Missing from the article is the fact that there are neighborhoods in this city that are coming back thanks to the tireless efforts of community groups, local institutions and businesses who would not give up on Detroit.
Missing in the article is an explanation of why Blacks in Detroit embraced Coleman A. Young despite his flaws when he became the first Black mayor of Detroit after Gary, Indiana set the pace with the election of Richard Hatcher.
Despite the length of his article, Okrent did not provide space for his readers to understand the climate that ushered in major Black political figures like Young at a time when the sweltering heat of Jim Crow was alive, just six years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Okrent at least owed it to his readers in the interest of responsible journalism to provide some details about the political philosophy that informed the Young era, and how it was inextricably tied to the battle for civil rights.
WHEN OKRENT talked about Mayor Young spending his time insulting suburban leaders — no matter how wrong that was and how the White flight did afffect Detroit — he did not mention the fact that there are huge thriving businesses today in the city of Detroit owned by White businessmen and women thanks to the Young administration that got them started.
At a recent function I attended at the Detroit Opera House hosted by New Detroit Inc. to honor former Michigan governor William Milliken and other pioneers, I watched Milliken as he talked about the skills of Mayor Young as a shrewd politician, masterful negotiator and a tough ally despite their frequent disagreements on policy.
By the way, Milliken is considered the best Michigan Republican governor in recent history with deep admiration and respect from both sides of the political aisle.
Okrent should have contacted Milliken for some tutoring about the nuances of the political climate under Young and Detroit’s struggles at that tumultuous time.
The photo of the dilapidated building on the cover of Time showing Detroit’s ruins could have been taken in New York or any of the so-called flagship cities considered models of 21st century America.
Make no mistake, there are crucial problems in Detroit that must be tackled. There is an entitlement mentality to governance that needs to be eroded.
But another big issue here as Detroit’s problems move into the national spotlight is the responsibility of the news media in covering the problems.
If objectivity means telling both sides of the story without imposing one’s views, then the media has been missing in action in its professional and moral responsibility.
VERY FEW news outlets today are providing responsible and balanced coverage.
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