Monday, June 22, 2009

Breaking Down The Walls in Detroit by Akindele Akinyemi

Detroit is on life support as we speak. However, there are some well educated people in our city that is ready to usher in a new paradigm of thinking.

Our city must embrace leaders that are fully committed to the building Detroit back through silver rights. The Silver Rights Movement is a campaign that is fully committed to developing direct-action through economic change, social change and educational change.

Even though levees do not exist in Detroit an economic levee has broken here. Both General Motors and Chrysler has filed for bankruptcy. There is a massive brain drain with our young people leaving the city. And the spiritual morale of our city does not exist.

And there are still unfortunately economic levees ready to break in the backdrop of other industries leaving Detroit and the rest of our region. The reality is, things could quiet possibly get worse, before they get better in the recovery effort to bring back Detroit.

This is what happens when you have a population of people who were effectively in a state of personal economic disaster even before the global economic crisis hit them. Individuals living from paycheck to paycheck; financially illiterate, economically unprepared, and fundamentally under-educated – in one of the poorest cities in the nation.

This is what happens when the average income in the Brightmoor District of Detroit was $10,300 annually.

This is what happens when folks don’t earn enough to own an automobile, and felt so economically strapped by life that, to them, the only decision that seemed to make any sense at all is to "weigh it out" despite high criminal and mis-educated activity. This is what happens when people are forced to live hand to mouth in Detroit.

The reality is that when you and I get into trouble with a disaster or unfortunate situation, we find a way to pick ourselves off, dust ourselves off, get our families resettled and situated, update our skills, find a new job, and move on. But poverty-stricken people in Detroit don’t generally fit this description.

This is why we must make education worthwile again in our community. We must continue to educate the urban and suburban public, government and private-sector interests about the growing economic disaster that most always follows the physical and emotional disaster.

An answer gets ahead of the problem, and finds creative ways to taps down on risks, until the problem becomes no more than an inconvenience. This is the miracle of modern financial markets in Detroit and the rest of Michigan. Experts, at identifying, managing and taping down on risks.

What are the risks associated with millions of Detroiters who feel disconnected from the whole of Michigan, and worse still, feel that the invaluable social contract with Detroit has been irrevocable breached?

I am suggesting that there is really no alternative now to Detroit making a real and sustainable investment in its poor, it’s under-served, and the wealthless in our city. An investment focused on a hand up, and not a hand out.

An investment that insures that our children, not just Detroit but in other urban communities across Michigan, are no longer financially illiterate but financially literate.

An investment that insures that a man, willing to work, finds an honest job before he is enticed by or otherwise drawn into a dishonest life. If a man cannot find a job, he will unfortunately find something else to invest his energies into, another way to seem of value to himself and those he considers his family, even it if is not honorable.

Unfortunately there are economic levees about to break all across this great city of ours, and going forward we must all do what we must, to insure that there are no more economic disasters in 21st century Detroit.

If the 20th century was about issues of race and the color line all over the world, or what we call civil rights, then the 21st century, an economic era, will be about issues of class and poverty, or silver rights.

For the first time in modern American history Detroit and the rest of urban Michigan has put a face on poverty, for all the world to see. However, with the help of some fostering and developing a new silver rights leadership in Detroit we will have the real potential of converting the ignorance into accountability.

2 comments: said...

You mean the outfield wall at Tiger Stadium? Collapsed yesterday already.


bear said...

I wish you well but until Detroit leaders adopt a " thou shalt not steal" ethic, it will not impress me. Making Detroit a "crown jewel" of Michigan again will take a mighty effort and Detroiters need to lead the effort in cleaning up their backyard. I'm not saying the rest of Michigan is perfect either, but outstate tax dollars go to Detroit and that "investment" looks pretty bad in my book right now. Pareto's law says chop the 20% to fix 80% of our problems.

I'm originally from Wayne County but glad to have moved outstate long ago.