Detroit has a 75 percent drop out rate. You can only imagine the quality of the graduates of the school system, not that I am putting them down. I am humbled by their tenacity and dedication, traits more important than facts in a book. It's hard to imagine the difficulty in watching three-fourths of your classmates fall victim to assorted tragedies, the worst being a decrepit school system fueled by the apathy of the parents who don't give a damn about anything except fueling their self-absorbed narcotic cravings.
One student gets it.
“I think the bank bailouts are unnecessary. They don’t have the money to help the schools. The kids should come first. The president should be concerned about education. He should be concerned about the young generation—they are not helping us.
Twenty three over-crowded, under-funded schools in Detroit will close, with another 30 to follow next year. Six hundred teachers just lost their paltry paychecks.
She spoke of the overall decay of conditions in Detroit. “My whole family works for the car companies, and we have been hit hard. Because of what is happening, the schools are losing students and losing funding.
“Many of The kids at my school don’t think they have a future. They don’t think they will go to college. They don’t even think they will make it through high school. A lot of my students know someone who has been killed. I am hearing it more and more often.
“We have a lot of families at poverty level at my school. It seems we are getting them more and more often.”
She was angered by the payout of bonuses after insurer AIG got a government bailout. “Look at AIG; they are giving them everything they want. They should have put some sanctions on AIG and the banks. I owe more money on my house than it is worth. I don’t want to just walk away, because that just contributes to the problem in Detroit.
“I am struggling and I work. I have four jobs and I am a doctoral student. I have a good job as a teacher, but I can’t make ends meet on that one salary.”
Detroit will be the first city to fall. The municipal government is canceling police and fire services to blighted and dangerous areas of the city. It's going to be gang warfare until the ammo runs out. After that, scenes from Escape from New York and Running Man come to mind. The death of the auto industry put the final nails in the coffin. No one is bailing out Detroit. Bailouts and Stimulus checks aren't for the poor. Those that continue to loot will do so until stopped. While the poor remain as pawns of the pedophiles and misogynists that control the world. If there is an afterlife, are Bertrand Russel and Milton Friedman salivating with glee at the social and economic experiment they engineered? Two lost souls, betting on the destruction of mankind. It might be an interesting off Broadway drama populated by twenty-somethings wearing black and toting Kerouac, Che and Dostoevsky in their backpacks.
It's sad because there isn't a lot that can be done. One third of Detroit residents live in poverty. People need to take care of themselves, and this will involve much hardship, suffering, and ultimately deaths. It doesn't do any good to throw more resources into it, as every school district and municipality will be facing the same dilemma this year. No one will be immune. It's so sad to watch, knowing that not much can be done. People have to fight for their own freedom and their own destiny. And it is a fight.
It will be very difficult to maintain the idea that we are all in this together and we must all fight the oppression when we are fighting for scraps of food and shelter at night. The only way the government can maintain control is if society splinters into violent factions based upon race, nationality, gang affiliation, bank account balance, or any cultural divide than can be exploited. How do you reach into Detroit and tell those that will remain there to live in harmony? To focus their anger in a positive and revolutionary manner? And what right do I have to go in there as an outsider and suggest anything?
So I sit and watch, knowing that it won't take long until the first shots are fired, ignored because there is no police force. Buildings with squatters will burn, and no fire department to respond. I don't even know what the solution is. It is dependent upon those who live there and the communities they create for themselves. It's just hard to have hope with their dismal educational record and the inevitable increase in violent crime.
It's a sad time.