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 Twitter19Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook10Google+2Email to someone

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

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @BeckyPallack Excellent job tweet covering it.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @kasie: Hey, America -- if you're unhappy with Washington, maybe look to the Scots and try voting in huge numbers. #rights #ScotlandDeci
43mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @robertcaruso Congress will give him the authority, they are too chicken not to, just go ahead and do it right.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @robertcaruso Tired of separation of powers being eroded
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @robertcaruso @nytimesworld And if that is Obama's tact, he should be impeached on the spot.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch Wow. I blew that off (yeah, Bai, you know) before seeing your tweet. Glad I read it. And you're right about the end. Jeez.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @Will_Bunch: Don Spirit has killed 4X as many Americans as ISIS
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JoshMBlackman @mucha_carlos Actually, my understanding is Virginia Seitz left OLC at least partially over the targeted killing of citizens.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@mls1776 @JoshMBlackman Actually Obama needs a nominee for head of OLC, maybe he should just go ahead an nominate John Yoo.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @mucha_carlos @JoshMBlackman Well OLC said no to Obama's Libya war as Josh pointed out. The hospital deal kind of different thing, but yeah.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @conor64: I keep hearing Americans are panicking over ISIS. D.C. is panicking. On the streets of America, no one is panicked. Ask around…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AntheaButler: but we go after ISIS because they are barbaric and we have people who shoot down their 6 grandchildren.....
2hreplyretweetfavorite