On Monday, Jan. 2, to start the New Year off right and hit the ground running, a loudly vocal Detroit crowd of protesters joined Rep. John Conyers and a fairly large representation of the city’s leadership, including Detroit longtime NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony, to protest the possible appointment of an emergency financial manager (EFM). Those following the issue are well aware that this is not a new fight by any means, but it is a fight that is getting louder by the minute as Detroiters raise their voices – and combine forces – to do whatever is necessary to prevent an EFM from being appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to oversee Michigan’s largest city. Snyder already appointed managers over Detroit Public Schools and the cities of Pontiac, Benton Harbor, Ecorse and Flint. The City of Inkster is perched on the precipice, and an announcement was just made today that an EFM has been appointed to oversee Highland Park.
Just to review, it’s not that we in Detroit aren’t well aware of the fact that we’re short on cash, or that our elected leaders aren’t well aware of the fact that they have their work cut out for them to set this city back on course toward financial stability. Detroit didn’t just arrive on the shores of this crisis. We’ve been treading water in the eye of this storm for more than two decades at least. And to be sure, we are hardly blameless innocents in this mess. But Detroiters are not so far gone that we can’t work together with our elected leaders and figure our own way out. To offer us assistance is one thing, but to nullify the power of our vote by voiding the decision-making power of our elected leaders is an inexcusable overreach that could create disturbing and costly consequences for years to come.
As we head further down the road of Campaign 2012, Democratic candidates for office in Michigan and elsewhere should consider the fact that what is happening to Detroit – and all the other Michigan municipalities with large or predominant African American populations – is representative of what this fight is all about, because this really is about us versus them. This is just as much about whether Gov. Snyder can be allowed to put his state’s largest city back on the plantation through the forced appointment of an emergency financial manager as it is about stopping the Republicans from sabotaging President Obama’s agenda. This is just as much about protecting the sanctity of the vote and the power of a citizenry to elect its own leaders in Detroit as it is about the Republican-led effort nationwide to disenfranchise any and all voters who are likely to support the re-election of the President.
This really is them against us.
Republicans can be allowed to short circuit all of President Obama’s initiatives
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association