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.