The future is ours
Re: “Detroit’s future, and ours” (Metro Times Nov. 9), Jack Lessenberry was dead-on about the impact of Detroit on Michigan.
Wherever I travel in the world, Detroit is my identity. My home is in St. Clair Shores. No one outside of southeastern Michigan knows St. Clair Shores. But when I tell them “near Detroit, the Motor City,” they know.
Detroit is Michigan’s calling card.
Now we know that the future of Detroit is in the hands of the energetic, intelligent, and, hopefully, four-years-wiser Mr. Kwame Kilpatrick. He promised to be better and a small majority believed him. Frankly, I wish he set his sights a little higher; since in my view he could not be much worse than he was during his first term.
However, more than that, the future of Detroit and Michigan is in our hands. For years many Michiganders have thought they could simply leave Detroit behind. Many citizens simply took off and, to this day, still keep moving farther and farther away. You know the old suburban “sprawl vs. progress” argument. But no matter how far people move, they cannot break the ties that bind all in the state to the Motor City.
The only escape really is to abandon the state; and while recent census reports show that Michigan has lost some population, most of us love Michigan and want to stay. Sadly, many of us could not sell our homes for fair market value and move anyway right now, thanks to our state’s stagnant economy. Additionally, if Detroit does not become a money-maker soon, or at least break even, Michigan’s economy will worsen. Furthermore, the state will have to pick up the tab and force the burden on the rest of its citizens. And besides paying more revenues to the state government, what can we do to help Detroit out of its malaise? I do not know.
I do know what drew nearly 2 million people into its core only 50 years ago. Detroit used to be a great family city. It had wonderful neighborhoods built around parks. It was a homeowner’s city. Homeowners (not corporations) paid the tab. Homeowners were able to pay because they earned a good wage. That is what made Detroit great before. What is in Detroit now that will draw us back into the once-great city? Presently, there is not much.
I do not know if Detroit will ever become a mega-metropolis again with 2 million people living in its borders. But I can envision a strong, vibrant city of 750,000 or 1 million.
Yet in order to have either future, Detroit needs well-paying jobs. Jobs not only for its current citizens, but also to draw new immigrants (at a time when I know that immigration is difficult). I do not care where they come from — be it Mexico, Sri Lanka, Trinidad or Mars — if they have a brain and are willing to work hard.
Another issue Jack raised is the city’s burdensome property tax. Folks just don’t want to settle where so much of their hard-earned income goes to support city government and services. But the tax rates could go down if there were more citizens earning enough income available to pay taxes; and that goes back to jobs. Creating an environment in Detroit that brings in jobs is Mr. Kilpatrick’s and our challenge.
The saying goes, “If you build it they will come.” Unfortunately, Detroit was built and they left. If we build it again, will they return? I hope so. —Gary Bynum, Command Master Chief, stationed aboard U.S.S. Ashland at Little Creek, Va.
Got your gloat?
I am so glad the voters of Detroit have sent you and the other “mobsters” a message that your opinions of Detroiters and their mayor do not matter! —Deneen Whitaker, West Bloomfield
Funny how the award for “Best Drawing Band With No Press” gets axed from the print edition. Well, fuck it — we’ve done it without you thus far and will continue to do so.
I actually thought the little blurb was pretty accurate, but there are a couple of things that bother me. First, this award gives no credit to the talent, ability and creativity that surrounds the Natives of the New Dawn as outstanding musicians and songwriters. This review implies that they are some sort of pop or novelty act. It gives no mention to the level of songwriting and showmanship that keeps the faithful fans coming back. Second, it gives no credit to the hard work or dedication that is put into this entire project so that it is successful. It’s not by luck or chance that the Natives have proven themselves outside of Detroit as well as outside of the U.S. Fucking Haters.
I mean, what? Maybe if Natives barely knew how to play their instruments and had a bunch of recordings that sound like they were recorded in a toilet, then they would get some press? Or maybe if they and their fans fit your little ‘indie rock kid’ market they wouldn’t be hated on? Seems a little hypocritical to me. Sorry if they create good, fun, enjoyable music that a wide variety of people can get into; sorry people faithfully go to Natives of the New Dawn shows because they know they put on a hell of a performance, and are guaranteed a good time. We sincerely apologize for all of this. Please don’t make it easier for a band with these great attributes to reach a larger market. Let’s keep promoting negativity and empty, soulless garbage.
Furthermore, why the distinction about the fans? That’s some prejudice-ass, racial fucking stereotyping right there. Why don’t you make the distinction about anyone else’s fans? Is it only cool now if you wear vintage clothes and act all introverted and socially awkward? How can you single out our fans, and stereotype the kind of people that come to a New Dawn show? That is some fucked-up, racist-ass, segregating shit.
And then, finally, to cap it all off the real irony hits. I can’t believe you have the nerve to follow up those retarded-ass awards with some story subtitled “Fuck local music segregation” when you are the ones promoting this segregation. —Jess Thibodeau, Grosse Pointe WoodsSend comments to [email protected]