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  1. #1
    48009 Guest

    Default Do people regret the 1967 riot?

    Growing up in Chicago, I know very little about Detroit history, and was only a toddler when this event occurred. But from what I hear, Detroit was the most socially progressive city in the nation [Detroit's black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent. It was not despair that fueled the riot.], but for some reason the most devastating racial riot occurred here. The people with means fled the city for the suburbs and Detroit entered a downward spiral, and has never recovered.

    But there was also a small racial riot in 1943. Did this event already put people in motion to flee the city for the suburbs or did the majority start fleeing in the late 60s?
    Last edited by 48009; July-10-13 at 12:11 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Detroit was progressive in the 60s? I'd never stepped foot in Michigan until '09, so I may be way off base but Detroit sounded racist as hell during that time frame.

  3. #3

    Default

    Progressive? no, unless compared to, say, Mississippi. Housing discrimination was the rule. It was, however, a place where African Americans could earn a decent living and own a house

  4. #4

    Default

    A large part of why the riots occurred was that Detroit was NOT progressive. There may have been the right things being said by a few at the top which lent to an illusion that things were changing, but in law enforcement, employment, housing, attitudes and many other areas it was same old, same old.

  5. #5

    Default

    Yes, by 1967, Detroit was in full white flight. By 1967, "they" had reached Schaefer, and the neighborhoods east were in full changeover, while those west were in panic sale mode, mile by mile. The insurrection merely solidified attitudes that were already fully active.

  6. #6
    48009 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
    Detroit was progressive in the 60s? I'd never stepped foot in Michigan until '09, so I may be way off base but Detroit sounded racist as hell during that time frame.
    For African Americans, apparently the home ownership, pay and education rates were the highest in the country. But somehow, Detroit was the worst riot. Doesn't seem very justified.

  7. #7
    48009 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gazhekwe View Post
    Yes, by 1967, Detroit was in full white flight. By 1967, "they" had reached Schaefer, and the neighborhoods east were in full changeover, while those west were in panic sale mode, mile by mile. The insurrection merely solidified attitudes that were already fully active.
    So the riots exacerbated the flight, if nothing else? Well, and destroyed much of the city.

  8. #8

    Default

    Back in the 1950s, Wayne, Genessee, and Iron counties were the only
    t blue counties in the state. The other eighty counties were solid red. That being said, the white Democratic vote in Michigan was economically progressive, but not socially progressive.

  9. #9
    48009 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hermod View Post
    Back in the 1950s, Wayne, Genessee, and Iron counties were the only
    t blue counties in the state. The other eighty counties were solid red. That being said, the white Democratic vote in Michigan was economically progressive, but not socially progressive.
    According to economist Thomas Sowell:[71]
    Before the ghetto riot of 1967, Detroit's black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent. It was not despair that fueled the riot. It was the riot which marked the beginning of the decline of Detroit to its current state of despair. Detroit's population today is only half of what it once was, and its most productive people have been the ones who fled.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 48009 View Post
    So the riots exacerbated the flight, if nothing else? Well, and destroyed much of the city.
    '67 was the ton of bricks that broke the camel's back when a straw could have done it. Folks did not suddenly pick up and move out en masse in the immediate aftermath. Instead movement away continued at its already steady pace.

    Much of city was not destroyed. At most 10-20 square miles of Detroit's 140 were affected and only a handful of those affected severely. Downtown was almost untouched.

    The expressway system had matured. Combined with federal and local subsidization of new housing and development, a newly instituted city income tax, block-busting real estate agents and the simple yearning for bigger, newer houses with big yards a perfect storm for the suburban movement was in place.

  11. #11
    DarkestbeforedawnDetroit Guest

    Default

    Detroit used to have the highest median income in the country. Where people could get paid good money for very unskilled work. With that being said, Detroit was very progressive. IMO EVERYBODY is to blame for what happened to Detroit. Bkack white rich poor suburban urban media politics on all levels. The 67' riots were just the catalyst to the inevitable. History shows cities that rely purely on manufacturing during a societies industrial era ALWAYS FALL if the do not adapt and diversify their economy. Detroit was akways and still is racist frankly. Realistically it doesnt matter it happened lets get over it. In Detroit we tend to look back too much and we need to stop.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 48009 View Post
    According to economist Thomas Sowell:[71]
    Before the ghetto riot of 1967, Detroit's black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent. It was not despair that fueled the riot. It was the riot which marked the beginning of the decline of Detroit to its current state of despair. Detroit's population today is only half of what it once was, and its most productive people have been the ones who fled.
    You're reading the wrong damn Thomas.

  13. #13

    Default

    You're right. You do know very little about Detroit history.

  14. #14

    Default

    Well the 1967 riot was NOT about race. It about how crooked the Detroit Police force (which was 90% white at the time) was keeping hoodlums from loitering corner bars, liquor stores, joining gangs and doing drugs in the once middle class neighborhoods. Blacks and white folks all over Metro-Detroit area definitely REGRET the mess we make and here we are today talking about the problems on the local and national media and taking the word out in the streets like it some part of a diluted gospel. The 1967 12th Street riot came with a Nain Rouge Curse! White folks left Detroit in droves. Black folks stayed and occupy its once middle class neighborhoods. Nain Rouge itself apply the curse to make black Detroiters suffer mentally and physically. Detroit today is Mad Max, Steel Dawn, World War Z, Damnation Alley, 1984, I'm Legend, Oblivion, and Elysium ect... All rolled up in One. It's ghettos are like Beirut, Rome, Babylon, Nineveh, Athens and Baghdad. crunched up. It's going to take a LONG, LONG TIME. to clean up the mess we make.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by antongast View Post
    You're reading the wrong damn Thomas.
    You are correct ! While Thomas Sowell is a fine economist, he has a right wing agenda and his interpretation of events reflects that.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by firstandten View Post
    You are correct ! While Thomas Sowell is a fine economist, he has a right wing agenda and his interpretation of events reflects that.
    Agreed. I actually enjoy reading him but I take it all with a huge grain of salt.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    5,067

    Default

    I would say Detroit was a relatively progressive place in 1967.

    The mayor was a liberal technocrat, renowned throughout the country for his data-driven decisonmaking, and elected with strong support from blacks.

    The black community had the highest median income and highest homeownership rate in the U.S.

    Many academics believe that unrest is more likely to occur in good times rather than bad. It's more that expectations outpace reality, or so goes the theory. If you look at the major episodes of unrest in recent U.S. history, they tend to have taken place in times of plenty, rather than times of struggle.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 48009 View Post
    For African Americans, apparently the home ownership, pay and education rates were the highest in the country. But somehow, Detroit was the worst riot. Doesn't seem very justified.
    African-Americans were disproportionately in the South. So to say that something is better than pre-civil rights southern Alabama doesn't mean much because that standard is pretty damn low.

    On a side note, I have my own theory as to why you didn't see similar riots in the South but it's purely speculative. I think the portion of the Southern black population that would get sick of it and react did just that...and they left for other areas, got the eff out. The black population's mentality towards inequality back home (my family included) is way more...docile/subservient than up here. It's just bred into the culture down there from the days of slavery I guess. I mean, you had Southerners siccing dogs, blowing up churches and killing children and what do you get...a damn sit in? Meanwhile, in Detroit, bust up a party, oh hell no, burn the city! Anyways, that's just my anecdotal guess. Up here, blacks worked alongside whites in factories and made good money, owned houses - I'm sure that actually made it harder to take second class citizenship in other facets of life compared to back down South, where you never even got a chance to get that thought that you were "as good as white folk."
    Last edited by TexasT; July-10-13 at 01:30 PM.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 48009 View Post
    For African Americans, apparently the home ownership, pay and education rates were the highest in the country. But somehow, Detroit was the worst riot. Doesn't seem very justified.
    Right, great pay and education only served to burst the illusion that the American Dream was open to minorities. There were tons of restrictive covenants and unwritten rules keeping gainfully employed, educated people in slums. Their inability to demonstrate upward mobility due to racism made them work that much harder but gave excuse seekers ammunition as well.

  20. #20

    Default

    I think it's tough to get a good grasp because issues are much more complex than political ideologues and historical revisionists like to portray.

    I don't know how many times I've heard people that lived in Detroit during the riots say things like "Everybody left after the riots" when the population was already in rapid decline before the riot. Riots, terrorism, and even warfare usually do not kill cities. LA did not spiral into a decline after a 90's race riot. NYC did not plummet into oblivion after 9/11. Berlin did not stay abandoned after WWII. When people want to rebuilt or reinvest...they will. So riots cannot destroy a city on its own (which is why the '43 riot did not have a long-lasting effect). Detroit probably would have been very similar today even if the '67 riot had not happened. It just serves as a convenient scapegoat/nice narrative for those that do not want to look more deeply at the social, economic, political, urban planning (and probably more) issues that contributed to the decline seen.

  21. #21

    Default

    How would we regret something that many (most) of us aren't old enough to have participated in?

    But let's entertain this (ridiculous) notion that some riots that occurred nearly half a century ago spun Detroit into a decline from which it could never recover. How shaky would the fundamentals of 1967 Detroit need to be for that to be the root cause of Detroit's decline? Forty-something people died in the riots 50 years ago... But 3,000 people died in a terrorist attack in New York barely a decade ago yet NYC didn't suffer a massive population loss. More people died in the Los Angeles riots 20 years ago than died in the Detroit riots 46 years ago, yet Los Angeles never lost any population (and has also largely forgotten that they hosted the worst race riot in American history).

  22. #22
    48009 Guest

    Default

    Is it possible there were a bunch of bad apples that spoiled the bunch, who were generally happy with their success and situation?

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 48009 View Post
    Is it possible there were a bunch of bad apples that spoiled the bunch, who were generally happy with their success and situation?
    Why do you think they were generally happy with their success and situation?

  24. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
    Why do you think they were generally happy with their success and situation?
    Don't bother, T. This is straight-up right-wing trolling, trying to goose people who know the actual history with poorly informed rhetoric that gathers a few selective facts to support a self-serving narrative.

    What's the matter, guy? Freep boards just not cutting it for you?

  25. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    Don't bother, T. This is straight-up right-wing trolling, trying to goose people who know the actual history with poorly informed rhetoric that gathers a few selective facts to support a self-serving narrative.

    What's the matter, guy? Freep boards just not cutting it for you?
    First thought that popped up in my head was the guy at the Republican convention who wondered if slaves were thankful for all the free food and housing they got from their masters.

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