The Emancipation of Detroit

Detroiters may have lost their vote to run their own city, but we have an opportunity return the favor to the men who really run Michigan – DeVos and the Koch brothers. If Detroit voted at the same level as African-Americans in the rest of the country, we could easily oust the representatives of corporate America and elect a governor and Legislators that represent us.

In 2008, a record turn-out of African-Americans helped to elect President Obama. In 2012, despite efforts to suppress minority voting by Republicans, an even larger percentage of African-Americans turned out to vote. Research from the Brennan Center for Justice showed that the cost of complying with the new voter compliance measures hastily adopted by Republican Legislatures actually exceeded poll taxes that have been illegal since 1966. In fact, in 2012, the level of African-American voting as a percentage nearly equaled that of Caucasians for the first time.

There is nothing we can do about the Emergency Manager in Detroit.  But we can register to vote and motivate a electorate who has been targeted by DeVos and his Governor and his representatives in the Michigan Legislature. If every African-American eligible to vote in the next State elections chooses to vote, then we can send a message back to the Robber Barons controlling Lansing: “you don’t have enough money to buy this State”.

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4 Responses to The Emancipation of Detroit

  1. Rex A Umney says:

    I’m not quite so sure I like your tone Mr. Figer…

    African American this, African American that… Whatever happened to just plain old “AMERICAN”?

    I’d say 99% of what you call “African Americans” are so detached from Africa that it’s almost racist to call them “African Americans”.

    What gives with you stirring the race pot Mr. Fieger? You have been back in town for only a little while and you’re already getting back into your old skin.

    Just a shame… Are your handlers not happy with the idea you have seen life thru a different set of eyes?

    I don’t know what to make of this comment except to say maybe you were a little heavy with the wine leading up to this post.

    This whole hyphen American stuff needs to be extinguished or America will always remain divided.

    I must admit… I feel like I just got punched in the gut with this thread, but as much as I don’t like what you say I am still here saying I don’t like it. I guess that is what makes AMERICANS the BEST in the world.

  2. Rex A Umney says:

    Mr. Fieger,

    While we are on the topic of “race”, I had a question for you. Maybe you can answer it.

    Okay so I have a little story to tell before I ask the question, but here it goes…

    My son (8 years old) has had this fascination with Lizards. I don’t know why, but about 2 years ago after months and months of badgering I gave in a purchased him a Gecko, tank, sand and a heat rock. To my surprise the little bugger was very hardy (still alive today) and was pretty easy to maintain. Well it wasn’t long before my son felt the Gecko was feeling a bit lonely and suggested to me that with his birthday money he wanted to buy his Gecko some friends. I told him he had friends, the crickets we buy for him every week. He said Dad; the Gecko eats the crickets for food because they are lower on the food chain. In absolute awe and shock at his response I gave into his request since (a) he was using his money and (b) I was already paying to run that damn heat rock and lamp anyway.

    We get to Petco where he finds a few low dollar green anoles and a long tail something or other. These little suckers were WAY different than the stout and very slow Gecko. They ran like lightning and although they were still reptiles in the lizard family looked a lot different than the Gecko. Anyway he got 4 of them and put them in with his Gecko. To all of our surprise slowly 1 by 1 they turned up missing. We though maybe they could climb the walls and got out? This was until we seen the Geckos belly getting bigger and then finally it ate the long tail lizard leaving behind only the tail. Then of course while cleaning out the tank we noticed 3 rather large chunks of poop that seemed to look a lot like a lizard rather than a cricket. My son was devastated and of course you can’t get your money back from Petco if they are eaten by another pet.

    Then maybe a month ago my son came to me again and said “Dad, Lizzy needs a friend”. I then asked him if he remembered what happened to the last friends Lizzy had and to this he replied “But they were different species, I bet if I get another Gecko everything will be okay”. Unconvinced I told him “A lizard is a lizard, and I think Lizzy has just become to where she does not want to share her home”. Yet my son was determined and kept badgering me, which I secretly encourage because it’s like anything else in life, you have to keep at it. Finally he come to me and said “Dad I’ll pay for the Gecko”. I asked him where he would get the money, he claimed that he had been saving change for several months and was confident that he had enough. I asked him where he got this change and to this he replied “in your change drawer”. LOL, but the kicker was when he asked me to exchange it for paper money, to which I told him “You want me to give you cash for change you stole from me? So you can steal it back? No way!” so I took him to a coin star and he changed in his coins for cash.

    Off to Petco he and his Mom went. Before leaving I gave instructions to only buy a Gecko the same size as Lizzy as I didn’t want the money wasted. I also made my son promise me he would not be upset and cry for a week if the new lizard ate Lizzy. He made the promise and then returned home with another small lizard about ¼ the size of Lizzy. I figure he did this on purpose because he was worried about what I had told him. Then the wife tells me that the Gecko’s had gone up in price and that this new Gecko (Named Sand Dial) was 3X the cost of Lizzy two years ago. Immediately I though to myself “hyper-inflation” but kept it to myself. I then told my son that I instructed him to buy a lizard of the same size, and that Dad had to chip in $20 extra dollars in addition to the $10 he had already swiped from my coin jar (I swear I have an entire eco system that lives off my change). I told him I was sure this smaller lizard would be eaten, and if that happened he would work and pay me back the entire amount of $30.00.

    Well, here it is a month later and wouldn’t you know it? Dad lost the bet. In fact I went into his room the other night and Lizzy was cuddling with Sand Dial! I couldn’t believe it! They got along just fine; in fact they seemed to be the best of friends.

    So my question Mr. Fieger, Why is it that these two lizards get along? Why hasn’t Lizzy eaten this much smaller Sand Dial? Why did I lose the bet!?

    Do you think my son’s Lizard is a Racist? Or do you feel it’s a natural thing? I am somewhat perplexed and cant help but to think perhaps my son’s lizard is guilty of hate crimes? You are the law expert, you tell me! Sorry for the long story.

  3. Dear Rex, the lizard is a lizard. We seem to be the only species capable of “hate”. I learned as an atorney long ago that analogies and metaphors (especially extended metaphors) are a double-edged sword. Although we humans have a bit of the lizard left in our brains, we also have the capacity of free will. People make decisions to act racist, but the act of racism is not an act of survival. I suspect that if you starved Lizzy, Sand Dial would disappear. In the meanwhile, keep track of your change!

  4. Rex A Umney says:

    Dear Mr. Fieger,

    My point, long and drawn out as it was alludes to the fact that in nature it would appear that different “races” of lizards (excuse my analogy) do not seem to get along. I can assure you we did not starve Lizzy during the time which the 3 green anoles and 1 long tail were eaten. It would seem to me and even worse yet to my young son that animals, or in this case reptiles; are incapable of co-existing. It frightens me to think what my son took away from this as he was quite confident, and to be honest 100% correct in his idea that the Gecko simply did not like other species/breeds or “races” of lizards.

    I agree humans are much more intelligent than lizards, however this basic primordial example of “hate” has really made an impression on me and I fear it may have done the same to my son. I hope my analogy, which by the way is not a make believe story; did not come across as justification or worse yet a supportive argument for racism because it most certainly was not.

    Is a reptile capable of hate? Well it certainly appears that a Gecko would rather eat a different breed of lizard than look at it. It is a universal fact, nay; a “law of the jungle” if you will; that if any creature is starved long enough, even a human, it will eat whatever it can to survive. Somewhere in that sick reality I think lays the answers to racism and the hate which is not just limited to the black and white folks. Over in Europe we have similar hate between different races, religions and cultures fuelling wars with countless thousands of deaths as a result.

    I am in no way pleading a case here, rather just telling a story about raising a child where as I am left with very little to no comfort due to the reality of life and nature. I can’t tell my son that “hate” does not exist, I can only suggest as you have already stated that people are capable of better; although I don’t see it when someone I look up to appears to rally an entire race against a particular party. Is it possible for a human of the same race to “hate” others based solely on their political affiliation? Absolutely. Double edged sword?

    I thank you for your response. Of all the responses I have made over the past year I enjoyed sharing the story about my son’s lizard the most. It would seem that even though I am supposed to be the “teacher” of the family; the student (my son) has taught me something. I’d imagine this feeling is why teachers continue to teach.

    P.S. With regards to keeping track of my change – I’d imagine my kids got the impression it was okay to take from Dad’s change drawer because they see Mom do it every morning for their milk/lunch money. I have explained to them that since I am family the theft is overlooked, however should they ever take from a stranger they will soon meet some other reptiles, only these reptiles look a lot like humans and wear black robes and suits. LOL maybe not so funny if you haven’t read or seen the book.

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