reply to post by HunkaHunka
I can't speak for Detroit, as I have never been there. But I can relate in a sense, as I live in Atlanta, Georgia, where, in some areas, one
wouldn't be able to tell the difference between this city and these areas of Detroit. So, from that perspective I will write...
A post in this thread, which was subsequently removed, tried to paint this issue, the problem of urban decay, as a racial one. To try and breach this
subject, and to do it justice would require, frankly, more time, space, and energy than I am prepared to expend presently. Let us just summarize by
saying that the remnants of Jim Crow and the failed policies which went with it, are largely to blame for making the racial epithets and judgments so
easy for some to throw around. The cultural and socioeconomic implications of decades of racial bias are still being ironed out, even at this late
year - and some of those scars remain, and impact our society.
But be very aware and clear... poverty does not discriminate nor does it show racial preference. As Jim Crow fades we see the truth of this more and
more. One cannot blame the dissolving of the middle class nor the decline of urban landscapes upon such simple demons as race. The realities are much
Now to address the OP specifically.
These pictures are truly heartbreaking to me, as I have seen many areas, in my city, decay to this point. And it shames me to say that, here at least,
there is clear motive to be found. Here, when neighborhoods get to these states of abject poverty, it seems that investors suddenly pop-up, acting as
heroes, offering to invest in "urban renewal". This of course is nothing but spin because "urban renewal" means building luxury condominiums and
high end retail spaces. The middle and lower income people who had once relied upon these areas as a home are pushed out and forced to relocate to
accommodate profit margins and the upper class.
Never are these areas revitalized for the class of people who happen to reside in them. Never.
I am sure that many will come along and say "Did you see how shot out that neighborhood was? Of course those people need to move along! They
couldn't even upkeep their own homes." But this would just be a knee jerk reaction that ignores the true way that these areas die.
First the jobs leave and the people who once looked at, and treated these buildings as their "dream homes" were forced to move away. Then the
service industry jobs move in, allowing the working poor to live there. But, by this time, most of the houses have been bought up by investors who are
looking for tenants. Tenants who aren't going to invest what little money they have into repair and upkeep. So the nice houses, controlled by slum
lords, big and small alike, begin to decay,
After awhile the businesses which employ the working poor move because property values are declining in the area and there is more money to be made
elsewhere, and the spiral really gets tight. Now the only people in the area are criminals, the elderly, and those on government assistance, be it
welfare or social security. It does not take long for the criminals to utterly take over. And where there are crack dealers, there are crackheads.
Things exponentially get worse and worse, very quickly...
And, within a couple of years, you get what is shown in the OP. An American tragedy that could have been utterly avoided if we had a Federal
Government with enough spine and honor to tell companies that we do NOT send our jobs to China and India, profit margins be damned.