Written by Deolis Allen 3rd
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