Photo Essay: Detroit-The Troubled City

Photographer Bruce Gilden shines a light on the situation in Detroit in this Magnum photo essay and it’s not pretty. Actually, it’s really, really scary.

There’s a few things I like about this though.

He’s right: the foreclosure crisis is racist. These banks we’re bailing out preyed on minorities and poor people. They are still throwing people out of their homes and leaving them homeless. And why? For what? Who is buying these homes in Detroit?

I’m trying to buy a home right now in Cleveland and fix it up and bank after bank tells me they won’t work with me. The city of Cleveland is willing to offer them $20,000 towards the mortgage and that isn’t enough to entice them to turn over a measly $50,000 loan to a young professional with perfect credit.

These banks are calling the shots about our cities, not City Hall and not President Obama. And these banks are pillaging our cities for a few dollars in bonuses.

There shouldn’t be a single homeless person in Detroit or Cleveland right now. There is a surplus of housing. These banks that we’ve given so much to lately should give back to Cleveland and Detroit for the sake of their own remaining investments.

Another thing: Gilden captures the frustration of the people who have been victim to this. The people he interviewed sound downright revolutionary. They don’t sound like bad people. They’re just frustrated, and most importantly, they have nothing to lose.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: this country must rush relief to Detroit. People need social services. We can’t have people starving in the street. We can’t have people getting shot perpetrating crimes the value of a loaf of bread.

No progress can be made in Detroit, or Cleveland for that matter, unless the least among us are cared for.

This kind of injustice is like a powder keg waiting to go off.

-AS

2 Comments

Filed under The Housing Crisis

2 responses to “Photo Essay: Detroit-The Troubled City

  1. Megan

    I have to tell you- BRAVO! What you have stated, “There shouldn’t be a single homeless person in Detroit or Cleveland right now. There is a surplus of housing. These banks that we’ve given so much to lately should give back to Cleveland and Detroit for the sake of their own remaining investments.”- is exactly correct.

    But let us not forget the lovely real estate companies as well… Since integration took place, real estate companies have run rampant red lining everything under the sun to ensure the lovely “This neighborhood is going downhill- get out now!!” stigma lives on. When this country finally did provide equal rights and those who could did get out of the ghettos, real estate companies made it a practice to drop values of homes as soon as anyone considered a minority took up residence on that street. Thanks to those who bought into the values and the market, we have developments that keep developing, further and further away from the city. In Youngstown now, many of the suburbanites are moving as far away as Columbiana (next county down) and calling it a Suburb of Youngstown. And I guaranty you as soon as the value goes down there there will be another suburb forming, this time by who knows where- maybe 50 miles out instead of 30.

  2. Pingback: GLUEspace » Blog Archive » Thursday Rust Wire News Round-up

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