Sunday, September 17, 2006
Black Owned Businesses and DeVos by Akindele Akinyemi
The Michigan Citizen (can't you tell I am a MC watcher..LOL) has reported how Dick DeVos "omitted" Detroit from his Michigan Turn Around Plan when it comes to economics.
DeVos makes mention of Ann Arbor, Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Traverse City. Did he really omit Detroit or is somene trying to play the racist game again? Ann Arbor and Grand rapids alone are booming towns in Michigan and even the most paranoid Black person knows this.
I have personally heard on several occasions that DeVos need to re-energize Detroit as the lightning rod to anchor Michigan into economic prosperity. However, our paranoid friends in the hood do not agree. That's ok because most of them do not even understand why MOST economic analysts are not mentioning Detroit anymore.
This is called regionalization. You see, Mr. DeVos is talking about MICHIGAN not just DETROIT. I have been discussing in several focus groups in my community for quite some time about the need to consolidate Wayne County with Detroit. This would include installing a city manager, consolidating City Council with Wayne County Commissioners and so forth. Some say he should have a "Detroit Turn Around Plan" even though Granholm has been in office for four whole years and still no results.
There is nothing wrong with regionalization. The urban agenda today is the Metro Detroit area NOT just Detroit.
"This lights me on fire," said Kenneth Harris head of the International Detroit Black Expo. "If the community takes a look at this, we really need to focus on who we are trying to put in office."
Mr. Harris is the founder of the International Detroit Black Expo. However, Mr. Harris graduated from Birmingham Brother Rice High School and unlike our counterparts here in Detroit most of us have never received any form of education on that level. Therefore, most people in the city are 47% functionally illerate and are operating on a sixth grade education. Therefore, fear and paranoia of something new and revolutionary is scary to the average Black person living in Detroit.
Harris said for DeVos to exclude Detroit, the largest city in the state, "is a blanket statement that he [DeVos] does not care about the city."
Harris, whose group organizes monthly small businesses networking meetings at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, urged the DeVos team to study Detroit. "It does not take brain science to find out what the problems are," Harris said. "If crime is the only thing he can talk about Detroit, he needs to do a little more evaluation of the city and spend more time."
I normally attend and support the International Detroit Black Expo every month to network with other Black owned businesses. Mr. Harris statements about DeVos not caring about Detroit is way off the mark. DeVos is stauch supporter of small Black owned businesses and wish to see more. I would like to see Ken Harris and Dick DeVos on stage together to discuss how he, as governor, would push Mr. Harria lotcause alot further than Granholm.
People who promote paranoia and fear in our community have us stuck on stupid. It's interesting that these old peoplstaunchare stauch supporters of the Democratic Party has never told Mr. Harris the truth about DeVos. Both are conservatives and both are for promoting small businesses without government interference.
Proof of this is the following statement:
"When the jobs are not there, we must be able to create our own businesses," Harris said. "It is going to take the community. "We can't depend too much on government."
I'm sorry but that is not a Democratic or liberal statement my brother. That is a conservative statement and many conservatives (Black or White) would agree with me on this. Unfortunately, our young people who are seeking prosperity, who are young entrepreneurs have been lied to by their parents, their ministers and by their political leaders about the Democratic Party and it's time that we began to set the record straight.