Posted by Nicholas Stix
I had been searching for eons for this series, which I had downloaded several years ago. The Detroit News has a link to it in its archives, but when you hit it, all you get is a title and a blank page. I finally found the correct external drive it was on, and voila!, Part I follows below.
In 2001, The News assigned its top propaganda operative, Cameron McWhirter, to write a series in which he could take all of Detroit’s pathologies, and blame them on whites, specifically “white flight”! Thus, according to McWhirter, the nation-leading murder rate for which black Detroit became notorious by 1971 wasn’t the fault of blacks at all. It was the whites’ fault. Their refusal to stay in neighborhoods being “integrated” somehow, magically, caused blacks to turn to theft, murder, and other crimes. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy, aka the ultimate case of “stereotype threat.”
I’ll bet you didn’t know that whites had such power over blacks.
McWhirter’s series also represented an early instance of a journalist applying the propaganda device of “blockbusting,” fabricated by tenured leftists such as Thomas Sugrue, to rationalize urban decline.
Not that blockbusting was never used by realtors, but it wasn’t the cause of the destruction of America’s great cities; blacks were. However, leftist academics must constantly invent new sophistries, in order to divert the blame for blacks’ destruction onto their white victims.
Harry Shiovitz visits his old house at 1956 Elmhurst. He moved his family out in the 1950s as pressure from realtors mounted.
Life of one street mirrors city’s fall
Racial fears trigger white flight in ’50s
By Cameron McWhirter / The Detroit News
June 17, 2001
Here I come! Been saving all my life
To get a nice home For me and my wife.
—Langston Hughes, “Little Song on Housing,” 1955
As the moyel finished the ceremonial circumcision, family and friends who had gathered in the living room of the modest home at 1956 Elmhurst chanted in unison, in accordance with the ancient Jewish rites:
“Let this boy be happy in this world, in the goodness of this home, in the holiness of this place.”
Nathan Shiovitz at age 1, with his mother Shirley, taken in front of their Elmhurst home.
Harry Shiovitz had invited everyone over to celebrate the bris of his first son, Nathan, on the morning of Sunday, July 8, 1951.
The dining room table was stacked with traditional Jewish dishes: blintzes, kugels, cheeses, pastries, and smoked fish.
Shiovitz, a 32-year-old salesman of used restaurant equipment, was struggling to make ends meet, but he decided after careful calculations that he could afford the ceremony.
But even as the family was chatting and eating amid shouts of Mazel Tov, Shiovitz and his wife knew that this story-and-a-half house, for which he had borrowed the $500 down payment only a year earlier, would not long be home for Nathan.
This world, the northern frontier of Detroit’s Jewish neighborhood, was coming to an end.
“We were already planning to leave,” he said. “Everyone was getting out.... Even while she was pregnant we knew we had to go.”
Detroit, the world’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” had emerged from World War II to resume its role as the world capital of the booming auto industry. The 1950 census recorded the city’s zenith in population — 1,849,568, more than six times the total only a half-century earlier. More than 83 percent —1,545,847— were white. In the 1950s, Detroit had the highest home ownership rate of any major city in America, and median household income exceeded that of all other major cities.
Though no one knew it, Detroit’s course for the next half-century was about to go terribly wrong.
The life of one city block, Elmhurst between 12th and 14th on the city’s west side, tells the story in microcosm. White flight, abandonment, confusing tax and property laws, absentee landlords, profit-hungry real-estate agents, criminals, drug addicts, lax bureaucracy and ineffective federal and local policies caused a city block to die.
2: Life on Elmhurst in 1951 would never be better