A Tale of Two Cities

By Dennis Fields

I am a Detroiter through and through. I love this city. So it should come as no surprise that I get a little ticked off when I hear people "bad mouthing" the city.

It seems to me that Detroit gets a disproportionate share of criticism and "bad mouthing." Comparatively speaking, Detroit is no worse off than any other city.

Recently, I spent a few days in Memphis TN for a family reunion. During those days, I heard news reports of carjackings, bank robberies, shootings and muggings. While driving through some of the neighborhoods, I witnessed drug activity. All of this revelation begs the question, Why does Detroit receive so much more bad press than Memphis?

If the casual observer digs a little deeper, it seems that Detroiters are an all or nothing, extremists sect. We are either the Motor City or a failure. There are plenty of names that have stuck be we allowed them to: The Murder Capital, Devils Night, Crime City and even MoTown and the Motor City. I added the last two because even though thy were supposed to be positive connotations, they pigeon-held the city. There was no room for diversification.

It seems that if Detroiters want a better Detroit, they first have to take a good long look in the mirror and ask themselves what kind of Detroiter are they? Do they sit idly by and allow crime to happen? Do they over look trash blowing down the street? Do they accept substandard government because it is what they are used to having?

For anyone who reads this, I have an assignment for you. I need to you spark a discussion with at least 5 people you know who would not read a blog or research local government politicians. Engage these people to find out what kind of Detroit in which they want to live. Find out how much are they willing to do to make their Detroit a reality.

The thing that really gets me about the news paper articles, talk shows and blogs that talk about how to accomplish a better Detroit never once mentions those who don't read the paper, listen to or watch talk show or read blogs. It is that very demographic that needs to be engaged to change this city. As I often say, the suburbanites evacuated the city and left it to Bay Bay and Ray Ray 'nem and expects the city to function properly.

If we really want a better Detroit, we'll have to demand better Detroiters. Detroiters who care about their city as well as the image it portrays. Detroiters who a willing to work for utopia and not just hope for it.


Anonymous said...

This blog is a breath of fresh air. Detroit has a rich & storied history, architectual gems, one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world (Belle Isle),a vibrant arts and music scene, and that's not even touching on how great the people who live here are! Love this blog.

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