Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 The Coleman Thread - Wow this will be interesting Previous Next
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Digitaldom
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Username: Digitaldom

Post Number: 400
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 67.149.110.53
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 2:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I didn't want to hi-jack another thread on my suggestion not to use Coleman A. Young as the name for DTW, therefore I posted this thread.. And I know this will be one HEATED debate.. Why I am the one to open this can of worms is beyond me but.. Please keep this civil and no personal attacks please. This forums has had way to many of these lately.. Criticism and opinions are welcomed, but please keep to the facts.. Knowledge is power. I am trying to keep as non-bias with my questions as I can be (on the first post).. I want to know. I am sure alot of forumers would like to know the history so we can learn from it, and not repeat the bad and use the good.

My questions to the forumers..

What did Coleman Young do to improve the city?

What did he do to hurt the city? Besides "the speech" you all know the one.. give facts..

What should the future mayors in Detroit learn from him? What did he screw up or do right?

Why did the "people mover" fail and not go further? I have never seen a non bias review of what really happened.

What was the reason Detroiters connected with Coleman Young and voted him in for so many years? Why did you vote for him? Was it improvement in the community, did he have a vision, or did he have the attitude you did at that time in history?

What was Coleman's past? What did his father do for a living? What is his families history that led him seek public office?

I understand the climate of change at the time, and I have one side of the story. But I want the other side. My families history is rooted in trying to help Detroit. My Great-Grandfather trained Joe Louis in Detroit at the YMCA when he was just a kid (joe that is).. I have signed picture to prove it.

I am honestly trying to avoid racist rants on this thread.. Though I know it will turn into one.. Once again please present facts before playing the race or suburb card.

Keep in mind white flight was not the "SOLE" cause of any of Coleman Youngs actions.. History states that.. Though I have my own opinions though I need to the facts before I can construct a real picture of who Coleman Young really was and what he really did for Detroit. From the facts I have been presented from my family and history, I really didn't like the man. His methods were way to expreme. But I am open to the forumers facts.

There is always 2 sides to a story..
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Realitycheck
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Username: Realitycheck

Post Number: 230
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 68.41.173.240
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 12:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

There are always 2 sides to a story.


Or more, actually . . .

. . . And for some reason right now, it seems as though they all can wait at least a day. Ah, but maybe I'm just old-fashioned.
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My2cents
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Username: My2cents

Post Number: 113
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 24.253.67.62
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 2:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This excerpt is one of the reasons I hold such reverence for Coleman A. Young. He was KNOWN for taking a stand and living with the consequences and persevering, around the country long before he became Mayor IMO.

Young Became A Hero In His 30s
After the War, Young continued his work as a union organizer. He was elected director of organization of the Wayne County AFL-CIO in 1948. The post made him the first black paid staff member. He later became a leader of the National Negro Labor Council (NNLC), which organized black workers to get them decent wages. The NNLC and Young drew the wrath of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was investigating communism. As the NNLC's executive secretary, Young was summoned before the committee in 1952. His appearance turned into a showdown with the committee's legal counsel, who referred to Young's group as the National "Niggra" Labor Council.

Young corrected the lawyer's pronunciation and accused him of deliberately slurring the word to insult blacks. The committee also tried to get Young to give testimony that would implicate any of his associates as Communists. "I have indicated to you, to this committee, I am no stool pigeon," Young responded. "I consider it an un-American activity to pry into a person's private thoughts, to pry into a person's associates. I consider that an un-American activity."

Young also repeatedly challenged the committee's existence, saying it was unconstitutional and violated the rights of private citizens. He also reprimanded Southern committee members for denying blacks the right to vote and the right to economic opportunity by intimidation and lynchings.

His courageous, defiant testimony amazed the audience, especially those not familiar with Young's skilled oratory and deep principles. Only in his early 30s, Coleman Young became a hero to many Americans for standing against the committee's witch-hunt for Communists and its innate hypocrisy. Yet his victory was the beginning of various personal defeats. He still was blacklisted and barred from Detroit plants. The UAW and other unions made sure Young found no work in the labor movement or in politics. And unbeknownst to Young, the FBI listed him as a "dangerous individual who should be one of the first picked up in an emergency and one of the first to be considered for future prosecution." From that moment on, the FBI appeared to act as a clandestine, well-financed enemy bent on bringing down the young man.

http://www.cayf.org/bio_cay.ht m
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Ilovedetroit
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Username: Ilovedetroit

Post Number: 1904
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 4.224.93.99
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The only thing CAY did wrong was stay mayor for two terms too many. Otherwise he was brilliant and a hero!
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Fnemecek
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Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1412
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 69.212.212.248
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

My questions to the forumers..

What did Coleman Young do to improve the city?



He did a lot to improve downtown. The Ren Cen, Millender Center, Cobo and several other large downtown structures happened under his watch.

quote:

What did he do to hurt the city? Besides "the speech" you all know the one.. give facts..



With the exception of Devil's Night, he didn't pay much attention to Detroit's neighborhoods. He was better than our current mayor, in this regard, but he still left a lot to be desired.

He also had a polarizing effect on Detroit's relationship with its suburbs. Granted, then-Oakland County Prosecutor L. Brooks Patterson was just as guilty of this as Young was, but his portion deserves a mention in this thread.

quote:

What should the future mayors in Detroit learn from him? What did he screw up or do right?



Don't ignore the neighborhoods.

Maybe our current mayor will learn this lesson. I'm not holding my breath, but maybe he will.

quote:

Why did the "people mover" fail and not go further? I have never seen a non bias review of what really happened.



I disagree that the DPM is a failure, per se. It consistently accomplishes exactly what it was designed to do - serve as a transit mechanism around the CBD from other modes of mass transit.

The problem, of course, is those other modes of mass transtit that were supposed to feed into the DPM were never built.
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 269
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.241.164.222
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 6:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually, there were never other modes of mass transit that were "supposed" to feed into the DPM. There were sketchy plans and no funding was ever committed. Detroit made the decision to build the DPM because the feds provided nearly all the money, while knowing that the other transit was unfunded and iffy at best. There was never any promise of other funding, especially given the rampant inflation and Carter's departure. I think Detroit was less than honest with its residents about the ongoing cost of operation (which has been as high as $4.00-5.00 per passenger mile).

Also, isn't DTW a Wayne County airport and not a City of Detroit airport? If so, shouldn't the question be what did CAY do for Wayne County?
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8103norvell
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Username: 8103norvell

Post Number: 21
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 68.75.181.71
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 9:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First of all, read Hard Stuff. Though Young had some help with the writing, and I don't recall the autobiography receiving good reviews when it came out, Coleman Young's personality and voice--oh that voice!--comes through. The other thing you'll learn, or I should say what I learned, is that people like Young were frontrunners to the civil right's movement, which if Young and others had had their way would have been as much a labor movement has anything.

In the autobiography, Young makes clear that he was called to activism early on (though he doesn't put it just that way). He was unwilling during this military service to accept injustice and discrimination. He did not accept the status quo. He forcefully integrated the officer's club, and was pretty much blackballed in the military. By the time Young was out of the service, he was destined for leadership. He was in my opinion the right man at the right time for Detroit. Regarding his appearance before the House Unamerican Activities Committee, he said that he spoke to the white Southern boss and got away with it. All blacks were, as a result, standing a little taller. Well, this kind of talk is not understood today, perhaps by young forumers, but you must understand the world that Young's father for instance would have grown up in in Marengo County, Alabama. (Young himself came to Detroit at a young age but was not a stranger to this kind of humiliation.) Black men could not be men without threat to life. They were made to bow and respond, "yessuh boss." Unless, your family's men have had that kind of history of emusculation you won't have the ability to understand why black Detroiters accepted Young as their leader. Whatever you might think of Young's politics and accomplishments, culturally and morally, Young's achievement and voice allowed blacks to take a necessary leap into the future. You can't truly appreciate his influence unless you live in places, cities, in this country where blacks are in a majority (or nearly so) and yet still do not even today have a voice.
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Barnesfoto
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Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 1592
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.2.148.232
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 12:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the man was surely a hero earlier in his life, and had he stayed for just a couple terms I would have been fine with him...
But by the 80's his administration was rotten to the core, and CAY's experiences in life left him understandably paranoid.
Thus he surrounded himself with incompetent loyalists.
I remember a law department so incompetent that the city routinely lost the most frivelous of lawsuits. I remember a complete lack of code inforcement and tax forclosure that made the city a paradise for slumlords. I remember a DPW that didn't pick up my garbage for months. And I remember a "redevelopment plan" for Brush Park called "Woodward East" that was headed by one of the mayor's girlfriends, a woman named Joyce Garrett. Millions of Federal Dollars simply dissappaered. The only "redevelopment" that took place was the malling of a couple streets, and a few house-shells having matchstick porches and balconies tacked on them.
I saw Coleman Young as the black man's Ronald Reagan.
I still do.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 2858
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 12:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think he was just like any other long-serving, big city mayor. The big difference is all of the uniquely Detroit problems that the city had, and could never seem to shake. Like most long-serving, big city mayors he overstayed his welcome, and absolute power always corrupts absolutely. They just never know when and how to get out of the game when they've reached their peak, and Coleman was no different.

It's sad, today, to see Kwame running the city in the beginning of his reign like Coleman did at the end of his. I'm usually an optimist, but when you see someone not learning from the obvious (and fairly recent) mistakes of the past you can't help but feel that the worst is yet to come.
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Digitaldom
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Username: Digitaldom

Post Number: 409
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 67.149.110.53
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 1:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That good information.. Exactly was I was asking for..
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8103norvell
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Username: 8103norvell

Post Number: 22
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 68.75.181.71
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 1:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In his autobiography, Young calls himself a pragmatic radical. This is the only thing about his politics that I didn't like. He also said that he would have kissed (my word) the devil himself if it had meant jobs for the city. I don't like that either, but I take both statements to mean that he played politics as they are played in America. Call me crazy, but I know of no corporate or political arena in America that is not wholly corrupt. To suggest that old mayors are more corrupt than other major players is simply hypocritical. Would anyone even place Young in the same league with Daley, for instance? And pleeeease let's not compare Coleman Young to Ronald Reagan, not without explanation anyway.

I also notice that the my main point has been overlooked. Forumers here tend to want to talk about facts, the record, when it comes to topics such as this, but you don't seem to be able to relate to ethos. You ignore that, but you will never understand the phenomenon of Detroit and Coleman Young or Kwame for that matter and why he was re-elected until you deal with spirit and feelings.
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Fnemecek
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Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1414
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 69.212.224.104
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 2:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

You ignore that, but you will never understand the phenomenon of Detroit and Coleman Young or Kwame for that matter and why he was re-elected until you deal with spirit and feelings.



I wouldn't link Mayor Kilpatrick with Mayor Young. Kilpatrick's re-election had much more to do with his opponent running a crappy campaign in the general election.
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Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 2859
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 2:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

8103, what's with all of the down-talking? If you see what you think are mistakes, please correct them instead of the condescension. If he wasn't like Daly, please make the distinction between the two. Nowhere did I see anyone blaming all of Detroit's ills on Coleman.

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