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Wendy Vestevich's Comments

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huffingtonpost entry

Detroit - The Ruins of an Empire: A Conversation with Photographers Marchand and Meffre

Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 13:01:08 in Arts

“The photographs are stunning--however, the opinion of the author about the affluent white suburbanites choking off funding is sorely mistaken. The riots of '67 had homeowners sitting on their rooftops with shotguns protecting their property from looters. The "White Flight" had everything to do with Detroit deteriorating into a corrupt, lawless city from that point in history on and little to do with lower income African-Americans moving into the city for better economic opportunity. To leave Mayor Coleman Young out of this discussion is a serious lack of journalistic investigation. His mayorship left Detroit destitute. One only needs to read a few articles about the graft of the Detroit Schools administration to see how civic thieves have looted the city's finances--and that's just one agency. And then we have Kwame Kilpatrick, and the result is a decayed gem that we see in coffee table books. But let's place the blame on those who steered this ship into the ground, not at the people who fled the city out of fear for their lives and property--many of them African-Americans. Today there are many suburbs that are predominantly African-American. Without suburban money, places like the Detroit Institute of Arts and the theater district would be deserted.”

Readbetweentheelevens on Feb 1, 2011 at 14:14:56

“It happens in every city in the U.S. That's how it's done. The City grows out like a circle and the funding goes with it. When the inner circle dies the value goes down, and then the speculators take over and the process starts again. It's the story of every city.”