Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Comment Thread

My previous post about the Richard & Sandy Dauch campus, which is where they're building the new NFL/YET - Boys & Girls Club, drew a heated exchange between CanoeCarver and an anonymous reader. CanoeCarver did a pretty good job of refuting the personal attacks made against him, but I did want respond to a couple of points that the anonymous reader said.

For everyone except this anonymous reader, please excuse the rant below.

If you have a problem with the very concept of naming a building or a project after someone who donated a significant amount of money to make it happen then you are obviously entitled to your opinion. However, I would greatly appreciate it if you would express your opinion without referring the donors as "egomaniacs." If all they wanted to do was have their name on something, Mr. and Mrs. Dauch could have rented a couple dozen billboards for a lot less then what they gave to the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan.

I believe they have a geniune interest in seeing some great things happen on that site. I welcome their name being attached to it. That isn't an insult to anyone who lived there. It's a simple recognition that naming a building or project is a common way of saying "Thank you" to the people who financed the project.

This is hardly a new phenomena. When the City of Detroit was originally founded in July of 1701, it was named Fort Pontchartrain du de Troit (French for Fort Pontchartrain by the Straights). Pontchartrain was the Minister of the Marine under King Louis I of France and, more importantly, the man who commissioned Cadillac to set up the city.

Prior to being bought by the City of Detroit, the structure we now know as "Tiger Stadium" had always been named after whoever it was that owned the team (e.g., it was called Bennett Park, Navin Field and Briggs Stadium under succession of owners with the same names).

You finance something; you get to have your name on it. It's a simple, centuries old way of recognizing the people whose money makes everything possible. It does not make anyone an "egomaniac."

As for the other comments that the anonymous reader made, like this one:
My point was don’t play coy with me, all the good old boys from Warrendale know good and well that if the city of Detroit and State allowed you all get away with breaking away from the city with that b.s story yawl ran around with for years about being leased from Dearborn Height/twp/city until 2000 or what every that nonsense was about while Herman Gardens was full of poor black people you would not have laid claim Herman Gardens was part of the new city of Warrendale. I am alleging that all of this talk about Herman Gardens being part of Warrendale is self-serving and comes at a might convenient time. I am saying it’s funny how people over here have flipped the script now that the undesirables are gone.
I wasn't being coy. I was being polite and not pointing out your ignorance. However, since you keep pushing the matter, I'll set my manners aside for the moment.

Let's start with the most obvious part. The rumor from the late-1990s about Warrendale reverting to Dearborn or becoming it's own city wasn't started by anyone living in Detroit. In fact, I never even heard a Warrendale resident repeat it.

That rumor came from a handful of suburban real estate developers who were looking to drive up property values in the area. Dearborn already had much higher property values than Warrendale did. They tried convincing folks that if they bought now, they would make a huge windfall when Warrendale left Detroit.

It was the Warrendale Community Organization - the folks that you accuse of being "packed full of old racist Poles" - who were refuting that rumor at every turn. They sent out mailings to everyone in the community and in the news media to let everyone know that the rumor was false. They talked about it at meetings and everywhere else they went.

In short, they did everything within their power to put an end to that rumor. For you to use it as an example of racism only goes to show your own bigotry and stupidity.
The Warrendale community groups are well know for being packed full of old racist Poles who say things like: “I lived here my whole life, as have my parents and grandparents.” and “it's a disgusting shame what has happened to this once tight-knit Polish community”. Being a new school racist your more refined so you will stop short of blaming them damn Negros for “ruining” the community but once and a while you all slip up and show you’re a** and spray paint a swastika a school.
Your bigotry is exceeded only by your ignorance.

I invite you to stop by a meeting of the Warrendale Community Organization. Not only would you find an absence of "old racist Poles" but if you opened your eyes, you would see a racially diverse group of people who care deeply about their neighborhood and like the fact that Warrendale is currently one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in southeastern Michigan.

It might not be as much fun as anonymously hurling insults on an internet message board, but I guarantee that it would a lot more productive.

Okay - rant over.

Back to the regular blog.


canoecarver said...

I actually enjoyed the rant. I do have to say that this rumor does far precede the 1990s. I remember the rumor when I was a kid, which was back in the mid 1970s. I remember all the older people in the neighborhood talking about this supposed deliverance from Detroit. And it really has been reoccurring through the 1990s. As I stated already, the deed for my home says property located in Dearborn Township. When I had my home appraised in about 1996, I did ask the appraiser about this decades old rumor, and he said he had always heard the same thing. I can only assume that at one time, the short lived Village of Warrendale was located in Dearborn Township along with the other Incorporated principalities of Dearborn and Dearborn heights, maybe other villages as well that have been forgotten. There is documentation that Warrendale was absorbed by the city, but I am curious if this was intended to be temporary. Don't get me wrong; I am not banking on it, but anyone in Warrendale who would say they didn't want the Dearborn Police Department rather than the DPD responding to 911 calls would be a liar, black white, Hispanic, Arab or black. Someone in the city with credentials has got to have the low down on this rumor. I will say that I honestly believe that every rumor, stereotype, generalization, etc. has got some root in truth. I'd really like to know the bottom line on this decades old rumor. There has got to be an irrefutable source.

nocturnalicious said...

Where and when does the WCO meet?
I bought a house in warrendale in Nov. '94. I've been trying to get info on the WCO since then.


Dblog said...

Frank, nice response. I suggest you read a book by John Hartigan called Racial Situations.
He spends about a third of the book on warrendale. Superb read.

The Anon reader brings about some points. Are/were there racists in warrendale, sure, of course! Did they move out? Yep. Are there still some there, im sure of it. But you cant paint the whole picture that way. If race was the only issue why is the area still, my guess,20-25% white? The motivations for moving are hardly racists at all. The assertions of the Anon reader sound similar to the whole malcom x school debacle. Whites are racist... please... shove that whiteness studies crap down the drain. lets move on.

canoecarver said...

Actually, Warrendale, from the most recent demographic stats, I believe from 2005, say that Warrendale is roughly more than 30 percent white, a little more than 30 percent black, and a little more than 30 percent "other", which was said to include Hispanic, Arab and American Indian. Every ethnic group moves from Warrnedale at some time, so it's not really plausible to say that it's a race related issue, of course. There are so many homes for sale in Warrendale now, and of my neighbors who are moving, one family is black and the other Hispanic. Most of the whites on my block are older people who have been there for years and have no intention of going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for calling him out on calling out others as racists. BTW I am another annonomous poster, not the one in question.

As a Pole who has lived in this area for some 40 years, I find it to be pretty ingenious that folks consider me a racist. The fact of the matter is racists have left this area. Now old poles may be set in their ways, and you may find them to be odd ways, but they may be looking at others in those same ways saying 'what the heck?'

Is it racist to want the hookers cleaned up? For the most part, these are white women on Warren, does it make me a racist for wanting the police to get rid of them?

Dooes it make me racist that I want the police to do something about the white people driving into my neighborhood from the suburbs to buy drugs or hookers? If it is, then I am a racist.

I only want to live in a place where people have respect for others. By calling others racist shows you have no respect for the old poles. Shame on you annon!

Anonymous said...

Lightweight, please spare me with your self-righteous indignation because I pooped on your Dacuh love fest and pointed out bigotry that existed over in Warrendale.

A) “ It was the Warrendale Community Organization - the folks that you accuse of being "packed full of old racist Poles"…” - Frank

First let me make this really clear for you. I did not accuse the Warrendale Community Organization of being packed of racist Poles what I said was: “Warrendale community groups were well known for being packed of racist Poles”. Key words being “groups” and “were”. I spoke about the community groups active in the past in Warrendale, not the Warrendale Community Organization.

See Frank, my point was clearly made initially, but in you haste to affirm your conclusion that I am a stupid bigot you purposely misrepresented what I stated in the previous posting so you will have a basis to level your allegations and run with. So let’s try this again, my point is that in the past in Warrendale as well as other areas in Detroit were known for White homeowners associations and other community groups organized to keep out primarily racial minorities out of their neighborhoods. This is well documented, widely known and not unique to Detroit. From what I understand the community organization operating over there in Warrendale today was not involved with that sort of activity and is far more diverse than those groups that existed in the past which is why I did say that crock of b.s you attributed to me.

B) As far the rant about the naming of structures and places throughout history the only thing you proved is that people with power and money have their names in visible locations so they can leave a legacy. Well Frank, people who fight to better their community also have just as much of a right and often do have their names on structures just like wealthy folks. There is not a “race card” being played, a racist proposition or a god damn thing wrong with suggesting their names be put up on it. My point is, someone who fought for the people of Herman Gardens name should be on it, not corporate folks trying to buy a legacy. If corporate people want to give money fine, I provided you with an example from K-zoo on how I believe it should be done and how people who are not looking for a photo opt do it.

C) As far your point about the suburban real estate developers who were looking to drive up property values in the area by calling for the break away of Warrendale from Detroit and you never hearing a Warrendale resident repeat is utter nonsense. You don’t have a clue about what you’re talking about. Go talk to a few more residents because the rumor existed previous to the 1990’s like you claim. This was discussed by developers and a segment of Warrendale residents formally and informally (formally at those white homeowners associations and community groups) since the period of time when increasing number of largely Black people moving in ruining the “once tight knit Polish community”. That segment of Warrendale residents were still around in the 1990’s spray painting swastikas and spreading rumors as while like you say the community group was active in dispelling that rumor. As a matter of fact in other large cities with a largely white areas with blacks moving in made arguments similar to the Warrendale leasing story around the country with the help of realtors.

Anonymous said...

Who is that anonynous guy? He's so angry...Isn't there a little white kid he can chase down and bludgeon? It doesn't even sound like he's from Warrendale. I mean I know we can't block the guy...or can we? >;)

Anonymous said...

After reading all the relative posts, and let me say, they were all entertaining, I can only say that the defensive black guy (am I racist for assuming he is black?) is confused about what a race card is. Maybe African/Haitian/Carribean/Jamaican Americans are all confused about what it is. The "race card" is basically a get-out-of-jail-free card. What it means is, let's say something bad happens, you get to flash this ficticious card that says..."Whoa, not my fault, I'm black" I am a self-respecting white guy, and I have no black family or friends, and I do use that term. Sometimes, I think it's appropriate. I'm not convinced that Angry Black Guy used the race card, but I guess everyone's perception can be different. I found it interesting that no one on either "side" commented on the things they had in common. See ya in Warrendale!!

canoecarver said...

Since this has started a rather heated discussion, I will try to explain what I meant by race card. I only meant that I feel that some people are motivated by race when formulating certain opinions. I do feel race divides this city, and the definition of racism is murky, at best. If the term race card offends some people, I apologize. It was not my intention. It's amazing how much people are alike when race comes to be ignored. I too am shocked that the angry anonymous poster was unable to see that I agreed with a lot of what he said. And I mistyped when I said that I said tight-knit community. I did actually type "Polish", but in my defense, it was what is was. This community was Polish, that cannot be changed. It's not more endeared to me because it was, I truly did miss the tight-knit more than the Polish part, I think that's why I left it out the second time. I'm only half-Polish anyway, and I can't understand barely any of the language at all. Anyway, I still have not changed my opinion about the NFL Center...Thanks Dauches!!