State of the City 2007

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick gave his state of the city report last night and there are a lot of great things happening in Detroit. New housing developments, new business’, parks, recreation centers, positive international recognition were all highlighted in the mayor’s report but what was most important to me was the community discussion.

The Mayor outlined specifically that the responsibility to take back the streets and curb crime is not a one sided issue. It does involve police officers but it also involves neighbors specifically parents disciplining their children. Children have been running some neighborhoods into the ground getting involved in crime and bad behavior. We as adults have to retake our families back and as the mayor said, “I have studied African American history thoroughly and there is no conspiracy against us. It’s black people killing black people.”

He is right. It is us. We don’t take care of our neighborhoods, our seniors, our kids. It has all come back to haunt us. A young black man was killed a week ago because he drove through the wrong neighborhood driving the wrong color for a car. It was presumed that because he was driving a blue car that for a gang initiation a random blue car must be chosen. Folks this is not a movie or the bestseller of the week. This is our life and we are losing the battle for the next generation. I ask the question “Who will take care of us when we are old and unable to care for ourselves?”

At the rate that we are going there will be no one available to take care of us. We must act now as the mayor has asked us to do so. We must be parents again and discipline our children. Remember, we are supposed to show them the way not the other way around. Let’s stand up for our community and make it the place where family, community and respect matter!

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