Yeah man, I'm back in the building! Jozen got me blogging again so y'all stuck with me for a while. I'm going to look at blogging like it's a fun thing rather than a deadline that I have to hit. To fill this space I'm going to need some help from you though. Suggestions for topics and your outlandish comments will motivate me to write more, even when I won't want too. So let's begin…
Right now, I'm transmitting from Detroit, Michigan. I'm out here for the international auto week that they have every year to showcase the newest and truest that the automotive industry has to offer for '08-'09. Looking forward to checking out the concept cars and all the ill gadgets they have lined up for our whips that will take us forever to figure out how to use.
Amid all the fly guy events that I'll be attending, there is something a bit disturbing about the city of Detroit that's weighing on my mind. While staying in one of the hotels with a hardcore casino in it, I'm checking out the people that are filling up the chairs, hypnotized by the slot machine lights. They aren't the type of people that you see in a casino in like, Las Vegas. You know, the weekend warrior type that are yelling through the halls, drunk as a skunk, slamming down $100 bills, screaming "Blackjack!” The people that I've seen here plunking coin after coin and bill after bill onto tables and into slots are some of the cities most downtrodden, economically crippled individuals you can think of. Some spending their hard-earned government checks, others probably spending their rent and grocery money. Not to say they aren't good people or anything, it's just sad to see that a city with so much history and so much American spirit had to resort to building casinos and getting money from their already financially strapped citizens to help boost the economy.
With the motor industry not being as robust as it once was in this city, the lack of Detroit's dollar flow is most evidently clear when you drive just 5 minutes out of the city. Abandoned warehouses, stores, even homes that were once occupied by flourishing communities are barren…lifeless. It's a sad scene in the daytime and worse at night. There is a constant gloom that covers the sky most days. But the people still smile.
I'm a big fan of having fun and playing a few hands of Blackjack and a few slots, but it's not an addiction for me. I've stayed a full week in Vegas and didn't touch a gambling table or machine (I'm a bit of a cheapo so take that with a grain of salt). The fact that a city would pray on the addiction of a people that see so much hopelessness, and give them this get rich quick dream as a way to turn the city around, in my eyes causes more problems than they solve. The people are already getting taxed, have low paying jobs and are jobless, from a town that is built around an industry that is hurting. Why give them another avenue for addiction that hurts them mentally as well as financially?
Now, I have seen the new developments and resilient spirit of young black entrepreneurs that are in the downtown area. The fight that's in the expertly designed and delicious menus of the Woodward and Sweet Georgia Brown restaurants, the various shops and business that are trying to survive in a changing backdrop of new concrete and shiny steel against crumbling bricks and rotting wood, is incredible. But they are fighting against hope.
If I'm going off the deep end about this, let me know. Cause yeah, the people have the free will not to patronize the casinos. They don't have to be in the smoke filled cancer chambers that casinos have become…but if you build it they will come, even if it'll kill them.