Maybe one of my solutions to fix Detroit is a little extreme. I said we should kill everybody 50 years of age and over during my radio show “The Valenti and Foster Show”.
I am not actually in favor of killing those folks because I would be one of the casualties. However, it is time to kill the 1960s mentality that has cripped the Detroit area for decades. We must kill the great divide between blacks and whites, city people and suburbanites.
We must kill the thinking of the old white woman who proudly proclaims “I haven’t crossed 8 Mile Road in 25 years and I don’t plan to any time soon.”
We must kill the mentality of the old black guy who lives in poverty but does not want white money to build the city ”because they are trying to take over our city.”
We must kill the mentality of the white person that when a bum shakes a cup begging for money goes home and talks about how they almost got robbed downtown.
We need to eliminate the thinking of the black person who views white people as the blue eyed devil.
We must kill the fears some people have of walking downtown inside the comfort of thousands of Tigers fans before or after a game.
Detroit is one of the most polorizing cities in the nation. We still live behind walls of mistrust and anger. That is why I do not believe the light rail will work. That is why I do not believe the neighborhoods will be revitalized and it is why I do not see Detroit bouncing back.
We’ve fought over the zoo, Cobo Center, Belle Isle, 8 Mile, Tiger Stadium and water.
It is time to stop the fighting and actually get along and rebuild this city.
There are forward thinking people with great game plans that seem like they would work to heal this city. They might actually work in places like Seattle, Houston or San Antonio. They won’t work here because some of us still live in fear and ignorance.
But there is a ray of light. It is young people. You can make Detroit work because you do not carry around the scars of the past. You did not witness the riots. You did not go through the civil rights movement. You did not run from Detroit to the suburbs. You did not see your neighbors killed like dogs by the police. You are our hope.
You might actually have a friend who does not look like you. You might not live in fear having a neighbor that does not look like you. And you might actually move into a neighborhood where everybody does not look and think like you.
Please take the baton from us older folks because we did not do it right. We cut hatred and fear into our hearts and scars remain. You are more clean and pure.
Learn from our mistakes and take Detroit to the next level. You are our only hope.