Tag Archives: housing


Addressing White Savior Syndrome

We received a tweet requesting a follow and support for the  Save Detroit Project, which is aiming to launch on April 1, 2014. Looking through the string of promotional tweets we found this one…

— Save Detroit Project (@SaveDetroit1) March 13, 2014

Critique on WSS

White-Savior-SyndromeCan we have someone sit down with the organizers of this project and spell out a few things?

  1. You don’t represent the face which long-term Detroiters recognize.
  2. Most Detroiters would prefer seeing houses DECONSTRUCTED rather than DEMOLISHED. Reclaim Detroit has the right idea! [1]
    • The key is identifying where in the process of deterioration the property sits …
      • minor repairs (possibly owner doesn’t want/can’t afford),
      • major repairs,
      • structural problems (possible deconstruction),
      • beyond repair but holding resources to be deployed elsewhere (deconstruction), and lastly
      • demolition required
    • Informed owners can make responsible choices between deconstruction and demolition [1][2][3].
  3. Eradicating the culture of the city effectively white-washes the city leaving no texture or soul in that which replaces it.

  4. Repair of houses is needed to prevent their demise.
    • Sometimes putting a custodial resident into the property with the intent for community repair is best.
    • Potentially move the property through quit claim into a community land trust as an asset in the commons.
  5. A moratorium on foreclosures is needed, holding banks as responsible for derelict houses.

Occupy Detroit has been around a few years and some of those whom have been there longest have some advice to offer. For those wishing to “Save Detroit” is for you to first understand the various neighborhoods. Interview people and find out who they are and the stories that have happened in the neighborhood.

Also realize Detroit is “fixed” – those whom have influence and power are using it to change the city in their favor. Often they fail to dedicate moving forward as an opportunity to provide memory to the good times and  beauty which have happened across the city. These are the capitalist “occupiers” of Detroit set forth to make it what they desire. Its the same colonizing spirit that European settlers in the new world had when encountering first nations before there was an incorporation of the United States of America.

White-washing the memories of the city isn’t working and just creates more resentment and division when you occupy spaces and claim/colonize using outside wealth.

Baxter Jones

Baxter Jones Looses Home to Eviction

Baxter JonesDetriot Eviction Defense has worked for nearly a year with Baxter Jones to save the disabled former school teacher and coach from being evicted from his home in Jackson. August 8 when he went before Judge Michael J Klaeren he was evicted from his home. It would become another bank-owned property.

Baxter has been attending various events with Eviction Defense Committee, Occupy Detroit, Michigan United, and others.

Additional story links

Detroit: Occupy Homes update


From Jerry Goldberg:

Victory in Detroit. As a result of a demonstration today at her home, Citibank stopped the eviction of Detroiter Kyra Williams. After backing down on an agreement to let Ms Willimas purchase the home she had leased before her landord was foreclosed, upon learning of today’s demonstration Citibank reversed themselves on the eve of Ms. Williams’ eviction and allowed her to purchase the home for less than the previous agreement. They directly expressed fear of the Occupy movement. The demonstraton was organized by the Moratorium Now! Coalition and Occupy Detroit. A press conference was also held at another family’s home in metro Detroit, the Henrys, to announce plans to stop their evictiion by Fannie Mae (the federal government) scheduled for January 2.