And now, as a break from all the shitty national news, I wanted to update you on shitty news from my home front.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, members of Detroit City Council and representatives from the city’s labor and religious communities will hold a news conference at 5 p.m. today to address the city’s financial crisis and the possibility of a financial review by the state.
Bing and the City Council have refused to initiate such a review. The 30-day review process would allow state officials to examine the city’s finances and any proposals from the city as to how it will eliminate some of its debt.
Bing and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder had a conversation Wednesday, and Snyder informed the mayor he intended to start the emergency manager process beginning with the review.
As I have noted before, one of the most troubling aspects of MI’s very troubling EFM law is the way it arises out of and exacerbates MI’s history of segregation. Effectively, in the 1980s, Democrats and Republicans decided that rather than addressing the effects of globalization on our state regionally–across our many segregated cities and suburbs–the heavily African American cities would be on their own (Ecorse, which is 40% African American, is the one real exception to the general rule that the cities that have been in and out of EFM status are majority African American). And even though the racism in the state isn’t as bad as it once was, the legacy of that go-it-alone approach means the cities that will be targeted for EFM status remain predominantly African American.
Over 82% of Detroit’s 713,777 residents are African American (close to 7% are Latinos). 42% of all of MI’s 1,403,477 African Americans live in Detroit.
In fact, as Eclectablog and I calculated today, 49% of MI’s African Americans will soon be living in a city the elected government of which has been replaced by the state.
Almost half the African Americans in the state.
The intent of this EFM law may not be to take away the right of local self-governance from one particular race of people. But we’re getting very close to the point where it will have done so for the majority of African Americans in MI.