Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Education Worth Stealing?


This is a sad story.

A homeless woman who stayed at a good Samaritan's home at night registered her 6 year-old child in kindergarten in the Norwalk school district she slept in.

That apparently was enough to be charged with first degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first degree larceny. The value of the "stolen" education was about 16 grand. She was arrested and had to post bond. The good Samaritan was kicked out of her public housing unit.

Apparently, they have never heard of "schools of choice."  Somebody ought to talk to Eastpointe school officials.  At any rate,  Norfolk Mayor Richard Moccia believes that a message has been sent to parents about registering their kids in other school districts:

Read more here:

Bridgeport woman arrested for registering son in Norwalk school - StamfordAdvocate

A legal defense found has been established by nationally-syndicated radio host Tom Joyner.  The likelihood of repayment to the school district is nill---remember, the parent is homeless, looking for a job, and on the street staying at a shelter when space is available.

Is she a good parent or a leeching scalywag?


Embryonic Embargo Ended?

Is the presence of an embryo an indication of life?

In what seems to be a run-up to a Supreme Court challenge, a U.S. Court of Appeals has ended a prohibition of the use of federal funds for embryo stem cell research. This fight is far from over, and it is no stretch to say that this will end up being addressed by the nation's top court.

Click on this link to get some sense of what an embryo is and how it develops:

Be forewarned: the pictures are graphic. This reference implies that life is discernible at just before six weeks. It makes you wonder just what could be if left to develop naturally.

The research is said to important in understanding how disease can be conquered. However, what price does our species play when we terminate and experiment on the least empowered of our own?

Fouts Fights the Faithless

Say one thing for Warren's Mayor Jim Fouts--he's a feisty fella!

Once again, Mayor Fouts this week took on the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group from Wisconsin that sees praying on public property as a a government-sponsored violation of the separation of church and state. Fouts pooh-poohed the idea, shooting back that anyone can participate.

In fact, Fouts turns the tables on this organization by maintaining that freedom of assembly and the ability to express one's faith is a cornerstone of our democracy.

This is not the first time, and probably will not be the last time, that this group raises objections to Warren's "National Day of Prayer" and the nativity scene that goes up each Christmas. Anyone can rent the space, so it should be no big deal. The issue for the foundation is that the city notifies its residents of the rentals of the space though government instruments like utility bills. Doing that, they say, is akin to government sponsorship of religion.

Fouts' position is that this is government at its best when it gets out of the way of the public's right to access their own property.

Well, done, Mayor Fouts!

Snyder Recall Clearly Expressed?

This is the language that the Washtenaw County Elections Commission approved.

"Richard D. Snyder has requested from the legislature, approved and signed various laws that take authority and funds from local governments and school districts and vest them with the state. He has obtained for himself, through his appointed Emergency Financial Managers, the power to invalidate legal and binding contracts entered into by properly elected local authorities. He has sought tax increases upon retirees and lower income families, but instead of addressing the deficit, he has sought large new tax cuts for corporations and businesses."

Can you understand that statement?

One of the elections commissioners, Washtenaw Treasurer Catherine McClary, said some commas were placed wrong. She also based her no vote on the basis of the structure of some of the sentences.

The real issue was whether the recall language was clear, and by a 2-1 vote, the Washtenaw County Elections Committee said it was.

The recall group, Michigan Citizens United, has to get about 800,000 or so signatures (they are aiming for 1.1 million).

Good luck with that....low turnout will probably kill this effort, and I'm not talking about on election day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Terry Jones and the First Amendment

Terry Jones (as many as labeling him now--minus the Reverend moniker) is telling folks now that he has another save the First Amendment.

What a stretch!

This man is the embodiment of all things wrong with the rabid ideology running rampant in our beloved country. Jailing him before he could even speak handed this zealot a victory and a new cause.

Letting him mouth off last Friday would have taken the wind from his sails; now he has another platform, bigger than the one he rode in here on.

Wayne County's prosecutor usually does a great job of going after criminals, but this man is not a criminal...he is an American with a twisted vision of self righteousness.

Let him do his thing and be on his way

BAMN...are you getting this?  This group should not exacerbate the problem by agitating to the point that Jones gets more publicity based on their resistance to his exercising his free speech rights.  Don't hand him another pr victory....chill out and stay out of his face and space.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heroin use in suburbs on the rise; Drug Dealer Registry Proposed


The Genesee County Community Health agency reports that heroin use is on the rise in Michigan's outer suburbs.

Surprisingly, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office, Wayne County, including Detroit, has not experienced a similar increase in death caused by heroin overdose.

Figures were not immediately available for Oakland or Macomb County, but their proximity to Detroit may put  them at further risk.

Community Parent, a group trying to increase public awareness, is advocating for the creation of a drug dealers registry, similar to that used for sex offenders. They want to force the publishing of the address of a person conflicted of dealing drugs

The same type of bill was approved by the New York Senate in 2007. It died in the legislature there but is being revived.

Maybe Michigan will lead the rest of the county. Give State Democratic Sen. John Gleason, the bill's sponsor, a call to support his efforts.

Better yet, give your local state representative and state senator a call to see where they stand on this issue.

Obama Releases Original Birth Certificate, But Is It Enough?


President Obama released his long-form birth certificate, stating that the country could not afford to be distracted by when he termed " side shows and carnal barkers."

Here's the actual birth certificate:

A great many people believe that even this will not be enough to satisfy the "birthers", that group of people who believe that President Obama was not born in the United States.

What is undeniable is, as President Obama states, we have way too much substantive and life affecting work to do than to be tied up with a fake issue such as this.

Can we now just move on or will we be stuck on stupid?  

Hackel Held Hostage?


I previously wrote about the "black holes" or ambiguous and unclear elements of the charter approved by the Macomb County electorate. Several of those "holes" promise to tie up county government for the next few months, and it appears that the charter now seems to be a central character in a duel between the county executive and the county commissioners.

A clear example of the escalating rancor is the tenor of the discussion regarding the way the budget was passed in the weening hours of the last commission. There are those that say that new age math was applied to the process by which the budget was allegedly balanced.  Others say that it was insane to project "soft revenues" during a period of economic and regional uncertainty. Quite a few had issues with using surplus money to shore up the budget when the county should have maintained as much of its reserve funds as possible (which implies that the previous commission did not cut deep enough and took the short way out).

It is no stretch to muse that the charter was not written with Mark Hackel in mind.  I think this one got away from the group that had it all figured out.  It is questionable as to whether these questions regarding the budgeting process would have ever been asked by the guy everyone was banking on to become executive, and, lo and behold, there's some roosting going on.

Does it surprise anyone that returning commissioners like David Flynn would flail away at Hackel's review of the budget process and the resulting virtual revenue projections and last minute surplus money grab?  He was part of the group that approved this budget, and even he has to admit that there were soft revenues included in this budget that no one could guarantee.  Flynn has to defend what he and others did.  The problem Flynn has is that maybe Hackel was paying too much attention to the mechanics of how that budget got balanced.

This is still a fight over turf, disguised as a budget issue.  The smoke has not cleared yet, and both the executive and he commission have yet to to stake out uncontested territory.

One thing is very clear: the budget that was approved was not guaranteed; no budget ever is.  Everyone should have knew adjustments would have to be made, but no one knew just how deep they would be...or didn't care as long as it was not on their watch. What a great way to tie up or cripple a political adversary!  This budget may have been the former commission's parting shot at the incoming executive, and they don't make Kevlar for this kind of bullet.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Does Detroit Already Have Its EMF

There is a growing sentiment that Detroit already has an emergency financial manager---Detroit Mayor Dave Bing!

There are those who believe that Snyder and Bing are so synced that there is no need for Snyder to appoint an EMF.

Then, there's this softball pitched by Laura Berman:

Super powers intrigue Bing | | The Detroit News

Mike Duggin as EMF? Ed McNamara would roll in his grave...maybe.

All this EMF talk may be moot; a lawsuit was filed on Aprl 18, 2011 alleging the EMF law is unconstitutional. Some elected officials in Wane county are considering their own lawsuit. Benton Harbor was just the opening volley, some say the first guinea pig, in the roll out of the EMF law.

Does Detroit need an EMF? Well.....

Detroit council members oppose giving Bing more power...for now


There are a host of issues, some of them constitutional in nature, yet to be determined before the emergency financial manager law is rolled out in Detroit.
First, the city, the council and the unions have to sit down together, something that has not happened. A working group should be formed amongst them to hammer out cost efficiencies in all city departments. Everything should be on the table---consolidation of departments, reducing bloated management, decreasing independent contractors that don't save the city money, a Belle Isle fee, working with the Detroit Medical Center to develop a consolidated health care plan for all city, county, and regional government employees, etc.

The hard work is just beginning, but decisions cannot be made without all players being at the table. That includes including the unions in the work-up to the proposed concessions, not just shoving them down their throats.

Snyder: Show Me the Money!

Snyder Says Not So Fast, Fellas!

A prudent decision....wait until the revenue announcement in mid-May...the Democrats are trying to score political points by boxing Snyder into committing to dedicating the funds generated by better-than expected revenue...a great gambit but one likely to fail...the Republican are harmoniously singing "Ti i i i i ime is on our side...yes it is!....." and they are right.... the fight will come over Snyder trying to bank some of the bucks until he gets a better handle on university funding....wait for it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trump Is On The Stump

"The Donald" apparently has discovered what hundreds of news organizations seemingly have overlooked....

Semantics mean everything, the nuancing of information is an art form, and there is no one in the country that can challenge "the Orange One" when it comes to parsing information.

Journalists used to present both sides of a story in the same you have to chase other articles to get a counter-balancing here goes....

and now a look at the birth certification:

And is it true that the child of an American becomes an American?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Macomb County Vodoo Economics versus New Age Math

Do numbers lie or is someone lying about the numbers?

Is this a question of whose koolaid tastes best?

Someone (Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and County Commission Chairperson Kathy Vosburg) has done the math, and literally, the question is.... does it add up to either a balanced budget or a $13.5 million end-of-the year budget slight-of hand?

Exaggerated claims of "luxury suites" aside, should not this issue have been foreseen, or is the wrong guy sitting in the captain's chair.

Most will admit that the backers of the charter and county executive form of government never expected in their wildest dreams that one of their own would not be at the helm...and so, maybe these things would have been worked out in someone else's back room besides Hackel's.

Squaring off against each other will not get the work done...and the can can not kicked further down the road. We have run out of runway, and the vapors seem to intoxicate both groups as they struggle to stake out governance territory for themselves.

A court battle seems imminent, which would waste precious resources; however, what does seem certain is that we should batten down the hatches until this storm subsides.
See you at the commission meeting!

Slutty Non-Profit Screams For Scrutiny

Where is the Republican Party's voice and Congressional scrutiny when you need them?!?!?!?!?

An excerpt from Froma Harrop's Editorial published today:

"It's pretty twisted: A company that merchandises platform boots with 5-inch heels to young teens now urges them to avoid unwise sexual activities. (Older girls get 7-inch heels. They call them "hooker boots.") And its charity's celebrity spokeswoman is one who achieved stardom by virtue of becoming pregnant at 17 and being the daughter of the moralistic Sarah Palin."


"Bloggers unfriendly to her mother, Sarah Palin, have bashed a charity for paying Bristol $262,500 to warn against teen pregnancy while doling a pitiful $35,000 to social organizations that actually deal with its problems".

Please clink on this link..

Foundation falters with degrading ad campaign | | The Detroit News

.If ever an organization screamed for more scrutiny, the Candie's Foundation would be the poster child for charitable status run amok...

Is Harrop right to diss Bristol Palin or should the spotlight be shined on the Candie Foundation?

Hazel Park volunteer group to offer free daily meals to the needy -

Oakland County Group Lights the Way

Hazel Park volunteer group to offer free daily meals to the needy -

"'We're focusing on kids, low-income families and seniors,' said Archie Hensley, who works at Landmark Church and is head of the Hazel Park Community Development Coalition."

If certain government officials have their way, there will be a great many other working people whose wages will be become low-income, which will raise the number of kids who need healthy meals, and God only knows what the impact of this policy of victimizing victims will have on an already distressed senior population.

This group is a shining example of community involvement for many other churches who are only open on business days (where money can be collected).

Do you agree that missionary work should begin in your own neighborhood?

Has Easter Been Hijacked, Too?

Whose Easter is it, Anyway?

Life of Jesus an inspiration that merits celebration -

Corporate America has a good run up to and on the day we celebrate Easter...the malls have made a killing with Easter bunny photos, the dollars stores have sold enough grass to make the Oakland County marijuana raids look like law enforcement field trips, and this is the only holiday that the clothing industry finds worthy of selling children clothes that don't make our kids look like sluts and pimps...

To use an old metaphor, Jesus is the reason for the season...and like the editorial implies, we could all do with a little old time religion today!

Is Trump A Lying Chump?

When You Point A Finger, Three Point Right Back At You!

NYC board: Trump skipped primary voting 21 years -

Trump is disputing the record keeping of the state of he has his own record keeping issues with the state of New York. Their records make a strong case that Trump has not been truthful when it comes to his statements regarding his voting record.

This controversy comes on the heels of whether he has been truthful about his statements regarding his true net worth?

Now who is hiding what?

In Hawaii, accessing Obama birth info is easy, but few seem to be looking for it -

In Hawaii, accessing Obama birth info is easy, but few seem to be looking for it -

What does it take for people to understand that Hawaii, as a state, has its own rules for the release of personal information.

Was Obama's mother an American citizen? What is the status of a child whose mother is an American citizen? Taken to its extreme, can a person who has dual citizenship legally become president of the United States of America? Does John McCain's birth in Panama have any relevance?

Kenya? A lie can take on a life of its own if repeated enough.

Locally, in Macomb County, lies are told all the time and laziness allows for the lie to take root. A political party chairman can try to hijack organizations that he cannot control by ignoring simple documented truths and shelf slaves blindly regurgitate the lie....more about that later...

Even Jan Brewer, Arizona's governor, has had her fill of the "birther" bs, so what say you all?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Official defends emergency 'czar' charge by Jesse Jackson | | The Detroit News

Official defends emergency 'czar' charge by Jesse Jackson | | The Detroit New

The deck was stacked...this was a one-sided forum with no alternative was a cheerleading session for Snyder's policy.

Look at the composition of the panel...this is nothing but PR....

Are there constitutional issues here? What about about the basic premise of representation by a vote of the people?

Did this happen in Russia and Germany?

Well... what do you think?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps -

This editorial is spot on...and really drives home the point that very often children project what their parents reflect

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps -

An excerpt from LZ Granderson's CNN editorial today:

"You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word "Juicy" was written on her backside.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. ... I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she's not even in middle school yet.

Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire this spring for introducing the "Ashley," a push-up bra for girls who normally are too young to have anything to push up. Originally it was marketed for girls as young as 7, but after public outcry, it raised its intended audience to the wise old age of 12. I wonder how do people initiate a conversation in the office about the undeveloped chest of elementary school girls without someone nearby thinking they're pedophiles?"

Good Friday mosque protest may spur unrest, prosecutors fear | | The Detroit News

Good Friday mosque protest may spur unrest, prosecutors fear | | The Detroit News

Local officials are attempting to dissuade and/or prevent a protest of "Sharia" law allegedly practiced in Dearborn, MI.

The same guy who threatened to burn a Quran a few months back is coming to a mosque in Dearborn, and authorities fear he may try to burn one on Friday...Good Friday...which could spark a riot.

Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News

Dearborn — Wayne County prosecutors want a judge to make it more difficult — if not illegal — for a Quran-burning pastor to protest at a local mosque on Good Friday.

Prosecutors on April 15 filed a motion arguing that Florida pastor Terry Jones' planned demonstration at the Islamic Center of America on the Dearborn/Detroit border poses a "likelihood of a riot ensuing, complete with discharge of firearms."

Jones is supposed to appear Thursday in District Court in Dearborn on prosecutors' request to post a "peace bond" to pay for police protection. No amount is specified, but Jones claimed Dearborn police have asked for $100,000 to cover overtime costs.

He called the move to silence him "unconstitutional" and has no intention of paying — or backing down.

"Nothing has changed. Nothing will change," said Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla. "We will definitely be there."

Is this free speech or public endangerment? Should one trump the other?

Let's hear your voice!

Official apologizes for Obama chimpanzee e-mail -


Is this yet another example of what some allege is the racist attitude of the Tea Party? How can an elected Republican central committee member part her lips and say it was only a joke? Her claims of being a Christian fall flat...but again, the question remains--does she represent the true sentiments of the Tea Party or is she a party of one?

Official apologizes for Obama chimpanzee e-mail -

(CNN) -- A California Republican official has apologized for sending an e-mail that depicts President Barack Obama as a young chimpanzee.
"To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen the e-mail I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior," Marilyn Davenport said in a statement obtained by CNN.

Davenport, who is a Tea Party activist and an elected member of the central committee of the Republican Party of Orange County, said she felt the e-mail was a joke," CNN affiliate KTLA reported.The e-mail contains a doctored photo of what appears to be a family portrait of two adult chimpanzees posing with a young chimpanzee with Obama's face pasted on it.

The caption that ran with the photo says "Now you know why no birth certificate," the affiliate reported.

In today's the Grio", contributor David Love, Davenport went on to say:

Initially, though, Davenport not only defended her email and refused to resign from her post, she dismissed the whole incident as a joke. "Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black," Davenport said. "Besides, I only sent it to a few people -- mostly people I didn't think would be upset by it."

Was this an innocent "joke"?  What do you think? 

'Birther bill' vetoed by Arizona governor -

'Birther bill' vetoed by Arizona governor -

Finally, Brewer does the right thing.

"Among other things, a candidate would have to show a copy of his or her birth certificate. If a birth certificate couldn't be produced, a candidate would have to show a combination of baptismal or circumcision records, hospital birth files, postpartum medical records or other documents. Candidates also would have to submit affidavits declaring their citizenship as well as sworn statements regarding their residency for the previous 14 years.

"I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their 'early baptismal or circumcision certificates' among other records to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far," wrote Brewer.

Well said! Is Brewer right, or is she counting on the veto over-ride?

County Board of Commissioners seeks nominees for volunteers -

County Board of Commissioners seeks nominees for volunteers -

This is a great idea...if it is limited to the everyday Joe and Jane who aren't members of the ""circle" of folk who always seem to get the spotlight based on who they know... there is a group that self-promotes by honoring members of their class or business circle...

Do you know someone on your block, at your school, at your job who is deserving of such recognition? Let us know who they are, regardless of whether they get selected by the county's politicians.

2 health plans OK'd for pre-existing conditions | | The Detroit News

2 health plans OK'd for pre-existing conditions | | The Detroit News

Wait a minute! How can one complain about low enrollment when the outreach campaign is next to non-existent? This is (or was) one of the best kept secrets...

Who has the outreach or public education campaign contract? Lives are at stake here and only 250 or so have been approved, with a waiting list of approximately 700 plus persons? Or does the 1000 applicants also represent those who have been denied access to this program for those who have been denied?

The article implies that funding is in place until some aspects of the federal health care recently enacted becomes effective in 2013. If, true, and the soon to be implemented elements of the federal health care plan drive down the costs and eliminates barriers to similar coverage through state-based insurers, does this not represent one good outcome related to President Obama's health care reform?

Do you know someone who might be eligible? Share your story, please!

Monday, April 18, 2011

TRENDING: Republican retracts ‘socialist’ comment but not sorry – CNN Political Ticker - Blogs

TRENDING: Republican retracts ‘socialist’ comment but not sorry – CNN Political Ticker - Blogs

I know how this guy feels....I pointed out the extensive and longterm involvement of three Macomb County politicians---Ed Bruley, Fred Miller, and Brian Brydak, with the Detroit Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Don't believe that?

The following was posted on the Democratic Socialist of America’s website on February 6, 2007:

“DSA Hosts Successful Fundraiser for Macomb County Democrats

On Friday, May 14th, Detroit DSA hosted a wine and cheese fundraiser for three Macomb County Democrats: Brian Brdak and Bob Gibson (who are running for the Macomb County Commission) and Fred Miller (who is running for the state legislature). The three are protégés of former U.S.  Representative David Bonior. Our support for them is part of a strategy of creating a "farm system" for developing progressive candidates in Macomb County. The fundraiser was held at the home of David and Teena Green. We collected a total of $5980 from 36 different contributors.”

Prior to that, on the same Democratic Socialists of America website, the following announcement of the impending fundraiser was published:

“Our local will also be hosting a wine and cheese fundraiser for these candidates on Friday, May 14th from 5-8 PM. The fundraiser will be at the home of David Green (28292 Harwich Drive in Farmington Hills--near the intersection of Middlebelt and Twelve Mile Roads). Please plan to attend-- and bring your checkbook. Those unable to attend the fundraiser may still contribute to these campaigns. Simply make out separate checks to Brian Brdak for County Commissioner, Friends of Bob Gibson, and Friends of Fred Miller. Write "DSA Fundraiser" on the memo line of each check, and mail to: 

Detroit DSA
28292 Harwich Drive
Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334.”

Ask any one of them did they attend Democratic Socialist of American functions or accept campaign donations from the Democratic Socialists of America and see them cringe.

The minutes of these meetings were online, which is where I found them....Does it mean anything? You tell me!

Our editorial: Quit stalling on roads | | The Detroit News

Our editorial: Quit stalling on roads | | The Detroit News

"A coalition of business and public policy groups repeatedly has recommended a gradual increase in the 19-cents-a-gallon state gasoline tax to raise more state matching money. Unfortunately, lawmakers have shown reticence toward that idea, too, by ignoring it for the last several years."

From The Detroit News:

Please re-read that....a proposed gradual increase in the gasoline tax! It makes sense that politicians are running from that politics, timing is everything.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Deficit fight misses easy stuff | | The Detroit News

Deficit fight misses easy stuff | | The Detroit News

Hey, I have to (painfully so) admit that Nolan Finley finally has written something I can agree to. President Obama would do well to dust off that GAO study and use it to eliminate waste and fraud. Somehow, I think the president probably has this report on his radar, but may be waiting for the right political moment to spring it on an unsuspecting Republican party...and that's the shame of it (waiting for the most politically expedient gotcha moment).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

VIDEO: Warren wards plan under fire -

VIDEO: Warren wards plan under fire -

Will the Tea Party sue to force what some would consider a more balanced ward map? Are the incumbents assured of retaining their power centers? Does the public even understand what is going on? Where do you stand?

Macomb towns explore joint police force | | The Detroit News

Macomb towns explore joint police force | | The Detroit News

Sounds like a great idea? Any consolidation of services will result in a personnel reduction somewhere due to eliminating duplication of services and management ...the question is just how this effort will affect the Macomb County sheriff's budget? Response time may be enhanced...but the flip side is the creation of yet another agency whose costs will certainly still rise based on increased costs (transportation, fuel, health care, etc.) which are beyond the control of the participating municipalities. Your thoughts?

Emergency manager cuts roles of Benton Harbor officials | | The Detroit News

Emergency manager cuts roles of Benton Harbor officials | | The Detroit News

This is just the beginning...the beginning of the real fight over the constitutionality of a state law that negates the power of the people to elect their leadership....look for a ramping up of response by unions and citizen advocacy groups...more to come.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Debbie Wasserman Schultz--Good Choice for DNC Chair

President Obama made an excellent choice when he appointed Debbie Wasserman Schultz to head the Democratic National Committee. 

She's smart. articulate, tough, and more than capable of taking on the challenge of getting her committee out of $9 million in debt.

She is from Florida, a state that has played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.  

To get a better perspective on Wasserman Schultz, take a look at the Daily Beast post:

Let us know what you think!

Whites and Blacks Must Face Unpleasant Truths

A recent statement in a local publication by demographer Kurt Metzger that white flight from Macomb County school districts is “institutional racism” was way off base, and the Macomb County Democratic Black Caucus believes blaming whites for seeking better educational opportunities for their children stereotypes them similarly to how black families are when looking out for the future of their own kids, too.

White families are leaving these school districts because they have become unsafe. There, I, an unashamed advocate for the enfranchisement of people of color, have said it. Quite simply, our advocacy does not include turning a blind eye to anti-social behavior by anyone, black or white.  After all, aren’t better schools and safe communities the same reasons Black families give when explaining why they enroll their children in those very same districts?

White parents should not pull their children from a school district at the first sight of black students.  Blacks leaving Detroit and other local school systems to send their children to “better” and “safer” schools should not allow their children to exhibit a temperament that contributes to the creation of low-achieving rowdy schools and disruptive neighborhoods. To tell the cold, hard truth, these are parental issues that should be first addressed in the home.

The MCDBC’s passion for equal opportunity is matched by its fervent belief that there is an equal responsibility of those seeking the equality to conduct themselves in a civil, responsible, and socially productive fashion.  In that context, that responsibility is extended to the institutions those affected by these issues flock to.

Several years ago, while president of the Mount Clemens Community School Board, I convened a meeting between black pastors, school district superintendents, and the Macomb County Sheriff’s department to discuss what strategies the churches could develop to reduce student rowdiness by reaching out to parents in their congregations. Only a few pastors showed up. This was surely a “heads-in-the sands” response. After
all, with knowledge comes responsibility.

There are things the black community does not like to talk about publicly, which is why Bill Cosby took a whipping when he called for an internal conversation about an abdication of parental and community responsibility for an epidemic of negative behavior and outcomes.

It is as if we don’t want to talk about how crime increased at the same time our migration increased.  We don’t want to take ownership of the relationship between cause and effect relative to the lack of parental involvement in our children’s educational experience and the resultant lowered educational outcomes for our children.  Heaven help us if we talk about not being political indentured servants to political parties that take us off that dusty shelf every two or four years while seducing us with the opiate of dependence on the government. And watch out if we dare to mutter that the number one killer of African-Americans is not hate crime, black-on black crime, cancer, or AIDS, (the number one killer of African-Americans in America is abortion).  These are topics we run from; again, with knowledge comes responsibility.

We have yet to read a Facebook post where a white person has stopped black renters or home owners from maintaining their property.  You know you would have seen it on CNN if a white person in a sheet stood in the way of black children trying to get to school.  You Tube has no videos of any bigots stopping black children with books from opening them to study.  We don’t need to be “tweeted” for our hearts to twitter nervously at the thought that a minority within a minority is making it hard on the rest of us. Remember, “Yes We Can!” was supposed to officially replace “Not In My Back Yard.”

There are a great many remaining issues to be addressed when it comes to creating a level playing field.  However, it becomes difficult for anyone to navigate a field littered with bstacles created by what others point to as an ethnic temperament that reflects a lack of self control and ownership of their own responsibilities.  “We” need to “man up” by squarely facing a growing epidemic within certain Macomb County communities, where the truth should fall where it will, hopefully evoking action instead of lame kumbaya rhetoric.