city now deserted that... that seem alien to me. Haunting pictures of an orderly society where the nexus of commerce, community, and comfort serves to mock those who know of how these same cities look today.
History hasn't progressed for Detroit. History hasn't progressed for Birmingham. Cleveland rots, while the Images of America collection series depicts a robust, thriving town from 60 - 70 years ago.
Well, one city in Minnesota is attempting to display a portion of the mindset that is at fault for the downfall of these cities. We've dubbed them Disingenuous White Liberals (DWL). It's hard to know what to call this:
UMD has joined with 14 Duluth community organizations as a partner in the UnFair Campaign, a major anti-racism effort focusing on the role white people can play in addressing racial disparities. The UnFair Campaign seeks to raise awareness about white privilege in the community, provide resources for understanding and action, and facilitate dialogue and partnership that result in fundamental, systemic change towards racial justice.
Developed in Duluth, the UnFair Campaign was launched at a news conference in Duluth City Hall. UMD Chancellor Lendley C. Black participated in the news conference, along with Mayor Don Ness and representatives of other campaign partner organizations.
With the tagline “It's hard to see racism when you're white,” the campaign will attempt to heighten attention to white privilege and encourage dialogue through posters, billboards, the campaign’s website, public workshops, guest speakers, community reads, films, and facilitated discussions.
"The UnFair Campaign’s goals are fundamental to the change we are working to achieve at UMD," said Chancellor Black. "Our Strategic Plan provides the framework for realizing a learning and working environment that reflects the values of equity, diversity, and social justice. The first step is recognizing that racism and inequality exist."
UnFair Campaign. What a tremendous idea! Let's see what the Minnesota Public Radio has to say on the subject:
Community organizations in Duluth launched a new anti-racism campaign Tuesday.
The "Unfair Campaign" is intended to draw attention to advantages white people enjoy because of their skin color. Fifteen Duluth organizations kicked off the campaign with an event at City Hall.
A 2010 survey found Duluth residents viewed the city as less hospitable to racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, young adults without children, and talented college graduates looking for work than other comparable cities.
The campaign hopes to address such findings and spur dialogue about white privilege, and features edgy posters and billboards throughout Duluth, as well as speakers and community events.
The conversation is long overdue, said Carl Crawford of Lake Superior College and an African-American resident of Duluth for more than 25 years.
"For those of us who have been here, lived here, we know what we feel when we come into certain places," Crawford said. "It's here, we live it, we breathe it, we feel it. We base how we're going to get dressed in the morning on how our next interaction with other people is going to go."
The first goal of the campaign is to call attention to racial disparity in a city that is 90 percent white, said Ellen O'Neill, executive director of the Duluth YWCA, which spearheaded the new initiative.
"We swim in a sea of whiteness, it's the norm," O'Neill said. "If we're white we don't have to think about it, we don't see it. So the first step is getting white people to see it."
Swimming in a sea of whiteness? What's funny is Detroit was once an unforgivable 'sea of whiteness'. These white people created a community, a city that became the envy of the world. Now, that city - immersed in a sea of Blackness - drifts back to nature, a melancholy retreat from civilization to... disarray.
Duluth, Minnesota was a city founded by white people. Those same white people born after the founding are not at fault for this occurring, nor should they be attacked by a campaign making them feel sorry for inability for Black people to create similar communities that people desiring living and raising a family in.
But just like Detroit, just like Birmingham, and just like Cleveland, once the founding stock of city departs, well, that city is doomed. Once the unbearable, putrid sea of whiteness becomes that desired, vibrant sea of Blackness, well, you only need to read how Hitchen's story on Detroit ended to find out what happens next:
Wait a second. Didn't this start out with a call to a certain advertising firm in a couple of cities? Yes it did.They have been trying to rescue Detroit for years, and for years Detroit has continued to be sucked back into the ground from which it was born.
Just as in China you can hear the roar and thunder of growth and ambition and the shouts of greed and triumph, in Detroit you can hear the whispers and sighs of decay and decline. For more than two centuries, America balanced on top of a wave of growth and power like a triumphant surf rider. Now she wallows in decline and the rest of us wait to see what that will bring.
What if the tables of the UnFair Campaign were turned? What if someone (or a company) decided to put up billboards in dying cities in America, where the "sea of Blackness" flows without the vile containment of white racism?
Well, let's do it.
The prices aren't extravagant. The billboard wouldn't take much, nor need to be anything over-the-top (like the UnFair Campaign). The expenses aren't significant. For a couple hundred buck, a billboard could be secured for months. Months.
If you are interested in helping out this campaign (I have a designer in mind for the billboard), consider making a donation to SBPDL. Normal rules apply: you'll get the soon-to-be released Stuff Black People Don't Like: 365Black Days of Judging by Content of Character for any $50 dollar donation (signed) and for any $100 donation, you'll get all five published books.
Why not remind those living in Detroit, Birmingham, and other cities where the "sea of Blackness" is most potent celebrate the future, by being reminded of what the past was like. That past is available in the Images of America collection.
"It's hard to see racism when you're white." Not really. Just visit Philadelphia and take a ride in a cab or a stroll down a street. Go be part of the Knockout Game in St. Louis. Take a drive into Baltimore. Or look through the pages of this Web site. Learn about Beat Whitey Night at the Iowa State Fair (2010). Read about Black people pulling whites out of the cars at the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee (2011). Feast your eyes on the 20+ city Black Air Jordan Riots of Christmas 2011.
What do men do against such reckless hate?
The answer to that question is for you to decide.
As a favor to us, consider making a donation.