Is Detroit Now a Third World City?

Have things in Detroit deteriorated so badly that it is now for all intents and purposes a third world city?

Carrying a firearm to get gas, or not stopping for traffic lights, as described in a recent article,  are behaviors we would not expect urban residents of the (temporarily) richest country on earth to feel coerced into engaging in.

To put this in perspective, many years ago I knew a guy who worked for a while in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  When I asked him how he liked living there, he replied that he hated it, because there was so much violent crime.

For example, he told me that if you were out driving at night, you would never stop at a red light, else you may get robbed or worse. At the time I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. How could a place be so dangerous to live in that you couldn’t obey traffic lights?

Welcome to Detroit!

Detroit may not have the most murders of any large U.S. city, (Chicago holds that distinction), but it does have the highest per capita murder rate.  (Flint has a higher per capita murder rate, but it does not qualify as a large city.  It does, however, have Michael Moore as its mascot, which, depending on your political leanings, may be enough to derange you into becoming a killer.)

Actually I need to rephrase my original question: Have things in Detroit deteriorated so badly that it is now for all intents and purposes a BAD  and dangerous third world city? Just because a country doesn’t have the wealth and infrastructure of the United States doesn’t mean it is by necessity a violent place to live.

Detroit was once the fifth largest city in the U.S. Much of the population decline in Detroit has been due to folks moving to surrounding communities perceived as having safer, friendlier environments. This trend started with the riots in the late 1960’s, and continued through recent times, even accelerating since the year 2000. In fact, since 2000 even the surrounding communities have begun to lose population.

I don’t think I need to point out that much of Detroit’s instability was due to racial tensions, do I? If you have grown up in the United States, the consequences of race and a once legal slave trade are part of your consciousness.

A quick Google search for “ruins of Detroit” will bring up pictures of once beautiful homes and buildings now abandoned to rot.  It is fascinating, creepy, sad, yet at the same time strangely intriguing to see these structures collapse back into the dust from whence they came.

It’s not as bad as passing a gruesome automobile accident on the side of the road, (there is no immediate human suffering involved), but in some ways it invokes similar feelings.  You wish that SOMETHING could have been done to prevent this catastrophe.

Will the decay that has overtaken Detroit follow suit in other U.S. cities? The dynamics that brought a once prosperous city to its knees are an unfortunate part of American culture. The racial conflicts of today owe their genesis to our slave-holding past. Can we heal these multi-generational hatreds and finally live as one people?

 

Originally published by us on FullofKnowledge.