Roll the tape, Jim…
The finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and former Michigan Republican Party chairman Ron Weiser was caught on tape talking serious trash about Detroit back in August. In light of the fact that Michigan Republicans seem hellbent on taking control of the city and its resources and revenues, this major party figure’s comments, hideous as they are, are very illuminating.
Let’s roll tape:
The video of Weiser’s comments [was] recorded by a Democratic operative shadowing GOP congressional candidate Kerry Bentivolio to a meeting where Weiser also spoke, was given to the Free Press and posted on YouTube by the Michigan Democratic Party. Weiser emphatically said Friday that he meant no offense to Detroit and was speaking about past, not current, campaigns. But his comments immediately drew sharp criticism from a civil rights activist and a Detroit lawmaker.
A couple of choice quotes (full transcript at the Freep):
Well, let’s look at Wayne County. Two big groups. The first one’s Detroit. Population’s now shrunk under 700,000. Last presidential election it was probably about 800-850 (thousand). Less voters.
Secondly, no Coleman Young machine. No Kwame Kilpatrick machine. There is no Dave Bing machine. There’s no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times. And there’s no machine to get ’em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference.
Obama has hired a lot of people to go help him get that vote out. But if you’re not from Detroit, the places where those pool halls and barbershops are, you’re not going to be going at 6:30 in November. Not without a side arm.
I’ve said all along that the state’s bedside manner when approaching our failing cities has been atrocious. If you truly want to help our crumbling urban areas, the approach the Snyder administration has taken is just about 180º from what they should be using. In light of this video, it’s much clearer why they use the approach that they do: they despise Detroit and its citizens. They don’t treat them with respect because, simply put, they do not respect them. It’s never been clearer.
The men and women of the Republican party have a plan for Michigan and it does not include unions. It does not include public schools. It does not include poor and failing urban areas full of African Americans. It does not include women who have the right to make choices for themselves or to hold positions of power. Instead, they will crush the unions, outsource our schools to profit-making businesses, gentrify our urban areas to drive out every last poor person, especially African Americans, and they will make sure that women are forced to carry their pregnancies to full term & will be given just as much political power as the Republican men in charge say they can have.
What will YOU do to take the reins of power away from these men? You should be thinking about that every single day between now and Tuesday, November 4, 2014. And you should be acting on it.