1967: Present at the Destruction
Michael Barone, who was working as an intern in the mayor's office in 1967, writes of being present at the destruction of Detroit. An excerpt:
The riot set in motion decisions and actions that physically and spiritually destroyed much of the city over the next four decades. It sped the exodus of whites from the city to the suburbs north of Eight Mile Road; it staunched the flow of investment into the city; it led to a vast increase in crime. Coleman Young, Detroit’s mayor from 1973 to 1993, was blatantly hostile to whites and seemed entirely unperturbed by the city’s crime. Today when I drive in Detroit I see neighborhoods with burned-out, abandoned houses and empty lots once inhabited by middle-income homeowners. Detroit had 1,600,000 residents at the time of the riot. The latest Census estimate is about 919,000.