Meltdown In the Detroit City Council: Leaders Accused of Racist Remark

monica_conyers_bioThe continued fall of the Detroit City Council into chaos appears to have continued with a disturbing account of where white witnesses were told to “go home” and told not to speak the name of President Barach Obama. The hearing, headed by Council President Monica Conyers, leaves the impression of a major city in free fall. This is being widely reported on the Internet but appears based on a single Op-Ed from the Detroit News.

Here is how the Detroit News describes the scene as the council described a proposal for the Cobo Center expansion deal — advocated by white union officials:

Speakers advocating for the deal were taunted by the crowd and cut short by Council President Monica Conyers, who presided over the hearing like an angry bulldog; whites were advised by the citizens to, “Go home.”

Opponents were allowed to rant and ramble on uninterrupted about “those people” who want to steal Detroit’s assets and profit from the city’s labors.

A pitiful Teamster official who practically crawled to the table on his knees expressing profuse respect for this disrespectful body was battered by both the crowd and the council.

When he dared suggest that an improved Cobo Center would create more good-paying jobs for union workers, Conyers reminded him, “Those workers look like you; they don’t look like me.”

Desperate, he invoked President Barack Obama’s message of unity and was angrily warned, “Don’t you say his name here.”

The Detroit City Council and prior Mayor have been spending an inordinate amount of time recently dodging or answering criminal charges, here.

I have tried to find a video of this session, perhaps someone can locate it. With any other city council, this story would be dismissed as fanciful. Yet, I can find no threat of defamation from Monica Conyers or a denial of record. If this story is untrue, there should be a lawsuit. If this account (widely published) is accurate, it is not clear why there has not been a greater outcry. There may be good reasons to opposed this deal, though the mayor and others support it. The scene described above however would never be tolerated if the scene were reversed with black citizens told to go home and referenced according to their skin color.

For the full story, click here

9 thoughts on “Meltdown In the Detroit City Council: Leaders Accused of Racist Remark”

  1. Oppression does not breed uniformly perfect human beings. All races, religions and ethnicity have those who would exploit their background and disparage others for personal/political gain. There are many who mix up the idea of known oppression of a group into a justification of individual bad behavior. Those are truly bigots, because they view events through a pre-judged lens, which diminishes those whose cause they purport to support.

  2. Maybe it would make sense to e-mail the person who wrote the story for a copy of the tape. I do find other references to this story locally. It is appalling. No one understands racism if they are willing to be a racist. If you want to end injustice, you can’t keep the prejudice you’d like to keep while decrying the one you don’t. It means taking an ethical stand against prejudice–period.

    Detroit is a fucked up mess. Everyone there deserves so much better, no matter what color they are. A lot of places there look like a burned out war zone and these idiots have the nerve to tell anyone bringing out ideas to turn it around to shut up? Buddha,
    you’re right. This is about two things, holding on to power and “the green”. Disgusting!

  3. Racism is not just for white people.

    Racism is for stupid people.

    Stupidity has no racial boundary. It’s a pan-species genetic marker. Before the first cell divides, everyone is capable of stupid.

    So before any of the rabid start on about how “blacks can’t be racists” (there’s one of these loons in every group), know ahead of time, that’s an argument doomed to failure and ridicule. Racism is a type of polluted thought. To state that one group cannot be racist is to imply that they cannot think which in turn shows directly that the speaker is not thinking.

    Welcome to Detroit. Although the headline could have just as easily taken place in New Orleans. Or L.A. Or Gary. Or pick a city.

    This is truly a time to admonish “grow up.” The suffering in this world is caused by one color and one color only.


  4. Mespo:

    I must confess, the older I get the less I am enthralled with the GOP. They are lost intellectually and do not seem to be able to find their way. An example is the stimulus, the only thing my conservative brethern are arguing about is the size, oh a few on the fringes have advocated lower taxes but for the most part they are upset about the size. They have no apparent ability to argue against the stimulus itself.

    And GW bless his heart paved the way by giving money to the financial sectors last fall, I thought that was a grave mistake. And the ironic thing was that the market (hallowed be its name) was starting to take care of things with consolidations, mergers, buyouts, etc.. Once GW announced the bailout things stopped moving while everyone waited for the money.

    I wish that intellectuals would stop trying to gain control of things that cannot or should not be controled.

  5. Bron98:

    “Also I thought you might like to know your site is used as “research” for Fox News and the Laura Ingraham radio show. I have noticed that your posts appear on these shows and others.”


    That’s not terribly surprising given the great black hole that is right-wing thought about now. Any light penetrating that space must seem like the sun itself. As for no attribution, I suspect the least of their crimes is plagiarism; the greatest being servility to power.

  6. Prof. Turley:

    I think I am now an honorary liberal, thank you for being consistent. Also I thought you might like to know your site is used as “research” for Fox News and the Laura Ingraham radio show. I have noticed that your posts appear on these shows and others. I dont think Rush has used you yet, but it is probably just a matter of time.

    Some of the bloggers have also been quoted although sans attribution, an implied copy right infringement?

    Thank you for a very interesting blog, it is most educational (Bobesq, Buddha, Gyges, Jill, MikeS, Mespo, Rafflaw, Rcampbell are especially interesting, a veritable cornucopia of wit and wisdom).

    I have been trying to get my conservative friends to come and post but as yet they are reticent, my guess is they are, as Buddha likes to say, not ready to swallow the red pill.

  7. I can’t find any reference to this event except for either the OpEd you’ve cited or other sites that draw their source material from that aforementioned OpEd. Overall, I’m left wondering whether anything like the reported incident at all.

    On the other hand, Monica Conyers lack of denial could well be because being accused of such behavior wouldn’t harm her position with her constituency.

    Yeah, if the races were reversed this wouldn’t be tolerated – but they’re not reversed and this sort of behavior is tolerated – or at least excused – when it’s Black on White.

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