Friday, November 4, 2011

Motor City Assault on Bus Driver

Incidents like this are exactly why I no longer live in Detroit or go too far out of my way to constantly defend it against vindictive people who would seek to say that this is typical of all Detroiters. For the record, it's not typical of all Detroiters or even most Detroiters. Like anywhere most Detroiters are people just trying to make it to the next day.
That said though, Detroit obviously has a crime problem. It's out of hand not just because of the number of crimes-assaults, robberies, murders, burglaries, rapes, etc but because of the random nature of these crimes. They can literally happen anywhere. What a bitter ugly irony that an assault on a Black bus driver just trying to do his job takes place in a center named after the late Detroit heroine, Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks died for this nonsense.

Watch Video Here

A walk-out by at least 100 Detroit Department of Transportation bus drivers today has crippled service for bus riders across the city of Detroit.
DDOT passengers have been left stranded throughout the city as drivers say they are afraid to board the buses after one was attacked on a bus Thursday.
Gaffney said two officers inside the station did not help, and Detroit Police officers arrived 30 minutes after the beating started. The driver was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released, Gaffney said.
"One of my drivers getting beaten down in the middle of the Rosa Parks Transit Center -- that's what's crazy in this city," Gaffney said. “I don’t know what’s going on with Detroit. Detroit is just going to hell to tell you the truth," said Horace Adams, 60, of Detroit, as he waited at the Rosa Parks Transit Center today. "Ain’t nothing running right."   Full Article

"Ain’t nothing running right"-That pretty much sums up the city. Now of course things like this can and do happen anywhere but the fact of the matter is they are more common in Detroit-and via the media-have become virtually synonymous with Detroit. Southeast Michigan always ranks among the top 10 most segregated areas in the country, something which brings other economic costs to the region. Bottom line, racist or not, no one wants to live or work in a city where there's a good chance they'll get assaulted doing simple things like buying a newspaper, dropping a child off at school or driving a bus.

Until the perception and reality of crime is dealt with in the city we will never see any true revival. More and more people will move out and Detroit will be left with an unwieldy core of dead-ender nationalists, public sector workers, suburban hipsters, and people who are literally too old or too poor to move. This would not be a good thing. This perception and reality of crime in Detroit also impacts the surrounding suburbs as black flight and white flight play themselves out from generation to generation while outsiders, leery of the entire area, question locating businesses in SE Michigan-ESPECIALLY Detroit.

Now I know the probable underlying reasons for this activity-lack of self love, internalized racism, inability to define masculinity outside of violence, short tempers calculated to show potential predators that you're not prey, low education, lack of jobs, blah, blah, blah. And FWIW I mostly believe in those causal factors. But of course I am sure that none of that was going through the bus driver's mind while he was being assaulted. All he wanted was for it to stop. And in my experience the only way to stop such incidents is by either the immediate application of a superior amount of force or by the fear of such force being applied.

So how do you get these things to stop?
Is it time for a Giuliani type mayor to be elected in Detroit?
Does Detroit need massive numbers of police fanning out to shake down Detroiters in search of warrants or other illegal activity?
Should bus drivers be allowed to carry weapons? Should National Guardsmen be called in?
If you were on that bus or in the area would you have intervened?
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