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If Obama Had A City, It Would Look Like Detroit—But Without An Art Museum, Which Will Have Been Looted By The Rich
If Obama had a city, it would look like Detroit. Actually, it already is his—the President has just officially adopted it.
Of Detroit's over 700,000 people, eighty-two percent are black. Obama won the city’s voters by a margin not seen since the fall of Saddam Hussein, taking 98 percent of the votes cast in the 2012 election.
Not coincidentally, the city is also $18.5 billion in long-term debt, forcing the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.
However, in the post-American age, slavish political support for the powers that be has its benefits. The Obama Administration has just delivered the “bacon” City Council member JoAnn Watson notoriously demanded after the election. [Detroit councilwoman to Obama: We voted for you, now bail us out, MyFoxDetroit, December 5, 2012]
America’s failed city is getting $300 million in “freed-up” grants from the government and private foundations. The Obama Administration has also appointed a “point person” who will be “on the ground” during this “recovery” process. It has “vowed to bring ‘a lot of passion’ to an aggressive effort to help Detroit recover from its economic crisis”:
White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, addressing the media after a closed-door meeting between White House officials and state and local leaders, said Friday’s meeting was “exceptionally good.” “We just have one goal: To have all of Detroit working together for one Detroit with the Obama administration as a key partner every step along the way to support the vision, strategy and priorities of the people of Detroit,” he said. “We do not think of it as our job to devise the priorities or the strategy for Detroit. Our job is to listen to all sectors of Detroit.”
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan added: "We all believe this will be one of the great comeback stories in the history of American cities."
[White House contingent says Detroit will get $300M in federal help, , by Christine Ferretti and Louis Aguilar, Detroit News September 27, 2013]
To this we have only one question—come back from what?
Occasionally, the Establishment Conservative movement has tiptoed towards this truth. Rush Limbaugh mentioned Ze’ev Chafets’s out-of-print book, Devil's Night. Almost overnight, it shot up to #99 on the bestsellers list on Amazon.com and was republished. [See The Tragedy of Detroit, by Ze’ev Chafets, New York Times, July 29, 1990].
But all this did was open a dialogue on the fate of Detroit that neither the Establishment Right nor the Left wanted to have. Articles blaming Detroit’s decline on “unions,” “progressivism,” or simply “Democrats” are now staples of Conservatism Inc. commentary.
American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor pointed to a more salient cause in his book Paved With Good Intentions back in 1992 . He noted that it was not simply socialism that had been implemented in the former Motor City, but racial socialism.
The state of Michigan has forged ahead with an entirely new kind of racial quota system. Black state legislators noticed that Detroit’s overwhelmingly white symphony orchestra did not reflect the city’s population, which is 70 percent black. It made no difference to the critics that the symphony has for years run “blind” auditions in which applicants play behind a screen so as to eliminate favoritism. In February 1989, black legislators threatened to withhold $1.3 million in state funding and to picket concerts. Within days, the orchestra hired a black without the audition. Blind auditions have a “disparate impact,” so they had to be abandoned.
The people most outraged by this were black classical musicians who have won jobs across the country through pure talent. Like all affirmative action plans, the Detroit decision casts doubt on their achievements. Already two promising black musicians have refused to consider the Detroit Symphony because of the odium of favoritism. James DePreist, the acclaimed black conductor of the Oregon Symphony, also declined a job in Detroit. “[Y]ou fight for years to make race irrelevant, and now they are making race an issue,” he said.
(More on this incident: Discordant Notes in Detroit: Music and Affirmative Action, By Isabel Wilkerson, New York Times, March 5, 1989].)
Needless to say, the Main Stream Media and the Conservatism Inc. purported alternatives are not interested in exploring racial socialism and its disastrous effects. Though Paved With Good Intentions elicited a momentary flicker of interest from Conservatism Inc., subsequently it has made sure to relegate Jared Taylor to the political fringe for fear of being called “racist.”
The election results from Detroit show the fruits of that cowardly strategy.
The truth is that Detroit is far from the “color blind” conservative conception of post-MLK America. Instead, every institution in the city is focused on the goal of transferring resources to blacks.
Having destroyed the symphony, black demagogues even used the Detroit Institute of Arts as an opportunity to grandstand for their ethnocentric constituencies.
Jeffrey Abt’s A Museum on the Verge: A Socioeconomic History of the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1882-2000, describes the rise and fall of the high arts in what was once called the “Paris of the West.” Abt’s book was selling on Amazon.com at roughly $20.99 for a used copy during the early spring. However, news broke in May that the DIA’s assets were being appraised by Christie’s at around $2 billion, in possible preparation to be sold off, and by July it was selling for around $6,000.
Just as oligarchs looted Mother Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, American oligarchs are preparing to loot what was once the cultural inheritance of an entire people—and the American public is paying attention.
A Museum on the Verge is now down to about $2500, so perhaps Obama could pick up a copy. He would learn that the decline of the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum was tied directly to the construction of the Museum of African American History in Detroit. This monstrosity was built for $38.4 million over a period of ten years through the efforts of Mayor Coleman Young. Not surprisingly, rather than serving an educational mission or attaining the status of an edifying cultural achievement, it was filled with the ornate trappings usually found in a dictator’s palace in the Third World. [Detroit Institutions Are Entangled in the Politics of Race, Class and Labor, By Keith Bradsher, New York Times, May 28, 1997].
The African-American Museum was intended as an architectural expression of the truth that demography is destiny. According to Abt,
[Young] was elected mayor on the strength of an African American plurality in Detroit, and like most who voted for him, he perceived his victory as an African American victory that truly made the City of Detroit their city.
The consequences for high culture after Black Power were not long in coming. Abt continues,
The differential treatment of the DIA and MAAH (Museum of African American History) by the city’s political leadership can be traced directly to Detroit’s evolving demographic profile. Whereas African Americans constituted barely 4 percent of the city’s population in 1920, the year Detroit assumed ownership of the DIA, by the mid-199s African Americans composed 70 percent of the city’s residents…Just as the DIA once symbolized and served the cultural aspirations of Detroit’s citizenry, the MAAH now performed much the same role – but for a dramatically different ethnic constituency than the one that established the DIA. The point was made solemnly clear following Coleman Young’s death in late November 1997 when his body was placed in state below the MAAH’s rotunda for Detroit’s resident to pay their final respects.
What Detroit needs to “come back” from is the reality of Black Power and the costs of racial socialism. From the Detroit symphony orchestra, to the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, to the largely white tax base, black rule has systematically destroyed the institutions and constituencies that allow a modern city to function.
What’s more, the startling spike in popularity of works mentioned even briefly by the likes of Rush Limbaugh shows that the historic American nation is ready to hear some truthful answers about what has happened to its once-great cities.
Instead of relying on empty grandstanding over Obamacare or plaintive wails about tax cuts, a single Republican Senator could create a national sensation by standing up against the President’s attempt to put an entire city on welfare.
More importantly, the Beltway Right could change the political momentum overnight by simply allowing truthful discussion about what destroyed the Arsenal of Democracy.
That could create the kind of patriotic political and cultural movement that would allow Detroit to be a real comeback city.
It might even allow America to be a comeback country.
Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2013.