Who Sank Detroit – the “Hip Hop Mayor” or Wall Street?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Many, if not most, Americans are eager to believe that what’s wrong with Detroit and other troubled cities is the fault of the inhabitants. “The irresponsible, profligate, corruption-prone Blacks, with their ghetto pathologies, are the problem.” But, the true source of urban instability can be found in lower Manhattan and the City of London.

Who Sank Detroit – the “Hip Hop Mayor” or Wall Street?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Times might as well have run a riff on the old Dixie headline: ‘Black Buck Runs Amuk: Major City Destroyed by Negro Rule.’”

Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit’s former “Hip Hop Mayor,” emerged from behind bars last week, just long enough to be re-embedded in the public mind as the burly, 6’4” personification of all that is wrong with “urban” – i.e. Black – America. The judge sentenced him to 28 years on two dozen counts of racketeering, extortion, bribery and fraud that may have cost the city some tens of millions of dollars during his eight years in office. Yet, the mega-swindle of his career, the $1.4 billion derivatives deal that that could cost Detroit twice that much over the next two decades and represents one-fifth of the city’s total obligations to creditors, appears nowhere in the indictment or sentencing.

In the twisted world of finance-dominated, late-stage capitalism, the 2005 ultra-complex interest rates swap-plus-loans monstrosity that Kilpatrick arranged with Wall Street banks was perfectly legal – as is the convoluted derivatives scheme that Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr plans to submit to a bankruptcy court on behalf of Detroit’s unwilling residents, next week – a formula for the banks to swallow Detroit’s assets whole.

Kilpatrick’s greatest crime against the people of Detroit was committed in league with – or rather, under the detailed and exquisite direction of – Wall Street, and was, therefore, not deemed to be a crime, at all. But the resulting insolvency of a major city requires a Black villain – a Wanted Poster Child, if you will. Kilpatrick fits the bill, the self-made stereotype of Black political venality, perfectly crafted for white supremacist consumption.

“The insolvency of a major city requires a Black villain.”

On the day of his sentencing, the New York Times ran an article that skillfully blurred the relatively more minor crimes for which Kilpatrick was convicted, with the fiscally fatal 2005 derivatives deal, for which he and his Wall Street co-conspirators remain legally blameless. The Times might as well have run a riff on the old Dixie headline: “Black Buck Runs Amuk: Major City Destroyed by Negro Rule.” The story gives the impression that Kilpatrick was finally facing the music for his interest rate swap sins in “a corruption scandal so vast that prosecutors say it helped accelerate Detroit’s march toward bankruptcy.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The ex-mayor won’t serve a day for his financial instruments chicanery (for which he was feted on Wall Street and given an award – see the picture at top). Eight years later, Kilpatrick’s derivatives pact with the devils of Wall Street is slated to morph into Kevyn Orr’s derivatives deal and payout to the same parties – leaving a foreign bank in line for possession of everything of value in the city.

In the United States, racism has always been the bankers’ best friend. Mass white supremacism is what put Euro-Americans to “flight” from perfectly good housing in places like Detroit, two generations ago, creating vast “economic development” possibilities in the farmlands surrounding the urban core. The advent of (white) suburbia changed the relationship of housing to the overall economy in the United States, with the banks as the primary beneficiaries.

White racism also allowed Wall Street to impose a subprime mortgage regime on virtually every Black neighborhood in the United States, across the whole spectrum of African American income earners. Years before the housing bubble finally burst, Detroit, by far the Blackest big city in the country, had been irreversibly stripped of its tax base. The Black Buck didn’t run amuk – white men in lower Manhattan and the City of London did.

However, the Black Misleadership Class are perfect foils for the Lords of Capital. Deeply in thrall of power and money, they become helplessly drunk in the presence of banksters. Jefferson County, Alabama, commission president Larry Langford, the former mayor of Birmingham, sank the county in a cesspool of derivatives deals, finally resulting in bankruptcy in 2011. Langford was sentenced to 15 years in prison, not for his scheming with the likes JP Morgan, but for other scams involving criminals of only middling wealth.

“The Black Misleadership Class are perfect foils for the Lords of Capital.”

Langford and Kilpatrick were no more capable of fashioning the fiscal time bombs that blew up their jurisdictions than were Miami’s Liberty City Seven capable of bringing down the Sears Tower. Derivatives are creatures of Wall Street, designed by the bankers that market them for sale to other bankers or to whatever non-banking fools that can be lured into the instruments’ deadly coils, where the victims marinate. The Lords of Capital are preparing for a feast, such as the nation has never seen. But the feeding frenzy cannot begin in earnest until the supporting political narrative is firmly in place. This being America, the justification is ready-made: The irresponsible, profligate, corruption-prone Blacks, with their ghetto pathologies, are the problem. Austerity is the answer – especially in those localities where African Americans are too tightly concentrated – under the firm fiscal management of Wall Street.

A specially selected Negro corporate lawyer, Kevyn Orr – who craves the good life as much as Kwame Kilpatrick and lives in a $5,100 a month penthouse; a gift, he claims, of a rich admirer – will next Wednesday submit to a bankruptcy judge a proposal to restructure Detroit’s debt. The $350 million scheme, financed by Britain’s giant Barclay’s bank, would pay off the Wall Street banks that ensnared (a very willing) Kilpatrick and other Detroit leaders in a web of derivatives and loans. With the original corporate conspirators now made whole, the Brits would then “move to the head of the line,” as people’s lawyer Tom Stephens explains, as Detroit’s super-priority creditor – meaning, Barclays gets paid first when the city’s assets are liquidated or otherwise dispensed.

This is the real crime against the people, and only the people can stop it.

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


Detroit and Democratic Party

This corruption you see merely provides a "scapegoat" and someone to blame.  How is it possible that every large black municipality, is to some degree, another Detroit? That has to have been planned from on high.  When I talk to residents of these municipalities, they blame themselves, and make all kinds of excuses for Barack Obama, in regard to why he hasn't even tried to help them.  Is it a coincidence that the south side of Chicago, North St. Louis, E. St. Louis, Gary Indiana and all large populations of African Americans are depressed?

While the long arm of slavery is partly responsible for the culture of violence, narcotics are a big contributing factor.  Since we no longer have sociologists to explain human behavior under the very worst conditions possible, everyone without even a high school diploma can feel free to explain everything.

The biggest difference between black poverty, and white poverty, is the culture of violence, and the fact that white poverty isn't as visible; but in terms of numbers, as opposed to percentages, more white people are suffering and the suicide rate is up.  In the past they blamed their problems on black people, I don't think their stll that stupid.  The real cause of our problems is the destruction of the unions.  The south is the biggest enabler of that destruction; they voted "Republican" for racial reasons, even though the Republican Party lowered their standard of living by giving them "right to work" laws.  I can remember when the standard of living for African Americans was probably higher in Detroit than anywhere else in this country. That was when the automobile manufactures had strong unions, that demanded a percentage of the profits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnAOhQKGmsY

Unless we unite as a class of victimized human beings, we will remain powerless to do anything about our victimization.  "White racism also allowed Wall Street to impose a subprime mortgage regime on virtually every Black neighborhood in the United States"

I have absolutely no idea what so ever of the racial ratio of "subprime" victims; however, I know for a fact that it adversely affected every single solitary lower middle class person in this entire country, regardless of race creed or color.  I also know for a fact, that when Ben Bernanke raised the interest rate, he knew there would be massive foreclosures all over this country, he was just following orders.  This was a crime against a class of people, not a crime against a race of people.

If we go be race, in regard to the number of people victimized by this crime, they would come to the same number as the total number of white people in the lower middle class as opposed to the total number of black people in the lower middle class.

Even if your house was paid for, free and clear, it was devalued as a result of so many foreclosures all over the country.  "All" people in the lower middle class were victimized by events that occurred between 06 and the present.  This website explains how the lower middle class was victimized in other ways during that time http://wp.me/p2vRlu-4.


Banksters and Fascists

It makes me nauseous reading this. When will people rise up against the corrupt banksters and fascists.

Friends, lend me ur ears.

Nature Bats Last! 

The Lords of Money (Mostly White Supremacists) will never see any of it passed to their children.  So be glad that they are just as doomed as we, from all of this foolishness.  The Empire is dead! Just look around at the frantic nature of things.  Capitalism is devouring itself.

Get over it and be glad in it.  Not to worry.  Enjoy the downfall of the sick bastards.  It is inevitable.  It is not sustainable.



You got my ears

"The Lords of Money (Mostly White Supremacists) will never see any of it passed to their children.  So be glad that they are just as doomed as we, from all of this foolishness"

While it's quite true that "White Supremacists" are defunct, there are millions of white people in the same boat as us; that's a fact that hasn't been recognized.  Here's a "you tube" that illustrates what I'm talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKVQ44CWwTo

The solution

Although Barack Obama and the Democratic Party let us down, the fact that he got elected indicates a new day has arrived in regard to an African American President.  This means we need an all inclusive third party that will address issues important to the "lower middle class".  As a result of the change in attitude of people who vote Democratic, it's possible to have an all inclusive third party with candidates Cynthia McKinney, and Glen Ford at the top of the ticket, and a constituency that's 80% white, because issues are much more important than race, and many white people in the "lower middle class" realize this.

For the purpose of this essay, African American and lower middle class are perfectly interchangeable; that's because they are one and the same in regard to events that have sent us into poverty; therefore, white, black, and any and every other race in the "lower middle class" has common interests.  Those interests can not be addressed unless we have a seat at the table in Washington DC.

The "subprime mortgage" caused everyone who had an ARM loan to get foreclosed on when Ben Bernanke raised the interest rate in 06.  Adjustable Rate Mortgage is what ARM stands for, that means your house payment goes up if the interest rate goes up.  Those are the worst kind of loans possible because your house payment varies with the interest rate.  If someone told you today, your house payment would be $1000. more a month, how long would it take before foreclosure would occur?  That's what happened to many people who had ARM's loans when Ben Bernanke raised the interest rate.

Those foreclosures caused housing values in the "lower middle class" to go down all across this country.  Immediately after this occurred, another separate event, "commodity market manipulation" caused food and gas to go sky high, that meant people in the "lower middle class" had approximately $300. a month less to spend on everything else, because food and gasoline are necessities that had to be taken care of immediately.

If you had a house for sale in a "lower middle class" neighborhood at that time, it didn't get sold no matter where it was.  As I stated "lower middle class" and African American are 100% interchangeable.  African American neighborhoods that had been stable before those two events, "subprime foreclosures and $5.00 a gallon gasoline", went straight down, and those stable neighborhoods have become hard core ghetto.  Here again, disregard the fact they were "African American" neighborhoods because that same thing didn't happen in rich African American neighborhoods, this means that was a "class" factor, and not a race factor.  Any and every race in the "lower middle" economic class was affected.

This website indicates what happened in regard to "commodity market manipulation" that affected everyone because it added approximately $300. dollars a month to the cost of living; but $300. a month is a lot different for a poor person than it is to a rich person.  When you look at this website, click on the hand to enlarge the charts, and at the same time think about what happened in your neighborhood when gas at the pump went so high.  While this problem began during the Bush Administration, Barack Obama failed to address it.  http://wp.me/p2vRlu-4