Detroit’s Götterdämmerung: “It’s about race, stupid.”

Paul Kersey has written a great deal at his blog, Stuff Black People Don’t Like, about the downfall of Detroit, which he recently gathered into a book, Escape from Detroit. One of the better pieces in the volume, “Detroit’s Destiny,” was originally published, not at his site, but at Alternative Right. I’ve copied it below.

Regrettably, Mr. Kersey’s writing is often loose, raggedy, and repetitive (something I have said to him privately as well as publicly), and greatly in need of more editing. I think this is the result of the fact that he works at a regular job and lacks the time to polish his articles. But he is such a lively, engaging, and often funny writer that this flaw may be forgiven.

Another remarkable thing about Mr. Kersey is that, notwithstanding his total focus on the horrible facts of black crime, dysfunction, and pathology, his writings are free of racial resentment. Instead, one gets the impression that he is, above all, amazed at the catastrophic course of black America, and at white America’s deference to it (a subservience he has memorably named “Black-Run America”), and that his writing is, more than anything else, an expression of this sense of wonder.

Here is the article:

March 23, 2012
Detroit’s Destiny

Remember the time you were in class and knew the answer to a question posed by your teacher, but didn’t raise your hand out of fear you might be wrong? Or the time you had a crush on a beautiful girl, but were too afraid to ask her on a date because she might say ‘no’?

Well, we are reaching the political equivalent of that moment—where that self-induced fear and trepidation which precludes us from doing what is rational and natural because of the negative consequences we perceive could arise from such action—with the impending financial collapse of Detroit.

“Impending” is the wrong word. “Imminent” would be, too. “Inevitable” is the apt word.

Why the insolvency of Detroit has been an inevitability now must be stated, because others will raise their hand and supply the wrong answer. The American Thinker will try and blame Democrats and Unions without mentioning that America’s most livable big city, Pittsburgh, is filled with both.

Free Republic won’t allow anyone to even mention the word “Black” in the strange color-blind world the owners of that site have cultivated (with a religious zeal and intensity normally seen in a cult).

Beloved conservative economist Thomas Sowell can state it is due to “liberal social policies,” without acknowledging these same policies are in place in cities that attract corporate investments, like Portland, Seattle, Boulder, and Denver. Others will state that a city under “total Democrat hegemony” for 50 years was bound to collapse, maintaining a desire to stay color-blind even in the face of economic Armageddon.

Michael Barone, famous for stating that Hispanics will save the Republican Party, was in Detroit during the Black riots of late July 1967, still the worst riots this nation has ever seen. He wrote an article for the American Enterprise Institute stating how his politics were shaped by this event. Considering that he advocates the continued mass immigration of a people who in 2006 marched in major American cities waving the Mexican flags defiantly, we have to wonder what exactly Barone learned.

The Weekly Standard published Matt Labash’s ode to Detroit’s collapse back in 2008, where he only in passing pointed out the racial significance of a city’s collapse. (In 1960, Detroit was 76 percent White. Though at the time Blacks represented only 24 percent of the population, there were responsible for 65 percent of the violence crime there):

Somewhere along the way, Detroit became our national ashtray, a safe place for everyone to stub out the butt of their jokes.

It happens, though, when you’re from Detroit. In the popular imagination, the Motor City has gone from being the Arsenal of Democracy, so named for their converting auto factories to make the weapons which helped us win World War II, and the incubator of the middle class (now leading the nation in foreclosure rates, Detroit once had the highest rate of home ownership in the country), to being Dysfunction Junction. To Detroit’s credit, they’ve earned it.

How bad is Detroit? It once gave the keys to the city to Saddam Hussein.

Over the last several years, it has ranked as the most murderous city, the poorest city, the most segregated city, as the city with the highest auto-insurance rates, with the bleakest outlook for workers in their 20s and 30s, and as the place with the most heart attacks, slowest income growth, and fewest sunny days. It is a city without a single national grocery store chain. It has been deemed the most stressful metropolitan area in America. Likewise, it has ranked last in numerous studies: in new employment growth, in environmental indicators, in the rate of immunization of 2-year-olds, and, among big cities, in the number of high school or college graduates.

Men’s Fitness magazine christened Detroit America’s fattest city, while Men’s Health called it America’s sexual disease capital. Should the editors of these two metrosexual magazines be concerned for their safety after slagging the citizens of a city which has won the “most dangerous” title for five of the last ten years? Probably not: 47 percent of Detroit adults are functionally illiterate.

Precisely what caused all this mess is perhaps best left to historians. Locals’ ideas for how it happened could keep one pinned to a barstool for weeks: auto companies failing or pushing out to the suburbs and beyond, white flight caused by the ‘67 riots and busing orders, the 20-year reign of Mayor Coleman Young who scared additional middle-class whites off with statements such as “The only way to handle discrimination is to reverse it,” freeways destroying mass transit infrastructure, ineptitude, corruption, Japanese cars—take your pick.

We no longer have the luxury of such utopian dreams of taking our pick when it comes to placing the blame for Detroit’s monumental collapse; we must deal with the facts as they are and point out that Detroit has become the best friend of budding photographers hoping to publish the next best-selling coffee table book because it is a city that most resembles the dangerous foreign landscapes pictured in National Geographic. (For an actual coffee table book on modern Detroit, check out The Ruins of Detroit, by French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre .)

Detroit is 82 percent Black. The Great Migration to Detroit of Blacks from the South (exacerbated by Henry Ford’s promise to hire 10 percent of his employees from the Black population) inexorably created White Flight from that city, turning the city once known as “The Paris of the West” into the American version of the Paris Suburbs. Much of the rest of the city been torn down due to neglect.

That Democrat hegemony bemoaned for ruining the city has been overwhelmingly Black for 40 years, starting with the election of Coleman Young, the first Black mayor in the history of Detroit. The mass exodus of people from the city was primarily White back in the 1960s and ’70s (which turned a majority White city into the majority Black mess you have now), but is currently a torrent of Black people fleeing in hopes of finding a place to live with a national grocery chain.

White people fled Black crime then; Black people flee Black crime now.

Mike Brownfield of The Heritage Foundation has said Detroit is “a liberal’s worst nightmare,” but fails to point out that it is Black people fleeing a liberal Black city to the tune of a 25 percent population decline in 10 years.

What are you afraid of saying Mr. Brownfield? Why can’t you just say Detroit is in trouble because of its majority population (why doesn’t the Detroit Free Press ever run an article that asks, In changing world, Detroit remains overwhelming black?)? Why can’t Dr. Sowell? Why can’t The American Thinker? Why can’t National Review?

The decline of Detroit (and America’s major cities such as Baltimore, Milwaukee, Memphis, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cleveland, Newark, New Orleans, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago, etc.) is completely racial in nature. Michael Walsh of National Review laments that “some day, we’ll all live in Detroit” without mentioning the fact that Detroit’s lily-white suburbs—where the White descendants of the War of Detroit (the 1967 Black riot) retreated to—are perhaps the nicest in America.

Conservatives must understand that is the Black residents of Detroit who have helped depreciate what was once some of the highest property value in the country to the majority of zip codes in America with the lowest property value.

The Black press seems to understand understands this: The Atlanta Post published a story in 2010 stating that to Abandon Detroit = Abandoning Black America; Detroit post-1967 is a direct representation of Black America.

One mustn’t forget that every student in Detroit now eats for free (courtesy of the state) so that the stigma of being on the free lunch program won’t affect the self-esteem of Black children. As of 2009, more than 300,000 Black residents of Detroit were on food stamps, which equates to 38 percent of the citizenry. One can only guess what that number is now.

With news that Detroit could run out cash by December, Mayor Dave Bing has had to announce massive cuts to the city that contradict the USA Today’s triumphant, front-page, above the fold claim in October of 2011 that Detroit was back! from a few months ago. The Detroit Free Press reported:

Delivering on his pledge to avoid an emergency manager, Mayor Dave Bing said today he will lay off 1,000 employees, implement a hiring freeze and increase his demands on unions to accept 10% pay cuts and deep concessions in health care and pension benefits.

This follows an earlier proclamation from Bing that stopped garbage removal, police patrols and other government services in 20 percent of the city. Who can forget that more than 100 Detroit Department of Transportation bus drivers refused to work and stayed at the Rosa Parks Bus Terminal because of rampaging Black youth (who have helped earn Detroit the honor of America’s Most Dangerous City) attacking them.

That same bus system is so unreliable that LaWanda Flake, a disabled mother of six, recently bartered her home on Craigslist for a van to get her children to school on time. That house once belonged to one of the top Mo’ Town artists (The Supremes), but has since come to represent how quickly property depreciates once Black people assume control of a city.

If Detroit fails, then the unthinkable could happen: Michigan recently passed a “financial martial law” bill which allows the state to assume control of a bankrupt city. Once Detroit fails, an Emergency Manager will put in charge of the city and The American Interest warns us a 21st Century version of a “Plantation” will be created in America:

That’s not the only problem: if the review determines that the city is broke, white Republican officials could end up making decisions that change the fate of a predominantly African American city—imposing cuts in employment, pay, benefits and services that will affect almost everyone who lives in Detroit.

Detroit Free Press columnist Jeff Gerritt lays out what the governor will face if the takeover goes forward:

“Plantation” is a word he’ll hear a lot—in fact, Councilman Kwame Kenyatta already invoked it to describe what would happen if the state took control of the city’s finances in an effort to keep it from running out of money by spring …

Nothing happens in this region outside the context of race. Our often-painful history is the oxygen we breathe, even when we choke on it. We’re all finding it a little hard to breathe just now.

“Plantation” is the wrong word. On actual plantations, people worked. In the case of Detroit, the White Republican “owners” will labor away on behalf of their “slaves.”

As Black people flee Detroit and head into the prosperous lily-white suburbs surrounding the city, they ensure that the middle-class areas will continue to shrink.

The classic 1980s film Robocop teased at that truth when the CEO of OCP said, “Old Detroit has a cancer. That cancer is crime.” In Hollywood’s Detroit, multi-racial gangs, made up primarily of White males, prevailed.

Detroit faces a dual problem of spiking murder rates and a police force that is either incompetent or, increasingly, absent. This has led many residents to take the law into their own hands. The Daily reports, in an article entitled “911 is a Joke”:

Justifiable homicide in the city shot up 79 percent in 2011 from the previous year, as citizens in the long-suffering city armed themselves and took matters into their own hands. The local rate of self-defense killings now stands 2,200 percent above the national average. Residents, unable to rely on a dwindling police force to keep them safe, are fighting back against the criminal scourge on their own. And they’re offering no apologies.

Black dysfunction has, ironically, realized the dream of Reason magazine and Anarcho-Capitalists—a laissez-faire city with few government services. In Detroit, the dream is a nightmare.

In the span of only a few months, two of the former industrial giants that represented America’s once mighty manufacturing base will have become virtually insolvent. Sad that 72 percent Black Birmingham, Alabama, was responsible for the bankruptcy of Jefferson County.

Now, it is precisely those who comprise the 82 percent share of Detroit’s population that will be responsible for the financial ruin of that city, because they were incapable of sustaining the civilization that was left behind to them.

Only a few people will raise their hand and give the correct answer as to why “the Motor City” is finally out of gas.

To admit that Detroit is a failure because of its majority population is not possible in the political climate of 2012 America. To do so would undermine the political aim and drive of what this writer has dubbed “Black-Run America” (BRA).

This does not mean that Black people run actually America—far from it—but that America (corporate, religious, government, legal system, entertainment, etc.) is run for the advancement of Black people, and that to publicly say anything negative about Black people is, more or less, against the law of the land.

The National Question can’t be properly answered until we have the courage to proclaim the truth of Detroit’s demise. “Liberalism,” “socialism,” the “Democrat-controlled political class” are all partial, insufficient answers at best.

It’s about race, stupid.

[End of Kersey article.]

- end of initial entry -

Steve N. writes:

I suppose you could say: One of Detroit’s principal problems is a lack of diversity.

Jim H. writes:

Let’s say that Kersey is right—that the root cause of Detroit’s problems is too many black people, or too large a percentage of the population that is black. He writes of the “self-induced fear and trepidation which precludes us from doing what is rational and natural.” But what is that thing that is rational and natural that we are precluded from doing? Blaming black people? Ok, so we blame black people. Now what? What follows from that? Having blamed black people, what action item shows up next on our to-do list?

Kersey says that if Detroit fails, it will be turned into a kind of “plantation.” He calls this “unthinkable.” He also describes another option, “a laissez-faire city with few government services,” as a “nightmare.” If the one is unthinkable, and the other is a nightmare, what is the “thinkable” and the “dream?”

So if Kersey is right, does it matter? What good is being right if being right doesn’t lead to some kind of constructive action?

I’m not trying to be argumentative here. I just expected that Kersey would eventually discuss some further positive steps that could be taken, and it bothers me that he doesn’t present any.

LA replies:

Fair points. I don’t know that Mr. Kersey has said what he thinks we should do about the problem (assuming liberalism didn’t stop us from doing them). I will direct your comment to him.

Paul Kersey replies:

Restore the right of restrictive covenants, the purest form of freedom of association imaginable. The last chapter of Escape from Detroit is about restrictive covenants. I’ll also have a Vdare article up soon about this.

Back in the early 1980s, Atlanta’s black mayor Maynard Jackson was worried that if Atlanta’s black population reached 70 percent (67 percent at the time), people—and more importantly, businesses—would disinvest from the city or not relocate their business there.

What I’m about to say is going to be construed as racist, but whatever. There is not a competently run black city (with black public servants) in America. Prince George’s County, Maryland and DeKalb County, Georgia are constantly called the two best counties for blacks in America. Both are nightmarish, with horrible schools—a function of being 75 percent or more black—and an eroding tax base (not to mention property devaluations).

The first step to recovering from the insanity of BRA would be to understand what life is like in a city that is 95 percent or more white (which restrictive covenants would allow to exist).

Actually, in the forthcoming book Black Mecca Down: The Fall of The City too Busy to Hate, the last chapter will have the solution.

LA replies:

Mr. Kersey states in his article that the cause of Detroit’s downfall is blacks, not liberalism. But when Jim H. asked him what could be done about Detroit’s problems, if they’re caused by race, not liberalism, Mr. Kersey gave one example: bring back restrictive covenants. Restrictive covenants were of course outlawed by the liberal Civil Rights legislation. So Mr. Kersey is proposing a non-liberal measure as a cure for Detroit’s ills, which makes it appear that he’s saying that the cause of Detroit’s ills is not race, but liberalism.

C. from North America writes:

Jim H: wrote:

Let’s say that Kersey is right—that the root cause of Detroit’s problems is too many black people, or too large a percentage of the population that is black. He writes of the “self-induced fear and trepidation which precludes us from doing what is rational and natural.” But what is that thing that is rational and natural that we are precluded from doing? Blaming black people? Ok, so we blame black people. Now what? What follows from that? Having blamed black people, what action item shows up next on our to-do list?

One thing that should definitely not be on the “to-do” list for Detroit under any circumstances is what the Republicans in the Michigan state government (surprise!) are proposing: take over management of the city. This type of “white-knighting” (to borrow a Roissyism) is an absolute no-win situation for Republicans, who nevertheless manage to keep on engaging in this level of idiocy repeatedly. It is actually yet another variant on what Kersey calls Black-Run America. The essence of the Republican plan is to have the (largely white) taxpayers of Michigan fund Detroit’s continuing dysfunction, while being denounced by blacks and their leftist allies as “plantation masters.”

I say, Stay the hell out. Let blacks continue to do that which they have done for the last four decades. Allow the place to collapse into utter Mogadishu-level lawlessness and chaos—if it’s not there already. Perhaps the denizens of Detroit could then appeal to their Dear Leader Obama and his associate Eric “My People” Holder to take over operations. If that fails they can always appeal for a merger with the neighboring Muslim colony of Dearbornistan.

LA replies:

C. is absolutely correct. If the Michigan state government, in a last-ditch effort to keep the Detroit government functioning, takes over its finances, the blacks in Detroit will only call this white racism. This is a prime example of what I meant when I said that any large-scale involvement of whites in the affairs of blacks, especially if it is to help them, MUST result in the whites being condemned as racist.

But maybe this is what a commenter meant today when he spoke of the altruism of whites. Not only do whites gladly sacrifice their wealth, their liberty, their civilizational standards, their peace of mind, their safety, and their children’s lives to help blacks; they welcome being damned as racists for sacrificing themselves to help blacks. This in their minds is true Christ-like action.

LA continues:

And this is what drove Andrew McCarthy to call John Derbyshire un-Christian for advising his children to be extremely cautious before stopping to help a black who was signaling for help on a highway. It is better to sacrifice yourself to a black murderer than to seem un-Christian.

Paul Kersey replies to LA:

One can’t deny the horrible effect that liberalism has had on cities like Birmingham, Detroit, Memphis, etc. Restrictive covenants would have allowed whites to stay in the city, instead of leaving for the suburbs and creating whitopias (and spending hours of their lives on the road commuting to and from work).

But the same can’t be said of Boulder, Austin, Portland, Seattle, or the states of Vermont and Maine,

Yes, I would rather live in a “red” state or a “red” city, but the reddest states in America are those that have a high number of racial minorities (think Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and the best state in America, Alabama).

How far will whites have to run to create sustainable communities that will allow them to raise their children in a safe environment?

The best indicator of a high “quality of life” (look at U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of best cities, most livable cities, most peaceful state, etc.) is a low percentage of black residents.

The best indicator of a low quotient for “quality of life” (worst cities, most violent) is a high percentage of black people.

Yes, liberalism does need to be rejected (and eventually destroyed), but it’s important to note that states like Vermont and Maine (and cities like Boulder and Seattle) offer a pretty good quality of life for your average white family.

LA replies:

I think I understand. Restrictive covenants allow not only individual properties but entire neighborhoods to remain white. This in turn would have kept a city as a whole more white and less black, keeping the city more civilized, which in turn would have prevented more extensive white flight.

So restrictive covenants go to the heart of the issue, which is preventing a city from being taken over by blacks. Therefore your proposal for restrictive covenants does not contradict your statement that the cause of the ruin of Detroit and similar cities is black takeover, not liberalism.

Paul Kersey replies:

That’s it. That video of the white guy in Buffallo telling the news reporter that blacks drive down property values (and bring crime) cuts to the heart of the matter. In one emphatic statement, the white guy made all of modern conservatism impotent.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 11, 2012 01:23 PM | Send

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