Shorter Rick Snyder: Black People Can Be Customers, Not Citizens

As Rick Snyder was announcing the takeover of Detroit’s government, paving the way for an Emergency Manager for the city, his staff tweeted out this:

“Citizens of #Detroit are the customers of the city, not just the citizens. We need to figure out how to provide them great service.”

It might be a nice sentiment (if many public services under Rick Snyder, especially education and services helping the poor, hadn’t already been cut to make way for tax cuts for businesses, and if the entire point of an EM weren’t to make further huge cuts to services).

Except that if and when Detroit officially gets an EM (there is an appeal process that will roll out over the next couple of weeks), the people of Detroit will, temporarily at least, lose their ability to elect representatives to run their city. Down the road, after Detroit has continued to disintegrate for 18 months (EMs have never turned around a city), elected representatives will be able to get rid of the EM. But until then, local democracy in Detroit will be dead.

And so at precisely the moment when Snyder moved to locally disenfranchise 40% of Michigan’s African Americans — leaving half of Michigan’s African Americans locally disenfranchised — he relabeled those African Americans (and Latinos, and remarkably few whites) “customers.”

Black people, Rick Snyder seems to be saying, can be customers, but they can’t be citizens.

We have spent the week talking about whether or not we still need a Voting Rights Act. Given the cynical new ways politicians are using to disenfranchise people of color, I say it’s time to expand it, not end it.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+1Email to someone

7 Responses to Shorter Rick Snyder: Black People Can Be Customers, Not Citizens

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @NC_Prime If you make clients cut bread subsidies at a time of already high unrest you're going to necessitate further repression.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NC_Prime That's part of the reason I said our neoliberal ideology can no longer work to ground imperialism.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @HMonotreme Tho your slavery point is key, agree. @NC_Prime
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @HMonotreme heroin isn't a part of our empire? cocaine? Much of Latin America disagrees on the latter. @NC_Prime
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NC_Prime Also leads the US to make stupid trade deals that gut our own manufacturing which will eventually hurt military readiness 2/2
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NC_Prime Adding, that to extent we HAVE an ideology it's neoliberalism that requires satellites succeed w/export economy that 1/2
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NC_Prime I think it gets to your issues of ROI on imperialism.
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NC_Prime I think imperialism always depends on ideology more than imperialists like to admit. We don't have a viable one.
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @NC_Prime: 7. If you think Imperialism is economically, let alone politically, viable in the 21st century I've got a Blockbuster franchi…
38mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeanVitka Well, I didn't give you the vocab, so only partial credit.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeanVitka Majority Leaders switch votes at least minute all the time for that reason--that's what lets him avoid invoking cloture again.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SeanVitka He needed to for parliamentary reasons. He can bring it up on Sunday bc he was on the losing side last time.
2hreplyretweetfavorite