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Detroit Gas Station, 2011

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I had spent four days in Ann Arbor, Dexter and Chelsea. This stay allowed me to experience a whiter and more Norman Rockwell Michigan. On two previous trips, I was confined to mostly black and car wrecked Detroit.

Flying out from DetroitAirport, I bought two National coneys and, boy, were they sad. Hotdogs, chili, onion, mustard and buns were like holograms. Though seemingly real, there was nothing there, really. Only the napkins were true.

I noticed lots of Muslim women in headscarves, and even a couple in burkas. There was FreedomCenter, a lounge for soldiers, military veterans and their families. “Serving Those Who Serve Us.” Staffed by volunteers, it had a donation box outside the door. Snacks were laid on a counter. A young black man chilled on a black recliner.

Inside a store, there was a display, “TREAT OUR TROOPS—Purchase any item you wish to donate here and we’ll deliver it to a local agency supporting our troops in this area.” Qualified items included wet napkins, aspirins, mints, chewing gum and candies.

A recurring announcement warned travelers to be vigilant for anything suspicious since we’re on “heightened alert.”

Since all the TVs were tuned to CNN, I had no choice but to hear some guy tell Wolf Blitzer that Donald Trump was encouraging Vladimir Putin to tamper with the US election. Our mainstream media feature many professorial, avuncular men who are entirely vapid and phony. They are paid to appear concerned and wise as they spin and lie. Deep down, they must be laughing at their audience’s stupidity. Blitzer is just a variant of Jerry Springer.

At the end of the jetbridge, a chirpy sign announced that Spirit Airlines had added more seats to each plane to save its customers money. Whatever, I thought. It’s only an hour and a half flight. I had an aisle seat, with no one next to me. By the window was a man with short hair, in a golf shirt, in his late 30’s.

Exhausted, I just wanted to close my eyes until home. As the steel tube taxied, I shifted in my seat, winced, sighed, turned to my right and saw that my row mate was trying to get my attention.

“Sir, I just want to warn you that I always get sick on takeoff,” and he mimicked throwing up into the white paper bag, his head bobbing. This odd confession, said too loudly, drew the attention of two other passengers. Nervously smiling, they turned to look.

“It’s no problem, man. You do whatever you have to do,” I responded.

“Also, I must warn you that I have really bad gas!”

As the dude cracked up, I laughed too, “You had me for a moment. That’s pretty good!”

Hank was his name, and he was going to Philly on business. A native of Hudson, Michigan (pop. 2,273 and dropping), Hank lives in a Detroit suburb just 30 minutes from downtown. Leafy, neat and nearly all-white, its proximity to the high crime city keeps housing prices low.

Yeah, I’ve been in southern Michigan nearly my whole life. In college, I studied English and education. I wanted to be a teacher. My wife teaches first grade.

For nine years, I was a financing executive for Yamaha, but after the 2008 crash, they laid off 4,500 people. All these dealerships went out of business. No one was buying anything.

I was out of work for nine months. I taught summer camp and coached football. I became a substitute teacher, then got a full time job in Detroit. I taught courses like world history, civics and English.

If I told you the truth about what it was like to teach in Detroit, you’d think I’m the biggest racist. Most people don’t believe me, or they get really angry. People are just ignorant of the reality.

It’s worse than anything you can imagine. When I see a 16, 15-year-old, I think he’s just a kid, not an adult yet, he’s just a baby, but in the ghetto, a 15-year-old is no baby. He’s thinking like an adult. He’s mean and tough, and he’s always hustling.

They aren’t fuckin’ kids anymore. They’d shoot you dead, stab you, steal from you, motherfuck you, in a heartbeat.

They break every rule.

Let’s say you’re a teacher, and there’s a rule, No gum in the classroom. Let’s say I’m a student. I take out a stick of gum, put it in my mouth, chew it, right in front of you, so you go, “Hey, no gum in the classroom! Spit it out!” They’d look at you straight in the eye and say, “I don’t have any gum. What are you talking about?”

It’s like that with everything. They put more effort into avoiding doing the right thing… Does that make sense? They would rather walk half a mile to avoid picking up a piece of paper, than a hundred feet to bend over to pick up that piece of paper to put it in the garbage.

I was one of the very few white teachers. I didn’t teach much. They didn’t show up.

On count days for government funding, they give the kids iPads, computers, even phones, just so they will show up and be counted so the school can get its funding. After that, they disappear.

They come to school just to socialize or hustle. You might see a kid once every two weeks. If it’s raining out, they’ll stay home. If it’s too cold, they’ll stay home.

Their ma, grandma or aunt can’t be bothered, and if you call them in, they’ll make it about every other issue but their kid’s education.

Since we’re on a plane, I must watch my language. If we were in a bar…

While I was trying to teach, I saw a middle-school girl give her boyfriend a blowjob, so I said something, and you know what the response was?

“Why are you looking?”

In Detroit, if you have tenure and don’t feel like going to work, you don’t call ahead, OK? Instead, you just call your friend or cousin and say, “Hey, go cover my classes.”

Here’s a guy who just walked off the street. Who are you? Oh, I’m covering for such and such. He’s not a teacher. He has no ID or anything. The principal doesn’t care.

To substitute teach in the suburb, you need to have your certification, a background check, a lesson plan. In the hood, a guy can just call his baby mama or some crack head to cover for him. Throw her 25 bucks.

The test scores are false. The diplomas don’t mean anything. These high school kids read and write at a second grade level.

So what do you expect me to do? It’s a fight you can’t win.

I gave all I had, I did my best, I tried. The kids who wanted extra help, I did everything I could. I gave extra help, time, effort.

When you’re with them, day in and day out, it hardens you, and you must be so alert, because they’d set you up. They’d shoot and stab you, in a heartbeat.


You know who wins an argument in the hood? The one who shouts the loudest the longest. It’s pointless to argue with someone who doesn’t know anything. You can give them all the facts and reasons, but you’re not going to change their way of thinking. It’s like trying to have a debate with this seat.

Ghetto schools get so much more money compared to other schools. There are all these special programs, and side money for accessories, equipments and books, and money for extra security guards and counselors.

Twenty-six Detroit principals have been found, so far, to embezzle thousands and thousands of dollars. The mayor went to jail in 2008. Everything went through him.

People don’t realize how much money there is in Detroit, but it’s all in the suburbs. Inside the city, 90% of the people are on welfare. It’s a burden on our state. They tax the crap out of us to support Detroit.

The unions ruined Detroit. There was a time when the unions served a purpose, there was a need, but it got out of control. You give them an inch and they take a foot, you know what I’m saying?

In Detroit, a guy pushing a broom for Ford, Chrysler or GM makes at least $28 an hour, with good health benefits and a nice retirement plan, and we’re talking about some dude with no job skill and no education. That’s why all the factories left. In the South, a skilled worker makes just 15 an hour, and people fight over it.

With the union, you can only do what’s in the contract. If my job is to wipe and not lift, then I wouldn’t even lift this magazine right here. I’d have to wait for you to come and do it. If I touched this magazine, I’d be breaking union rules, you know what I’m saying?

People who are on welfare for a long time shouldn’t be allowed to vote. If you’re not contributing to society, you shouldn’t be voting, and it’s not about race. If you’re a welfare queen in Appalachia, you shouldn’t be voting either.

If you can’t take care of your kids, the worst thing to do is to bring more into the world. If you’re on public assistance and you can’t take care of what you already have, then there’s no friggin reason why you should make three or four more babies. It’s not fair for the kid. He’s born behind the 8 ball from day one. That’s why we should have government-mandated birth control. It’s common sense.

My wife and I would love to have ten kids too, but we can’t afford to give them everything they need to get ahead.

If a guy has no regard for life and just kills somebody, he shouldn’t get life. He’s not going to be rehabilitated. We should just put a .22 in his chest. This way, we won’t have to spend $40,000 a year for a piece of shit. There’s no other word for it, he’s a piece of shit. Don’t keep him behind bars, feed him, babysit him, give him medical. We should just shoot his ass. I don’t want to sound inhumane, but we should just take a guy like that about five miles on a boat, and make him jump.

I was so glad to be done with teaching in Detroit. Now, I’m a financial advisor. I show people how to access capital, build their business, finance their equipments, find working capital. I show them how to utilize money for growth. I’m a banker.

You don’t know how many times I’ve heard from an immigrant, “I came here when I was 19, I spoke no English and I had six bucks in my pocket.” Fifteen years later, they’re running successful businesses. They’ve saved every dime to send every single one of their kids to college. They’ve brought their extended family over and set them up. They all say, “I never would have had this opportunity in my homeland.”

They are also minorities, but they don’t need handouts. The Chinese were treated worse than blacks not that long ago, and look at how well they’re doing.

It bothers me when people don’t take advantage of what’s available, and don’t contribute, because they make it harder for people who want to do right.

I have tons of friends from other countries, from all different religions, all different backgrounds. They tell me, “People have no idea or appreciate what somebody can accomplish in the US, even with all the shit that’s going down.”

I came from no money. I worked my tail off. I want my boys to have a step up.

I love to teach, and I love children, but I’m making three times more money in corporate America. My company treats me well. In Philly, I’ll have the use of a house and a 2016 BMW. Maybe I’ll substitute teach when I’m retired.

I love a good book. I read all kinds of stuff. When someone can get inside your head with a great book, so that you can’t even put it down to go to sleep, that to me is a true gift.

One of my favorite authors is Sherman Alexie. I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I read about China. I’m really intrigued by the Song Dynasty.

I’m voting for Trump.

There is a lot of tension right now. Unfortunately, there are a lot of politicians who depend on that animosity for their power. They need people to be poor so they can dangle that carrot in front of them.

Here’s what I’m thinking, Don’t piss on my neck and say that it’s raining. Hillary Clinton will piss on your neck and whisper in your ear that it’s raining. Donald Trump will stand behind you and piss on your neck, but he’ll tell you, “I’m pissing on you right now. How do you like that?”

I like to know, at least, what I’m getting.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Blacks, Detroit, Obscured American, Poverty 
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  1. The description of inner-city schools is bang on target (I’ve taught in such schools myself). They serve essentially as glorified holding pens. Just as you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, you can’t teach the ineducable. And yes, as the Derb has pointed out, this is a race matter.

  2. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    “If I told you the truth about what it was like to teach in Detroit, you’d think I’m the biggest racist.”

    I’m the only true race-ist.

  3. DWright says:

    I have lived in the Detroit area my whole life. This guy is right to a great degree but come on, what a bullshit artist you got to sit next to.

    You want a slice of life with a real assessment of the people, you don’t take it from this jerk. Tons of friends from other countries? I’ll bet. Who has that many friends period?

    As far as coneys, you haven’t a clue either.

    • Replies: @anon
  4. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    Hank has seen the reality of black America. What people all ‘racism’ and ‘prejudice’ against blacks is just noticing reality.

    But this isn’t so for this precious Prog Diane Tourjee. Oooh, what a fancy ass name. Tourjee. I’ll bet she gets off that one.

    Get a load of this:

    It’s funny. Libs scoff at the Bell Curve(by Charles Murray and Herrenstein), but they sure love the Dumbbell Curve. Libs say there is no way that whites are generally smarter than blacks, BUT it’s a biological fact that Liberals were born smarter than Conservatives. (But then, why are white/Jewish/Asian Democrats so much smarter than Hispanic and especially black Democrats?)

    According to Ms. Tourjee(oooohhh), Libs hate basis of ideology whereas Cons hate on the basis of biology. This makes Lib hate smarter than Con hate. I suppose there is some truth to this. Elitism based on meritocracy favors the smart among all groups. It judges people by ability. So, smart whites, blacks, yellows, browns, and etc will rise to the top. They are united by ability, and they judge the world according to skills. They feel smarter and better than the dummies. Since they are defined and united by elitist privilege earned by meritocracy, their prejudice is based more on belief than biology.
    Even so, there are problems since not all groups are equal in talent. After all, there are tons of Jews and Asians in elite schools, but blacks must depend on affirmative action to go to good colleges. So, the fact of affirmative action is a kind of soft bigotry or ‘humane racism’ based on the notion that blacks aren’t as naturally gifted.
    In sports, it’s the opposite. For non-blacks to play, they would need quotas and affirmative action. Just look at the US Olympic basketball team. No diversity there. All black.


    Anyway, Tourjee makes one essential flaw. Her PC-addled mind seems to think that American Conservatives ‘hate’ blacks or Muslims or homos for what they are. Not true for the most part. Sure, they may be some bigots who hate just to hate.
    But the hate and/or fear is not about ‘what they are’ than ‘what they do’. Blacks commit lots of crime. They are more muscular, more aggressive, more vicious.
    So, they tend to mess things up and beat up people and rob and kill more.
    Now, poor whites with lower IQ have less means to flee from black thugs. In contrast, rich whites have more money and can afford to live in safe areas.
    So, poor whites come in contact with the harsh reality of black thuggery. They come to hate or fear blacks. This isn’t mindless prejudice based on ignorance but dread based on reality(like what Hank in the above article) noticed all the horrible black behavior in schools.

    In contrast, snobby snot-nosed conceited affluent white Libs like Tourjee(ooooh, ‘tourjee’) grow up in cocooned, pampered bubbles. They don’t have to deal with black crime or thuggery. The kind of black they deal with are the nicer kinds who made it to middle class rank. And since the media suppress most news about bad black behavior, the likes of Tourjee don’t know about the reality. If anything, the media is run by progots — progressive bigots — who push the BS about black sainthood when it’s blacks who are causing most of the problem. Poor whites with lower IQ come in contact with real black thugs. Rich whites with higher IQ live in safe communities and see blacks through fantastical Hollywood movies and slanted PC media.

    On the occasion that a white lib decides to deal with feral blacks, they sound pretty much like conservatives. They cannot deny the reality when they come face to face with it.

    People like Tourjee are the worst kind of liars and frauds. She preens and sneers at ‘white racist bigots’ by saying all the PC piety, but let us compare what her ilk DO in contrast to what they SAY. In terms of what the say, they profess to sympathize with blacks and blah blah blah. Black Lives Matter, yabba dabba doo.
    But in terms of what they do, its’ stop-and-frisk the negroes in NY, it’s gentrification that has reduced blacks to a minority in Washington DC, and its Clinton’s New Democratic policy of locking up record numbers of black males. Indeed, could the Liberal Cities have been revived without tougher policing and sentencing supported by Liberal elites? Could the cities have turned more posh and fancy without driving out tons of inner city blacks to other communities?
    But all this Do-racism is swept under the rug since Libs are into Say-anti-racism. They speak ‘anti-racism’ and ‘pro-black-talk’ in order mask all their anti-black policies.

    In that sense, people like Tourjee(ooooh) are not only more bigoted or progoted than others but the most dishonest and specious bunch of self-aggrandizing jerks around.

    Also, Tourjee is blind to the fact that PC is making Liberals dumber. Classic Liberalism was about the best individuals rising to the top based on merit. In contrast, PC gives advantage to a lot of dumb Liberals who rise to the top based on dogma. Tourjee seems to be one of them. She prolly thinks herself smart, but the fact that she got a gig by spouting these PC cliche shows she might as well be a computer program than a thinking human being.

    As for homos and Muslims, conservative hostility has more to do with what they do that what they are. Most conservatives are fine with homos being homos. They are tolerant. What they can’t stand is homos trying to force homomania–worship of homos–in all corners of society. Homos are no longer content to be bugger one another in the ass. They say homo-worship should enter in churches too. Churches should be pressured to say Jesus died for ‘gay marriage’.
    As for Muslims, they are causing all sorts of trouble in the West, especially in the EU.
    Also, is Tourjee willing to admit that the refugee crisis was caused by Zionist-led wars under Obama and Hillary? Obama and Hillary destroyed Muslim nations and set off a huge tide of people. They are war criminals responsible for 100,000s of deaths.

    But Tourjee is too closed-minded to see that.

  5. dearieme says:

    How on earth did you find an airliner built of steel?

    • LOL: gruff
  6. witters says:

    Doubling down I see, Linh.

  7. Alfa158 says:

    I had a customer who made parts cleaning machines for auto plants. One of their models needed an upgrade that involved replacing some components. At a non-union Japanese brand US factory the customer simply allowed the engineer to turn off the machine, open it up, make the upgrades, close it up and start it again, all while a shift change was going on. At the UAW plants, the engineer couldn’t touch anything except for making the upgrades. First he had to wait for a Union electrician to show up and lock out power to the washer. Next he waited for a Union mechanic to show up and open the washer. Mechanic showed up with no tools. Union rules didn’t allow him to keep tools; he had to figure out what he needed, go to the tool crib, check them out and come back. After the engineer made the change, the mechanic had to come back, close it up, then wait for the electrician to come back and unlock the power.
    Another story, but during the auto industry slow-down, this company was trying to expand into making cleaning machines for medical devices such as the instruments and arthroscopic tools used for surgery. You would be appalled to hear how much lower the cleanliness standards are for surgical instruments compared to the cleanliness standards required for the components being assembled into modern engines and transmissions.

    • Replies: @Joe Hill
  8. Soooo…

    Somebody who made a living helping to finance the purchase of imported motorcycles is going to vote for Trump? (And if fewer people are buying motorcycles isn’t that a good thing? Unless you run a long-term care facility)

    Because something, something Detroit schools are a mess and Trump will do something about that how? Those aren’t immigrants mostly.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  9. anon • Disclaimer says:

    its a literary device . the conversation never took place. mike royko did a much better job at this.

  10. If i could go back in time and change one thing in the US, it would be slavery. I would BAN the mass importation of black people. Just think how amazing it would be to not have half of this country’s population be feral humans that are locked in a primitive mind set. We would have colonized mars already……

    • Replies: @utu
  11. Johann says:

    He got Wolf Blitzer right on target; a big pompous blow hard whose qualifying character is his enormous ability to kiss ass and keep his hair coifed at the same time.

  12. Joe Hill says:

    “First he had to wait for a Union electrician to show up and lock out power to the washer. ”

    Please consider these questions when wondering why these procedures exist:

    1. Does the outside engineer know where the panelboard is located, and which circuit breaker to turn off?

    2. Is the engineer familiar with the facility’s lockout/tagout procedures? Did he bring his own tags and locks?

    3. What happens to the engineer if his hands are in the cabinet and some dumbass resets the unsecured breaker, which may be located a long ways from the cabinet? Will he be electrocuted or just have his hand mangled by moving parts?

    Over the years, thousands of workers have been killed and severely injured in similar workplace incidents. That is why workplace safety rules exist. Also consider that these rules are jointly developed and approved by both the union and management.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Well, Yamaha also makes high-quality audio components, pianos, and outboard motors. I don’t think there are any US manufacturers of outboards any more.

  14. joe webb says:

    you be one racist mo-fo, and should be shot on sight.


  15. utu says:
    @Delinquent Snail

    “I would BAN the mass importation of black people.” – Good thinking. Who actually invented diversity? Plantation owners, traders, bankers, capitalists. It was always about labor and divide and rule of the society to reduce its cohesion and solidarity. Portuguese, Puerto Ricans, Japanese, Chinese to Hawaii. Hindu to Fiji, Kenya, South Africa… Immigration was always good for the owners. And it is still good for the owners. The immigration is a scab labour and always was. And the illegal immigration is really the indenture servitude. You want to stop the illegal immigration penalize those who hire them even under the present laws. And you won’t need the wall to stop migrant workers. No jobs, no migrants!. But Trump won’t say it because he himself used the scab labour (the Polish brigade) and his business buddies do too. It is amazing that the Left advocating open borders and immigration is really doing the job for the business. Do they realize it? Who would have thought that Marx is really in cahoots with the capitalist.

  16. Who would have thought that Marx is really in cahoots with the capitalist.

    Well, his buddy, Engels, was what?

    It’s been well known for some time that it was not only fashionable and maybe even a little risque for the idle filthy rich to embrace aspects of Marxism ( back in the 20s and 30s at least).

    It’s also fun to point out that US capitalists supported the hideous butcher, Stalin, during WW2 then dumped that monster like a hot potato when they needed the cold war to generate business and obtain government subsidies.

    The last sentence in “Animal Farm” sums it up well. Note the date.:

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    George Orwell, “Animal Farm,” November 1943-February 1944

  17. Alfa158 says:
    @Joe Hill

    Sorry, I was unclear, the power switch in question was on the machine manufactured by the engineer doing the service. Union rules didn’t allow the manufacturers rep to turn it off and on or open the outer panels. The second part about opening and closing the machine seemed particularly superfluous. The rules appeared to be written to ensure that the UAW mechanic and a worker employed as a tool crib attendant would be needed. I don’t have enough details on what safety protocols the engineer was equipped to follow.

  18. We really should consider genocide at this point.

    • Replies: @Fredrik
  19. Fredrik says:
    @Oliver Ironside

    I’m sure you know that in that case the victims would be white people. Especially white males.

    Unless the Second Amendment people…wink…wink…

  20. Njguy73 says:

    In 1992, a book came out about growing up the projects of Chicago. It was called “There Are No Children Here.”

    The more things change…

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