A big discussion online in Detroit right now is highlighted in this segment (we’ve embedded the episode below and you can watch it here) from Flashpoint on WDIV-TV4. They invited two bloggers on the show who have opposing viewpoints on perception Detroit’s recent economic developments. Both guests wrote blog posts which have received a lot of attention on the internet.
First up is Kelly Guillory, a local artist. She critiques the New Detroit by calling out its perpetrators as living a “dangerous lie” in her essay on Medium. She sees a group of people who are overlooking the past in favor of a version of the city that will leave the the poorer, blacker, more disenfranchised base of Detroit’s population behind.
He sees that kind of criticism as exclusionary and outdated, because as a middle aged white person, he is being judged on a surface level, and not for what he is actually doing. He sees racial profiling of the New Detroit movement as a hindrance to the momentum that is needed to make Detroit the kind of place that more people will want to live. He wrote an essay called “Don’t like the change coming to Detroit? Get Involved” on his blog at IT and the D, which we ran on Daily Detroit as an opinion piece. Phillips runs IT in the D, which manages IT networking events in Detroit that help connect applicants to employers.
In the conversation moderated by Devin Scillian, points discussed include the role that history plays in structuring the still mostly unwritten narrative of Detroit’s resurgence, inclusion vs. exclusion of different groups who want to make the city a better place, and the way in which the broad issues of race in the city should be dealt with as the city begins to gentrify in various pockets. What do you think?