11/20/08

Detroit, I shall love you

Recently I went to Providence, RI for a conference. Whenever my colleague and I mentioned we were from the D, people's visages softened with pity and they all made a similar comment, "Tough times in Detroit." Time and time again people voiced their concerns and always looked like they wanted to give us some change or an extra blanket. Some resentment developed, but I understood where this was all coming from.

My perspective on this atrocious situation that Detroit and Michigan have been in for the last two years or so has vastly changed from about three months ago. Three months ago I was barely scraping by with intern wages. My mood was foul. My hope bank was empty. My despair was so great that I no longer bothered to worry about the future. As far as I was concerned, there was no such thing, not for me, not for Detroit, not for Michigan.

After getting a position at Wayne State University's Development Office I pulled out of my funk and adjusted my attitude. There is hope - for me, for Detroit, for Michigan. I'm sure a couple of eyes have rolled at that due to the hope hype created by our President-Elect (which I'm a firm believer in, by the way). My hope that this is going to turn around is founded on facts. The job that I have has enlightened me to this: very powerful people still care about the City of Detroit.

This point hit home yesterday when I read an article about how Peter Karmanos, a true champion for the city of Detroit, laid a very professional, but strong smack down on U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican that is against giving Detroit a piece of the bailout pie. The article,which includes some of Mr. Karmanos' remarks, is worth a read: Compuware chief takes on Detroit Three senate critic. It made me cheer on the inside.

A quick word on the bailout...the opposition says that the car companies did this to themselves and that's why they shouldn't be bailed out. I agree that the car companies made their own bed. However, I wonder why the banks and financial institutions that sh*t the industry bed get bailed out for their humongous mistakes, but the rules change when talking about automobile companies. That's unfair and ridiculous on so many levels.

About a year ago, I was trying to claw my way out of Detroit. I thought I hated it. I thought it a miserable place of wretchedness and filth. I wanted to go to New York, to Chicago, to Washington D.C., basically a slightly classier place of wretchedness and filth. My boyfriend set me straight. My job set me on the right path. My attitude headed in the direction of "take action" rather than "whine and run."

Detroit's motto is: "Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus." That is Latin for, "We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes." So, while people have abandoned the city because they cannot find opportunity or hope here, I will stay. I have found both. I will stay as the fire burns, while the ashes form and while the smoke clears. When the city finally rises from the ashes, I will be here. I will be a part of its rebirth.

And when that time comes, the city and I will open our arms and welcome those who have abandoned us. We will welcome them home.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I'm glad we've reconnected, Eva. I like reading your thoughts.