The original post – Does Detroit need people like Malik Shabazz?
This is a second look at a post I wrote a while back. What prompted this second look was actually a couple of events. First was a recent surprising reply from Rev. Shabazz to my original blog entry asking if I thought he was still needed and that he was tired. The second was a car show event that I attended at Roosevelt Park in Detroit’s oldest community Corktown.
Part 1 – Rev.Shabazz
We in the Metropolitan Detroit area are all watching Mayor Bing and the City of Detroit battle it’s way through the financial issues. And as this wasn’t enough the city has once again reclaimed the title of Murder Capital of the US. [ Actually we are #2 behind our ugly step brother Flint! Minor technicality! ]
Rev. Shabazz, besides being in everyone’s face during recent days in Detroit, after you weed through the vocalizations of white supremacy, has always been an energetic engine to get things done. He acts on what he believes. Not a bad thing actually. Sadly many surviving residents of Detroit are numb to all the events around them. Daily shootings, theft, robberies, car jacking, fires involving all spectrum’s of neighborhoods is mentally daunting. Their only concern is to simply make it through the day without some major trauma. Sometimes it takes an outspoken, controversial “character” to get people thinking and to get them motivated in order to focus on the problems at hand. Kinda like a slap in the face. Usually when that happens you react. At what point do the citizens of Detroit get tired of the crimes against themselves, their families and their neighbors? I would think it is past due but apparently not. Kinda like a slap only nastier!
Once again, in my opinion, despite whether you cater to his political/religious views you cannot deny that he has taken it upon himself to organize others for the good of the community as a whole. He reacts! Even if some of the groups he has helped to create have had some controversy, The Detroit 300, what group is not? He did bring them in to play here in Detroit. With the issues of Detroit evolving as they have I believe he may be a very needed individual to help motivate the residents of Detroit to play a part in stopping the violence and to stop the further decay of what is left of a “city under siege” so to speak. They need all the help they can get.
When asked by Charlie Langton in a March Talk Radio 1270 interview after the vocal outburst : Are you still excited to live in the city of Detroit?
Shabazz: I love Detroit, I’m Detroit bred, Detroit led, and Detroit fed, I think we are the greatest city on the planet. I fight crime, I see poor people, I register people to vote, I close down crack houses, we capture criminals, we do things every day because we believe in this city.
I would hope that Rev. Shabazz continues his quest for improving the conditions in the City of Detroit. If it takes the power of his religious / political views to get people moving so be it. While the powers that be battle it out in council chambers to whatever end the residents of the City of Detroit still have to take on life as usual. And if Rev. Shabazz, and others like him, need to step in and do what they can to help residents make it through these treacherous times a bit easier and more comfortably, I say Have At It!
Part 2 – Corktown in the next edition