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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Sam RiddlePetitions, preachers and ex-mayors 

By Sam Riddle
Special to the Michigan Citizen

There were over 60 individuals who had picked up petitions to run for mayor of Detroit when I strolled into City Clerk Janice Winfrey’s abode to pick up stacks of petitions for mayor and council-at-large.

It had just been broadcast that ex-mayor Dave Bing had picked up petitions, though he had not stated for sure whether or not he would run again, for his vacated office. Bing was merely exercising his options. What the hell — if Bing had the gall to pick up petitions, then I had the guts to pick up petitions, too, to see what it felt like to weigh my own options.

It’s a free country, right?

Hmmm maybe it’s not such a free country or at least Detroit may not be a free city.

A preacher, now self-elevated with the moniker of bishop, immediately attacked me on his radio show as a publicity hound competing for, no pun intended, God knows what. This bishop also suggested that the two women running for mayor should drop out of the race and walk, politically, a step behind his candidate. (A “keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant” broadcast attitude prevailed.)  There were even Facebook “likes” signaling ignorant approval for this misogynistic abasement. KMA.

Media types reported the city clerk was checking with the State of Michigan to see if I could run for mayor. An 11 p.m. TV newscast found my petition pickup more newsworthy than:

(1) The 400 people who had gathered for Tom Barrow’s announcement that he was running for mayor again — while Tom submitted four times the maximum signatures permitted; (2) Bing was picking up his petitions the same day former state rep; and (3) Lisa Howze turned in her petitions for mayor of Detroit.

Undaunted, the city clerk dutifully performed her chores for all parties as I continued to exercise my options.

The Black proxy Detroit EM for union busting democracy destroying Mayor Snyder yawned.

I have yet to call a press conference to announce, as Bing did, that I may or may not run for a damn thing. I’m just exercising options, people. Frankly, I don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote — by now you ought to know up from down. I never suspected blank petitions could be so empowering.

Those Snyder ministers who condemned us for not voting didn’t know what the heck they were whining about and ought to shut up. Black voter turnout in 2012 surpassed the vote of whites.

One thing about whites is that they won’t stop asserting white privilege. Ex-Detroit mayor Bing feigned surprise when $7 million for Detroit buses was diverted to the suburbs by good white friends of Dave. Ex-mayor Bing should not have supported regionalization in the first place. Those folks used him and now laugh at his Stepin Fetchit antics, while Detroiters will be on concrete plantation transportation lockdown as $7 million is shifted from Detroit to the suburbs. Note to NBA club owners (Dan Gilbert) and former all-stars: There is a big difference between handling 12 Black millionaire basketball players and managing the affairs of America’s Blackest and poorest city — Detroit.

More BINGO! After the NAACP dinner, Bing stated he didn’t really care for the EM and wants the EM to “listen more” to Detroit leadership. Sounds like that guy who hung himself after giving back the 30 pieces of silver. Enough.

Raw observed big trucks and big crew for production work in Detroit’s Midtown on AMC’s “Low Winter Sun.” These folk love our raggedy azz Detroit houses as a back drop. Raw trusts Detroiters find meaningful work on that project.

I enjoyed the opportunity to participate/listen to Madame Shakoor’s production of “Society of Twisted Story Tellers” in Detroit’s Northwest Activities Center — great crowd — thank you!

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 an honorably discharged Vietnam era veteran. He holds a Juris Doctor from University of Michigan Law School. Sam is active in prisoner rights issues after being caught up in political corruption and serving 30 months in federal prison. He currently serves as political director for the Michigan National Action Network. He can be reached at or

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