This is pretty much a response to this article. Jon Moy eviscerates Shinola and it's parent company for using Detroit as a buzz word.
I'm not from the city, I'm not even from the SE Michigan area. I grew up in the Bible Belt just south of Grand Rapids. I'm a middle aged white guy, so I'm sure whatever I have to say on the issue will be considered less relevant than the youth native to Detroit.
But I learned to weld, I became a tradesman, and I honed my craft in Detroit. I worked in the city for the better part of a decade. I'd like to set up my own shop down there one day, if not for certain life obstacles I've face the last few years I'd be there already. And it's got nothing to do with this contemporary notion that seems to anger those that are there now...that all these 25 to 45 white folks are trying to take this city for themselves.
No, it's because Detroit is the Industrial Mecca. Automotive Capital of the World. The Arsenal of Democracy. Heck, at the turn of the last century it was the largest stove manufacturer in the world. It's alway been about building stuff, whether it's cars or ships or tanks or planes. Ghosts of past endeavors still hide in buildings abandoned, in use, and in between(like Piquette) throughout the city. I've got a few friends that collect industrial machinery to refurbish and use, and there's no shortage of treasures around here.
I want to see the city succeed, but I don't have any misgivings of being a "white knight." Even so, you're pissed that somebody's using "your" city as a marketing ploy? Because marketing and consumerism are typically so altruistic, right? Because "your" city has been so successful at marketing itself, right? This is the same goddam mindset that led to a proud city's spiral into chaos: "Nobody is gonna fix this unless it's us." Well....we're waiting? I can't help but think that when someone reads as much racism and spite into a seemingly benign situation as the author did in this piece, there's some transference going on.
Forget that. The city IS broke. Literally and figuratively. If people and/or corporations want to do ANYTHING that resembles a positive step...why not let them? If you want to question if a bike or a watch that's assembled in Detroit is truly made in Detroit, I get that and I've read those concerns before and to me those are reasonable queries with varying answers. I've got my own opinions on that, but for some reason race never entered the equation in my head. Conjuring up images of "savages" and "white knights"...is that going to do any good, at any time, to any one? Nope, it's just staying stuck in the same cycle of us versus them. Old mayor would be proud.