Is Detroit Ripe For Civil Unrest?

By Vickie Thomas

Inflammatory remarks made by a Detroit minister have some metro Detroiters worried about possible civil unrest in the city as it deals with a financial crisis that likely will require state intervention.

During a public meeting Monday of the state review team charged with looking at the severity of Detroit’s financial woes, Minister Malik Shabazz told the panel its actions and those by Governor Rick Snyder amount to white supremacy and that he would burn the city down before letting the state takeover.

In a media release, Rev. Horace Sheffield, III, head of the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO) puts the simmering debate over what some perceive as a state takeover of its largest city in historical perspective.

(Read the entire statement here)

In an interview with WWJ, Sheffield said he does not condone Shabazz’s remarks.  But, he said they should send a powerful message to all stakeholders.  “We have to sit down and have some real conversation about how people really feel.  I think Malik probably understands that there is a smoldering, simmering sentiment in this city that if sparked could certainly ignite the wrong kind of explosion.”

Are conditions ripe for such an explosion?  “This is probably the worst I’ve ever seen it.  People are utterly frustrated … when people make comments that this has been going on for the last 30 years, it ignores the historical context of withdrawal of the middle class, white flight and all kinds of other forms of economic deprivation that has been  visited upon us” said Sheffield.

“I know Malik … and I think what he’s saying is that people are so frustrated over things in Detroit that they are prepared to do some uncivil things.”  Sheffield adds, “What I’m saying is that we have to find a way to have some conversation that people can hear how people feel and find a way to try to address it.”

Critics of state intervention, which could include appointing an emergency manager to oversee Detroit’s finances, say it’s a voting rights issue because the mayor and city council could be stripped of power and collective bargaining agreements could be wiped out.

RELATED:  Patterson: Detroit A ‘Tinderbox’ Headed For Unrest, Bankruptcy

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  • Mors Hostibus

    Thinly veiled threat to burn the city down if they are not allowed to spend money that they do not have. Typical response out of the racial grievance industry. The skies are darkening as poverty pimps descend on Detroit. Vulture JezzyJackson hit Detroit after feasting on Trayvon and his family in Florida. Sharpy will be next in town.

    The only way to get Detroit back on track is to kick the democrats to the curb. Since Detroit will not do this…and they want to keep on spending money mooched from non-Detroiters, loan after loan, promise after promise, they need strict adult supervision. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS DETROIT!!!! THIS IS NOT A BLACK THING!! IT IS REALITY!! DETROIT’S DEBT IS SO LARGE THAT THEY CANNOT EARN OR TAX THEIR WAY TO SOLVENCY. SINCE THEY CANNOT AND WILL NOT MAKE ADULT DECISIONS, THEN THEY NEED ONGOING GUIDANCE. THE POVERTY PIMPS ARE THROWING FITS…WE SHOULD CALL THEIR BLUFF….GO AHEAD BURN IT DOWN…PATHETICALLY STUPID.

    • Kenny Cadillac

      Who in their right mind, sorry I forgot, fanatcis like this are not in their right mind, would condone burn down their own city. As if the City doesn’t have enough problems of it’s own. Also, why does this always have to turn into a racial thing when 2 races are involved? Why don’t Detroiters have the outarge that the residents in Florida do over the shooting of Trayvon? Is it because the shooter was white and killed a black youth? Is it any less of a tragedy when a balck teenager in Detroit kills a much younger black child? If you’re really serious about the comments of burrning down the city, please do us all a favor and save us some tax money by doing it.

      • sheri

        The shooter was Hispanic. Why is everyone saying it was a black on white crime ??? Makes for better news I guess.

      • Chris Edens

        Sheri: It doesn’t make a great headline! I guess we should all be calling Obama a “White Black” since suddenly White have varying level of shades.

        As soon as they called Zimmerman White I knew where it was going..

        On Topic: I hope Detroit finds it’s footing and comes to a peaceful resolution that works for all as best as possible. Violence and social unrest is expensive and most certainly won’t bring any fiscal relief to the situation.

  • Is Detroit Ripe For Civil Unrest?

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  • Bugs Bunny

    Doc Thompson, 1270 WXYT and fornerly (fired) of WRVA and 700WLW radio talk show host and sometimes fill-in for the nut-case Glenn Beck, and Tea Party Darling, hides behind a cloak of satire so he can defend his hate speech by saying “can’t you take a joke?” If it is not Muslims, it is African-Americans or Hispanics at the end of his sharp, hateful, mean-spirited forked tongue. In this segment, his use of the recorded word “Negro” over and over is his attempt at dissing African-Americans. Racist to the core.

    Silly Negro Mountain

    • Joe American

      Not germane.

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  • Joe American

    And we wonder why people are moving out of Detroit, and it cant’ attract new business or young people. Sad, very sad…

    I hear more hate speech from black ministers than I do from any white people.

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  • sheri

    The Rev loves to hold his racism flag high in the air…really high. We all see thru you Rev. Its about time people start speaking out against this type of behavior ! Detroit is a total mess ! …full of crooks, criminals…and Im not talking about the residents. Im talking about the politicans that are screaming racism to keep the state from looking at the books. The residents of Detroit need to start paying attention to what their elected criminals are doing, you are being robbed blind.

    • mike alexander

      from a former rdetroit resident born and raised 1949-1969 my father worked for the city so by law we had to live there I watched a fine city deteriorate over the years close to two million pop.during this time and look at it now and we all know the REAL reason it has evolved into what it is today to address the real causes over the years would come across as racial it doesn,t make any difference if they are true the negroes dont want to hear it because there is always someone or something to blame for their problems or the white libeals who feel guilty for being white I agree with shabazz burn it down maybe they will do it right this time

  • A Detroit Native

    I reiterate today’s Detroit is the result of racism, both black and white. I place more blame on the white man because he left the city over many decades and took his money, connections and ability. The collapse of Detroit is due to white flight, not black. Detroit’s rapid population rise 100 years ago from auto work, now gone, forced many cultures together into a toxic blend. Hatred, bigotry, suspicion, fear and ignorance have sustained both black and white since 1943 and 1967 battles. Will we observe a 35th anniversary display?

    • A Detroit Native

      I beg pardon for my math. Make that a 45th anniversary

      • Jim

        It’s too easy Mr. D. Native. White people got tired of being victims. And didn’t one of the now natives claim the city is for blacks? Just askin’!

  • LugNut

    What is there left to burn?

  • johnboy6528

    The Governor is an idiot !!! Mayor Bing is trying to work with him and others and he is not getting any satisfaction

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  • nik

    Maybe the City of Detroit could buy some Mega Millions tickets?!?

    Seriously though, why invest in a losing proposition?

  • David

    Burn it down. Maybe you’ll like living in ashes instead.

  • byrdhill

    Detroit’s issue is the pension and healthcare of the thousands of suburbanites who are retired from the City of Detroit. If the City chooses not to pay those pensions it will easily solve its dilemma. When those pensions were negotiated it was calculated that people would die by age 68. As a Detroiter in my mid forties, I do not desire to pay for people who continually put me down as I shell out my hard earned money for those who hardly contributed to their own pension For all those people who are receiving those pensions, please sit down and shut up.


  • Demetra

    You have got remarkable info on this web-site.

  • tdh

    Yes, it is a very inappropriate comment.

    ALL of us need to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for our situations. BLAMING OTHERS has never worked for me, or anyone else. Black, White Hispanic, Asian, whoever. Everyone from Detroit is pointing at everyone else as the cause of their problems. LOOK IN A MIRROR.

  • paul

    malik shabazz. are you related to that racist black panther leader. you`re a race hater just like him.
    burn the friggin city down? who cares.
    i feel sorry for the decentfolk in your city.
    anyone with any brains would welcome help, but you racist always have to make this about race.
    if the state had any sense it would just let you go bankrupt.
    you want it you got it.

  • Mary

    Burn everything in sight. Then maybe, just maybe the whites will rebuild the city again.

  • Ellen

    Did everyone forget that when Mayor Coleman Young was in office for all those years he refused help from the white people / business owners?
    He was the person who began Detroit’s ruin – not the white people leaving.
    I grew up in Detroit in the 70’s and I will not drive east of Telegraph Road if I can help it.

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