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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby

Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby

Gatsby does Detroit

By Sam Riddle
Special to The Michigan Citizen

The not so “Great Gatsby” film was a celebration of whiteness and class bias.

Damn, “Gatsby” reminded me of what is happening to the city of Detroit right now. White folk are cheering and partying, flaunting the law of the land pouring ‘em down, while their minstrel Emergency Manager has the stage.

Bright media driven lights bounce all around the democracy destroying event of our times as we listen to the dystopian hip hop beat used to legitimize the thoroughly illegitimate savaging of a document that is winked at. Everyone knows the U.S. Constitution is just about the 2nd Amendment these days.

Everyone knows.

“That nerd knows how to get down! No party like a Detroit parteee! Ahhh, ya had to be there!”

Underneath that smug practiced confident look of one never accepted in the locker room, there is a thread of doubt, but at last the nerd is on a playing field for all to see and cheer him. Him! Who would have thought that they would even (s)elect him captain of the team?

Life is good — so far.

“Hey, stop that! Who are those people standing over my punch bowl? My gawd they are trying to mess up my party. They’re pissin’ in the punch bowl.”

“Not to worry sir, we’ve got this; the courts will never side with that NAACP bunch.”

“Didn’t they say that in the Deep South?”

“Sir, these are different times. You saw what happened to that Davis guy’s lawsuit?”

“The NAACP is not Robert Davis.”

“Sir, look, there’s Andy.”

“Oh no, Andy’s drinking out of that punch bowl.”

“Sir, he’s had a rough go of it, what with that wife and the sex texting and all.”

“Andy may have his own texting issues, why did he have to use the N word?”

“Well you know once your woman gets hooked up with them … Maybe he’s trying to make up for it by drinking out of their bowl now.”

“That’s MY bowl you idiot! By the way, make sure our guy gets Jones Day their check on time this month. And let him know that everyone knows what is wrong with Detroit. He needs to read our playbook and let everyone know how we plan to fix it. We can fix it, can’t we?”

“Sir, Detroit is a challenge, but we will make sure our people do what they can with what they are working with.”

“What does that mean?”

“Governor, it took a long time to break Detroit. We can’t put it back together in a few months, but we can take the valuable assets and redistribute them to responsible parties.”

“Just make sure that Roger understands that we can’t rush into renaming that damn island after him. Penske’s Isle just doesn’t have the right ring. When are we moving that fist?”

“I’ll speak to the EM; he wants to move it to the Kronk gym.”

“Idiot, there is no Kronk gym. Can’t you just move the fist to that building where we moved Coleman’s Cobo picture? Maybe put it in the city council auditorium; they won’t need it.”

“It is a big fist, sir, but I’ll see that it’s done.”

“Great and how is the little woman?”

“Julie is enjoying the children but is getting a bit more involved. She has a meeting tonight with a Detroit News reporter to discuss her role with the kids’ soccer league.”


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 currently serves as political director for the Michigan National Action Network. He can be reached at or

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