You are right about northern segregation, at least in big cities like Detroit, Chicago, etc. Although I live in a fairly integrated part of Warren (I'd say it's 60% white, 40% black), most people in the Detroit suburbs don't. I also lived in a Detroit neighborhood for 12 years in which I was definitely in the minority as a white person.
I am in Detroit daily, though. I work here, and I go out into the neighborhoods to visit clients. In 25 years of living and working in this area, I have never been the victim of a crime.
Grand Rapids is not so much like that, though. It was when I was a kid, but not so much now. The suburbs and city are both pretty integrated, although I suspect there are not tons of black people in the wealthiest suburbs, like EGR and Ada. Kentwood, where I grew up, has a majority black population at this time.
I guess I need to go out and target practice with my engine block remover.
Point of order for noonwitch.
I was born in Detroit and grew up in the 'burbs.
Based on my own research, "white flight" actually began in the Fifties (which kinda dovetails in with my own history), long before the '67 riots.
Mayor Jerry Cavanaugh, in the early Sixties, basically got the lib juggernaut moving. He had a lot of help when the next criminal mayor came to office -- the infamous Coleman Young. And now you've got Kwame.
The liberal agenda and powerful unions essentially destroyed Detroit. It is a sucking chest wound.
Even life support won't save it. Things have gotten so bad that vigilantism is the method by which people protect themselves, especially since the cops might make it out to your house to investigate that burglar you're pretty sure is there.
Only problem with that is, the cops won't be there till tomorrow. Maybe.
But it's easy for suburbanites to blame those who remained in the city. And, most of the residents today had nothing to do with Coleman Young's reign, nor do they even know who Jerry Cavanaugh was (although some know his son as a Juvenile Court Judge). White people in the suburbs have been blaming the black people in the city for poverty, crime and all of the other problems in the city for at least 40 years at this point, but very few people have done anything other than criticize, blame or complain. Black people in the city do the same thing-blame white people for abandoning the city, yet don't exactly make them welcome when they visit. One former governor from rural Michigan even advised Bill Gates not to donate any computer equipment to the Detroit Public Schools, even though that governor had taken over the DPS and had appointed his people to control it at that point. Gates donated the equipment anyways.
Everyone blames someone else and no one ever comes up with any type of solution. The current mayor (Bing, D) and the current governor (Snyder, R) actually are trying to work together to come up with some ideas and plans to help the city. They end up fighting both the city council and the state legislature to get anything done.
In the meantime, there are still roughly 700,000 residents left in the city. They are not all drug addicts, welfare recipients and beggars, contrary to what you might think. There are many veterans, seniors, children and so on left in a city with hardly any police, horrible schools, no jobs, and crappy public transportation. We're lucky that Bing and Snyder have managed to convince Meijer to build two stores in the city-one at 8 Mile and Woodward and one at Grand River and McNichols. We are also lucky that there are some good churches/temples/mosques on both sides of 8 Mile Road that feed the poor, help the addicted get treatment and run homeless shelters and vocational programs.
I am not objecting to criticism of Detroit, I am objecting to the dehumanization of the people who live there by those who say things like "blow up Detroit" or "let it rot". Statements like that have nothing to do with conservatism or liberalism, and everything to do with claiming that 700,000 people have no use to the rest of the US, because we don't like their politics.
I personally think we should start doing child sponsorships in Detroit (and Camden). Once you put a face and a name to a child, it's kind of hard to look the other way.
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