Saturday, August 09, 2008

Detroit's Leadership Is On Paralysis by Akindele Akinyemi

I have returned from Tunica, Mississippi. While I left Detroit after those disastrous election results on Tuesday to go and get my son and nephews I saw how Detroit's leadership had taken a turn for the worst when Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was in jail. Now he has to wear a tether and cannot travel outside the city limits.

Our city's leadership is in a crisis. This was highlighted this past Tuesday when the same damn people were elected back in office. The severity of the problem is not just name recognition but Detroit has a severe illiteracy problem through poverty. When you compound the problem by acknowledging that 80% of the city are ran by single households and 24% are graduating from high school Detroit is in permanent neurosis.

We are in a race between education and catastrophe. What I mean by this is the fact that people like Jimmy Womack beat out Carol Weaver for State Representative in District 7. With Sen. Buzz Thomas as the State Senator over there all I can say is welcome to South Ferndale.

How the hell did David Nathan beat out Gary Pollard for state representative in District 11?

Rep. Bettie Cook Scott told a 16 year old poll worker to kiss her ass and she beat out Carol Banks.

Coleman Young was endorsed by Pride PAC and Planned Parenthood.

Our city has gone down the drain.

I was asked to run for both Detroit City Council 2009 or state representative in 2010. These calls are flooding my text in-boxes as well as jamming my cell phone begging me to implement both the Emerging Leaders Think Tank with the Covenant for Detroit platform. After thinking about while driving through cities like Nashville, Louisville and Indianapolis I will not run for anything.

Here is why.

The adult illiteracy rate in this city is astronomical. Why should I waste or spend well over $30,000 on a state representative race when no one can even begin or comprehend my platform? If I ran for city council it would be a complete waste of time. I mean you have Rhonda Walker from Channel 4 and Charles Pugh from Channel 2 running for city council next year. A circus to say the least.

Detroit is regressing not progressing. We have people in our city who would still vote for Mayor Kilpatrick regardless of his legal and incarceration. We are not holding anyone accountable. Jimmy Womack is rewarded to going to Lansing regardless of his lifestyle and how DPS is being investigated for fraud. This would have not happened 40 years ago in the Black community. Our families have fallen to the extent of where feminist thought has crept into the minds of our women and pimpology has seeped into the minds of our men. These two ideologies, along with the welfare mentality, has permanently placed Detroit on a road to nowhere.

Rashida Tlaib smoked and took no prisoners in the state representative races in District 12. She raised $51K. Arabs always look after one another while Blacks stab each other in the back. Now she will be the first Arab-American running a district that she does not even live in.

Our city does not want change. We like the status quo. We enjoy watching our Mayor go off in handcuffs. We enjoy Mildred Gaddis fanning the flames of disgust. In fact, anyone that Mildred supported lost in those state representative races. We enjoy poor education and enjoy paying the price for being illiterate.

Meanwhile, Sam Logan of the Michigan Chronicle, stated in an editorial how the Black middle class is moving away from the city and this is the major reason why we keep electing poor leadership. I am in agreement with him. After Tuesday's elections most of my colleagues are urging me to move away from Detroit. They are telling me that it is a waste of time trying to help a people that do not want change.

I may take them up on their offer.

I mean people do not want change in our city. The same people who complained about Burton Leland not living in Detroit did not show up and vote for Monique Baker McCormick for the Wayne County Commission race in District 7. Leland, who did not even place not one lawn sign or poll worker, won by a large margin. Al Sharpton showed up for Monique. Maybe that was her demise leading up to Tuesday. Unfortunately, that lost may well be the end of Monique trying to run for office because the same grassroots people who was cheering her on did not go out and walk with us on those days where Monique was by herself door knocking. They did not ride the bus with us on election day. Yet, these same people who claimed they were for her lied to her and Leland got back in. I guess he is invincible.

And what about sending people to Lansing who are for educational options? Now the Detroit delegation are so far to the left side of the political spectrum we really do not have a core group who will fight for us, just individuals who support charter schools on the side.

Me running for anything? I doubt it. No one can give me a clear reason why. The Republicans will not support a candidate in Detroit that would run a serious campaign and people are too illiterate to crossover the vote in a general election. What I am realizing on my side of town is Burton Leland and friends run the entire west side. While we talk about how a Black man is running the city in the ground (Kilpatrick) we never talk about how the Jewish people are running the show over in my district (Leland). And now we welcome an Arab woman in Southwest Detroit (Tlaib) who was promoted by a Jewish guy (Rep. Steve Tobocman) to make sure Blacks continue to stay powerless in the district. Historically, Arabs and Jews fight one another but will come together to keep Blacks and Hispanics down in their own community. I am just making an observation. While I promote political diversity I am just asking the question of how this election was won.

Where were all those people who wanted Carolyn Kilpatrick out of Congress? They were no shows to the polls and Carolyn got back in. We always feed into the crap but never do the work.

You see, Black people in our city do not support family values, educational choices and wealth creation in our communities anymore. Had we supported strong families we would have voted for people who support marriages between men and women. We are rewarding failure in Detroit and the situation will not get any better. Until the adult illiteracy is fought hard and tough we will continue to see a city deteriorate.

Maybe I should pack up and leave. Yes, I am working on opening a charter school but since the political spectrum in Detroit is leaning further to the left my hope for opening such a school may fall of the shoulders of those out-county, out-state candidates/representatives who support such measures. If that fails in November for the general election I have no clue what may happen.

Maybe I should go. We do live another day but do we have to keep living in disaster daily? Some have shared with me that I should stay here in Detroit to help rebuild the city. How do you do it when you have spent so much of your time educating people only to find out that they never understood you to begin with? I have spent 20 years educating people and pointing them in the right direction. Should I give up? No. Should I look at moving out of the city to find better opportunities. That is extremely possible.

I guess I have no faith in Detroit anymore. I thought people were ready for a change. People are never going to change in Detroit no matter who is running the city (young or old). This is a city that leadership is stuck on paralysis. If Blacks want to move out of the city and settle elsewhere with their families that is fine with me.

The only way I can see bringing back Detroit is with a more conservative approach to education and family living. People keep telling me how conservative Blacks are in Detroit. If that is the case then Jimmy Womack would have never been elected. And now there is a chance that Charles Pugh may win next year. Some conservatism. Sounds more like personal conflict when it comes to their values.

The same way Bernie Mac died of pneumonia is the same way Detroit died on Tuesday. Not taking care of our health. Detroit's health comes from God first and as along as we continue to elect people on name recognition we will continue to die from illiteracy and ignorance.

State Sen. Hansen Clarke is putting together a task force to help Black males graduate. How many task forces, Skillman workshops, New Detroit, etc. do we need before addressing the problem. A conservative approach to this problem is single sex schools that are teaching hardcore family, spiritual and business values to our men. Women must allow brothers like myself to mentor and teach their sons to be MEN FIRST. A woman must understand that she cannot raise a boy to be a man but raise them to be a older boy. This is why I have zero tolerance for grown Black men being on the down low or living an "alternative lifestyle." Those lifestyles are not restricted to being gay but also sleeping with multiple women placing both you and your family at high risk with AIDS or herpes.

We do not need any task forces or discussions on Black men. We know the problem. We need to get up off our asses and take control of the problem in our community. Men need to come to church, take control and run the show in the church. When women run the show in the church the church dies. That is a fact. And when men who are preachers stop preaching The Word of God and preach politics in the pulpit the church dies. When preachers are married and sleeping with the secretary of the church the spirit of the church dies. Some men who are leading our city never grew up to be men but older boys. This is what Kwame Kilpatrick and many others emulate. They sound good but they are older boys.

Men not only provide financial support to our women but in this crippled economy we must go higher than finances but also provide spiritual and mental support to our women and children. Our leadership may be able to financially provide for our families but our lives are being cut short as men due to our lifestyles. We have to repent.

Therefore, I am all ears. Give me a sound reason of why I should stay here in Detroit because right now I am burned out and I do not see anything good coming from this city from those who want to be positive, want change and want to stay here and support the city.


Hodari P. T. Brown said...

Bert Johnson and a cast of new & upcoming people are coming to the rescue. I know that a lot of good people lost on Tuesday but tell them to work together to defeat all the people you just named that need to go. I am willing to work with Carol Weavor and Terra DeFoe but they can't be running for the same position. In fact, they must work together for the next two years to ensure the voters in District 7 know that Jimmy Womack and Buzz Thomas are not in the interest of the people.

Only in Detroit, do we get 18 or 11 people running for State Representative. We need to all rally behind one candidate and push that candidate against those incumbents that we want out of office. Splitting the vote is the reason why Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick got re-elected but let's be clear, when we work together as one to unseat a candidate or get a candidate elected, we can do it. District 5 rallied behind Bert Johnson in 2006 and again in 2008. Now if the rest of the city would take our vision and plan than we can truly make change in all the State Representative races in Detroit as well as other races but it all starts with having the community on the side of one candidate and getting some people out of some of these races so that it is the incumbent vs. one viable candidate or a viable candidate vs. a bad name recongnition candidate.

Our time is Right Now, no matter if you are a Democrat or Republican. Detroit will live again and will be restored as a powerhouse but it starts with not giving up home!

Akindele F. Akinyemi said...

Your points are well taken. You MUST call me.