Reality Check: The Truth Can Set Detroit Free…

♣ They Say The Truth Hurts…♣

“Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit.”

— Edward R. Murrow

DETROIT — Just another month in the Motor City. Just after midnight on August 1, a 24-year-old woman was shot and killed in an armed robbery attempt in Detroit. The perpetrator, DeMarco Harris is a 6’2″, 155lb black male. He is also 12-years-old. On August 15, 86-year-old Clarence Jones was murdered in a robbery attempt while watching the home of a hospitalized friend. Jones was beaten to death for his wallet and a minivan. The perp was a 19-year-old. On August 21, two teens wearing red bandanas and wielding shotguns, one 17 and the other 16, rob two members of a film crew (in broad daylight) who was in Detroit to shoot a movie called “Little Murder” (no bullsh*t!). While the robbery victims were not harmed, one of the teens was shot by police as he fled because he had the equally bright idea to point his gun at a cop. The two were arrested and charged with multiple felonies. Earlier this week, another 17-year-old attempted to rob a 32-year-old man as he tried to walk back into his apartment. Only problem: The 32 year old man had a CCW and a Gun. The perp turned victim and now is facing attempted armed robbery charges after the doctor pulls that bullet out of his ass! This all goes on as the city collectively keeps it head buried in the sand…or up certain orifices in their posterior.

I have spent a majority of my life living in the Detroit area, including 19 of the first 22 years of my life in one house in Rosedale Park, and it is well-documented that I have a rather healthy disdain for how this city has been mismanaged and run into the ground with its racially charged politics of paranoia and bullsh*t. I am also in that minority of Detroit natives and residents who is totally disgusted with the city’s disturbingly accepted level of violent and animalistic behavior. I have already talked about Detroit’s version of Killa Season here on JSC. However, the tide seems to be slowly turning in people finally getting fed up with the city of Detroit mirroring a 2009 version of a 1991 Hughes Brothers movie.

This week alone in the Detroit Free Press, two of it’s most respected writers, Rochelle Riley and Bill McGraw, each wrote pieces that expressed the sentiment that many people in Detroit likely feel, but aren’t man enough to say out loud. The thing about Detroit, and I alluded to this in my blog about the insanity at the Health Care town halls, we love to talk big and talk loud, but we also don’t like to hear the truth about our fair city. If you dare to try to point out some of the obvious issues that this city has, such as:

  • Detroit is on pace for nearly 450 murders this year
  • The fact that Downtown Detroit has at least 48 abandoned buildings.
  • The fact that there are scads of abandoned schools that are standing empty and some even looted for copper.
  • The fact that the Detroit Public Schools were spending millions of dollars on everything except, you know, school stuff.
  • The fact that this city has had two high profile members of its government go to jail in less than a year.
  • The city’s population, which has been on a steady decline since the 1960s, has plummeted since 1990.
  • The city has an unemployment rate that sits at a staggering 30%!

And that’s the short list, mind you, you would be screamed and shouted out of the room. In the aforementioned columns by Riley and McGraw, each columnist hit on a traditional problem Detroit has had, and in a way reached a common ground. That common ground being that the city of Detroit is afraid of the damn truth!

You cannot tell people in Detroit the truth about this city, seriously. If you attempt to point out any issues that this city has in a civilized and well thought out manner, you will be met with a lot of anger, belligerence, and often hear some pretty crazy things thrown at you. I should know because I was once one of those people. Some of my favorites include:

  1. “You don’t live in the city, so you can’t say nothing!”
  2. “How come everyone talks about Detroit!? What about Chicago (or NY, or LA)!? They got crime too!”
  3. “It’s not really that bad! It’s just the media blowing it out of proportion!”
  4. “It’s the suburbs fault!”

The fact of the matter is that this city has allowed itself to be lied to for over 40 years. Forty years is long enough to start treating the lies and delusion as fact. There are people who genuinely believe that there’s nothing wrong with Detroit, or the abandoned buildings or the schools, or the crime, or the lack of control over the teenage violence. There are people who take great offense to Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans referring to the violent and borderline lawless culture as the “Wild, Wild West” and a “third world country.” But the point of the matter is, Detroit needs to hear the ugly truth. This city, and in turn the region, can feign ignorance and act oblivious to the hell that is all around them, but it’s only hurting us.

The days of blaming the media, the suburbs, the white man, and the people who chose to leave the city need to end. None of that is why 17-year-olds are shoving guns in people’s faces. The fact that Chicago is arguably just as lawless, in fact moreso, than Detroit should not be used as justification that what’s going on here is cool. So that means we can have teenagers killing innocent people because that’s what they do in Chicago or Los Angeles? As Chris Rock said in 1996 “Just because they’re f*cked up, we can be f*cked up? That’s ignorant!” Also, the whole “The number of murders isn’t as high as it used to be” argument is brutally flawed. Of course the number of murders has dropped since that ridiculous 714 was posted in 1974, but that is not because we’re more civilized, there are just fewer people to kill. The population of Detroit has dropped by at stiff amount in 35 years. So you can miss me with that!

The days of vilifying those who live outside the city and saying that their, no, OUR opinion is irrelevant should’ve ceased a long time ago. What hurts Detroit, hurts the entire region! That also goes for these snobs in Oakland and Macomb counties that are quick to say “Let Detroit Die!” That’s the same backwards logic that has been killing Detroit since the 1970s. We need to start being honest with ourselves as Detroiters. This city is in bad shape. I mean Detroit Lions bad! As Rochelle Riley said “Detroit doesn’t even drop its jaw and say, “Damn,” anymore. We have to find a way to stop letting reports of violence and death pass by like commercials in the daily drama of our lives.” Higher standards need to be expected from not just our elected officials, but also ourselves. We need to take control of our neighborhoods and stop being cowards, whiners, and b*tches! We need to start taking responsibility for our kids and our citizens, and stop making excuses for them and enabling their criminal behavior.

A lot of you a-holes are good for telling “outsiders” that they can’t tell you what to do. Well, when you start acting more like adults and less like animals (and I understand how angry that word makes Detroiters, but I don’t care) then perhaps people will trust you to handle your business. Until then, don’t expect me, or many others to pack their stuff and start coming back into the city. When you can start to accept that Detroit is not a “World Class City” that gets a bad rap from the media (woogie, boogie!), and instead is a fatally flawed former metropolis that needs to start being honest with itself and take responsibility for its problems, that’s when people will start to take Detroit seriously. Or you can continue to park your head in the sand and put your fingers in your filthy ears and say “la la la la…I can’t hear you!” Either way, the rest of the country and the rest of the world has stopped laughing at us and mocking us…and just stopped caring about us altogether. I mean, if we don’t give a damn, why should anyone else? Good Night & Good Luck.

Thank You For Your Time. Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare To Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B.!

Until Next Time…We Need To Rise Up Detroit. Σ

Published by

Jay Scott Smith

What’s Happening! The name’s Jason…but for the sake of this blog, you can call me Jay or Jay Scott. I am a 37-year-old Journalist, Detroit Native, Man of Sigma, and Charismatic Enigma…That About Covers it for me! lol You wanna get in contact w/me, well, here you go! G.O.M.A.B. to my Blu Family! (ΦΒΣ/ΖΦΒ)