business placement

When $98.5 Million Is Not Nearly Enough

Detroit skyline by Shawn Wilson

Most of the global population has been conditioned to believe in the power of charity, particularly when charity is designated to communities of color. Through extensive and neverending community organizing, said communities are expected to be relentlessly grateful for even the idea of generosity from the upperclass echelons. For decades, this expectation has been reflected with effusive praise from mainstream media. However, the general public is beginning to notice the trends of how the upperclass echelons manipulate the local government into maintaining desperation within the working class, yet still expect the working class to be grateful for the charity.

Throughout the United States, the Rust Belt is held up as the proverbial mascot of what happens when corporations decide to rapidly divest in the communities that they once sustained. Detroit is one of the most vivid examples of cities that once held unions and multiple middle class neighborhoods of all ethnicities, now reduced to abandoned homes and a rising homeless population. As outsourcing began and the technology advanced, neighborhoods bled resources and many residents began relocating to find salaries and opportunities that might restore their equilibrium. In the minds of many businesses, Detroit was ripe for the taking.

The myth that colonialism has been abandoned still pervades society, for what is the takeover of Detroit but colonialism rebranded? Instead of looking at the neighborhoods and organizations that made their headquarters in Detroit, the local government could not wait to offer subsidies to companies that promised to revive many of the “good jobs” that nurtured the dwindling tax base. To look good for those companies, Detroit had to make sure that it looked as attractive as possible, and a large homeless population did not attract anyone. Therefore, the police force was deployed to sweep the streets and project the impression that Detroit was just waiting for the right investors.

Such a push to appeal to outside donors has left Detroit at odds with itself. Instead of many of the local organizations expanding or smaller companies using the opportunity for growth, Detroit has been in a constant state of limbo. Many of the longtime residents left, but new residents have been inspired to come to the “new and improved” Detroit that offers long-term job growth and real estate wealth by the fistful. In this way, Detroit is no different than any other city where the local government has decided that the land is available for the highest bidder, community be damned. What is also obvious to everyone within and without is that Detroit is willing to push out the vibrant Black community that has existed for decades which made Detroit the place where Black people had come to feel at home.

In the end, what has been left of Detroit has been yet another city where the wealth gap makes the working class feel discarded. Instead of growth that uplifted the entire city and recreated the former glory for all Detroit constituents, the local government has ensured that the only people to profit have been the people who already benefitted from the rest of the world. The homeless population still exists, and is increasing based on the premise that people should be able to get rich off their property in Detroit. Now that the racial demographics have changed, there has also been shift in recognizing who “belongs” in Detroit versus who is a threat. Even if the remaining Black residents mimic new, predominantly White organizations, they are perceived as trespassers in the garden of wealth for the upper echelons.

This is why no one is impressed by charity anymore. No longer can it be acceptable to deprive so many people of the chance to improve their circumstances while then demanding that those same people beg for pittances. At some point, it is crucial to comprehend that the United States does not have a homelessness problem, but a problem with a population that has no remorse for creating a homelessness problem. The billionaires of the country ravage the working class while commanding the mainstream media to portray the distress as incompetent fools. The only good news about this trend is that the populace is finally acknowledging that it has never been the working class that desired itself to be poor.

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