Citizens of the city of Detroit have been under assault and seized by “giants in the land” since and before Mayor David Bing took office over a year ago. One of the most recent assaults found in a headline (July 4th) of the Michigan Citizen’s weekly newspaper, providing the only alternative view to the printed major media in Detroit reads, “Bing Seeks Control of Schools: To End Elected Board! Wealthy businessman and coalitions of large foundations with millions of dollars to spend have decided that Detroiters, tax paying citizens, should be disenfranchised and give up their right to elect their own leadership for the Detroit Board of Education (DPS)!
Racism at the Core
At the core of this movement lies racism, dressed up as the benevolent and responsible thing to do. This “movement” moving across many urban centers including New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago and now Detroit, infers that communities that are mostly poor and African American are incapable of effectively governing themselves, and that they should give up one of their most precious rights of citizenship, the right to vote! This is racist in nature, although clearly some African Americans are action agents to help push this agenda.
Racism/Classism: the use of political and economic power aimed at a group based on their race and class. These tactics have not been used in suburban areas with less than stellar outcomes!
Use of Media & Big Money to Get Their Way
The Mayoral Takeover group, “Our Kids Deserve Better Schools Committee” (committee members are still a secret) have a “campaign prospectus”, of which the mayor’s chief communications director indicates that she doesn’t know the source! Come on, Detroiters aren’t that stupid, although we have a 50% unemployment rate and a purported illiteracy rate of 40% or more. The Mayoral Takeover “campaign prospectus” and previous news reports & sound bites have lambasted the outcomes for DPS students and the issues of the DPS board have been sensationalized, statistics have been skewed, intended to shame and frighten the citizens. This “take over” group has commissioned “handlers” to produce the information needed to accomplish the takeover of DPS with one of the certain outcomes being privatization and eventually gentrification, if they are successful in this “coup” effort!
Detroiters Support Increased Graduation Rates & Test Scores
The one thing that I think most Detroiters would agree on with the “Mayoral Takeover” group is that graduation rates need to improve and achievement outcomes need to as well. However, the assaults and tactics that Detroiter’s have been enduring for quite sometime now is not justified! The “takeover group” missed their deadline of June 11th to legitimately get their issue of having voters give up their right to have an elected school board on ballot. Even after pooling over $2 million dollars to hire unemployed residents, who in many cases mislead residents to sign the petitions. Now they will approach the City Council to put it on the ballot anyway!
Local Major Media: A Partner in Takeover
The major local media uses headlines and sound bits to exploit unfortunate issues of some board members as one of the justifications to sway public opinion and beat Detroiters over the head with a “stick of shame”! This also serves to distract Detroiters from the real issue, of “We the People” the citizens of Detroit, taking responsibility to raise the bar for educational standards for ourselves, without having corporate and foundation interests dictating the shots from behind the scenes in many cases. What do you think? And what are you willing to do about it?