Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Detroit Is Poor Because Of Black People by Akindele Akinyemi

A new report that is out talks about how 1 out of 3 residents in the City of Detroit is poor. Of course, this is not news to us because I just left a block on the city's west side where 7 houses on one block were foreclosed. Sounds like the sign of the times to me.

I want to quote from John Hope Bryant, who is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation Hope, a financial literacy group based in Los Angeles, CA.

"There is a difference between broke and being poor. Being broke is a temporary economic condition, but being poor is a disabling frame of mind and a depressed condition of your spirit, and you must vow to never, ever be poor again."

Now with that said and done our leadership and community groups have not done a good job in pulling people out of a poor mentality. I have consistently stated how adult illiteracy has hampered with our ability to move forward in the City of Detroit. Illiteracy leads to a poverty-stricken mentality. Poverty-stricken mentalities leads to less personal accountability and more welfare mentality/dependency type leadership. For example, how many times have you heard the Detroit City Council have their hand stuck out with revenue sharing from the state? It is easy for Black people to lead the City of Detroit but what serious progress have we made in the past 30 years other then becoming America's Poorest City?

So Black Power in Detroit equates to being poor. That's what Black Nationalism is all about. Blaming others for YOUR downfall and having your hand stuck out. Personally, I just do not blame the leadership in Detroit because they already have a illiterate, gang-fested, weed-smoking and sex driven mentality but I also blame those families in our community who has gotten away from eating at the dinner table at night with your children, discussing the issues of the day and going to bed with your spouse instead of hanging out at Sweet Water Taven in Downtown Detroit until 2AM while your wife or husband is at home alone.

And let me say that while other communities around Metro Detroit are suffering economic depressions like foreclosures and a slow economy I do not see Jewish people, Asians or Arabs in the streets complaining. They take care of their respective communities. I mean drive down Warren Ave in Dearborn and you can see how the Lebanese have businesses up and down the street. Some of these business owners used to work at nearby Ford Motor Company-Rouge Plant and decided to go into business for themselves.

Their neighborhoods are clean and when they are fed up with the Dearborn Public Schools they put their children in charter schools or private schools. It's a no-brainier for them. They do not feel trapped.

The same for the Jewish community. They have an option of sending their children to private, or public schools. Some even send their children to Israel for school. They take care of their community and you can drive down on any given day and see a clean safe community.

So why do Blacks in Detroit make excuses for OUR actions? Because we never left the plantation mentality. We have a hand out and are not looking for a hand up. We are reverting back to an animalistic state of mind. All Blacks in Detroit are doing is playing right into the stereotype of Black people come from animals. Proof of this is when a house is foreclosed in our community we go right in after we lock up the house, kick the door down, strip the house of copper and any other pipes in the home, take the furnace and water heater out of the home, take the windows, take the gas and water meters off the home, set up illegal water and electricity, and now Blacks are even taking the shingles off the roofs. We are stripping our houses in our community down to the foundation. This is happening while neighbors are outside barbecuing and children playing outside. A POOR mentality has driven our property values down even further. This is not because of the economy. This is because of the lack of personal responsibility.

Most churches are no better in our community. I cannot believe the number of people I know who do not attend a regular service because they feel that Jesus has let them down, that God does not love them and their family, feel embarrassed that they cannot tithe or give an offering, feel that churches are too political or they found out that the pastor is sleeping with other men in the church while the wife sits on the pulpit. These are the same pastors who get up and speak out against homosexuality to the congregation but practice this type of lifestyle behind closed doors. In a time where we need the reorganize marriages and families in our community our people are spiritually dead, in the dark and do not have any direction. This is called spiritual poverty. This has contributed to making Detroit America's Poorest City. We are spiritually poor and we are getting poorer because of the high level of mistrust between Black men and women. 80% of single family households are headed by women which contributes to poverty. The HIV/STD pandemic in our community is rarely addressed because people love to have sex within minutes of meeting the opposite sex instead of courtship.

We are a poor city not just because of the economics but because of our mentality. I mean how many tattoos do a man or woman need on their body? How many tongue piercings do we need before we talk with a lisp? What about guys sagging their pants and wearing two earrings trying to find a job? Young adults who cannot write a single sentence or read a paragraph in the classroom. We are contributing to the high poverty by the way we dress, our actions and lack of Godliness.

We are a poor city because we have forgotten that education is the ultimate poverty eradication tool. But here is the problem. How can we successfully eradicate poverty through education when we have a broken and failed public school system that people are paying taxes for?

Detroit can come out of poverty status and get rolling with the Covenant for Detroit. The Covenant for Detroit are based on nine steps to improve city government.

1. Fiscal Responsibility: A balanced budget/tax limitation proposal and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Mayor/City Council, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.

2. Reclaiming Our Streets: A REAL anti-crime package including stronger truth-in- sentencing, good faith exclusionary rule exemptions, and cuts in wasteful spending to fund prison construction and additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools.

3. Encourage Personal Responsibility: Work with state lawmakers to discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to minor mothers and denying increased benefits for additional children while on welfare, cut spending for welfare programs to promote individual responsibility.

4. Real Family Preservation: Child support enforcement, tax incentives for adoption, strengthening rights of parents in their children's education, stronger child pornography laws, and an elderly dependent care tax credit to reinforce the central role of families in the City of Detroit, shared equal parenting rights which equals to children needing both parents.

5. Educational Reform: Repeal the tax credit in the Michigan Constitution to allow Universal Tax Credits for parents and children in Detroit, expansion of theme based charter schools, private scholarships for children in failing public schools, prayer in schools, replace multiculturalism with patriotic education, encourage private sector participation in math and science education, fighting adult illiteracy with private based programs that will create job readiness.

6. Detroit Restoration : A $500 per child tax credit and creation of Detroit Dream Savings Accounts to provide middle class tax relief.

7. Job Creation: Small business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation, neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages.

8. Citizen Legislature: A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators in Detroit. Also, vote City Council by districts and place term limits on each council member. Mayor of Detroit should have term limits.

9. Senior Citizens: Provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let the elderly in Detroit keep more of what they have earned over the years.

These are nine steps that will help get Detroit moving from an realistic perspective.

Detroiters must realize that in order to implement this strategy we have to increase the adult illiteracy rate in our community. If we do not raise the adult illiteracy rates in our city and take control of the educational crisis in our city we will be sending our children to school with foolishness like this:

Detroit can be prosperous again by embracing the free market, practicing political diversity by electing Republicans and Independents to political office in the city, and allowing educational choices to flourish in our city. Otherwise, the above pictures could be our next leadership in the City of Detroit.

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