The implementation of silver rights in urban depressed communities across the State of Michigan will take time, patience and work. When we are talking about silver rights we are not just talking about economic prosperity but a complete restoration of God in our community as well.
I want to make myself real clear that I will never leave God out of any equation. He is FIRST. When our community left God this is where we are at now. Our children killing police officers like the 16-year old who shot the Oak Park police officer recently.
It is the principle of voluntary exchange between free individuals who stand self-responsible before their Creator, the God of the Bible, which was, and still remains, the true essence of the wonderfully productive economic system that we call free market economics. Without the theology of the Bible free market economics would never have evolved in America, nor will it ever take root and prosper in any other country in the absence of its biblical roots. If this system of morally based exchange is to survive in America during this age of increasing secular humanism, its workings and underlying biblical principles must be effectively communicated to each upcoming generation. This is called spiritual prosperity.
Today, I would like to focus on one specific depressed urban community right outside Detroit. Ecorse, Michigan. According to the U.S. Census there are 10,137 people in the City of Ecorse. 47% of the population is White while 40% is Black. 9% is Hispanic. Only 64% of the total population in Ecorse has a high school diploma while 4% possess a bachelor degree from a four-year university or college. Unemployment is 13% in Ecorse and the divorce rate is 16%. While the elementary and middle schools in Ecorse made AYP the high school did not. 36% of the students at Ecorse High School passed the reading portion of their state exams while 21% passed their math portion.
Ecorse has many challenges. For one, it is considered an environmental trouble spot. From asbestos to contamination we have families who live around these areas. If you have a median household income of $28,270 how do you actually transform a community from death to life? From poverty to prosperity?
Part of the problem that I have seen for years going on in places like Ecorse is how their city government is ran. Their city government needs to influence public life on a person-to-person basis through the consciences of Ecorse's citizens and elected officials. Meanwhile, faith based organizations must work hand in hand with others to seek a renewal of a citywide Christian conscience and the restoration of the law that God has prescribed as the guiding principle for all areas of life. We must be able to trickle down to our children how God’s law is the source of all personal and national blessing. This includes the recognition of the God-ordained jurisdictional boundaries of the family, the church and the state as well as the honoring of the jurisdictions of the family and of the church through the return and proper exercise of their Biblical roles and responsibilities.
Once we have established spiritual prosperity through God into our families again we can move forward with silver rights.
John Hope Bryant, the founder and CEO of Operation HOPE, have always stated how there is a difference between being 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 one’s spirit, and we must vow to never, ever be poor again. This is a concept we must teach to our children AT HOME first then take this concept into our educational institutions.
The Ecorse School District (at least at the high school level) needs fresh new leadership. Urban conservatives can join in the movement of helping reshape educational policies on a local level. We must make smart sexy again, and we most begin to better show the aspirational relevancy of education to our young people, if we ever expect to meaningfully kick the high school dropout craze.
Implementing a silver rights movement in Ecorse is necessary because unemployment is at its highest in nearly 15 years, homes being foreclosed at record rates, stagnant wage growth and the rising costs of basics such as providing food and energy to heat and light one’s home; families now find themselves overextended, over stressed and maxed out.
The first thing we need for urban areas such as Ecorse to do is to understand how the free market works. Next, understand Ecorse, like Detroit, does not sit on an island by itself. In fact, it sits on the Detroit River. The Detroit River is an international waterway that must be utilized by low wealth communities like Ecorse to generate wealth into the communities.
The people who will be leading the silver rights movement in Ecorse will be our young people. Remember, you need Democrats, Republicans and independents on all sides to make this work. Presently, there are no GOP precinct delegates representing Ecorse. This means there is no real bargaining power in a town as big as Muskegon Heights or Benton Harbor. We have to change this by physically going into Ecorse and create a political farm team to help people understand why it is necessary to represent both sides of the aisle.
Silver rights can be made in Ecorse when we reduce the adult illiteracy rates in the city. Once we do this then we can began to do business with people. The reason? There's not a welfare mother in this country in her right mind that doesn't want her child to grow up to be intelligent, hardworking, tax paying, if for no other reason than to feel proud of them. It's not a Black issue, it's not a White issue, it's a motherhood issue. But you can't give what you don't have. No matter how much a mother may love her son or my daughter, if she do not have wisdom she can only give her own ignorance to her children. The path to hell is paved with good intentions.
Therefore, out of bad habit we pass down bad habits. Out of love we also pass down bad habits. Out of tradition we pass down bad habits. Folks are not dumb or stupid. They're uninformed, or misinformed, and worse is what they don't know that they don't know, that's killing them. And when you come at this thing from a people place, you quickly really realize that the communities of the wealthless are different in this respect. Again, there's a difference between being broke and being poor.
The community in Ecorse also must support an institution of change. The reason why I am saying this is because we need to understand if the 20th century was about erasing the color line, the 21st century is going to be about class and poverty. We must be able to convert check cashing customers into banking customers. It is unacceptable in the wealthiest country in the world, we have a third world country right here in Ecorse.
The leadership in Ecorse must convert minimum wage workers into living wage workers with new job skills. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan once said that in the information age, the age we live in today, every economy goes through four ages; the agricultural age, the industrial age, technology age, and then the information age. In the information age, the irreversible asset is education and access, and information and access, because once you have those things, no one can take them from you.
As an academician I completely reject the idea that our children cannot learn to be responsible in our community. No matter how thuggish or ignorant they may appear to be there is a way to reach them. One way to reach them is financial literacy. We must convert the economically uneducated to the economically empowered. There is no reason why we are not teaching our children from K-12 financial literacy in our classrooms. Remember, part of the silver rights movement is deeply rooted in education. Education eradicates poverty. It helps us understand and appreciate the free market that is the capitalist superhighway to freedom.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was crazy. Jesus Christ, in some people's minds, was crazy. Some of you who are reading this think I am insane. Nelson Mandela was actually out of his cotton picking mind. Goes to jail at 40 years old, stays there 27 years, come out, hugs the jailer, decides to become president of his country, becomes president of his country, turns around and makes his jailer his vice president, over mess and not in it. All of us are workers and leaders in our own right.
If urban communities such as Ecorse understand that new leadership, fresh thinking, and a focus on wealth-generation through placing God at the head of our house the city will be able to restore the faith of our community in its leadership and rejuvenate the hope for solving the problems of our communities. Leadership requires a vision, an ability to garner widespread support for that vision, and the wisdom to know when changes to the first two qualities are necessary.
We can make a difference. Watch how you live your life. It may be the only Bible that anybody else reads.