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  #81  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 9:24 PM
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It really started in the 1920's, but picked up steam during WWII when a huge number of working-age men were fighting overseas. Blacks were able to obtain the types of jobs normally reserved for whites, especially in manufacturing cities like Detroit. After the war ended, and many of the white men came back expecting their jobs back, there was a bit of push-back from a growing and emboldened African American middle-class. That push-back, eventually lead to the Civil Rights movement of the 50's and 60's.

Because Detroit was one of the jobs bright spots of the War era, it received one of the largest shares of black residents. This allowed a black culture to flourish in the city that by the 60's and 70's was drawing blacks from all across the U.S. This culture bred among other things the Motown sound. Think of it was being the "Atlanta" of that era.
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  #82  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 9:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Nantais View Post
I've already heard about the Great Migration but I didn't think it was so important. I mean, it's a really huge growth in Black population between 1950 and 1980. Also, why was it apparently more important in Détroit than in other northeastern american cities ?
Detroit was a huge supplier of jobs. The car companies hired many African Americans and paid them just about the same as their white coworkers. For many northern cities, that was very out of the norm and quite a big draw for Detroit.


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And, on another scale, why Blacks moved predominantly to the inner city and not to some suburbs ? Why did it happen essentially after the WW2 and not earlier, because I guess it was already not that cool to be a Black in the South in the late 1800's or in the early 1900's ?
This is where America's racist and segregatory history comes in. Segregation was the norm in many northern cities (including Detroit) where Blacks and Whites lived in separate neighborhoods.

In the city of Detroit, banks would not give mortgage loans to residents who lived in integrated neighborhoods. So regardless of if a resident was racist or not, the system was racist and this meant that blacks (and possibly other non-white minorities) could only live in very slummy neighborhoods. Even though Blacks had made good money working at the auto companies, they would have no help from the government when it came to rebuilding their neighborhoods and improving their quality of life. Blacks weren't really "allowed" to move into the suburbs until at least the 70s and 80s. They weren't even allowed to move into certain neighborhoods of Detroit, like Palmer Woods, even if they could afford it.
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  #83  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 9:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantais View Post
I've already heard about the Great Migration but I didn't think it was so important. I mean, it's a really huge growth in Black population between 1950 and 1980. Also, why was it apparently more important in Détroit than in other northeastern american cities ? And, on another scale, why Blacks moved predominantly to the inner city and not to some suburbs ? Why did it happen essentially after the WW2 and not earlier, because I guess it was already not that cool to be a Black in the South in the late 1800's or in the early 1900's ?
Use three key words.

Detroit [or any major northern city for that matter], Blockbusting, and White flight.

Google them, research well and you should get an answer.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockbusting


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flight
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  #84  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 9:42 PM
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OK, thanks for these informations.
I knew about White flight to the suburbs but I had never heard about Blockbusting. It seems weird that such practices could survive in America up to the 1980's.
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  #85  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantais View Post
OK, thanks for these informations.
I knew about White flight to the suburbs but I had never heard about Blockbusting. It seems weird that such practices could survive in America up to the 1980's.
It's not the topic of the thread, but I'd like to say we've seen pretty much the same phenomenon as that White flight in our country up to the 80s. Most the white population formerly of the working class, massively improving their social conditions and accessing the middle class left the cités HLM where immigrants from Africa replaced them. That's how we ended up having some sort of ghettos here too. However, I agree that it appears to have been more brutal in North America than in Europe, but it'd be wrong to depict the American society as particularly racist. Of course anybody knows that racism has been quite everywhere to some more or less severe extent.
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  #86  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 10:15 PM
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The U.S. was more of a melting pot than Europe ever was. Europe has really only seen large-scale American-style immigration in the last few decades.
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  #87  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 10:27 PM
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^ Right. Immigrants from Africa or Asia had a serious presence only from the 1950s. The result is nonetheless spectacular. Today, the population in Paris and elsewhere is ethnically very diverse, and we are overcoming racism already. You could witness it in businesses as blacks and north Africans are now able to get some interesting jobs. Even only 10 years ago, it was harder to them. Globalization helping, the European society is actually moving and changing fast to several respects, that in particular.
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  #88  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 12:41 AM
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shady real estate practices? blockbusting?? surely shady predatory real estate lending is a thing of the past! :p
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  #89  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 1:03 AM
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1967 Detroit Riots

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot

***
In the early hours of Sunday, July 23, 1967, Detroit police officers raided the unlicensed after-hours drinking club, expecting to find only a few people inside, but instead there were 82 people celebrating the return of two local veterans from the Vietnam War. The police attempted to arrest everyone present. While they were arranging to transport the arrestees, a crowd gathered around the establishment in protest.[3]

After the last police car left, a group of black men began looting an adjacent clothing store. Shortly after, full-scale rioting began throughout the neighborhood. At 7 am, the police made their first looting arrest. State police, Wayne County sheriffs, and the Michigan National Guard were alerted, but because it was a summer Sunday, it took hours for the Police Commissioner Ray Girardin to assemble full police manpower. On Sunday, 12th Street was described as having a "carnival atmosphere" as police watched looting but rarely arrested people, partially because of their inadequate numbers and partially because of the belief that the riot would be localized and would soon end. The pastor of Grace Episcopal Church along 12th Street reported that he saw a "gleefulness in throwing stuff and getting stuff out of buildings"[4] The police conducted several sweeps along 12th Street, which proved ineffective because of the unexpectedly large numbers of people on the street.
***
The violence escalated throughout Monday, resulting in some 483 fires, 231 incidents reported per hour, and 1800 arrests. Looting and arson were widespread. Black-owned businesses were not spared. One of the first stores looted in Detroit was Hardy's drug store, owned by blacks and known for filling prescriptions on credit. Detroit's leading black-owned clothing store was burned, as was one of the city's best-loved black restaurants. In the wake of the riots, a black merchant said, "you were going to get looted no matter what color you were." Rioters shot at firefighters who were attempting to fight the fires. During the riots, 2,498 rifles and 38 handguns were stolen from local stores. It was obvious that the Detroit and Michigan forces were unable to restore order.
***
2,509 stores looted or burned, 388 families rendered homeless or displaced and 412 buildings burned or damaged enough to be demolished. Dollar losses from arson and looting ranged from $40 million to $80 million.
***
Detroit Councilman Mel Ravitz said the riot divided not only the races- since it "deepened the fears of many whites and raised the militancy of many blacks" - but it opened up wide cleavages in the black and white communities as well. Moderate liberals of each race were faced with new political groups that voiced extremist solutions and fueled fears about future violence. Compared to the rosy newspaper stories before July 1967, the London Free Press reported in 1968 that Detroit was a "sick city where fear, rumor, race prejudice and gun-buying have stretched black and white nerves to the verge of snapping". Yet ultimately, if the riot is interpreted as a rebellion, or a way for black grievances to be heard and addressed, it was partly successful.
***
The heaviest casualty, however, was the city. Detroit's losses went a hell of a lot deeper than the immediate toll of lives and buildings. The riot put Detroit on the fast track to economic desolation, mugging the city and making off with incalculable value in jobs, earnings taxes, corporate taxes, retail dollars, sales taxes, mortgages, interest, property taxes, development dollars, investment dollars, tourism dollars, and plain damn money. The money was carried out in the pockets of the businesses and the white people who fled as fast as they could. The white exodus from Detroit had been prodigiously steady prior to the riot, totally twenty-two thousand in 1966, but afterwards it was frantic. In 1967, with less than half the year remaining after the summer explosion—the outward population migration reached sixty-seven thousand. In 1968 the figure hit eighty-thousand, followed by forty-six thousand in 1969.--Coleman Young, former mayor of Detroit
***
Before the ghetto riot of 1967, Detroit's black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent. It was not despair that fueled the riot. It was the riot which marked the beginning of the decline of Detroit to its current state of despair. Detroit's population today is only half of what it once was, and its most productive people have been the ones who fled.--Thomas Sowell
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  #90  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 1:56 AM
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couple this with a few other notable incidents, 1970's oil embargo, continuing pressure on the us auto industry by smaller and more fuel efficient japanese imports, 4 terms of love him or hate him coleman young, heroin, crack cocaine trafficing street gangs of the 1980s, and a continuing local tradition of burning your own neighborhood down to the ground, and ouila, its no wonder the outer suburbs and the central city didn't and still don't play nice together. history presented detroit with the perfect storm clusterfck and the rules of engagement are still being written to this day.
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  #91  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 3:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mousquet View Post
It's not the topic of the thread, but I'd like to say we've seen pretty much the same phenomenon as that White flight in our country up to the 80s. Most the white population formerly of the working class, massively improving their social conditions and accessing the middle class left the cités HLM where immigrants from Africa replaced them. That's how we ended up having some sort of ghettos here too. However, I agree that it appears to have been more brutal in North America than in Europe, but it'd be wrong to depict the American society as particularly racist. Of course anybody knows that racism has been quite everywhere to some more or less severe extent.
Housing projects? Are you talking about the ones that are located in poorer suburbs?
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  #92  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 9:49 AM
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Detroit is a city I like to say capitalism built in a few years, then destroyed in a few years. A great deal of Detroit's problems is that the city proper was so dependent upon one industry, and it diversified in the suburbs. When the auto industry declined and/or relocated to the suburbs or other states, the city declined as rapidly as it was built. Combine the racial strife of the American civil rights era and its no question why what happened did happen.

By comparison, every other Great Lakes city is very clean and functional, even Cleveland, compared with Detroit. But Detroit still has suburbs that are as wealthy and as clean and as functional as anywhere, including Houston and Atlanta.

Its just that the city proper has become so terribly awful... I think its a study that every urban policy or public policy program the world around should research, because there is no other city in the world with a story like Detroit wrapped in the hopeless raw capitalism that has left it without any federal assistance to rebuild unlike the other 'bailouts' we've seen.

Its too bad most of Detroit couldn't be assumed under eminent domain to be razed and rebuilt, with obvious exceptions for truly historic buildings.
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  #93  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Brandon716 View Post
Its too bad most of Detroit couldn't be assumed under eminent domain to be razed and rebuilt, with obvious exceptions for truly historic buildings.
What, the equivalent of 50 square miles of empty land isn't enough? Nobody has a solution--yet.
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  #94  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 3:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Brandon716 View Post
Its too bad most of Detroit couldn't be assumed under eminent domain to be razed and rebuilt, with obvious exceptions for truly historic buildings.
WHAT?

raze all 132 sq. miles except for some "truly historic buildings"? what about all of the intact neighborhoods that still exist? what about the 700,000+ people that still call the city home? what about the rejuvenating city core from downtown up to midtown? your solution is really to just raze it all and start over? what? should chicago also be razed and rebuilt because of the deplorable condition of the south and west side ghettos?

besides, where in the world would the money come from?

large swaths of detroit already have been effectively razed, with little on the horizon for market-driven redevelopment for many of those areas. how could more wanton wholesale destruction possibly be the answer?
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  #95  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 4:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Brandon716 View Post
By comparison, every other Great Lakes city is very clean and functional, even Cleveland, compared with Detroit. But Detroit still has suburbs that are as wealthy and as clean and as functional as anywhere, including Houston and Atlanta.
I could run a clean and functional city in my sleep if I could concentrate a few thousand rich people into several square miles.
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  #96  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 5:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Housing projects? Are you talking about the ones that are located in poorer suburbs?
Yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLM

The term HLM is no longer in use. It may have become too devaluing, humiliating to people living in that kind of housing. It's now called "logement social" (social housing). It's not only the designation that changed since the 80s. The quality and distribution of those housing projects have also improved a lot - it's now mixed with regular housing, which of course is much better - so much that a significant number of people who had a right to a social home when they were young now refuse to leave while their incomes have increased during their careers. That's wrong for social housing is obviously meant for low incomes exclusively. I can tell some folks making over €50k a year keep their better social homes located in rather nice suburban downtowns, which is absolutely unfair.

Besides, studies show that social housing is actually ineffective in decreasing real estate prices. On the contrary, it pushes speculation forward and tends to increase the price of privately-owned homes. So it shouldn't be seen as a final solution, shouldn't be spread too much, it's just to temporarily help people with lower incomes, the time for them to get better off. Once their incomes get over a certain level, they should simply be nicely compelled to leave their social homes. And in the end, ideally, there should be no need at all for social housing.

That's what disturbs me about that social housing policy. It tends to keep the people subsidized by their local public authorities instead of encouraging them to emancipate themselves by their work in businesses. So it's counterproductive, eventually impoverishing our society, slowing down the improvement of standards of living. It's yet necessary to some extent, for now.
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  #97  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 5:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
WHAT?

raze all 132 sq. miles except for some "truly historic buildings"? what about all of the intact neighborhoods that still exist? what about the 700,000+ people that still call the city home? what about the rejuvenating city core from downtown up to midtown? your solution is really to just raze it all and start over? what? should chicago also be razed and rebuilt because of the deplorable condition of the south and west side ghettos?

besides, where in the world would the money come from?

large swaths of detroit already have been effectively razed, with little on the horizon for market-driven redevelopment for many of those areas. how could more wanton wholesale destruction possibly be the answer?
Hmm, the easy answer to that is a huge federal bailout to the city that is still inside one of America's largest metro areas, 6 million people call the Detroit-Flint area home. A bailout that has strong strings attached would be required.

Raze the crap left in the city, rebuild its ailing infrastructure, create federally sanctioned and backed investment banks that are private in addition to direct public funding to have the ability to do such huge steps, necessary steps to rebuild. Get the nation's best developers, urban planners, and community organizers together and develop a new plan for Detroit.

Each block of Detroit that has been razed needs intense redevelopment, condo and housing development, retail development, transportation and infrastructure rebuilding such as water lines that are 100+ years old, electric, gas, etc.

Essentially those who have homes taken via eminent domain should get near-free replacements or mortgage equalized transfers, considering the radical condition the city finds itself in. Innovative programs that show if a person has a home with a $40k mortgage, they should be transferred to a new condo or housing development and owe $40k left on that loan at the new place even if the property took $100k to build. The 'bailout' would fund the remainder of that loss.

Then again, my ideas are a bit utopian at best. Raw capitalism will keep Detroit on its back for years to come, probably my entire lifetime for certain. I've always been the type of person to believe government has a role where the private market has such massive failure. Using every power the government has to make life survivable, livable, and redevelop a destroyed city is probably government's most important role in society to better everyone and give people hope and a future to depend on.

But I know it won't happen, and so do Detroiters. Even with Obama in office there's no talk of a people bailout, it'll never happen. Its immaterial I suppose and just some random thoughts I had. If we could seriously withdraw funding for unnecessary military affairs and reinvest into parts of America that are in dire need of repair it'd be great.

Last edited by Dr Nevergold; Feb 6, 2013 at 5:49 PM.
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  #98  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 5:56 PM
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Detroit already has a plan that involves voluntary relocation. Essentially, city-owned property in stabler neighborhoods will be offered to residents of primarily empty neighborhoods. Services will then be cut in the emptier neighborhoods, allowing the city to better focus on the stabler neighborhoods.

As far as demolition. It generally costs as much as $10,000 for the city to demolish a vacant home. There are plans to stream-line the process, hopefully reducing the cost to as little as $2,500 per house by among other things, offsetting the cost by stripping and selling valuable materials. Even then, the city doesn't have all that much money it can dedicate to demolition. The current administration has done a fairly decent job of demolishing, upwards of 10,000 derelict homes and buildings, but that's just scratching the surface. It would be interesting to see if the city can declare a state of emergency, allowing for more federal funds to help demolish derelict homes, but it certainly wouldn't happen under a divided Congress.

In any case, Detroit does have a framework in place in how it can grow and stabilize the better parts of the city and deal with the worst parts of the city.

http://detroitworksproject.com/the-framework/
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  #99  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 6:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Brandon716 View Post
Hmm, the easy answer to that is a huge federal bailout to the city that is still inside one of America's largest metro areas, 6 million people call the Detroit-Flint area home. A bailout that has strong strings attached would be required.

Raze the crap left in the city, rebuild its ailing infrastructure, create federally sanctioned and backed investment banks that are private in addition to direct public funding to have the ability to do such huge steps, necessary steps to rebuild. Get the nation's best developers, urban planners, and community organizers together and develop a new plan for Detroit.

Each block of Detroit that has been razed needs intense redevelopment, condo and housing development, retail development, transportation and infrastructure rebuilding such as water lines that are 100+ years old, electric, gas, etc.

Essentially those who have homes taken via eminent domain should get near-free replacements or mortgage equalized transfers, considering the radical condition the city finds itself in. Innovative programs that show if a person has a home with a $40k mortgage, they should be transferred to a new condo or housing development and owe $40k left on that loan at the new place even if the property took $100k to build. The 'bailout' would fund the remainder of that loss.

Then again, my ideas are a bit utopian at best. Raw capitalism will keep Detroit on its back for years to come, probably my entire lifetime for certain. I've always been the type of person to believe government has a role where the private market has such massive failure. Using every power the government has to make life survivable, livable, and redevelop a destroyed city is probably government's most important role in society to better everyone and give people hope and a future to depend on.

But I know it won't happen, and so do Detroiters. Even with Obama in office there's no talk of a people bailout, it'll never happen. Its immaterial I suppose and just some random thoughts I had. If we could seriously withdraw funding for unnecessary military affairs and reinvest into parts of America that are in dire need of repair it'd be great.
Could Detroit learn any lessons from revitalized Buffalo? The two cities seem two share a lot of paralells.
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  #100  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 10:47 PM
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The 1950s called--they want their 'urban renewal' ideas back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon716 View Post
Hmm, the easy answer to that is a huge federal bailout to the city that is still inside one of America's largest metro areas, 6 million people call the Detroit-Flint area home. A bailout that has strong strings attached would be required.

Raze the crap left in the city, rebuild its ailing infrastructure, create federally sanctioned and backed investment banks that are private in addition to direct public funding to have the ability to do such huge steps, necessary steps to rebuild. Get the nation's best developers, urban planners, and community organizers together and develop a new plan for Detroit.

Each block of Detroit that has been razed needs intense redevelopment, condo and housing development, retail development, transportation and infrastructure rebuilding such as water lines that are 100+ years old, electric, gas, etc.

Essentially those who have homes taken via eminent domain should get near-free replacements or mortgage equalized transfers, considering the radical condition the city finds itself in. Innovative programs that show if a person has a home with a $40k mortgage, they should be transferred to a new condo or housing development and owe $40k left on that loan at the new place even if the property took $100k to build. The 'bailout' would fund the remainder of that loss.

Then again, my ideas are a bit utopian at best. Raw capitalism will keep Detroit on its back for years to come, probably my entire lifetime for certain. I've always been the type of person to believe government has a role where the private market has such massive failure. Using every power the government has to make life survivable, livable, and redevelop a destroyed city is probably government's most important role in society to better everyone and give people hope and a future to depend on.

But I know it won't happen, and so do Detroiters. Even with Obama in office there's no talk of a people bailout, it'll never happen. Its immaterial I suppose and just some random thoughts I had. If we could seriously withdraw funding for unnecessary military affairs and reinvest into parts of America that are in dire need of repair it'd be great.
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