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Detroit Prognosis

By Mike D. Whitty, PhD and Futurist

I love Detroit. I believe we are all Detroiters at heart. That is why I call myself Dr. Detroit, for a city which is proud, joyful, and creative.

I am an Optimist. My Gray Panther friend etherl Schwartz said, “Don’t tell me what’s wrong, I already know that. Tell me what’s right, how we can make things better.”

My activism and contact with this beautiful and noble community last year gives me hope for Detroit and the world.

Detroit has soul and great music. Labor and civil rights are important to us. So is family and our love of life.

Detroit’s progressives must remember that our vision is of a loving community where we feel safe and supported. We need less blameology and victimology, more hope for the future and the possible human, to save ourselves is to save the world., inner peace and outer peace, evolving global justice and a politics of love.

Now is the time for us to complete our life legacy. We are creating our future as we think, speak and act. Our visionary hopes for the future require all of us to show respect to each other. To embrace tolerance and decency, unity in diversity. And to continue to build a win-win world. All we need is guts, brains and compassion. We need a good-news network (The Detroit Standard) where our positive visions will create a tipping point in human consciousness, allowing a paradigm shift from the creed of greed to one of peace and justice.

Remember all that you are grateful for. Gratitude will give you more strength and love to live the rest of your life. A little bit of solitude, a whole lot of gratitude and a loving attitude.

  • University of Detroit Mercy professor Mike D. Whitty is currently researching the future of work.
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Detroit Mayor Orders Columbus Statue removed

Detroit mayor orders removal of Christopher Columbus bust

DETROIT – Detroit’s Christopher Columbus bust was removed from its pedestal on Monday as protests against racism and police brutality continue in the city.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan ordered the bust to be removed. It will be placed in storage as the city decides what to do with the monument long-term.

The Columbus bust has been a target of vandalism in the city for years. Columbus monuments around the country have been removed in recent weeks.

In fact, Detroit no longer even celebrates Columbus Day, but instead, Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Speaking at a press conference Monday Duggan said there will be a conversation with the community about the statue.

“When I looked at some of the violence around the country, and in particular you got people with arms gathering around a Columbus statue in Philadelphia arguing with people. I thought we don’t need this. We should have a conversation as a community as to what is an appropriate place for such a statue,” said Duggan.

He also talked about the name of the city’s convention center being changed due to race related issues.

Duggan pushed very hard to change the convention center’s name. It was previously named Cobo Hall after former Detroit Mayor, Albert Cobo, who was known as a racist for policies he put in place. The convention center was renamed TCF Center in 2019.

“I just didn’t think our convention center a national symbol of the city should be named after someone who really did a lot to make the lives of African Americans worse in the city of Detroit,” he said.

Statues and monuments have long been a controversial topic in the U.S., especially Confederate monuments in the South. In recent weeks, protests against racism have resulted in the toppling or removal of several monuments around the world.

In Bristol, England, demonstrators toppled a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and threw it in the harbor. City authorities said it will be put in a museum.

The New Zealand city of Hamilton removed a bronze statue of the British naval officer for whom it is named — a man who is accused of killing indigenous Maori people in the 1860s.

In the U.S., the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck, has led to an all-out effort to remove symbols of the Confederacy and slavery. Several statues of Confederate army leaders have been removed or vandalized, including that of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee. Around the world, historical figures are being re-examined.

So what did Columbus really do? He wasn’t the first to discover the New World, the term generally used to refer to the modern-day Americas. Indigenous people had been living there for centuries by the time Columbus arrived in 1492.

He wasn’t the first European in the New World, either. Leif Eriksson and the Vikings beat him to it five centuries earlier. While many schoolchildren learn about the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, less appealing details of Columbus’ journeys include the enslavement of Native Americans and the spread of deadly diseases.

The indigenous societies of the Americas “were decimated by exposure to Old World diseases, crumbling under the weight of epidemic,” historian David M. Perry wrote.

“Columbus didn’t know that his voyage would spread diseases across the continents, of course, but disease wasn’t the only problem. … He also took slaves for display back home and to work in his conquered lands.”

But there’s no doubt that Columbus’ voyages “had an undeniable historical impact, sparking the great age of Atlantic exploration, trade and eventually colonization by Europeans,” Perry wrote.


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2 Transgender Women Shot In Detroit, Suspect On The Loose

DETROIT, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Detroit police are searching for a suspect involved in shooting two transgender women.

After the shooting, police say the suspect fled the scene.

It happened Sunday at 1 a.m. in the 6400 block of Woodward.

Police say the 31-year-old suspect got into an argument with a 32-year-old man that resulted in the 31-year-old producing a handgun and firing a shot in at the 32-year-old. As a result two transgender women, ages 20 and 29, who were also at the location were shot.

The 29-year-old transgender woman was transported to a local hospital.

Officers on the scene transported the 20-year-old transgender woman to a local hospital.

The 32-year-old man was not injured, according to police.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detroit Police Department’s Third Precinct Investigative Unit at 313-596-1340 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak-Up.


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City of Detroit removes Christopher Columbus statue from downtown as black lives matter protests continue

Posted By Steve Neavling on Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 1:04 PM

  • Steve Neavling
  • Protesters draped a black cloth over the Christopher Columbus statue in downtown Detroit in August 2017.

The City of Detroit removed its 110-year-old Christopher Columbus statue on Monday.

Mayor Mike Duggan ordered the removal of the statue, which has been standing at Jefferson Avenue and Randolph downtown since the late 1980s.

“The mayor decided it ought to be placed in storage to give us time to reevaluate the appropriate long-term disposition of the statue,” mayoral spokesman John Roach tells Metro Times.

In recent weeks, protesters nationwide have torn down, destroyed, and defaced statues memorializing racists amid the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The statue was dedicated to the city of Detroit on Oct. 12, 1910, and originally sat at the north end of Washington Boulevard at Grand Circus Park.

A local activist group called for the statue to be removed in August 2017, saying Columbus represents violence and genocide, and his statue symbolizes mass slaughter.

Columbus advocated fighting and enslaving native groups because he perceived them as cannibals. Those who weren’t killed often were forced to mine gold under brutal conditions. Columbus and his crew also sold nearly 1,500 enslaved islanders to Europe.

Last week, a cardboard sign was placed on the bust, reading, “Looter. Rapist. Slave Trader.”

On Columbus Day in 2015, someone vandalized Detroit’s Columbus statue, making it look like a bloody hatchet blow to the statue’s head.

Earlier this month, a statue of former Dearborn Mayor Orville Hubbard, a staunch segregationist, was put into storage after someone put a Black Lives Matter T-shirt on it.

In recent years, Duggan called for Cobo Center to be renamed because it was named after former Mayor Albert Cobo, a racist who ran on a platform of “Negro removal.” It’s now called TCF Center.


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Oakland County residents share what it’s like to be black in America

  • By Monica Drake; @monica_adele on Twitter
  • Jun 2, 2020
Harris family
Paris Harris of Waterford with her husband, Marvin Harris, and their four children

In George Floyd’s last moments of life, he called out for his mother.

Watching that video of Floyd as a police officer knelt on his neck until he lost consciousness, mothers of black sons have said they imagined their own sons, begging for life while struggling for air.

Paris Harris, a Waterford resident and mother of four, said, “It could have been any of us that day. It could be my uncle, my cousin, my baby laying there. … I’m hurt about this. We’re all hurting.”- Advertisement –

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For black people across Michigan and the nation, Floyd’s death has only perpetuated the fear they’ve lived with their entire lives.

“As a mother, you are ingrained with fear. Fear of them falling and hurting themselves, fear of them getting bullied, or fear of them getting sick. But as the mother of a black child, especially one of a son, your fear is unmeasurable,” said Harris.

“It goes beyond skinned knees and runny noses. You fear them being at the wrong place at the wrong time. You fear them spending the rest of their lives in jail for a crime they didn’t commit – if they even make it there before being gunned down senselessly as soon as they’re approached.”

Marcell Jackson
Marcell Jackson

Marcell Jackson of Waterford said, for him, one of the hardest things has been seeing insensitive social media posts in response to Floyd’s death.

“(These are) people I have known for years – some I looked at like brothers and sisters. … (Now I see) how these people truly feel,” he said. “(Them) minimizing it and not truly seeing what is going on hurts.”

Avenn Benton
Avenn Benton

Avenn Benton of Pontiac said she realized people were treating her differently because of the color of her skin when she was in high school and Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old from Florida, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. She attended a predominantly white school and said most of her classmates wouldn’t even talk to her about it.

“I turned to media to find ways to express my thoughts. Personally, Tamir Rice is the one that broke my heart. I couldn’t believe that someone could get away with killing a 12-year-old boy. Then, Philando Castile was killed in front of his girlfriend and his daughter,” said Benton. “I was raised by a single father so that one hit me different. I still have a picture of Philando in my room.”

Benton said she thinks some people have grown numb to the news – but, every time she hears of another victim of senseless violence, it’s not just another name in the media to her. Benton feels each one of those deaths – mourning and grieving along with their families.

“How does (Floyd’s) death affect me? Well I can’t say it’s just his death. It’s all the names I have in my head. It’s all the stories of these people doing mundane things and being killed for them,” she said.

Each time her boyfriend or father goes out at night, Benton said she can’t sleep until she knows they’re home safely.

“Even during a pandemic, we aren’t safe. We aren’t safe in our homes, at the park, at the gas station, in the car,” she said.

To share your story about how George Floyd’s death has affected you, email reporter Monica Drake at