Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Battered Detroiter Syndrome

Amber Arellano wrote an interesting piece in July 7's Detroit news likening Detroiters to wronged-women, who doesn't appreciate themselves enough to know they're with the wrong men and they deserve better.

Detroit is like a wronged woman who deserves a good man and gets nothing but deadbeat suitors, manipulating her, robbing her, taking advantage of her desperation.

Her betrayers are many: the despicable schemers at the Detroit Public Schools who have looted the district of millions of dollars for years, according to a new lawsuit.

Or take school district's leaders who, for years, failed to implement basic procedures to protect their students of the Tammany Hall-like corruption that infects the district. Their incompetence was revealed by a new report conducted by the Council of Big City Schools.

Or take Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who persuaded City Council members last week to approve the beginning of a deal that, if passed in its entirety, will cost the city more than $300 million, according to figures provided to the Detroit News.

These are just some of the headlines of the last two weeks. Almost daily, the litany of offenses grows.

I was immediately reminded of Battered Wife Syndrome.'s, What is battered woman's syndrome?, explains is like this:
It is also important to understand why battered women stay in abusive relationships. The Court in People v. Aris, 215 Cal App 3d 1194, 264 Cal Rptr 167, 178 (1989) stated that "battered women tend to stay in abusive relationships for a number of reasons." Among those reasons: women are still positively reinforced during the honeymoon phase; women tend to be the peacekeepers in relationships - the ones responsible for making the marriage work; adverse economic consequences; it is more dangerous to leave than to stay; prior threats by batterer to kill self, or children; or to abscond with children; lost self-esteem; and no psychological energy to leave - resulting in a learned helplessness or psychological paralysis.
I've taken the liberty of rewriting it to apply to Detroiters.

It is important to understand why battered Detroiters re-elect abusive politicians and tolerate public administrators. Battered Detroiters put up with it because they are told by their abusers that they're the heart of the metro area; the suburbs are the enemy; whites made them do it; what you may get next could be worse than what you have now, or if you vote for someone else I'll make life worse for you. All this results in political paralysis.

This past November's election swept many republicans from office, but Detroit's representation is mostly unchanged. America will celebrate the election of its first black president, but hasn't Detroit already proved the color of your leaders doesn't change the color of your prospects?

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