Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1967 -- 2014

Detroit burned in 1967. After 5 days, there were 43 dead, 1,189 injured and 2,000 buildings destroyed. That was only the beginning. Ten of thousands of people sold or abandoned their homes and left. The burned out businesses never rebuilt. New businesses did not move in. Other businesses closed or relocated outside the city center. The ripple effects of the '67 riots still go on.

The city is still in freefall. There's no tax base, no industry. The population is a third of what it was. Abandoned buildings and homes predominate.

It isn't going to matter why the people in Ferguson burned and looted those businesses. They are gone. It isn't going to matter what sort of justification people had or made up for their actions. All that is going to matter is that the businesses are gone and will not come back. The people of Ferguson will now look to government to fix things.

My guess is that the government will promise big and deliver just like they did in Detroit.


8 comments:

Nosmo King said...

I think independent business operators (meaning "mom and pop") and small chains (meaning those dependent upon insurance companies and not big enough to self insure) across the country will take Ferguson's message to heart by not renewing leases in what will be PC-termed "non-growing markets."

Ferguson will become a retail dead zone pretty quickly; everyplace else will follow, slowly. Give it about 2-3 years and we'll hear the wailing and crying about "no local businesses."

eiaftinfo said...

My "wife to be . . . way in the future" and I were at the Tiger's double header against the Yankees. We exited as the city began to burn . . . it was the day the city died. It too awhile, but one can easily point to that single day in July that began its death. It will never return . . .

Sadly, I fear you're right but not just with Ferguson but with race relations in general. They seem to be, once again, headed for a real cliff. This time there are no older heads that remember what it was like when black families truly took care of each other. I'm glad it's winter . . . and I hope things cool a bit before summer, because this isn't going to be healed or get better any time soon.

Old NFO said...

Detroit Junior coming up...

Goober said...

It pisses me right off that these things always devolve into looting and vandalism.

If you're pissed at the government, take it out on the government, not the local pizzeria.

Go throw rocks at the cops, with my blessing. But you start burning down buildings, thats not "protest". That's ARSON.

You start stealing TV sets from the electronics store, that's not "anger at the police having shot an unarmed man". That's "rank opportunism".

If you want to be perceived as having morality and ethics, and to have people take you seriously, then act morally and ethically, and be serious about it.

Burning down your neighbor's store is not the way to show "the man" that you're angry. It's just a damn good way to hurt your neighbor, and make sure he leaves and takes his store with him.

NotClauswitz said...

East Palo Alto has never really recovered from being "The Murder Capitol of the USA" in the 80's...

waepnedmann said...

Google "Jew Without a Gun" for a first-hand inside account of the 1992 LA Riots.
The world, as you know it, can radically change in 15 minutes.

Ken said...

Wonder what the correlation between shrink rate of stores in a neighborhood and whatever measure they're using to designate an area a "food desert" is.

burt said...

Goober,

Most cops are good folks who just want to get home alive. Most. Not all.. but, by a wide margin, most.

Tossing rocks at cops who are just trying to keep the peace could result in fewer cops willing to go out and keep the peace when things go horribly wrong.

Ferguson is about to learn the same lesson that Detroit has learned: acting out your frustration by destroying your own city merely ends up in a destroyed city.