Feedback: Weekly reader responses 

'Direct Eye Contact'

In response to our blog post about black Detroiter John Felton being pulled over in Ohio for making "direct eye contact" with a police officer, "Fred Austin" posted:

This man should send a copy of this video to every fucking U.S. senator, congressman, and the president. I also would have taken the cop up on the offer finishing the conversation in court. This driver was not screaming at the cop, he had all his papers. "Contact," what does that mean what does the cop think that means?

'New York Sucks'

In response to our blog post about i-D magazine's "move to Detroit" piece and how New York sucks, "Jeri Rouse Looney" posted:

"Grew up in Detroit and its blue-collar 'burbs, then spent 26 years in L.A. and did lots of travel, with time in San Francisco, New York, and London. I am neither young nor creative, but I have raised those who are. My heart resides in Detroit, and always has. I want it to thrive, but I don't want it to be New York or any of those other places. We are different, which has been reinforced in the past couple of years. I hope those who move back or there for first time learn to value it rather than turn it into anything else. There are people there on the ground who have fought the good fight all their lives. Listen, learn, and treasure them. We will all be better for it.

Mapping Racism

We received a number or responses to our blog post about the Racial Dot Map and segregation in metro Detroit. "Steve Popescu" posted:

My family is from Detroit. I asked my mom once, "How was it when it was good, y'know, in the '50s?" Her response: "Screwed up ... like it is now, it always was."

There were walls separating the neighborhoods back then. I bet that's where the divide still is.

"Jazz Cook" posted:

This is nothing new: Metro Detroit has always been segregated. In 1969, when the housing bans against non-whites living in middle-class neighborhoods was struck down, white people moved to the suburbs. And previous to this, Ike's Interstate Highway project did a job on Paradise Valley and Black Bottom — at the time, the only areas where blacks were allowed to live.

"Rosemarie Martin" posted:

The racial polarization of Detroit is decline by design. Most Detroiters who know their city history are aware of this, from car insurance rates to declining property values to lack of city services and public funding. Most white suburbanites only venture into Detroit neighborhoods to sell something: liquor stores, ghetto grocery stores, drugs, etc.

"Sommer Ellis" posted:

Laughing at the people saying "black folks are just as racist!" If anything, most of us wanna be around white folks. We wanna live in their neighborhoods, and black folks in the ghetto are there because they can't afford to move out! But when blacks get money, nine times outta 10 we moving with white folks. I don't see white folks living in all-black neighborhoods. And don't say, "What about downtown and Midtown," 'cause it's well known that those areas are gentrified and they really don't want black folk there for the most part.

And "Johnny L. Ricks" posted:

Metro Detroit is probably the most segregated place in America. But the white folks will consistently proclaim that they are not racists.

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