furthering the discussion – race and gentrification in detroit

a couple of articles have come out in the last week that are really pushing the conversation about race, class, and gentrification.

first bill wylie-kellerman – which specifically is about the corktown neighborhood that i sort of live in ( i actually live in north corktown – and while we are experiencing serious questions regarding gentrification, class, and race it’s a bit of a different conversation).

i think bill is able to put into words so many of the issues that bring concern. i’ve had so many conversations with friends over these concerns, but been totally lacking in an articulate voice.  often we know in our hearts and guts when things are wrong, but our intellect is much slower to form thoughts.   i understand the complexity of the situation, living in the neighborhood and also working at a soup kitchen.  and i understand the feeling of the perceived problems that “the homeless” (a term i hate – as though all people who are homeless can be lumped into one group) bring with them.  but of course “the homeless” are not the problem – but only a symptom of greater failure on the part of our community and culture.  you can read bill’s article here.

and then this blog posting that came out the other day, which really calls into question the media portrayal of detroit and white saviours.  this is something that has really bothered me – even the amount of attention that the organization i work with and the credit we get for positive change in the community.  do i think we don’t do good things?  no i think that we honestly do good work and are trying to do even better.  but the reality is that the people that inspire me, those that have lived in the city all there lives, those who are not getting paid to do this work, those that are doing it because they love their community and want to take direct action, are not getting portrayed in the media.  even my constant attempts to get the media to gather more stories that are reflective of the populace of detroit have been largely in vane.  when you see a story on detroit and all those that are working to make it better and you see nothing but white faces, you know you are dealing with lazy journalists.

this post ends with the statement that we need to have a more honest narrative.  if you agree with the statements of bill or this blogger is not the point.  the real point is that very real problems and concerns are not being discussed in a honest and real manner.  look forward to your thoughts.

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3 responses to “furthering the discussion – race and gentrification in detroit

  1. I’ve lived in many Chicago neighborhoods and can totally see what you’re talking about. I’m linking to your blog so I can check in from time to time.

  2. came across this article that someone forward to me, which while in dc, is pretty relevant to more discussion.

    http://www.theroot.com/views/anti-gentrification-doesnt-mean-anti-white?page=0,0

  3. I find that people rarely discuss the “race issue” honestly. I think if one would wear the others shoes they would feel the pinch and tightness that afflicks us all.
    Maya Angelou put it right when she said ” We wear the Mask”. < that applies to many. Ginny

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