Some activists in our community, like the Rev. David Bullock, head of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in Detroit, and Rev. Charles Williams of the National Action Network, plan to demonstrate at the home of Gov. Rick Snyder on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday next month.
Their reason is the emergency manager laws that they disagree with because to their way of thinking, Snyder is attempting to “take over” a Black city.
These two young gentlemen and their followers have every right to demonstrate on issues they disagree with. That is why our democracy is so precious.
But as someone who has lived through many experiences, I have some advice for Bullock and Williams, both of whom are young enough to be my grandchildren.
The time that you would spend demonstrating at the governor’s personal residence (not his official residence), instead, you should spend that time helping Mayor Dave Bing, Detroit City Council and the labor organization come up with an alternative that will save the city financially to prevent the need for an emergency manager.
Spend that time in the service of others, and support organizations like the Neighborhood Service Organization whose funding is being slashed in this tough economy. Use your church as a place to help the needy, to raise money to feed and cloth the homeless.
Do something that will uplift the spirit of our community.
While it is politically titillating to plan to protest at the governor’s personal home because it gives these two young men much needed publicity to build their careers, it doesn’t achieve anything for Detroit, the mayor, city council or labor. In fact, it does the opposite.
Gov. Snyder is not interested in take over Detroit. That is why he has emphasized that the mayor, city council and labor work together.
For the record, Snyder is not a right-wing governor. The legislature in Lansing may be right-wing but not the governor.
Snyder is the only Republican governor in the nation who has refused to sign a letter from the GOP to repeal President Obama’s historic health care legislation.
Snyder is the only Republican governor who has publicly said he is not interested in making Michigan a right-to-work state, a proposal viewed as putting the nail in the coffin for unions. He said he does not want what happened in Wisconsin to take place here.
Snyder is the only Republican governor in the nation trying to work with a Democratic mayor to create a sensible transit system for our region.
Where else in the country do we see a Republican governor trying to work with a Democratic city like Detroit and its leaders?
I sincerely hope Bullock and Williams can honor Dr. King in a more meaningful way than to engage in political grandstanding and posturing on MLK Day.