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
bmaz @benjaminwittes @gracels Doh, she is good! You may come through all this after all.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @primalpancake Sometimes hard to find bc they don't have much volume. Pretty far up Old Mission. Gorgeous facility, tho.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Phuc Kieu charges dropped: http://t.co/EmTNHsA4v3
56mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @VodkaPundit: If elected, I will kill the White House Thanksgiving turkey with my bare hands on national TV. #Vodka2016
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jbendery Must be the new (first ever female) pastry chef showing off. @kate_sheppard
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Thanks Be for Michigan’s Bounty — Better Load Up for Another Tough Winter https://t.co/1xWOOkZ3YC
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @benjaminwittes @RosenzweigP Paul is a nice chap, you should not wish such hell on him.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I hereby call for appointment of a special prosecutor to deal with the federal crimes of @benjaminwittes http://t.co/xtREtMxGoE
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @TylerCullis: Glad to see NYTimes editorial identify @AIPAC as "hardliners". | 'Too Important to Slip Away' via @nytimes http://t.co/N58
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Pie for breakfast? Why, yes, I believe I will.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz This is serious throat punch territory. So, so, so wrong RT @erinscafe Also, pecan pie is a) disgusting b) not really a pie
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @zefirotorna If there are bigger pieces of human scum at this time on earth than McCulloch and @GovJayNixon it's hard to fathom who they are
12hreplyretweetfavorite