Tuesday, September 1, 2009

POLEMICS AND POLITICS

THINKING LOCALLY



Beth who has been going on about the political scene lately, and she mentioned a term that I am going to use here for my entry about the landscape here in Detroit. "The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing thought in the same mind at the same time." -F. Scott Fitzgerald. In my mind, this has been the problem that has crippled and caused the city of Detroit to stagnate, much like the bell cow auto industry.



The ability to rationalize and make the necessary changes to improve this particular city has been a victim of what is old-school parochialism, with reverse racism as its foundation. No one from outside of Detroit could really mean well for the city, which has scared off investment and created the adversarial climate that has persisted since the flight began out of the city in the 50's.



Coleman A. Young brought in a bunker mentality and built a fiefdom of graft and corruption that people here loved. His verbal sparring sessions with L. Brooks Patterson were burned in my mind, which no doubt contributed to my 'preference' to make my life outside of this city.



But, like the old question about the guy who suffers from paranoid delusions that someone is following him, the city collectively has resisted attempts at non-Detroiters to come in and make changes that perhaps would make the city more inviting. Fear and ignorance fuels the 'cognitive dissonance' (the term Beth used over in 'Nutwood') that has helped to choke the city.

Going back to the 'delusional cat', because the fear of people coming 'in' (oh, let's face it ... WHITE PEOPLE) and changing Detroit at the expense of its citizens may seem irrational...

... but it doesn't mean that it won't happen.

Interim Mayor Dave Bing isn't the man for the job. In many way I think he mirrors the current President, because he is the best man out of a bunch of poor candidates. That isn't saying he is RIGHT for the job.

Personally, I can see many problems with him as Mayor. When the discussion began, he only wanted to serve one term, then returning to his work in the private sector. That was a red flag right there. I mean, who can vote for someone who doesn't really want the job? That is what he said to me. If you want to someone to back you and your policies, then you have to show the heart to serve the constituents.

In many ways, his language has show a real dislike for the people here and those who work for the city. Not that they aren't without their faults, but his diplomacy leave MUCH to be desired. There is a possible change in bus service, with Saturday service going to half a day, and Sunday service being eliminated totally. That, along with the propsed budget cuts that calls for a reduction of other city services and its payroll may be necessary, but he doesn't care for who he hurts.

Even as I read over his QUOTES, I find my blood boiling. He talks down to people and gives the impression that the city better do as he says. His posturing smacks of being a real bully, a little cat with a bad Napoleon complex or something.

His wife did not want him to run for Mayor, and was not above showing her displeasure at his decision. I still don't know if she moved with him to the Mayoral residence or if she hasn't, even plans to. I really think that the Mayor that Detroit feared for so long would happen to it, finally has happened.

He did not grow up here or live within the city limits. He has no interests other than to make money with his failed steel company. The robber barron that Detroiter's have long worried about may well be here in the person of Dave Bing. I feel that he isn't going to be a good Mayor and his rude language only furthers my belief at his lack of either political savvy or altruistic nature that you need to lead a city.

What really tore it for me? When the proposed change in bus services was made, there was a sick out of 50 workers. Mayor Bing said that since there was no complaints, that means that there are 50 jobs right there that can be cut and no one miss.

That is arrogance. It also means that he is out of touch with the community that he serves, and I don't think he really wants to serve it, anyway. I think that the cognitive dissonance that has afflicted the city, in electing and re-electing the reckless Kwame Kilpatrick, still isn't going to allow for someone with a different way of handling business to come in. People still think of the city as it was, not as it is. That means that they aren't able to understand its problems and find solutions that can provide something to build from and give it hope.

For instance, I don't know if the state appointed cat over the DPS is doing anything too different from that what Connie Calloway had propsed doing, but because she was an outsider, I think people here ran her out of town. That brought down state control, and now the changes HAVE to be made, the same ones that Mrs. Calloway wanted to make but isn't here to oversee ... but is still being paid by the cash strapped district.

In many ways that is how business gets done in Detroit. I could keep going, like the federal overseer of the police department collecting millions for doing nothing and being part of 'hizzoner Kilpatrick's' concubine. Man!

This is more of a ramble ... I am not trying to say anything. I only know that my SFC gets in on Friday and I have to show her off in front of Hutch and my Pops. That is going to be something new for me ... not that people haven't met people I was either dating or connected to, but this is different. Shoot, I didn't feel this about anyone in quite some time!





4 comments:

Cathy said...

His Honor Bing IS arrogant! And not meaning to sound anywhere near as arrogant myself, I just want to give you the actual motto, it's "THINK global, but ACT local" see the subtle difference? We can't fix the world, we can keep it in our thoughts, but we CAN fix our backyards (communities) so think global, act local, and you'll feel better than you expected to lol. Time for sleep Mark! :-))

Beth said...

I DO go on sometimes, don't I? :)

This is a wonderful insight into the "world" of Detroit, and I get the impression at times that it is like a little world unto itself. Now that I've been there, I see that it's such a great city in so many ways, and still has so much potential...but how do you fix something that is profoundly broken? Reading your stories of the city, and Alaina's dealing with the school system just makes my heart ache for this great American city. Hugs, Beth

miss alaineus said...

For instance, I don't know if the state appointed cat over the DPS is doing anything too different from that what Connie Calloway had propsed doing, but because she was an outsider, I think people here ran her out of town. That brought down state control, and now the changes HAVE to be made, the same ones that Mrs. Calloway wanted to make but isn't here to oversee ... but is still being paid by the cash strapped district.

to me this rings very true...she had the whole 'outsider' thing working against her the entire time. to me bing simply serves the wrong master, working for the good of the man vs. the good of the people.

have a good visit.

xxalainaxx

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Less than two days, you must be a-flutter with butterflies. Hope you have a great visit :o)