The Late Great City of Detroit

Feral Houses in Detroit

I’ve shared plenty here about feral dogs; I have heard people here use the word “feral” because so many of Detroit’s strays learn to survive long-term on their own. Feral, used in this sense, means they have reverted to a wild state, as from domestication. Our word feral comes from the Latin root fera, or “wild beast,” but it also has a connection to another Latin word, feralis, literally: belonging to the dead.

I’ve seen “feral” used to describe dogs, cats, even goats. But I have wondered if it couldn’t also be used to describe certain houses in Detroit. Abandoned houses are really no big deal here. Some estimate that there are as many as 10,000 abandoned structures at any given time, and that seems conservative. But for a few beautiful months during the summer, some of these houses become “feral” in every sense: they disappear behind ivy or the untended shrubs and trees planted generations ago to decorate their yards. The wood that framed the rooms gets crushed by trees rooted still in the earth. The burnt lime, sand, gravel, and plaster slowly erode into dust, encouraged by ivy spreading tentacles in its endless search for more sunlight.

Like some of the dogs I’ve seen using these houses as shelter (I followed a whole pack into #9 last week), these houses are reverting to a wild state, as from domestication, a word derived itself from domesticus (the Latin for belonging to the domus, or house). Now these houses are feralis. They belong only to the dead.

The entire blog is fascinating, full of excellent photos of Detroit’s decay. The blogger says, “We’ve only been in Detroit for a few years, but I’m amazed at how quickly the city disappears around you.”

Feral Detroit: Nature is reclaiming the Motor City

Though some blame Detroit’s population losses on larger economic forces, economists Edward Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer argue in a groundbreaking paper that the city’s problems are mostly self-inflicted. (The paper, called “The Curley Effect,” gets its name from legendary Boston mayor James Curley, who favored Irish residents and pushed other groups out.) After winning election in 1973, Detroit’s first black mayor, Coleman Young, consolidated his power, driving white residents, who had voted against him, out of the city by withdrawing services from their neighborhoods. Eventually, Glaeser and Shleifer write, Detroit became “an overwhelmingly black city mired in poverty and social problems”—and shrinking fast.

50 Years Ago in Detroit

Last week the CEO’s of the ‘Big Three’ Detroit auto makers arrived (by private jet) in Washington holding tin cups in their manicured hands. They warned of dire consequences if a
taxpayer-financed bailout wasn’t forthcoming. It was a sad testament to how far the Motor City had fallen.

Fifty years ago, Detroit was a different place.

Detroit’s Gangster Mayor Reportedly to Accept Plea Today: Kilpatrick Era Over … for Now
By Nicholas Stix

In 1950, Detroit, then known by whites as “the Motor City” and by blacks as “Motown,” had 1,849,568 predominantly white residents; only 16.2 percent of the city was then black. Not only was the city America’s fifth most populous, but was by some accounts the nation’s most beautiful and affluent major city.

By the 2000 census, the city was down to 951,270 residents, 81.2
percent of them black. As of 2007, Detroit’s population is estimated to be 916, 952.

Detroit’s point of no return came in 1967. Since the 1950s, the
black share of the city’s population had been steadily increasing, and with it, the crime rate. Less than one month after black nationalist H. Rap Brown and his comrades demanded that white Detroiters surrender the city to them (Brown: otherwise, “we are going to burn you down”), from July 23-28, blacks committed what would remain the most destructive, 20th century American race riot until the 1992 Los Angles race riot, with 43 dead and 467 wounded. Whites responded by fleeing the city, selling their homes at way below their previous market value, losing everything. In no time, beautiful, safe, white neighborhoods mutated into violent, black slums.

In 1973, black supremacist Coleman Young became Detroit’s first black mayor. Young hired convicts fresh out of prison to be police officers, and during his five terms in office, reshaped Detroit into the African-style kleptocracy that it has remained ever since. One of the new local folk ways that grew under Young was “Devil’s Night,” which black youth celebrated citywide annually the night before Halloween, by committing arson, looting, and rioting across the city.
Detroit made a gift of Devil’s Night to the nation, as the arson-riots spread across the country. City government was only able to douse the party by employing police state tactics in the 1990s, which they must employ every year anew, or risk a return of the flames.

From Meccania to Atlantis – Part 11: Mugged by Reality by Takuan Seiyo

Detroit has already met The Wall. Its industry is shattered. It looks like a post-Apocalypse city. It has the highest per-capita crime rate in North America, probably in all of Meccania: 1,220 violent crimes per 100,000.

84% of Detroit’s population is black, voting strictly by racial
allegiance and electing criminal, incompetent mayors and a city council of crude, whitey-bashing ignoramuses.

Only 22% of Detroit’s public school students graduate, and the
schools have armed police on permanent duty. Similar situations in civic culture, crime and schools exist in all the large cities with large racial minority populations (4), which means almost all American cities.

These problems are impossible to fix, because the ruling Body
Snatchers are racist cowards who tacitly hold black (and mestizo) people to lower standards of conduct than they do Whites. Dr. Walter Williams, a black libertarian and distinguished professor of economics, has blamed Snatcher insanity for this unraveling. He has written about Detroit schools, “Much of what’s seen today is a result of harebrained ideas and a tolerance for barbaric behavior”. Williams has diagnosed a similar problem in other cities, e.g. Baltimore.

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