So maybe you heard about this girl who came out of her house in Hubbard Farms or wherever the other day, only to find her car without its tires. Bummer.
Obviously, this is an epic pain in the ass that no decent citizen should have to deal with. The victim chose to write her way through the frustration. Good call. Annoyingly, though, this person felt she had to preface her story with that old Detroitism. You know the one. Bad things happen everywhere.
It's sad that this dumb and annoying thing happened to her. It's even more sad that the rah rah/sis boom bah, Let's Fix Detroit booster crowd has its followers running so scared that they have to put disclaimers in front of everything they say that might be remotely negative.
Is free speech dead? (Has Detroit been annexed to Canada?) Is refusing to tow the line and gloss over the realities of modern-day Detroit (which range from annoying to just plain sickening) when speaking in public now a crime?
It ought to be possible to love your city more than life itself AND have no patience or tolerance for its stupidity. If this concept confuses you somehow, you really aren't much of a help to Detroit.
Bad things do happen everywhere, but the difference between many other fine cities and Detroit is that in Detroit, there is an atmosphere of permissiveness, of apathy. Love the cops or don't -- yes, these are some fine men and women, but on the whole, they are just not up to the task. Sometimes they come through and do great work. Sometimes, you're just on your own. Facts is facts. That this is allowed to continue, year after year, is Detroit's fault. Detroit permits this.
Stick your head in the sand all you want, but bad things in other places usually happen far less randomly. They happen in terrible neighborhoods that everyone has given up on. They happen to people who run with wrong crowds. People who are in the drug trade. People who have family troubles.
In Detroit in 2011, all you have to do to become a target is own property. Sometimes it's a smash 'n' grab during a hockey game. Sometimes it's just petty theft. Sometimes it is home invasions. Sometimes it is worse. Sorry, but firebombings do not happen everywhere as a matter of course. Get that much straight at least.
The story of those two little girls who died earlier this year when an arsonist decided to torch a home, for whatever reason, or the other one about that man and his father who were killed when they surprised a burglar in their home up by Moross not too long ago should be upsetting to every Detroiter. What about the lady crossing the street from her home by the Tim Hortons on Jefferson, killed in broad daylight for her purse? No? Nothing?
Too many people -- particularly self-appointed saviors living in hip areas near the core, where they're safe from most of the problems that plague most other neighborhoods -- can't face the reality of what the city has become, so they say things like, "bad things happen everywhere."
Until everyone stops rolling over and taking it, deluding themselves into thinking that if they lived in a semi-decent neighborhood in Chicago, they had just as much chance of interrupting an armed home invasion when they come back from the grocery store, or watching their little girls die at the hands of arsonists; just as much chance of waking up in the morning to find their car up on blocks, or leaving their home to go to work, only to be shot and killed by a purse snatcher just steps off a busy street corner, then Detroit doesn't have a chance, sorry.
UPDATE 4/22: Here is a great -- and by great I mean frustrating as fuck -- example of what I'm talking about. First, read this. Now, read this. Find brick wall. Smash head into it. Rinse, repeat.