Our nation has a rich history of black accomplishments that have contributed to America being what it is today — the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Here’s a bit of black history: once called “The Paris of the West,” Detroit Michigan — which currently has the greatest percentage of black residents of any major U.S. city — was home to the highest per capita black household income in the world. The black middle and upper classes in Detroit were once thriving.That was then, this is now.
A once-prosperous city has been done in by rampant corruption in City Hall. The city’s former Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for racketeering, conspiracy, fraud, tax evasion, and more. During his time as mayor, Kilpatrick spent $840,000 more than his salary. Unions (which brought down their employers like a parasite ultimately destroys its host), worst-in-the-country schools, an exodus of steel-to-rust-belt employers, all had a deleterious effect on the city.
However, at 83 percent of the total population, Detroit is still the nation’s “most black” city.Recently, a billboard and associated film project, claimed there’s an organized effort to get rid of the city’s black residents. The provocative billboard on the city’s infamous 8 Mile Road has drawn much attention. The billboard, which reads, “Black people are being pushed out of Detroit” was placed in an effort to promote a film about gentrification, but stirs a much deeper conversation.
Roughly 90 years ago, Detroit was close to 100 percent white, but then whites were pushed out of Detroit. Now the claim is that it’s happening again, only in reverse.
The urban blight that Detroit has become is well known. The municipality became the largest city ever to file for bankruptcy in American history. Over 20,000 condemned buildings are awaiting destruction but cannot be razed because the city can’t afford to tear them down. A YouTube search on any combination of the words “Detroit” and “ghetto,” or “abandoned” reveals piles of films of how a city once great became a war zone, where fast food workers dole out burgers from behind bulletproof glass, and once beautiful, tree-lined neighborhoods now look like the streets of Mosul.Yet, the claim now is that blacks are being pushed out. A filmmaker is hoping to get blacks in Detroit (because that’s close to all who live there), to fork out money and see a movie about the gentrification of a city that doesn’t appear to be getting gentrified.
Regarding blacks being pushed out, Alana Walker of BLAC magazine writes:“That may or may not be true — the city still hovers at around an 80% black population, though downtown is a little more white than in recent years — but the sign is meant to promote indie filmmaker Jason Black’s new film Gentrified – Ethnic Cleansing: American Style, which addresses the effects gentrification in Detroit and other cities has on the black community.”
So let’s get this straight: over the past 70 years, Detroit has gone from being 80 percent white to 80 pecent black, but blacks are being pushed OUT? By whom, and why, are the unanswered questions. Who is forcing blacks out of Detroit. Frankly, when it comes to Detroit, who wants it?
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]