The U.S. Social Forum – Detroit, MI

Probably one of the most important progressive movements is happening in Detroit right now. Tomorrow’s theme is bringing back Detroit as a regional superpower, an international power. This brings me to a topic of the city that is currently being addressed: image.

When you think of Detroit, are you thinking about the good city, the bad city, or the mixture of all of it?  Frankly, Detroit is still one of the largest cities in the country and certainly one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world.  Oakland County, just north of the city, is frequently ranked as one of the wealthiest counties in all of America.  The city itself has a large amount of wealth and land as both Seattle and Manhattan would fit inside Detroit without any issues at all.  However, the latest spree of gun crime, the crisis in Detroit Public Schools and the scandals perpetrated by ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick leave Detroit with a sour taste in most people’s mouth.

There are countless opportunities as to why the city has become this tarnished piece of American iron; racism, segregation, violence, government policies, etc.  However, the opportunity now lays directly in the hands of the people of this country.  We have to take a different look at our rustbelt.  We have to take a different look at the city of Detroit.  The U.S. Social Forum’s tagline, “Another World is Possible, Another US is Necessary,” is very much representative of the changes needed in this old town.  The region, including the core city, needs to redevelop itself, reclaim itself, and more importantly, resell itself with a new lens over the top.  Otherwise, the decay and the challenges of such a city will only continue.

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