Detroit City Council Would Like To Remind You They're Not Slaves Any More

Playing the race card every time a contentious issue arises is a bit played out, except in Detroit. The following summary is pulled from a longer article in The Detroit News.

The Detroit City Council has rejected a proposal to transfer daily operations of the Detroit Zoo to the Detroit Zoological Society, saying the administration waited too long to bring such a major change to them. In response Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s administration has started the process of terminating all Detroit Zoo employees and is moving ahead with plans to close the award-winning facility.

One of the council members who voted against the plan says that a state deadline amounted to unfair pressure by small-town legislators on the city to relinquish control of the zoo. She and other council members were angered by numerous calls and e-mails made to their offices by suburbanites critical of the council’s vote. Some of the council members took the e-mails as veiled racism.

“This is not a plantation,” Collins said. “We are not owned by everyone else. Black folks are not owned by white folks anymore. I made the point Saturday that the state Legislature was pimping the City of Detroit, and that we should not play the role of prostitute. That upset a lot of people, but I stand by my words. The symbolism is that Detroit is a black city, and we’re not able to govern ourselves. It’s a racist attitude and I resent it.”

Collins said she thought the council would meet with the society and Kilpatrick when the mayor gets back from Africa, where he is on a fact-finding trip with his mother, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and other members of Congress. But no set plans for meetings or hearings had been made by Monday evening.That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the Detroit, the 2000’s version of Marion Barry’s “mayor for life” era in Washington DC. Have pity on its residents…

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