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The ‘holy war’ in Detroit

The current political moment in Detroit and in the nation require us to think about power and authority in new ways. No one seemed to notice when the pope quit. It had not happened in over 650 years. Another one was named shortly with little fanfare from Catholics around the world. The previous pope had serious allegations levied against him, which few would ever know about and fewer would believe due to years of indoctrination.

The voters of Detroit and Michigan repealed a draconian and racist law that strips all public officials of power and authority in only Michigan’s Black cities and school districts. Yet, the law remains, and as an elected school board member, I receive decrees from the illegitimate emergency manager on a regular basis.

Included in the new law is the right of the emergency manager to put back on the board of the Detroit Public Schools a corrupt member who had been voted out of office when Detroiters still had the right to vote. The member was associated with contractors who raised great concerns from parents and students, but insisted on keeping Aramark in place despite the objections of the voters. The same person was associated with Synagro, a contractor that is associated with bribing elected officials, some of whom are in prison today.

In addition, the voters have been ignored regarding the misuse of bond money, which was intended for public schools, not schools that would be taken from us and handed off to strangers with no good intentions. Indeed, a failing Jim Crow district is set up and called the Educational Achievement Authority.

But putting back onto the school board a person who was voted off by the voters of Detroit is a different level of disdain for Detroiters. It represents an antipathy that goes beyond money grabbing and interest swaps. It insults our integrity and shows the true colors of the emergency managers and what they represent: Contempt for the people and nothing more.

We must stand against those who worship money. We have to stand up to defend our lives, our schools, our children, our retirees. There is no good to come from this bankruptcy law firm running Detroit and running our lives. Jones Day and Gov. Rick Snyder must be dealt with as the evil forces they are, and if we fail to recognize their intentions, we fail to recognize the presence of evil.

There is no reason for the emergency manager to still control our school district; millions of dollars have gone missing and have been squandered, over one hundred needed schools closed, teachers fired, all with the power of a law that has been repealed.

The governor gave carte blanche powers to a law firm with questionable practices and without transparency or open meetings. This is what evil looks like. This is what corruption is, but many are not accustomed to corruption being so well-dressed and in white face.

This is a holy war. Which side are you on?

Elena Herrada
Detroit Public Schools Board Member

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