AMERICAN HISTORY HAPPENED IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN
Working man’s blues: What democrats and unions have done to Detroit
Washington Examiner – Sean Higgins – 7/21/2013
To the first African-American mayor of a major U.S. city, equating the police with criminals was a way of telling his overwhelmingly black constituency that he understood their concerns about police brutality and civil rights.
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To the city's white residents, it was a message that he placed those concerns above public safety and civil order. White flight, which began in the late '60s, accelerated.
In 1970, Detroit's population was 1.5 million. Forty-four percent was African-American, 54 percent was white. By 1990, the city's population had fallen to slightly more than 1 million, with African-Americans accounting for 78 percent and whites only 20 percent.
The population shift under Young cemented the Democratic Party's lock on the city. The labor organizer-turned-Democratic lawmaker would serve five terms, stepping down in 1993 at age 74 as his health worsened.
Detroit is now the most dangerous big city in America, according to FBI statistics, with a crime rate five times the national average.
The city's economy crumbled, too. Unemployment was 7.2 percent in 1970 but soared to 19.7 percent by 1990. Today it is a staggering 18.6 percent, far above the national rate of 7.6 percent.
What sets Detroit apart is that for five decades, sadly, only two hands were on Detroit's steering wheel -- those of Big Labor and the Democratic Party -- and they drove the city into the ditch. To understand why this happened, it's necessary to go back to a spring day in 1941.
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