What Happened to Detroit?

by Steve Ray on August 20, 2013

A friend from the UK wrote and asked me what happened to that once magnificent city of Detroit. I gave his a short response which may sound harsh to politically correct ears but I never claimed to be politically correct choosing rather to be honest and speak my mind. Here was my answer:

This was once a glorious city. My Catholic ancestors from my mother’s side immigrated to Detroit where they built businesses and thrived when Detroit something to behold. I was born in Detroit and my dad worked his whole life at Ford Motor Company. We moved out before the big collapse. The popular saying was, “The last one to leave, turn off the lights.”

What happened to Detroit is easy to explain. 75% of children live without a father, there is almost a 50% illiteracy rate. The Black people who make up the majority in downtown have leaders that teach them to be victims. The welfare state replaced the need for a father. The State becomes the father with promises to provide everything.The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s of the world lie to their people and keep them on the modern day plantation.

Young men without dads look up to pimps and drug lords. They join gangs as “substitute families.” Girls give away sex without commitment. They have no fathers so they fall for the first man who says they love them. They have babies and get money from the government. Their babies are doomed to repeat the same cycle of poverty and despair. Abortion is rampant. 

God and discipline were taken from the schools and replaced with chaos. No one can discipline unruly students who have never been taught discipline or the value of an education. They have no idea or interest in the meaning and responsibilities of a democratic republic or civic duty. They have no idea what the Declaration of Independence or Constitution are. The school dropout rate is unbelievable and the arrest rate reflects it. People are afraid to walk in the streets.  

And the Black youth unemployment? Businesses are not likely to hire a young man with no education or discipline, who won’t speak understandable English and who applies for a job slouched over, wearing a hoodie, pants hanging off his butt and sporting a bad attitude. When I was running my business a decade ago more than half of the people from Detroit that applied had an criminal record or could not pass a drug test.

The city officials are gangsters and some in prison (e.g., the last major Kilpatrick), yet Blacks continue voting for the same crooks because they are Black Democrats who promise to be Santa Claus. Promised pensions were too high and are now breaking them. Trade unions got greedy and protected bad employees. Whites fled (like our family in 1960). The population dropped from about 2 million to 600,000. Taxes increased, services decreased. Neighborhoods were abandoned. Churches were closed. Businesses moved out. Except for a few areas, Detroit is now a huge burned out slum.   
 
Christian morality and the family, enterprise and hard work were replaced with single families and fatherless children, with secularism and socialism, with a culture that knows nothing of work but only food stamps, welfare and government dependence. My heart goes out to those stuck in this culture of death and despair. 
 
Don’t expect Detroit to recover in our lifetime. 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Carson Lauffer August 20, 2013 at 2:26 AM

Steve,

You have summarized the situation well. We could see this coming for many years as you have. We lament the fact that Detroit did not declare bankruptcy several years ago. I too doubt that Detroit, the once glorious city, can recover in our lifetime.

Shaun C August 20, 2013 at 5:03 AM

I recently read your article “What Happened to Detroit?” in Defenders of the Catholic Faith. While I do not disagree with the core concepts of this article, I have a couple of questions I’d like your opinion on. I used to work in corporate America, the banking industry in particular, and I can tell you that corporate executives and upper management protect bad employees every bit as the Trade Unions you reference, do. For the most part, there is no sense of God when it comes to business. I sat in on meetings hearing about how important it was to earn for the shareholders, while our raises were maybe 1 or 2%. I myself won’t be politically correct. If people are preaching Christianity, God, morals and values on lower income, and undisciplined Blacks, where is the Christianity in telling people that in working hard that they have to take a pay cut so rich shareholders can make more money?
The investment representative at my bank told the manager getting investments for the rich customer was more important than her family. Where are Christian values and morals in that? Why aren’t you referencing the non-Christian behaviors of the business sector at the same time your referencing God being removed from the schools? If we are trying to portray ourselves as a Christian nation with values and morals, wouldn’t we want a high standard of living for everyone? Shouldn’t we be demanding Christian-like morals and values from the business world at the same time demanding it from each individual person? Businesses donate billions to campaign funds at the same time complaining they can’t afford healthcare. Do you believe that God judges business decisions different from personal?

Thanks in advance,
Shaun

Jerry Wasunyk August 20, 2013 at 5:14 AM

You are accurate with your assessment. I feel sorry for those folks who are elderly and can’t afford to move out and are trapped in a dangerous environment. I have seen beautiful neighbors turn into trash dumps within the course of a couple of years. Warrendale was once a beautiful neighborhood and now it looks like a war zone. I feel for the children of single parents who live in the city. I feel for the drop out and I feel for those who the schools have pushed thru the education system …just to push them out even though they hadn’t received a quality education. I feel for the firefighters who have been shot at.

Will we see an improvement in our lifetime …… what do you think.

Lothars Sohn August 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Hello, what you describe seems to be a kind of vicious circle, so one cannot be sure it all began with fatherlesness.

Lovely greetings from Germany.
Liebe Grüsse aus Deutschland.

Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

Danisa Flowers August 20, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Very well-written! Your assessment of the situation is accurate. In a course of couple of years, lots of things have changed for the worse. I can only hope that Detroit can go back to its glory days.

Jesse Ray August 22, 2013 at 7:23 AM

In response to Shaun,
I understand your point that there are problems other then the ones the theme of this blog post intended to address. But I would not expect Steve to mention every sin and human ailment if he mentions one…that would end up being very tedious.

I frequently hear people criticizing pro-lifers who pray and council near abortion clinics for not providing fully funded college savings plans for the children who are not aborted. Seriously? How dare a person criticize the good works of another for not being comprehensive enough.

Perhaps if you have personal motivation to help expose and heal the culture of greed and corruption in the corporate world you should work through the channels God has given you to address the problem. Beware of falling into the trap of expecting others to do your work for you.

Shaun August 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM

To Jesse Ray,
Thanks for your response. First off I would like to still extend my question for Steve to answer himself. I would like the question I posed to him, answered by him please.

To your response Jesse you may not expect Steve to mention every sin, and nor do I, indeed it would be tedious. But a few things here: first he addressing the issue of what he think is affecting the decline of the city of Detroit. He starts to list a whole list of reasons as to why. Corporate greed and the role it plays in decline of that city is a little larger foot print than you equating those who criticize pro-lifers for not funding children’s colleges. You’re really not comparing apples to apples here.

Secondly, I would like to respond to you and tell you that I do make good of the channels God gives me, or at least I try to do my best. This channel, the one Steve provides is one of them.

Thirdly, your respond in essence really dodges the question. You’re giving really two main points. One it’d be too tedious for Steve to answer my slice of a slice of a problem, and the other point you make is that it’s kind of silly to even bring something up like this, its just like the pro life criticizers. Please!

So now I redirect this question to you Jesse. Go back and re-read my question to Steve, and without going off onto much of a tangent, please respond. I get the feeling like you may either agree with corporate America, or you’d just rather turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to it.

Anthony Ryan August 26, 2013 at 9:48 AM

With all due respect, why would Steve allow a ‘Comment’ section on his blog if he is the only one who gets to answer and/or debate the comments that are posted? It seems to me Steve wants have us all join in the conversation.

In my book, personal, one-on-one communication without interference from others is called e-mail, not an open blog Comment section.

Just my $0.02 ….

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