Friday, October 08, 2004

Racism in Detroit

You know what happens when a racial majority becomes arrogant with power? Of course, it runs roughshod over the racial minority? It's happening in Detroit, which is more than 80 percent black. Here's the story from The Washington Times:
Detroit's plan for 'African Town' stirs racial tensions

By Brian DeBose

The Detroit City Council, in defiance of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, likely will move forward with plans to create an "African Town" in the tradition of Chinatowns and Little Italys nationwide, even though the issue has turned into a racially divisive economic-development proposal.

In July, the council resolved to build up a section of the city devoted to African and black American literature, cuisine and art, which Mr. Kilpatrick endorsed. He vetoed the resolution, however, when it became clear that the council's plan would allow only black businessmen and investors to use the $38 million earmarked for the project.

Mr. Kilpatrick argued that the resolution is both racist and unconstitutional.

"It's not the African Town proposal. We like the idea," said Howard Hughey, spokesman for Mr. Kilpatrick. "But what they are proposing is to create a publicly funded private entity and give one man $40 million to use and distribute to investors, and it is unconstitutional to do that based on race and [the resolution] says very clearly that it would be."...

Council member Kay Everett, who is black, said the first resolution was "ridiculous" and opposed the African Town resolution for being illegal and divisive.

"It is reverse racism, and you can't right a wrong with another wrong. It's reparations with public money," she said....

Typically, Chinatowns, Little Italys and other locales, such as Spanish Harlem in New York, were created by immigrants in a time when they were not accepted in other areas of the city and forced to build their own businesses and communities centered on their respective cultures....
So, Detroit would use public funds to discriminate against non-blacks in erecting an ethnic district of the kind that other ethnic groups created with their own money and enterprise. At least the mayor and some council members see the plan for what it is: the arrogance of racial power.