05/21/2010 12:28 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011


What do new Medical Centers for Excellence, an Afghan's generational caste limitations, and my parent's lack of actual upward mobility in America have in common? At first glance, these three events are separated by time, place, culture and varying perceptions of significance. One would never nexus them in any meaningful way.

But on examination some trends begin to appear. Medical Centers for Excellence, now viewed by Detroit's political hierarchy as elemental to Detroit's economic salvation, reflect a need that has long been overlooked. As opponents to National forms of health care, a single-payer system to monitor costs and public options to offer Americans options to the stranglehold of the current health care oligarchy, all decry the need for a change in system. This is the greatest amount of investment ever offered to Detroit. Clearly this offering is being considered in an attempt to upgrade diminished levels of medical care. I would ask why those levels of care were never provided at the standards now being considered? Why did it take an artificially produced worldwide Depression to get this ball rolling? Why does Detroit on life support finally merit medical consideration? And who went lacking all those years that these services were not available?

Yes, I wrote the "greatest amount of investment ever" is being formed for the Detroit area. Eight hundred million dollars by one entity, with more support projected to come from other sources, is more money than automakers have ever invested in Detroit. And there is more to come. Because of this potential for an upgrade to the quality of life of Detroit residents, much maneuvering is taking place in the City where the crossover dribble has crossed over into people politics. But given of the level and social placement of this project's constituents, truly upgraded medical services are anything but a "slam dunk."

Meanwhile, along the Grand Trunk Road, Pakistani and Afghan youth toil in the shadows of their ancestors. Stonecutters work as their forebears have done for generations, tied to a system that leaves no opportunity for upward mobility. The military organs that have become more robust over time best measure any significant economic change in those countries. The children of elites in nations dominated by military presence enjoy decided economic and educational advantages. Institutionalized forms of repression become the outgrowths of any associated policy. Repression is in fact, the core business of military organs, especially those unlimited by the Constitutional prohibitions that ostensibly guide American military policy and performance. The Pakistani military especially has appropriated land and power in its up-tick towards control of that nation, all with tacit and economic support from the United States. The move away from democratization becomes more evident.

As for my family legacy and its relationship to these issues, I look back and muse at the reportage that after the slaves of America were freed, many opted to stay on the plantations of their former abuse. As a youth, I had been quizzical as to why until I grew and learned more about life. It is now intuitively obvious that no one leaves the only life that they've known for the unknown that is "freedom" with no practical place to go. My parents did just that however in leaving Alabama to move North. Many African-Americans took that trek seeking a better life. Blacks in the South were the original "boat people" but without boats.

My parents were good at what they did. My father contributed to the world with his input on several technological advances that have changed the world. My mother did the same in the less "concrete" world of education and learning for women and children. And both saw all four of their children enter a world of education that had been effectively closed to them. My dad, who helped America alter its computational diet to computers was deemed "too chocolaty" to study at the University of Chicago. This occurred as my father was helping give the world the computer. Concurrently the University of Chicago's prestigious rival, Northwestern University was, through psychological testing, determining that his toddler son was by its measures a "genius." Go figure!

But where all these observations nexus is that place that witnessed Americans with signs and placards of derision provided by corporations attempt to load the dice. Disgruntled Americans, almost exclusively white, howled about losing their country to the change in policy necessary to save their children and grandchildren. Those same sponsoring corporations have shuffled off the placard carrier's jobs to India and Pakistan while getting the blind "new activists" to be complicit in their own demise. These dynamics would be tantamount to watching African-Americans become upset with Mexican nationals for taking jobs that they do not want and will not do. It is like watching white American's anger at the French for that nation's stance on human rights respond by boycotting French fries and French wine. Most Americans don't appreciate that more than one hundred years ago, the world was much more collective and that American vines saved France from a blight that well may have destroyed the world's total sense and knowledge of wine had there not been international intercession.

In all three instances, the contributions of the poor and underclass have been co-opted by the few and the affluent. These patterns persist and if we are to correct this assault on meritocracy then we must recognize for what they are, business and economic policies run amok. From Rand Paul to Jim Hoffa to Jaden Smith, we need to rethink our levels of "hero worship" for no reason other than that we worshiped our new hero's fathers. So good luck to Detroit's new Medical Centers and may every Afghan and Pakistani without "juice" get his or her opportunity. If there is anything that America needs to import to the world it is a healthy portion of real opportunity.

And when you see a Black youth "saggin" and a White youth with his cap on backwards, know that the crack that you're seeing is the conceptual zero, that vacuum that represents no access to justice for all in America. Note that the style that reverses the hat represents a rejection of what has gone before. Often the hat is on backwards, but not the head.