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Detroit City Council Would Like To Remind You They're Not Slaves Any More

Playing the race card every time a contentious issue arises is a bit played out, except in Detroit. The following summary is pulled from a longer article in The Detroit News.

The Detroit City Council has rejected a proposal to transfer daily operations of the Detroit Zoo to the Detroit Zoological Society, saying the administration waited too long to bring such a major change to them. In response Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's administration has started the process of terminating all Detroit Zoo employees and is moving ahead with plans to close the award-winning facility.

One of the council members who voted against the plan says that a state deadline amounted to unfair pressure by small-town legislators on the city to relinquish control of the zoo. She and other council members were angered by numerous calls and e-mails made to their offices by suburbanites critical of the council's vote. Some of the council members took the e-mails as veiled racism.

"This is not a plantation," Collins said. "We are not owned by everyone else. Black folks are not owned by white folks anymore. I made the point Saturday that the state Legislature was pimping the City of Detroit, and that we should not play the role of prostitute. That upset a lot of people, but I stand by my words. The symbolism is that Detroit is a black city, and we're not able to govern ourselves. It's a racist attitude and I resent it."

Collins said she thought the council would meet with the society and Kilpatrick when the mayor gets back from Africa, where he is on a fact-finding trip with his mother, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and other members of Congress. But no set plans for meetings or hearings had been made by Monday evening.

That's pretty much everything you need to know about the Detroit, the 2000's version of Marion Barry's "mayor for life" era in Washington DC. Have pity on its residents...


Comments (21)

But are they chocolates? </... (Below threshold)
Paul:

But are they chocolates?

Collins used to be my Congr... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Collins used to be my Congressional Rep, before I moved to Ann Arbor.

She isn't known for being nice. She brought in Luis Farrakhan (sp?) in a failed attempt to keep her seat when she was challenged by the present mayor's mom for the Congressional seat. SHe said then she felt like she was on a "jihad" to keep her seat. And she's made her disdain for other races clear over the years. For her, EVERYTHING is about race.

What do you know about Detr... (Below threshold)
Tracey:

What do you know about Detroit, do you live here? The Detroit Zoo issue is not the sum of Detroit, but it is easy to make ignorant statements without information.

1) I get tired of the term 'race card' thrown out as to nullify very real problems. There are well-documented racial issues and racial tensions in Detroit. With the zoo issue alone, consider the battle with a Oakland County Executive and his well known prejudices. Just because you get tired of hearing about them does not make them go away.

2) I've lived in several other cities in the US and one thing I have found constant is that there are no dearth of idiots to serve on any city council. I bet half on your council are idiots too. There are real racial issues, but Collins consistantly says inaccurate incendiary things because she can't control her emotions. I didn't vote her.

We don't want or need your pity.

Tracey, chill out. L. Broo... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Tracey, chill out. L. Brooks isn't going to take over the zoo. It was the Zoological Society--you know, the people who give millions of dollars and time and effort to the zoo? Those terrible folks.

Collins is well-known for bringing race into every issue, never mind its relevance. You're tired of hearing the "race card"? Stop playing it when race isn't an issue!

Tracey I used to live there... (Below threshold)
Gary:

Tracey I used to live there but I moved the minute I got an education and a job. Does that disqualify me from posting too? I do have some pity for you.

Listen Detroit proper is like 80% or more black. The number of whites is less than the remaining 20% as it includes asians and others. the moayor the council members are all black. What exactly is there that the "man" is putting on black folks there?

The pity of it all is the the Detroit Zoo was one of the finer zoos in the country and really should be preserved. But if sticking it to the "man" includes cutting off your own nose, then by all means carry on.

Barbara Rose Collins is the... (Below threshold)
Yo Yo Ma:

Barbara Rose Collins is the former U.S. Representative from Detroit. She was defeated in the late '90's after numerous ethical violations. She also held a fundraiser in a black strip club about 10 blocks from the Capitol. When the media found out about the fundraiser, she played the race card then.

She was defeated by Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick...the mom of the current Detroit mayor.

Boy in this case Detroit fo... (Below threshold)
Gary:

Boy in this case Detroit found something other than your grden variety idiot to serve on its council. If YO YOu MA is correct, you have a hybrid model cross bred with a bigot and perhaps a theif. Mpw that deserves pity.

Detroit is arguably bthe mo... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Detroit is arguably bthe most f'ed up major city in America. The state ought to take over the running of the city and county. Democrats, unions and PC mentality coupled with racial politics is truly a toxic witches brew. Given a chance, the Democrats will turn America in to a giant Detroit. On election day just say NO to the Democrats.

Part of the problem is that... (Below threshold)
grrlie:

Part of the problem is that Detroit is still one of the most (if not THE most) segregated major cities in the United States. 8 mile really is a dividing line. No one outside the city limit (of any race) gets a say in who the council members are, despite the fact that those decisions affect us all. When ever you have such a homogenous group of ANY race, there's bound to be a problem. You heard Yo Yo Ma. . .Barbara Rose Collins isn't everyone's choice. It's very frustrating to live on 9 mile and live with these decisions.

As a resident of the other ... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:

As a resident of the other side of Michigan, I wish nothing more than for Detroit to get it's act together. But the fact is that Detroit shows little sign of reversing the trend of trying to pull the rest of the region and state around with it as it circles the financial and economic porcelain bowl. I had a lot of respect for Kwame Kilpatrick when he was in the State House and hoped he would bring forth a change for the better when elected mayor... but he won the office and promptly became part of the problem. The last one out of the city... turn out the lights!

Ms. Collins thinks she's go... (Below threshold)
NWA:

Ms. Collins thinks she's going crazy sometimes. Ha, hu, huh. As Shapelle recently said, "United States is the best country in the world, by default." He went on to say we got to have a conversation with ourselves and get real, people!

It's the MSP goin' ape over our zoo that's wrong ...ain't the race card, b'tch! Did you see any positive reports from the MSP about our hosting of the Superbowl? Just a lot of jokes about getting shot. Ha, hu, huh.

Welfare city is the Democrats' answer to staying viable and Ms. Collins is their hapless house slave. Peace

Did you see any positive re... (Below threshold)
Mom of 10:

Did you see any positive reports from the MSP about our hosting of the Superbowl? Just a lot of jokes about getting shot. Ha, hu, huh.


I'm not sure what MSP you are talking about...all the Detroit TV local news people were practically pee-ing themselves they were so positive about Detroit hosting the Superbowl.

The whole thing is a power struggle between Kwame and the City Council. The same stupid fighting and posturing happened when Kwame and the CC didn't agree on budget cuts. Then the mayor threatened to stop the annual fireworks show.

I love how the City Council thinks they are being treated like slaves by the suburbs because the suburbs want the zoo to stay open. The Detroit Zoo is used by people from all over the Metro area...not just people who vote in Detroit.

(This is meant as humor, wi... (Below threshold)

(This is meant as humor, with a bit of genuine curiousity thrown in...)

What facts, exactly, is the Mayor of Detroit looking for in Africa?

And why are the people inside this infamous "8 mile" perimeter paying for it?

If you think that some o... (Below threshold)
happy MAN:

If you think that some of these acusations are unfair, check out the web for some of the stellar screw-ups, theft, and racism by the buffoons who reciently have or currrently work ( just a figure of speech) for the city.
1. barbara rose collins
2. kwame kilpatrick
3. carolyn ( big ass ) kilpatrick
4. jackie currie
5. lonnie bates
6. some skank named tilabi
7. kay evertt ( this fat slob died last year before the F.B.I. could prosecute.
I urge you to check out these proud politico's who dump so much pride upon their race. The Zoo fiasco is just another issue in which the council thinks they are spiteing whit
ty by bringing ruination upon there own city.
I actually worked for the city and racism against white people is rampant. I was chastised
for being to hard working (no kidding). After trying for five years to mend fences reach-out and make a difference, I found out that there is nothing you can do to prevent blacks from thinking they are owed a living without working. If you're black and you lack the required capacity to do a job move to detroit. I quit and moved to the burbs.
let's keep detroit a choclate city.
happy MAN

Lots of work has gone into ... (Below threshold)
robert:

Lots of work has gone into the Zoo in recent years (private donations) and it is looking fairly good. Curiously, it is located in Oakland county; Detroit is in Wayne county but owns the Zoo property. Does Oakland want it? Nope, who needs the grief.

Detroit has very serious budget problems and is closing things and laying off police, etc. It wants the State and suburbs to give it money for the Zoo, with no input into operations.

Go pound sand.

consider the battle with... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

consider the battle with a Oakland County Executive and his well known prejudices

That's a pretty one sided battle with Brooks only replying to inane comments made by either Kilpatrick before elections or the city council all of the time. You don't hear about Brooks saying something racist and then Detroit politicos reacting to it -- only the other way around. Like when Coleman Young said that the drug and gun crime problem in Detroit was caused by suburban kids bringing their guns and drugs accross 8 Mile. Laughable.

This is just another in a long line of Detroit fiascos. Most recently, the state had to take over the school system and the feds had to take over supervision of the police force -- because of terrible mismanagement and fraud. Of course, that was racist as well.

Detroit has become a private club for the "haves" and "friends of Kwame". The rest either leave or have to suffer under terrible public services, high taxes and rampant fraud.

City council members are elected city wide and not by district so they tend to all live in the few very wealthy neighborhoods. Until that changes, the poorer neighborhoods will never have someone who represents their local issues on the council.

I live half a block North of 8 Mile.

The difference in appearance and services is amazing.

Detroit had a decent mayor for a few years -- Dennis Archer -- and they ran him out of town.

This past year they had another chance for decent leadership and passed.

The region has done everything it could to try to invest in and bring business back to Detroit despite rediculously high corporate taxes. All while being called racists. The city even turned down a $100 million dollar grant to develop a charter school system after the teachers union (city school teachers took a paid school day off, shutting down the schools so they could go protest in Lansing) and the city council went nuts.

If not for the Super Bowl and Detroit being in the national focus a few weeks ago, no one outside of Detroit would have noticed Collins' statement.

It's business as usual here.

Nothing to see here -- move along....

The poor city continues to ... (Below threshold)
epador:

The poor city continues to head for an end that will look like Manhattan in Escape from New York.

However, I am not sure sure I'd want the folks in Lansing running the city any better than the City Council.

I ran my own business in Mid Michigan for 17 years. I left for more favorable tax/insurance/disability/education climate. I had about 47 states to choose from.

epador,Something h... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

epador,

Something happened in Michigan a few years ago outside of Wayne and Oakland counties to make the rest of the state come to some kind of sanity.

Too late for you unfortunately.

We got term limits and legislated out the dead wood. In the process we changed both houses in the legislature. The governorship was unable to escape the old ways up till now, but that will be soon changed. I hope.

Where is this Shangri-la that you describe?

Curious Michiganders need to know.

Is it warm?

Well...as a former Detroite... (Below threshold)
Scarface:

Well...as a former Detroiter, I can only say that it's difficult not to feel some sense of satisfaction in watching these shenanigans play out. Any suburbanite could have told you that the Zoo was in jeopardy and that the city council, true to their racist, self-imposed paranoia, would have stalled a decision. Their intent is to have "whitey" pay for the Zoo, via donations. Looks like it's working, too. The Zoo isn't going to close, but it might as well.

Isn't it ironic how the Detroit City Council and Kwame Kilpatrick continually lobby for suburban funds, but , at the same time, don't want suburbanites to have any control or say in the operations of the City. Now comes the Zoo and the City Council takes the exact same stance: give us your money, not your opinions!

That's okay. I'm enjoying the show. Detroit is less than a year away from receivership. Detroit has had a black population nearing 95% (the highest in the nation) for over twenty five years and they still can't make it. They're falling on their sword in an effort to keep whitey away. Yet, they need white business owners and residents to come back to the city and increase the tax base. No way around it. In my humble opinion, the only way Detroit will get back to her glory days is when there is more white representation in the administration and the City Council. Until that time, it's downhill from here. And you know what they say....when you go downhill, you pick up speed...

I'm ashamed to be apart of ... (Below threshold)
J-bone:

I'm ashamed to be apart of this community. The council & mayor are nothing but over paid idiots only looking out for themselves & stealing from the city, especially Kwame. I wonder who is paying for that trip to Africa. Shame on those idiots in Detroit who voted him back in office. The "Zoo" is actually in Detroit. Don't feed those animals.

Happy Man, you forgot, Chri... (Below threshold)
baseline_313:

Happy Man, you forgot, Christine "do you know who I am" Beatty!




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