Detroit as Bantustan: Wall Street’s Black Goons

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The worst elements of Black society are eager to facilitate the dissolution of Detroit and the crushing of its people. Having already been disenfranchised, Detroiters must now bear petty insults and torments like last week’s unannounced cut-off of electricity. “The exercise of arbitrary power allows the ‘Stephens’ of the Black Misleadership Class to feel more a part of the oligarchy they serve.”


Detroit as Bantustan: Wall Street’s Black Goons

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Judge Rhodes will decide whether the imposition of an unelected dictatorship in Detroit represents a ‘Constitutional crisis’ or not.”

Detroit’s Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) dictatorship runs the city the way Samuel L. Jackson’s “Stephen” character ran the white man’s plantation in Django. Without warning, and just to let the niggras know who’s boss, Chief Compliance Officer Gary Brown shut off the electricity to much of the public infrastructure in the downtown area on Friday, September 11th – of all days! – stranding numerous frightened people in elevators in 90-degree-plus heat, resulting in a least one injury. Asked why he had given no warning to the thousands affected before pulling the switch, Brown smiled like a bad cop who had just beat the hell out of a street kid (he’s a former deputy chief of police). “We did start calling our customers prior to taking them down and asking them to turn off air conditioners, but they weren't responding as fast as we would like them to so we had to send them a strong message by turning the power off.” Who’s The Man? Me and my boss are The Man!

Brown handles the day-to-day overseer duties for EFM Kevyn Orr, the bankruptcy lawyer whose mission is to strip Detroit of its assets and privatize its services for the benefit of Wall Street banks. The power shut-off was a voluntary initiative by Brown in response to problems with the power grid on an unseasonably warm day. Brown’s gratuitous display of disregard for the people and the public servants of the Black metropolis served two purposes: 1) It dramatized deficiencies in the city’s infrastructure at a time when a judge is deciding whether Detroit should be allowed to handle its own affairs, thus enhancing the prospects for privatization of services, and 2) the exercise of arbitrary power allows the “Stephens” of the Black Misleadership Class (he’s also a former City Council president pro-tem) to feel more a part of the oligarchy they are pleased to serve.

The appointed Bantustan administrators behave as they do because their antics are sanctioned by White Power.”

Under the New American Apartheid, Detroit has been reduced to a South Africa-style Bantustan, administered by hired Black goons in the interests of multinational capital. Just as American slavery cannot be fully comprehended without an understanding of the roles played by the “Stephens,” so the evisceration of “home rule” in Black urban America requires the active collaboration of the Orrs and Browns. In the struggle for self-determination, they are the enemies within who eagerly throw themselves into the buffer zone between the people and their tormentors – for a fee, and the privilege of lording it over the Bantustan. (Brown resigned from his $75,000 a year City Council position to sign on as Orr’s lieutenant for $225,000 – and, of course, an inside track in the corporate looting that will accompany Detroit’s fiscal dissolution.)

The appointed Bantustan administrators behave as they do because their antics are sanctioned by White Power – not just by the predators of Wall Street, who are keenly aware that racism allows them to use Detroit as the model for the next stage of “austerity” mega-thefts, but by white society in general. How else to explain why Boston’s “wildly popular” five-term mayor, Tom Menino, could casually declare that, if he were running Detroit, he’d "blow up the place and start all over.” You could be seized by Homeland Security for mouthing the words “blow up” in connection with any mostly white city in America, but 85 percent Black Detroit is fair game. The worst elements among the strivers of Black America know exactly how to please Bwana. (That’s also why President Obama cannot help but insult Black people, even at the March on Washington anniversary; it’s for white people’s consumption.)

Let My People Go, Please Massa

It was like a scene from a bygone world. Nearly 50 citizens lined up to appeal to Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to safeguard their democratic and paid-for pension rights. Rhodes will decide whether the imposition of an unelected dictatorship in Detroit represents a “Constitutional crisis” that should be addressed before the process of cutting pensions and selling off assets should begin. Certainly, the cancellation of white people’s voting rights, to be followed by confiscation of their personal and collective property, would merit Constitutional scrutiny on a priority basis. But, for African Americans, it is an open question.

“This [Emergency Financial Manager] law has been applied in cities and school districts where the majority population is African American, and I find this to be racist in both its aims, and its application,” Bill Hickey, a 50-year resident of the city, told the judge. Indeed, more than half of Michigan’s Black population has been disenfranchised, a shocking state of affairs that is generally treated as a non-event – or, maybe, in the popular consciousness, it is the world as it should be.

Judge Rhodes responded sympathetically to the pleas of pensioners who feared destitution in their old age. However, people’s advocates worry that Rhodes will reason that the best way to allay pensioners’ anxieties is to forge ahead with bankruptcy – in effect, using one set of victims’ fears as an excuse to crush the rights of all Detroiters. Rhodes sees himself as a practitioner of “compassionate” bankruptcy – much like “humanitarian” military intervention.

The cancellation of white people’s voting rights would merit Constitutional scrutiny on a priority basis.”

On October 2, he’ll hold a hearing on the NAACP’s bid to proceed with its challenge to the Constitutionality of Wall Street’s rule-by-proxy through Kevyn Orr. The thrust of Rhodes’ decisions to date has been to smack down, as disruptive, any legal obstacle in the sprint to bankruptcy – full steam ahead.

Bankruptcy Judge Rhodes’ agenda has so far been in sync with bankruptcy lawyer Orr’s strategy: to keep the battle for Detroit in the realm of corporate law rather than the arena of civil, human and Constitutional rights.

Last November, a large majority of Detroiters and 53 percent of Michigan voters rejected the Emergency Manager legislation, but Republican governor Rick Snyder rammed it through the legislature, anyway. A new survey shows 75 percent of Detroit residents don’t want any cuts in public employee’s pensions, and 78 percent oppose selling any of the precious works at the Detroit Institute of Art. The people of Detroit did not choose bankruptcy – which is an option, not a mandate – and cannot legally be imposed against the city’s will unless the voters have been disenfranchised to more effectively enshrine the rule of capital.

A brother who they used to call Detroit “Red” coined a formula for this predicament: The ballot or the bullet. The applicability of his words in the current situation shows that we have regressed further than we have overcome.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].


A conservative's viewpoint

My People,

I am a conservative Black Man ... likely older ... much older ... than most readers of this ’blog. So, please, exhaust your bile now, and have a cup of coffee or bottled water before you continue reading.

Good. Now, let us proceed.

Democrats have been manipulating the minds of Black people since slavery — because Democrat power-brokers (yes, the historical “plantation owners”) loathe freedom. And anyone desiring freedom is likewise hated. Hatred of freedom is in the Democrat DNA. It will never change. Blacks wanting freedom, independence, and self determination now are treated no differently now by the Democrat Party, that we were some 150 years ago: i.e., with subdued contempt.

Even when the power brokers offend you to your face (Biden’s “clean, articulate Black man” and Reed’s “with no ’Negro’ dialect”, etc.) you just stand there, and say nothing.

Listen-up: the Democrats have always been — and will always be — the “slavery party”. Democrats have been manipulating the minds of Black people since slavery — because Democrats loathe freedom.  Blacks that wanted freedom, independence and self determination some 150 years ago, are treated no differently now by the Democrat Party than at that time: i.e., with thinly disguised contempt.

Control the mind, and you control the man.

Removing of the concept of independence via personal ownership of  and attachment to land — and the means of its production — is the most fundamental method of enslaving a man. This “mental neutering” has proven to be a wildly successful formulation in the Democrat scheme to suppress the personal resolve and initiative of African Americans. Yet, Blacks faithfully serve as the “attack dogs” guarding the Democrat plantation, because insecurity, self-doubt and indebtedness is fixed in the African American cultural mindset.

Since the Emancipation Proclamation, Democrats have engaged in — and by all appearances — have succeeded in — a campaign of psychological warfare against Blacks to re-institutionalize, suppress, and re-possess their “human chattel and property”.

The Democrat Party has successfully inserted into the African American psyche no less than a “life is ’easier’ on the plantation” mentality. Our history points to the fact that many newly freed slaves indeed did not venture very far from the fields they once worked, and often took residence literally right outside the slaveowner’s property. Why? Fear of the unknown. Sure, some did migrate away, but many stayed. The former slaves that refused to venture away were “mentally neutered”. Massa Johnny continued owning his slaves, regardless of within or without the walls, chains and fetters. There appears to be a residue of this neutering effect once again afflicting the Black community.

Sure, when provoked, Blacks will march-and-riot-and-complain in Pavlovian fashion. Yet, nothing of meaning ever comes of it, other that more indeciciveness and confusion. There is a distinct absence of steady-handed navigation that guides us through the seasons of  good and not-so-good times. The Black community is seemingly either in the doldrums, or in storm-ravaged waters. Never any “happy medium”. “Manic/depressive” seems to come to mind; and I believe this is by design — Democrat political design.

There is a move afoot by the likes of powerful people that are strategizing to keep Blacks to stay right where they are, physically, mentally, and economically. And I proclaim our half-White President is front-and-center in its complicity. This so-called “Affordable Care Act” is nothing other than a panacea at best, or a “drug” at its worst designed to assuage an entitlement mentality that is innoculated into the African American mindset. “ACA” is institutionalizing ineptitude and disenfranchisement. ACA is an “invisible electronic fence” designed to keep you subservient and on the plantation.

"Health care" is no more likely to be delivered to our inner cities, than the chance the government will successfully abate the influx of weapons and drugs into the same. The sad part is that most of you reading this know it, but won't admit it. Why do you continue believing the government "cares" about you?

And if anyone reading this truly believes the avowed racists reside exclusively in the Republican Party, then “fools gold” is your choice of investment, as well.

Time is of the essence, my Brothers and Sisters. Fear of the unknown is our greatest enemy. Fear is an ancient tool used by the powerful to suppress and disorient the powerless and disenfranchised. We must become more fearless in the face of not just a National challenge, but an International one, as well.

Now, you may return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Detroit and Democratic Party

I was in Detroit in 66; I have never seen so many new cars before nor since. We visited my host’s friends, and they all had nice homes with “rathskellers”. That’s what the entertainment part of the home was referred to at that time, especially since it was usually below ground level. We saw one of the many famous “Motown” people you’re so familiar with every night. They were always entertaining somewhere in the Detroit area.

Detroit was like The Emerald City of OZ, at that time, most of it's inhabitants dressed elegant, drove new cars and lived in nice homes. I know this was the result of "overtime" at many of the automobile manufactures, and that was a long time ago; but cities are supposed to get better, not worse.  Why have all predominantly black cities gotten so much worse?  They all resemble Detroit to some degree.

All of what we are seeing now, has nothing to do with the "Democratic Party"; we are witnessing the fourth term of the Bush, Cheney Republican party in the guise of "Barack Obama". Senator Obama convinced a Democratic congress to vote for a 700 billion dollar Bush bailout of Wall Street in 6 days. Think about it; he was able to evaluate and convince Democrats whose constituents had no interest what so ever in bailing out Wall Street, and he did all of this in 6 short days.

President Obama expanded the Afghanistan War, extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, shut down Senator Leahy's "Truth Finding  Commission" that was designed to investigate Bush Cheney crimes; he even said Ronald Reagan was his favorite president.  That just might explain why Black people are going backwards at a much faster clip than they went forward.

In regard to "House Negroes" who were fortunate enough to have acquired wealth, they are not about to let you "field Negroes" get in the way of that by "dissing" Massa Bama, yall just go back to yo cabins and be quiet, Massa Bama know what he doing.  Many members of the Congressional Black Caucus take this same attitude; consequently, field Negroes are up a creek like they've never been up since slavery.

Barack Obama was selected by the elites because he was the only president who could take African Americans "backwards" with a smile, and without them even knowing it.  They also knew Barack Obama would comply with any and all of their wishes if he could just be president, and he hasn't failed them.

Detroit was indeed the "Emerald City"

And you and I probably crossed paths somewhere around Grand and Woodward ...

But those "Hell night" riots changed Detroit forever. And I'm not sure if Coleman Young had the survival of the city in mind. Now, I reserve my angst with Mayor Young only because he held a special place in my mind as a Tuskegee Airman (not sure if he was a DOTA, though).

Listen: I am truly refreshed to experience the introspection revealed by contributors on this website. For much of my adult life, liberal/socialist Blacks would really "piss me off" because I saw Blacks abandoning the "steak on the plate" for "the crumbs on the floor". But now, I truly feel "the ship is beginning to right itself". And I'm thanking God for it.

You say you are a

You say you are a conservative.  Why insist on this label?  It seems to me that the argument you are making is that both parties are not to be trusted.  You seem to expect your readers here to react to that with shock and consternation.  But I think most here would agree.  Both parties are not to be trusted.  


What we need going forward is a broad based people's movement that combines the best aspects of conservatism and progressivism.  So let's try setting aside some labels and ideologies, so that we can think things through anew, and perhaps surprise ourselves with our ability to understand where we are at, how we got here, and what our best options may be going forward, starting with standing on our own feet and not depending on the politicians of both parties baying all around us that they are our only hope.

yes, I agree with you

The time is over for strict "party-line" politics. I say I am conservative because that is how people of my generation were raised. Neither political party has served the plight of the African in America, so it's well beyond the time for fresh ideas and a different perspective.

One more thing: a little more true "diversity" of thought and meaningful bi-lateral conversation amongst our people will certainly go a long way. No individual person has all the answers, nor will one monolithic solution address all concerns.

In other words, let's all just "try to get along". Rodney King was more prophetic that he probably realized.

A New Party

Potentially, African Americans have more political power than ever in history if a third party developed and they joined.  First of all this new third party would incorporate the ideas of MLK and FDR by necessity and make it's platform especially inclusive for African Americans.

Racism is primarily restricted to the Republican Party, and economic unfairness would be a concern of everyone in this new party; it would be a new beginning for the lower middle class.  Race is of such little concern for rich Black people, they hardly ever mention it.  We have two classes of African Americans now, they are not Liberal and Conservative; but those who are economically secure and those who aren't.  Blacks in the political class who are economically secure don't want any "Negroes" who are less fortunate rocking the boat, which is why they aren't going to do anything for those who are suffering in these hard times.  "Class" brings all people who are suffering in these hard time together.  That in no way diminishes the importance of this blog which focuses on issues that are uniquely "African American", but the politics of "Race" are a game solely for the benefit of African American politicians, and are of no benefit to their African American constituents.

Working class white people are suffering almost as much as African Americans, and a new party would accept everyone as equal without any difficulty.  I've noticed that racist attitudes have diminished with the younger generation, and exists primarily in the south; which is one of the reasons "Barack Obama" got elected, but who knew he would "bait and switch"?  It's so unfortunate the majority of African Americans haven't caught on to this.

Yes, we desperately need a new beginning, and the people who are running and contributing to this blog would be part of that new beginning.



“Racism is primarily restricted to the Republican Party”. Are you serious? What empirical data do you have demonstrates this? Yet, historical evidence demonstrates all I have contended and portrayed about the racist roots of the Democrat party. 

For the record, money and property ownership are not innate enemies of African Americans. If that were the case, then Oprah is likewise your enemy. 

A common theme in some circles is the saying “knowledge is power”. But knowledge — without the enabling effect of courage — is worthless. The blinding, crippling effects of cowardice holds us back like shackles around our necks, wrists, and feet. Without courage, there can be no creativity — or the reward it yields from one’s required investment of risk. Imagination, opportunity, and courage, are possessions — not gifts.

To proclaim that some individual or entity is the exclusive source of one’s dilemma is patently foolish, and demonstrates one’s continued status as perpetual victim of intellectual emasculation. You are heralding some entity’s virility to “contain” you, rather than advocating your own potency to break free from tyranny. “Self-defeating” never won any awards or medals.

Stand up, my sisters and brothers, and press forth like warriors ... not as the perpetually vanquished.

Reply to "Really"?

"Stand up, my sisters and brothers, and press forth like warriors ... not as the perpetually vanquished"

To me, this sounds like some antiquated rhetoric form a different time and place.  If the words "brother and sister" was replaced with "comrades" it would be more acceptable, but brothers and sisters imply the "Black race", and I find that totally unacceptable, and I'll give you several reasons why: The Congressional Black Caucus, The NAACP, and last, but most certainly no least "Barack Obama".  The politics of race are totally obsolete, the politics of Democrat or Republican are totally unacceptable.  The only thing left is the politics of "Class", that's Fox TV's greatest fear, anything but the politics of "Class"; that would unify Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and everyone else who has been disenfranchised by the elitism of "Barack Obama".

As I stated before, we need a new political party, that's the "only" way the needs of African Americans will be addressed, and they wont be addressed in terms of race, but class, the same way FDR did it after the depression.  JFK was one of the few presidents who addressed African American issues in terms of race.  When he told government contractors they had to have a certain "quota" of African Americans on the payroll, or no more contracts, they began hiring Negroes like crazy all over this country.  It was so funny when Negroes who had been talking about pimpin and hustlin, began to show up at government work sites with blue security badges.  No, we don't want to "pimp and hustle", but if that's the only option we got, so be it.


....ohhh ... kaayyy

You've succeeded ... you've lost me.

Let's try to stay focused, here. I'm more than willing to engage you on topics of your choice ... but let's try one sentence at a time.

Reply to "Lost me"

I'll show you where I'm coming from with tears in my eyes and blood dripping off my soul.  I don't speak in sentences, I speak in concepts that are the product of my thoughts.  Although I'm an old man, who was born and raised in E. St. Louis, and St. Louis, I'm also familiar with the South Side of Chicago of many years past. All that was good in my life is gone, and I'm going to show you this in pictures.  Let us begin in North St. Louis, I wont show E. St. Louis because I get severely depressed when I look at it.

Now let us go to the South Side of Chicago; I remember when I thought it was paradise.  Never will I forget seeing Dinah Washington's Lincoln Continental with the spare on the trunk parked in front of the Persian Lounge where Ahmad Jamal recorded his famous album.  Now I don't recognize anything about the south side of Chicago.

This is Detroit, "Motown", Smokey, Stevie, Aretha, Diana Ross, and I could go on and on about famous people from Detroit; all of those people plus many other famous people lived in Detroit, when The Twenty Grand was the the place to see and be seen. Do you think it's just some strange "coincident" that all of those "African American" urban centers deteriorated so fast in the last ten years?  I don't think so, as a matter of fact, I know it wasn't a coincident.  Actually the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, and the Dome, plus all of those people drowning is corroborating evidence that all of this is not coincidence. here's Detroit in pictures

If I've lost you, I guarantee I'll find you before this day is over.

yes, you've found me

I thank you for the youtube vid ... man, stop makin me cry ...

While I never resided in St. Louis, I knew many who did ...

That's all ... I'm too through ...