FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Democracy & Detroit, 2012

by ELENA HERRADA

Detroit is the largest of the internal colonies of Michigan. It is followed by Benton Harbor, Flint, Muskegon Heights, Pontiac and Highland Park. The aforementioned cities have been occupied by “Emergency Managers” for the past several years.

In 2009 Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm, the first woman governor of Michigan, appointed Robert Bobb over Detroit Public Schools. Two years later, after Snyder was elected (Republican) governor of Michgan, he appointed former GM executive and MGM casino magnate Roy Roberts to the position of Emergency Manager.

Each of these two have caused Detroit Public Schools to go into exponentially greater debt than before the “emergency” was created by the governor and his mouthpiece corporate media. The people of Michigan (82% in Detroit) repealed the Emergency Manager law 52% to 48% when it became clear that the law was nothing more than a license to loot and terminate collective bargaining agreements and sell off public goods to private interests, who do not have to bid or say who they are or where
they got their money.

We passed a bond to rebuild our schools in Detroit, only to have them seized by a new separate and unequal school district called “Educational Achievement Authority.” It is a Jim Crow district with no transparency and no public accountability except to shareholders and “non profits” and foundations.

The role of the philanthropic interests is one that requires a deeper investigation than this simple review of 2012 in Detroit can achieve, but one worth pursuing in depth. It is an example of what happens when government is replaced by corporations.

Detroit is the epicenter of the racialized privatization battle going on in Michigan, but it is only one part of the story. The Emergency Manager remains in charge of Detroit Public Schools despite the repeal of the law. Everything the State could do to subvert the vote was done, and when the vote came in at against the Emergency Manager law, the governor ignored the vote and kept the EMs in charge.

There is utter contempt for the people in this lawless corrupt state.

It does not matter if we vote because the results are ignored. It does not matter if we go to court; the judges simply postpone the proceedings.

There is no voice of moral authority in Michigan; there are looters from top to bottom stealing the public treasury and the future of our youth. Schools are so severely underfunded that Teach for America teachers are in front of classrooms of 40 and more students all by themselves.

Millions of dollars have gone missing from the Detroit Public Schools’ classrooms, to the joy of charter operators and new shadow governments in the form of “self-governing schools” and “review boards.”

The Emergency Manager is surrounded by security guards at all times because he and his minions are so despised by the people they rob. It is a good time for a few, but not a sustainable plan.

When the colleges and universities catch on that their future students cannot score high enough on ACT or SATs, they will have to let in only the white students from the suburbs. Then there will be a movement for equity and access and we can start all over again.

Elena Herrada is a Detroit community activist leader, longtime organizer, and member of the Detroit Public Schools board. She can be reached at elenamherrada2@gmail.com.

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail