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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

2014 Participate

By Sam Riddle
Special to the Michigan Citizen

There is an underbelly in Detroit that openly resists the moves of union-busting democracy destroyers simply because we value American citizenship and love spending the currency of liberty. In 2014, we must take care to ensure that we are not over run by those who place profit, power and white privilege over all else.

That will be a daunting challenge.

We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines of marginalization with our self-righteous picket lines as the universe passes us by. We must inflict ourselves on the process. We did that in U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Court when we rendered testimony by the dozens. Yes, the judge did what he did but we participated and we built a record. What will that be worth? Not sure, but it is better to have officially spoken out than to mumble on the sidelines.

Wherever and whenever decisions are being formulated that involve the citizenry or public dollars of any kind be it welfare for hockey pucks, blight removal, zoning, planning, historical designation or deployment of police you should find a means to inflict yourself on the process so that your voice of concern may be heard. Hell, you might even influence direction from time to time. Show the people give a damn but don’t allow yourself to be co-opted. LOL.

The bureaucrats can soak us up like the energy-depleting sponges they are, if we allow that. We won’t. Beware of the meal invitations. You don’t need the neutralization pounds.

In 2014, we must focus much more on issues confronting single female-headed households so their concerns are in the forefront and we do not allow these women and their children to be dehumanized or placed on the back burner of injustice.

We must force the well-being, feeding, clothing, nurturing and educating of our children into an action agenda from the White House, Congress, state and local units of government and the private sector. Decision makers need to know our issues the moment they see us or hear our names. Become a damn problem that gets results. Dan Gilbert needs to meet the real Detroit.

For real results, we must step up the level of direct action to upset the stability of institutions that do not operate in the interest of the people. What does that mean? If we allow those that have destroyed democracy in Detroit to operate as if things are hunky dory, nothing changes. Conducting business as usual must become a challenge to such entities and individuals.

We must never let haters cause us to lose hope or dislike ourselves and never let haters make you weak in your faith. Keep the faith. Stay on the battlefield.

Sam Riddle is political director for the Michigan National Action Network. Follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at twittercom/samriddle.

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