Strip clubs provide Detroit jobs too, Pastor Winans
After listening to the Michigan Chronicle’s Bankole Thompson yesterday on NPR’s “The Craig Fahle Show”, I gotta admit there isn’t much left for me to say about the Great Strip Club Debate in Detroit except to say, “Yeah. What he said.”
To hear the full discussion, I’m sure you can still check it out on WDET’s web site, but the overall point that both Bankole and Craig were making was the obvious one – or what should be obvious – namely that it is a hilarious embarrassment to see more than 500 folks show up at the Detroit City Council chambers to rant and rave one way or the other about strip clubs in Detroit when these same folks can’t even be located when it comes to so many far more important issues. The whole pseudo-moral argument being used by folks such as Pastor Marvin Winans to do everything possible to shut these clubs down is a joke, especially in a city with an unemployment rate approaching 50 percent.
Say what you will about strip clubs, the fact remains that they are legal and they provide jobs. In some instances, depending on the club, they provide well-paying jobs that far exceed the income any one of these workers might expect to make anywhere else. Keep in mind that these are not unemployed, frustrated nuclear physicists doing the stripping in these joints. These are, for the most part, women who are woefully unqualified for any other job that could pay them the same wages. That’s not the same as saying they don’t have the intelligence for other jobs, that’s saying they have not been provided the skills they need for better employment by our woefully underperforming Detroit Public Schools. One of Bankole’s best lines during the interview was to suggest that perhaps the morally indignant pastors who want to erase strip clubs from the Detroit landscape might consider establishing a “redemption fund” to compensate all the displaced strip club workers who would be put out of work thanks to these soldiers of God who would gleefully deprive strip club workers of the means to pay their bills without providing them with any equivalent options to make up the slack.
I will concede that at some of these clubs there is definitely some illegal shit going on, and that’s no secret. But the whole point is to shut down the illegal behavior, forcing the establishment to play by the rules like all other businesses must do. Simply shutting them down – or imposing ridiculously punitive measures such as prohibiting alcohol on the premises – does nothing but shove the business underground just like the drug trade. Because strippers have been around for as long as calendars have been keeping track of days, months, and years. Strippers – and those who love watching them strip – are not going anywhere. Imposing reasonable legal restrictions upon – and collecting taxes from – these establishments seems to me to be the only sensible approach here. Because in Detroit’s current condition we damned sure can’t afford to pass by any spare change for the sake of Pastor Winans’ morals. Because even though he claims that Detroit deserves better than City Council’s decision not to follow his demands to the letter, the wonderful truth is that Pastor Winans does not now nor has he ever spoken for all of Detroit.
Praise God, and can I get an amen.
SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux