The city of Detroit cannot exist in the future based on the present and its immediate past. If we want a Detroit that is reminiscent of the so-called glory days, everyone needs to get on the same page.
A new Detroit is only possible if the blame game becomes a thing of the past; no more playing the victim and everyone just embrace one another regardless of race, creed, sexuality, religion or skin color.
This constantly being bogged down by the Kwame debacle is doing a disservice to the good citizens of Detroit and the trail cannot come to an end soon enough. Regardless of where you stand with regard to the former mayor, please be honest and admit that he has been the victim of his own doing; nothing more, nothing less.
I am sick of hearing that he was brought down based on the fact that he was this powerful man of color that failed to know his place. That is complete hogwash and when he looks in the mirror, I hope that he can understand that the image he sees is the responsible party.
His successor, not the interim guy, but Dave Bing, is someone who just jumped into the fire without realizing that it was too hot for him. Regardless of all the hoopla and stories of success that came with his arrival, Mayor Bing has been a major failure. I hope that his ego does not get the best of him, which would result in another run at the mayor’s seat. Someone needs to tell him to bow out gracefully.
Which brings me to the potential successors for the job of mayor of Detroit. Those who have announced already (Fred Durhal Jr. and Lisa Howze) make one go ‘Huh!?” Then there are those with the exploratory committees – Mike Duggan and Benny Napoleon. I have said it before and will do so again, Detroit’s leadership till is bankrupt. If the best that a city with so many problems can do is recycle people from one role to another, then a renaissance will never happen. Lee Iaccoca was right when he selected the title “Where have all the leaders gone?” for a recent book of his.
If Detroit wants to become the place that it thinks it can be once again, someone needs to step up and say, “I am that person.” We need someone who may not be familiar to most people but who has the credibility to build some trust amongst the citizens. We need someone who would not be beholden to special interests – the business community, labor, community groups or those dreaded pulpit pimps.
Detroit needs someone fresh, with integrity and the demeanor to stand their ground and stand up for the people without having to carry the load of some hidden agenda. We need someone to take a long hard look at the resources and talent pool available and place people in roles based on them earning it, not because it is a return on a debt or promise.
What I am saying is that the current pool of potential mayoral candidates is not indicative of how I see Detroit going forward. Detroit is at a point in its lifetime where just settling on a recognizable name to lead it will not do. I am hoping that the next mayor has not made his or her intentions known yet.
However, if all we have to choose from are those that have shown interest thus far, I encourage the Detroit electorate to play close attention to the associations that the candidates have and become informed voters. This name game/name recognition crap has got to end because in the end, the only ones who are negatively impacted are the citizens. Detroit’s problems are a direct result of far too many voters not being able to look beyond the name of the candidate.
What is your Detroit? It can only become a thing to be proud of once taking ownership of the voting process and holding those that you elect accountable becomes the norm.