It’s understandable why some thoughtful people would prefer to interpret the controversy over Detroit’s emergency management arrangements and bankruptcy (conditions imposed by a Republican-dominated state government) in terms of balanced budgets, lean expenses, and local fiscal responsibility. Doing so helps both white racists and liberals avoid addressing how and why race has tracked so closely with the fiscal and social fates of Michigan’s cities and the hostility of one of the state’s political parties toward them.
One man is willing to face the issue head on: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who I suppose is envisioning launching rations by catapult across Eight Mile.
“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’”
More on Patterson here, in the New Yorker article that first published his remarks.