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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:06 AM

6. Coleman Young Would Be A Hero If He Hadn't Confronted White People About Their Racism

Octafish .. here's a nice follow-up to that excellent free press piece.
Now that the Free Press has scrutinized Coleman Young’s financial stewardship and declared him the “most austere Detroit mayor since World War II,” maybe it’s time to re-examine other aspects of Young’s 20 years in office.

And maybe fair-minded observers will eventually conclude that Young was a much better mayor than his reputation in the 21st Century would suggest. And perhaps we can even agree that Young, at least for the first eight to 10 years of his two decades in the Manoogian Mansion, was even Detroit’s best mayor since the city began its 60-year decline...

In 2009, when Time magazine embedded its staffers in the city for a year, Daniel Okrent, writing the magazine’s cover story, said among the chief reasons “Detroit careened off the road” was “the corrosive two-decade rule of a black politician who cared more about retribution than about resurrection … a talented politician who spent much of his 20 years in office devoting his talents to the politics of revenge.”

That’s an evaluation that is shared by legions of Young critics. Yet such a negative interpretation doesn’t square with the Free Press’ findings that Young probably did more to steer Detroit away from the financial abyss than the eight other mayors who have run Detroit since 1950...


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