Saturday, June 14, 2008

Detroiters Can Only Change and Give Hope to Detroit Not Obama by Akindele Akinyemi

Across the African Diaspora people are celebrating Senator Barack Obama's clinching the Democratic Party's nomination. As he prepares to come to the City of Detroit (finally) on Monday night one must think about the expectations with ramifications not only for the United States, but the whole world.

In our lifetime, the possibility exists that the most powerful nation in the world could be led by a man of African descent. What could happen in November 2008 is fraught with complications, possibilities and dangers that will determine the course of the United States, and the world for the next twenty years.
Never mind the euphoria and hype from Obama’s speeches, the realities indicate that whoever enters the White House as President in January 2009, will be saddled with a failing economy, lowered credibility and rising economic and political challenges to American hegemony.
If we take a closer look at Obama's policies it almost sounds like Gov. Granholm's policies. That cannot be good for Michigan. On the other hand Obama is calling for both Democrats and Republicans to work together to make America better. That sounds good for America but the reality is in urban places like Detroit Democrats still blame Republicans for failing public polices in our city even though the entire city are ran by Democrats. If Detroit policies are a glimpse of what Obama is tooting his horn about then we are in serious trouble.
The reality is we need to take a out-the-box approach to developing policies that will generate prosperity for our city. Too many times in Detroit we seek to someone who looks like us to save us when it is the same Anti-Christ figure that is either embarrassing or destroying our city. We have to create a better solution for our woes.
Detroit has the potential to become a financial market. Or economy must transform from a manufacturing base to a technological and financial base. In order to do this we need leadership that can focus our city on a global scale and not a local scale where political parasites have been feeding off the masses for decades without any core results.
But the residents of our city cannot talk about change until we do some things first.
For those who are trying to save Detroit Public Schools in this day and time need to quit. Pouring more money into a failing school district will not be the answer. 800 teachers are going to be laid off. That's 800 families paralyzed by a district that has not fiscal accountability, have violated the trust of the people and shows zero integrity in educating our children. This is why parents and families must push for educational choice in our community. Tax credits and charters are a start and should be in full demand. We do not need Obama telling us public education has failed our children for that he does not even send his own daughters to Chicago Public Schools.
What I am trying to share with you is is the ultimate poverty eradication tool, for when you know better you tend to do better. Refocusing charter and private schools to connect with the community economically can contribute to develop recession-proof jobs in a stagnant economy in Detroit. Our educational leaders must promote financial engineering as a means which one moves from simply avoiding the poverty trap to embracing a true prosperity agenda; for themselves, their families and their communities.
Detroit has to begin to (1) downsize local government and (2) begin discussions on recession-proof jobs. So far, barber shops and beauty salons in Detroit are recession-proof because everyone needs a hair cut, their hair done or nails done. It is a steady flow of income that is stimulating a tax base.
However, we must expand on the other recession proof entities:
Education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has historically shown teaching to be relatively recession-proof. But demographics are important: High-growth areas like the Sun Belt offer much better prospects than the Rust Belt. In Detroit, we should open the discussion of alternative teacher certification in high critical need subjects, expanding charter schools to increase employment and offering parents tax credits to send their children to better schools.
Energy. This is a major issue for the global economy, and jobs related to oil and gas, alternative energy and even nuclear are likely to see strong growth. Detroit has the Next Energy and TechTown facilities in Midtown but when will we discuss real regional transportation with Maglev technology? Building a private regional and eventually statewide network of Maglev high speed rail would boost the economy here in Michigan and Detroit would benefit greatly.
Health care. Almost half the 30 fastest growing occupations are concentrated in health services including medical assistants, physical therapists, physician assistants, home health aides, and medical records and health information technicians -- according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
International business. If you have a strong knowledge of other cultures, and an ability to work in another country, you'll find plenty of opportunities. If you're first generation Chinese, with business skills and Chinese language skills, you're in good shape.
Environmental sector. There is a huge and growing industry geared to combat global warming. Not only will professionals with skills in sustainability issues be in demand through the end of the decade, we are likely to shortages of professionals with 'green' skills. Detroit is moving too slow to get on board with Green Technology. Another boost to our economy.
The faith based community must promote the need for financial literacy from the pulpits to connect people with the ongoing mortgage crisis in our community. Our focus on the underserved and encouraging access to financial services to continue for credit-worthy Detroiters, even as we work through these challenging times in developing our financial market.
We have seen financial innovation in the mortgage market. We have seen how that innovation benefits the U.S. economy and U.S. homeowners. Many Americans became homeowners because of these financial innovations. However, in underserved communities, we have no clue on developing a better financial track for our families because most Blacks, in the inner city, have been exposed to socialization FIRST, politics SECOND and economics LAST. We place an emphasis on social and political power MORE than economic power. Especially economic power from a global perspective. We lack the requisite understanding to utilize financial tools and products to manage their financial affairs properly. Therefore, we fall back on code words like "hope" and "change" to make us feel good.
Today, in our community, we have more financial products available now than ever, but these products have become more complex and challenging for all of us to understand. And as consumers, we need to know more than our parents or grandparents did, if we are going to employ these financial products successfully.
For the underserved, who by definition are not using many mainstream financial services, the barriers to understanding complex financial products are high. Many lenders do not clearly explain the terms of their complex loans and borrowers have infrequent or no experience with these products. These combined factors lead to a lack of participation, which continues a downward cycle for the underserved.
We can see the true value of financial education by observing what happens when it is absent. In the last few years too many Detroiters either chose or were put into mortgages that were not appropriate for their financial positions. And without an adequate base of financial knowledge, too many consumers entered into loans that were difficult to understand. These trends were especially pronounced among subprime borrowers.
Avoiding preventable foreclosures is in the interest of all homeowners. Our leaders in our community (who are not corrupt) must reach homeowners who are struggling, reach them early, and reach them with education. Although many mortgage industry leaders have stepped up their efforts to reach delinquent borrowers, too many distressed borrowers are still uncomfortable speaking to their lenders. This stems in large part from lack of financial education. In fact, we learned that 50 percent of foreclosures occur without borrowers ever talking to their lender or to a mortgage counselor.
We have state lawmakers in Lansing (such as State Senator Tupac Hunter) developing ways to prevent foreclosures but we must take it a step further by developing an initiative to help a distressed borrowers by connecting them with mortgage counselors. To reach more Detroiters, a coalition of faith based, civic, educational and financial leaders should strengthen the public service announcement on the importance of developing financial responsibility through education and rebuilding families.
The promise of financial education must be over the long-term. Financial education is preventative in nature. The best approach is to help people avoid difficult situations from the start.
A more financially literate consumer base – across all income levels and in prime and subprime markets alike – could have mitigated at least some of our current housing difficulties in Detroit. Financial knowledge makes people better informed consumers. And when they understand the terms of a mortgage loan, they are better able to compare the costs and benefits of different products and they are better positioned to make long-term decisions that advance their financial goals.
Detroit and its leadership are too caught up on doing business with governments and not people. This is why we fight over Democrats and Republicans in our city. We have to remove the barriers and realize that the failed polices in our city is just that...failed. We keep electing people on name recognition and not allowing ourselves to give other people a chance. Take a look at the following candidates who are running for state representative right here, right now in Detroit.

Sheila Dapremont is running for State Representative in District 6 in Detroit. This is one of the most fierce, loved and feared grassroots activist I have ever met. You are talking about someone who is not afraid to go toe to toe with the corrupt establishment in Detroit. We want to send someone who is unbought and unbossed.
Dr. Carol Weaver is running for District 7 in Detroit. With 17 people in her race, Dr. Weaver stands out in the race because Michigan needs to get behind someone who understands family values, who is committed to educational choices for parents and children and have a strong command of how the global economy operates. In other words, she knows how to connect the global economy with Detroit to get the financial engine going again in our region.
Both ladies believe in doing business with people and not governments. Both support the notion of laying a foundation to build two-way trade relations with one of the richest continents on the face of the earth Africa by supporting policies that will restructure our tax code in Michigan so we can become business friendly to the African Diaspora.
Our people are truly responsible for sending our women above to Lansing. Each great era of progress was led by men and women of conviction who challenged us to live up to the highest ideals of our nation, who declared in a very radical way that we are all God's children.
Obama cannot save those people in Detroit living on or below the poverty line. We have to enhance education, without any excuses, to prepare those in poverty to compete. 70% of Detroiters are living in poverty. Part of this crisis comes from single parent homes. We must begin to rebuild positive relationships between men and women to enhance and showcase marriages in our community. We must have Detroiters believing in the free-market instead of allowing government to control our lives.
We can preach about hope and change all we want but if we have not changed our thinking in terms of promoting global education, promoting child and adult literacy,healing the rift in marriages and relationships between men and women in the inner cities, promoting healthy relationships between Blacks, Arabs, Jews, Hispanics and Whites, supporting pro-life by stopping genocide on ALL levels in the inner city(abortions, same sex relationships, drug usage and drug selling, failing schools and the lack of God in our lives) practicing free market economics, downsizing government, electing city council by districts, creating additional recession proof jobs and getting rid of people who are elected by name recognition then all people will see on Monday night in Detroit is another feel good speech by Obama.

1 comment: said...

You're not giving the Barackstar nearly enough credit. Rumor has it the MSM has the story about him successfully walking on water ready to file in the event he ever tries it.

Interesting, though, that even his glossy faux-teflon sheen can't seem to handle an appearance by the Democratic mayor of the largest city in the state.