Well if we consider the political economist data analysis on unemployment rates, this looks pretty darn good for President Obama, the unemployment rate for this quarter is now at a low of 5.5% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the economy is growing gradually at 3%.
Well if we consider the political economist data analysis on unemployment rates, this looks pretty darn good for President Obama, the unemployment rate for this quarter is now at a low of 5.5% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the economy is growing gradually at 3%. We should all be whooping and ecstatic about this unemployment stat shouldn’t we? The answer is yes if you are any race other than African-American (AA). While the national unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since 2007 (5%), the African-Americans are exclusively left behind. African-Americans unemployment rate drop down to only 1% at 10.4% and largely can be attributed to African-American women exclusively being at 8.9% while the men are at 10.4%. Whites americans are at 4.7% and Asians at a staggering low of 4%. If the national unemployment rate was at 10.4% that would be considered catastrophe, “Great Depression” would occur, so do you get my drift?
In 1963 the Equals Pay Act was ratified, it was a victory for the civil rights movement along with the feminist movement. In this day in age feminist has something to whoop about, they can declare victory over socioeconomic inequality challenges, especially white women, they beat their white male counterparts at an unemployment rate of 4.2%, that’s two times lower than the (AA) women rate black feminist.
Due to the booming market, the Federal Reserves are projected to raise interest rates in June of this year, hence breaking their pledge on keeping interest rates near zero for some considerable time. Currently the Federal Reserves has a balance of $4.4 trillion. Ray Dalio, a well respected bussinessman who’s worth 15.2 billion and founder of the $165 billion investment firm Bridgewater Associates stated this will crash the economy market similar to what happen in 1937 of the great depression. By the end of this year it is forecast that the interest rate will go up to 1-1.25%, 2016 (2.85%) and by 2017 (3.75%). Right now inflation is negative, which is good for the economy, imports are at an astonishing low of -9.4%, fuel imports alone in January this year was at -19%. Meaning inflation is below zero, that’s good for the economy, but if interest rates are raised we are potentially looking at a domino effect that will inadvertently affect employment rates. The reason is because employers return investment will lower which in turn will raise up the price index on goods . This will make international traders more reserve to play in the economy which will trickle down to rigorous budget cost by manufacturers, then staffing cuts, leading to higher unemployment rates once again.
There were 5,375 black deaths from murders last year according to The Justice Department. Only 46% of the homicides were recorded with offenders (2,491), 90% of the recorded data were black offenders. The rest of the 54% murders have unknown offenders.
The Justice Department statistics on justifiable homicides have been completely inaccurate for decades. Justice Department records all data of crime via its program called the Uniform Crime Report Progam (UCRP) created in 1929 assigned in charge were the FEDS. Last year 461 justifiable police killings were recorded last year by the Justice Department. That number is base off only justifiable homicides not inclusive of unjustifiable homicides. Which is still incomplete because since reporting police killings is volunteer and not mandated, police agency rarely submit information on police killings. United States has 17,975 police agency in the U.S only 780 participates in the UCR program in submitting data on police killings, that’s only 4% of the nation’s agencies. Part of the non particpating 96% is New York who ranks (1st) in the highest density of African Americans has not submitted data on police killings since 2007, Florida (2nd) has not submitted since 1997 and Illinois (4th) submits incomplete data.
Independent organizations like ProPublica have recorded over 1,700 police killings alone since May of 2013. Most of those victims are not being reported by the local authority to the Justice Department, which means, those victims still go into the homicide report, but maybe as offender unknown. Consider if we were giving even half of the information on police killings, would there then be a different discussion on prioritizing our focus on black on black crime over police killings on black people?
If you have ever seen a video or been to a Man 2 Man meet you know exactly where this chant comes from. This is the call of New Era Detroit, a movement rooted in the concrete of one of the most volatile cities in the world. NED is high voltage, aggressive and rugged yet filled with an angry love of righteous passion. These young men and women fill busy intersections with words of love, stopping traffic, demanding attention laying claim to the neighborhoods they have grown tired of watching deteriorate. To the established order this act is a threat.
Several months ago I had the privilege of meeting the founder of New Era Detroit. We met in a time of crisis. Someone close to me had been violated and though he did not know her personally he took it upon himself to challenge the status quo of apathy and inaction that has possessed many of our young men and women. He teamed up with my dear friend Negus Vu where they spent countless hours patrolling neighborhoods in search of a true to life evil villain. Together they came to “Better Man Outreach” (BMO) and organized an awareness patrol. To me they were heroes but they thanked us as if we were the chosen ones. This humble act surprised me.
Since then I have watched them. From what I have assessed they promote black owned businesses, safe streets, the end of senseless violence and black love. Instead of waiting for the people they step to the people and demanded their ear. New Era Detroit answers when called upon. They boarded up a house for an elder who grew tired of drug scavengers tearing up one of the scabs on her block. Door to door they spread their message. This is a threat.
Since all of the work they have put in many of their gatherings are swirled with the ever-present thorn striped American Flag. Blue and red lights flashing with white enforcers masked in stoic expressions and the ever-present death issued violence keeper at their hip. With sheer determination and courage the young warriors continue with their chants of love, raising the flag of their black pride and stand tall. I commend these warriors and you should too.
One thing we should be asking ourselves is why are the police so worried about a small traffic jam. Why are they video taping people who promote black love, black economic empowerment and door to door union building? We know why but sit back and think on it. People in orange suits jam up traffic every day. Brown outs are common in the black communities. Last summer the power in 48204 was out of commission for a week straight, in the homes and at the traffic lights. I know for certain there was no police to keep peace, direct traffic or hand out water or food for people whose groceries were spoiled. Yet when the Red Black and Green lays claims to the streets for a few hours to sermonize love and harmony the troops come out. We all know of blocks in Detroit, Highland Park, Brightmore and several other areas that are drug strips, the police often times better than the average citizen. Where is the mass police disruption and presence? Isn’t that a severe contradiction? A group of young warriors lay claim to the streets spreading love and are watched while another group of people congregate for drugs and it continues on unmoved. There is a strip in Scony land that has been operating this way since I was a teenager, it is occasionally swept, yet every Man 2 Man meet as of late has been hassled.
I write this article to remind the people that we cannot allow the media, social, local,, etc., to paint the picture of our warriors as villains. Trust me the time is coming. Data and Intel is being manufactured, distorted and constructed to stagnate the love. Who will benefit from New Era’s rallies, organization and programs? Black people in Detroit, black business! Who will lose from New Era Detroit’s program? The prison industry, the corrupt officer, the judge, the prosecutor, probation officer, the media that justifies gentrification! We must be careful not to mind the rumors. This message is also to New Era Detroit, believe not in the rumors that will soon swirl around to disrupt your unity. Be slow to judge, love with patience and continue to move as our warriors, galvanizing the people toward a better tomorrow
Passionate, electrifying and inspiring, Tangela Harris was a heartwarming activist that embodied the Red,Black, Green ideology. Current member of the surging young black power group “New Era Detroit”, Tangela history in Detroit was not only memorable, but profound. Her involvement with many organizations such as the Peoples Water Board (PWB), Water Brigade, Michigan Welfare Rights and former reporter for Seven Mile Radio was crucial in the movement of galvanizing Detroiters. Harris was prominent among Detroit activist, if you were involved in any action for social justice, more than likely you knew Tangela. Her recent project, “The Ride Of Detroit” along with co-hosts Tia Johnson, Kathleen Mclaine and Negus Vu a broadcast show that disseminated information about the socioeconomic inequalities in Detroit was only a fraction of her continuous outreach to the people. She also co-created the ‘Melting Pot’ which was an initiative to support black owned businesses, notably mentioned was one of the only two black owned gas stations in the city of Detroit.
As a Detroit native, Harris had a rough upbringing, face with adversaries such as poverty, and crime in her community, Harris understood the cause and effects, but more importantly the historical context of why things are the way they are. Tangela decided to fight against these forces (White Supremacy) by propagating self-love, accountability among elected officials, and lastly, full participation in rallies. Tangela’s magnitude of love for the people was insurmountable, the recent water shut-offs in Detroit affected her soul deeply. She combated back by spreading awareness about the inhumane practices of emergency manager, co-organizing rallies and providing sufficient resources to Detroit residents who were faced with water shut-offs.
Her brave soul was so apparent among anyone she came in contact with. Tangela had a tendency to illuminate the room wherever she went, encouraging any and everybody to do better and get involve in taking action to fight for black liberation. Her biggest passion was uplifting the common people, the poor, the forgotten.
She recently joined the New Era Detroit (NED), a youthful organization that was in aligned with her beliefs. Tangela presence was immediately felt as soon as she joined, she had several ideals, an explosive personality that everyone gravitated towards. New members loved her because she made everyone feel welcome. Tangela recently came up with a great ideal for New Era Detroit, NED will honor that ideal into a program named after her. Unfortunately before she could take leadership in that program, she passed away this Sunday morning at 9:15 am due to complications with asthma, it was a day before her birthday. She has one daughter Kayla Swaingan, two sisters (one deceased) and a loving supporting mother who will forever cherish her soul. Although it seems Tangela Harris left us too early, her legacy is inspirational to many, therefore she rests in our hearts forever.
There will be a memorial today November 2, 2015 at 958 Lawrence St Detroit, MI 5:00 pm
In the recent stages of Detroit’s redevelopment,Detroit’s Water & Sewage Department is illegally triple charging residents periodically, anywhere from $300 to $700 in one month out of the year. The house meters are outdated and the city is not correcting these problems. Consequently several Detroiters fell behind on their water bills leading to water shut-offs. In contrast to popular beliefs (negligence), some Detroiters miss payments due to not being able to afford the overcharged bills, others refusing to pay unfair rates. How is it that Detroit is the main source of fresh water constituting 40% of the world’s water supply, yet Detroiters pay quadruple the amount of everyone elses in the nation? Not including the spontaneous $300.00-$700.00 water bill charge you might get a few times out the year, I’ve witnessed this with my own bare eyes on several occasions. Now with the current Great Lakes Water Authority deal made in June which entails sharing ownership of the water with surrounding counties, only imprudent intentions for Detroiters seems to lie ahead.
It’s safe to say with the well planned water shut-offs, erroneous housing foreclosures and discriminatory policies (such as the attempted curfew that got struck down) that are being implemented, that one can conclude this is only a ploy driven to move the lower class (specifically black) people out of Detroit in the most subtle way via Classism. But why in a city that’s high in crime with 34% of the population below the poverty line would anyone be so interested? Well, suburbans have always had an economic interest in Detroit. The Great Migration from the south to the north that started in 1910 which consisted roughly of 6 million Africans pose a severe threat to the economic welfare of white workers across the North. Especially in Detroit who had the highest influx of blacks proportionally with an increase in the city’s population by 611%.
White’s were infuriated and rejected the presence so much that their first massive rebellion came in June of 1943 known as the Detroit Race Riot that lasted for 3 days. In the course of the three days of fighting, 34 were killed, 25 were black of whom 17 were killed by police, 600 were injured, 75% were black and 1,800 were arrested (85% black). This race war caused the onset of the White Flight in Detroit.
Twenty years later, Detroit had its infamous 1967 riot that finalize the migration of whites to the suburbs. Detroit ended up being the blackest city in United States, with the election of Mayor Coleman Young in 1973 along with the Big 3 that was considered at the time the anchor of the economy and the addition of having the country’s largest fresh water supply, Detroit destiny for greatness seemed inevitable. It overtly was the haven for black people who wanted a decent life because of the abundance of blue-collar jobs available. At least at the time it seemed that way. But with high crimes, poor political leadership and gradual migration of middle class blacks to the suburbs, the once strong black city begin to dwindle. Loosing its once had 1.6 million population reduce to 600,00, became a major hit to the once known Motown/Motor city economy.But the most devastating blow came of recent when the Big 3 took a big economic hit, Detroiters became disenfranchised and conflicted with employment opportunity. Along with the Coleman era that ended, the former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick scandal and successors that follow who sold out Detroit, added to the irreversible damage to motor city’s reputation and leadership. Now filled with Blight and new leadership, D-Town is ready for a new surge of authority and this time without the company of black leadership.
So to redress the question, Why is suburbans so interested in Detroit’s economy that seems to have depleted immensely? For one, it’s an import/export city lying right below Canada, as I stated in my aforementioned, 40% of fresh water comes from Detroit Great Lake Huron accounting for over 2 thirds of the city’s revenue. Billions of dollars are passing via Detroit monthly, the transportation system is a multi-billion dollar industry comprising 13 billion annually of USA revenue via the Ambassador Bridge export/import business. The recent controversy over a new bridge being built-in southwest Detroit at Riverside park, caused a lot of havoc. Hence, leaving residents with no alternatives but forced to move because of the deal made by mayor Mike Duggan and multi billionaire Manuel Moroun owner of Ambassador Bridge which is the busiest international border crossing in North America.
Now if you ever wondered how the TransAtlantic slave trade was so efficient in taking slaves out of Africa. Observe exhibit A, Detroit. The poor black leadership was bought by higher rank white officials for crumbs. Subsequently black officials delegated on their behalf in gentrifying, refining the socioeconomic structure in opposition towards black people . We were sold out by our own people just like we were 500 years ago. This isn’t white supremacy that’s making them do it, this is some pure greedy, self-indulgent emotions that’s enabling this behavior. The same emotions that lead to Africans handing over other Africans to Europeans regardless if it was indentured, they were handed over. White Supremacy wasn’t even in effect yet, so what was it then that caused such treason acts? It was those emotions I mentioned, there’s some unresolved African tendencies that we haven’t abolished. And its prevalent till this day. There’s still hope, with the new surge of leadership of people like Meeko Williams who took a personal oath to dedicate his life in the fight for water in Detroit. New Era Detroit, The Black Coalition Struggle, and elders like Monica Lewis Patrick whose efforts have been nothing but a mere success. Although the rise of young leadership is admirable and commendable, the load of damage may be too irreversible. Observe the depletion of Detroit that once had black leadership, witness the Black Flight!
When it comes to moderate independent black films, economics seems to be an enigma rather than a topic for most. Jason Black the director & producer of the upcoming film “7AM” has challenge that rarity. In the film Jason Black travels across the nation interviewing some of the most prominent influential power moguls in today’s world. In the documentary, Jason asked in his interview with Dr. Claude Anderson (author of the best seller “Powernomics”) “why are black people the poorest people on the planet” a question never before in history posed nor directly answered in a film.
With figures like Dr.Umar Johnson (Pan-Africanist, psychologist), Dr.Claude Anderson (author, business owner) Don Peebles a real estate mogul who owns the largest African real estate in the U.S, all expound on the subject. When asked what was inspirational for making the film, Jason repsonse was
Mr. Black stated the reason he chose the title “7AM” is because every morning when you wake up at 7 a.m you determine how your day is going to end. “7AM” has been endorsed by Director & Producer of Hidden Colors 1,2,3 Tariq Nasheed as well as economic activist Dr. Boyce Watkins. “7AM” is the most anticipated independent black film this year, screening in several cities around the U.S as well as London. You can purchase tickets online Click Here To Purchase Tickets
With the announcement of 62,000 property foreclosures with at least 37,000 occupied last November 2014, its safe to say that this feels like deja vu. Reminiscent of what the UN considered inhumane with the water shut-offs last year, Detroit citizens once again are face with a new challenge.
We can recall the water shut-off crisis that took place last year that turned off nearly 26,000 Detroit residents water. The cut off strategy implemented by Michigan’s Governor Snyder and carried out by Kevyn Orr caused a huge uproar among detroit natives as well as activists abroad.
Wayne county Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz who inexplicably received an unprecedented bonus of $22,000 in 2012 initially opted foreclosing properties that were smaller than $2,000 since 2005. Raymond claims because of his limited staff, he could not handle the amount of tax delinquency that needed to be assessed. In 2012 there were over 40,000 delinquencies, and in 2013 over 36,000 owners had pasted dues. With Treasurer Wojtowicz bypassing past delinquent bills since 2005, and without notice to home owners, property tax bills accumulated to $364.5 million along with an interest rate of $100 million in addition. Just last year Wayne county alone had 56,000 foreclosures proceedings, 22,000 were actually foreclosed. This year is predicted to be much larger with 75,000 foreclosures proceedings, 62k attributed to Detroit.
President Obama last year was in talks of sending $100 million from the “Hardest Hit Fund Program” to detroit for demolition of blighted property in hopes of mitigating the $500 million already allocated to spend on blight removal by Kevyn Orr for the next ten years. Consequently this would have freed up 100 million that can be used to reduce city workers pension cuts. Obama administration along with other public officials determined to construct the The Blight Removal task Force in September 2013 with Loveland Technology leading in the blight removal task in surveying and estimating the cost of the whole city’s areas of blighted property. According to Loveland Technology, 100,000 (15% of Detroit’s population) Detroiters will be at risk for foreclosure. The Blight Removal Task Force estimated $850 million is what’s needed to address neighborhood blight in Detroit. Michigan so far has received $456 million in funding from the “Hardest Hit Fund Program”, “Fire escrow”, “NSP II” and “CDBG” with immediate access to $88 million. There’s still a gap of $394 million that’s not funded by federal programs.
Now how does Blight removal relate with foreclosures? One of the ways “The Blight Removal Task Force” defines blight property as Tax reverted property. Tax reverted property is foreclosed property from tax delinquencies. So far, there are an estimated 73,035 residential blighted properties. With Detroit’s already $364 million property tax debt, the residential blighted property will increase even more from non auctioned property, adding to the large budget for Blight removal.
Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has received some of the federal funding of the $456 million “Hardest Hit Fund Program” for aiding in foreclosures. The Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corporation (MHA) acting through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designed forgivable loan programs to help homeowners who have had a financial hardship. Michigan homeowners can apply directly at stepforwardmichigan.org or call 866.946.7432.
Mortgage payment assistance for homeowners currently receiving Michigan unemployment compensation
Rescue funds for homeowners who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments or past due property tax payments due to no fault of their own
Federal matching funds for principle reductions for homeowners who can no longer afford their mortgage payments as a result of reduced income
Moe Draper is a cobbler who will be on the drive for helping the unfortunate this Christmas with clothing and shoes. Moe briefly discusses the hardship of his experiences as a business owner fearing for his shoe shop down at Eastern Market every time he left because of the high volume of theft from homeless people. He mentions how some would even come back and confess to their stealing. Despite the tribulations, Moe isn’t discourage and pushes for thousands of donations this Christmas, he will be starting at 6am Christmas Eve till Christmas day noon.
How to help
The second annual Saving Soles donation drive starts at 6 a.m. Wednesday and continues through noon Thursday at Market Shoe Repair in Shed 4 of Detroit’s Eastern Market, 2934 Russell St.
Moe Draper and his wife, Aziza, will collect shoes and clothing. Cash donations to help Draper cover the costs of his shoe-repair machinery and equipment also are welcome and can be sent to Market Shoe Repair, P.O. Box 7114, Detroit 48207.
Volunteers also are needed to help sort donations Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Volunteers may call Draper to schedule times at 313-449-6755 or just show up at Eastern Market ready to work.
The Drapers hope to open a second shoe-repair shop on the city’s west side in 2015. The new shop will be at 18716 Grand River, between Southfield and Evergreen
Tuesday at about 11:15 pm another tragic shooting in Missouri of a black teenager boy by a white police officer took place. This time in Berkeley, MO just a few miles outside of Ferguson where Michael Brown was murder by former officer Darren Wilson. Berkeley officers allegedly were doing a routine check at a local gas station, when they noticed two young black men and approach them. There was some form of verbal confrontation, 90 seconds later the 18-year-old victim (Antonio Martin) according to officer (Belman) raised a handgun pointed at the officers which led to the fatal shooting of Antonio Martin.
Three shots were fired, one struck Antonio, the other hit the patrolman tire, and the third shot whereabouts is unknown. Police believed there were no shots fired from Antonio Martin. Subsequently, a incited crowd approximately 60-200 protesters gathered around the murder scene, it has been reported that the crowd had verbal clashing, some protesters were said to have fireworks or explosives. Bricks were thrown at officers, leading to four arrest and two injured officers. Ironically the officer who murdered Antonio Martin was assigned a body camera to wear on his shift that evening, yet the officer who is a white male age 34 who’s a six-year veteran in the police force did not have it on at the time of the shooting.
Also there has been an alleged witness at the murder scene who claims originally there was no murder weapon on the scene.
Another police officer has been killed within 24 hours, this time in Tarpon Springs, FL. Police were originally called for a noise disturbance ordinance. When police arrived to Grand Boulevard apartment complex, the suspect shot and killed one of the officers Charles Kondek, he then attempted to flee but was caught and put in custody. No further information has been disclosed by Florida Police.