There is a truth that can’t be denied: Racism is not something that can be eliminated by laws.
National laws passed forcing people to do things they don’t want to do create hardcore hatred for the government – but do nothing to change peoples’ views. Busing and housing laws that tried to integrate schools and communities in the ‘60s and ‘70s only made people hate more – and want less government. The people Republicans appealed to in the ‘80s hated the laws that tried to make them do things.
There is something happening in Detroit that will test the long-term impact of many of the laws of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The fact is there are no inconsequential experiences in life. If you experienced an act of racism by your government or another person, then it is harmful to your psyche.
The people of this city are engaged in a race that will test the sagacity of those over 60 and good will of those under 40. The people that had little or no Detroit riot experience don’t see the same city as those that lived the experience.
Can the two generations become one in a city election the same way they did in the national election? Or will the voters in 2013 vote based on their experiences in a Detroit that led the blacks of the city to rioting? Is a white man running in a post-1973 Detroit mayoral race an anachronism? Will the citizens that go to the polls in August and November vote blind of color or race?
Is that possible? Or can we acknowledge the color of the candidates but assign no value to their color or race?