White people now extinct in Detroit city government

True to their promise, Time magazine continues to crank out stories designed to shine an informative little light on our beloved city, exposing to the world all the relevant matters that affect this embattled community. Thanks to Time, the world will now know our full and complete story. The world will know why we matter. The world will know The Real Detroit.

For example…

Did you know that Sheila Cockrel, now a former Detroit City Council member, was actually “Detroit’s Last White City Council Member”? No, seriously. It’s true. I was just checking Time’s “Assignment Detroit” portion of their website where all their stories about Detroit are stored, and this was the headline piece at the top of the page. I periodically check the site just to see what the magazine’s year-long journalistic commitment to our city is turning up so that I can be better informed about my town, and sometimes I will confess I do find some interesting pieces. And then there are times like today when I find myself, well, simply shocked and shaken at the depth of coverage this extraordinary commitment of resources by one of America’s leading news magazines is providing to news-starved citizens everywhere.

I mean, I had no idea.

Really? You mean to tell me that when Sheila Cockrel stepped down at the end of last year we lost our last white person? On the Council? But how did that happen exactly? Do you mean to tell me that Cockrel’s seat was not The White Seat? You mean to tell me that this seat was not reserved on the Council for white folks only? But how in the name of God did we let this happen? What the hell are quotas good for?

Granted, the list of critical issues currently confronting Detroit, if you unfolded them today, stretch from my humble little office all the way beyond the horizon of some unforeseen point in the future, but let it be said that the unforeseen extinction of the white race (on City Council) is without question the single most terrifying issue to threaten this city since the disappearance of the urban squirrel population. At least I’m pretty sure urban squirrels have disappeared. Right? I mean I don’t see them around much anymore and…

Anyway. This is BIG NEWS folks. BIG NEWS. And I don’t know about you but I am making plans as we speak to keep tabs on this historic development as it, well, develops. Who knows, if this trend keeps up Detroit could possibly be the first city to experience a negative white population, man. Wouldn’t that be deep? To have so few white people that the Census actually registers Detroit as having a white population of minus 10 percent?

Wow. I mean, who cares if the city is broke? Let’s all keep our eyes on stories like this. It’s about Time, right?

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux


~ by Keith A. Owens on January 7, 2010.

3 Responses to “White people now extinct in Detroit city government”

  1. I agree this is not the most challening issue facing Detroit today. However, there’s no denying the racial divide, from both sides, is a problem for our region.

    Tecnically, if the 2000 census figure of 12.3% for whites in Detroit is still relatively close, there should be 1 white member of council. That way council would reflect the community.

    I don’t have the time or patience to check if or how many of the original 168 candidates were white. If none were, then that’s a foregone conclusion. Personally, I don’t care what ethnicity they are as long as they’re honest and want Detroit and the region to move forward.

    • Hey Cynical.

      You’re absolutely right about the racial divide here, and I would never deny that, believe me. The Detroit metro area is one of the most racially segregated areas in the nation as we all know, and this is something that desperately needs to be repaired. All I’m saying is that the way Time approached this story just got under my skin. I fully agree our council should be more diverse, and I have heard several of the new members say that openly themselves. But see? That right there is the story. That we recognize the need for more diversity. Not that we bemoan the departure of the council’s last white member…

  2. Agreed. Regardless of the racial makeup of council, the departure of the likes of Monica Conyers and the “they don’t look like me” attitude is a definite step forward.

    I have high hopes for Mayor Dave Bing and DPS financial manager Bob Bobb. Heck, Bobb’s already delivering remarkable results and I’m glad he’s staying another year. I realize it’s not that easy for Bing but I hope he’s successful and I’m glad voters gave him a full term to work on the city’s issues.

    Since many of Detroit’s problems are actually regional in nature, Bing has to build relationships with the metro area counties (such as L. Brooks Patterson, who’s not the easiest to get along with). As I said before, we’re all in this together.

    The Cobo regional authority is the first tangible ray of hope we’ve had in a very long time. I hope it’s just the first of many.

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