Trump said living in Detroit is like "living in hell.” It’s a tired, old narrative, and we’ve heard it before.
As a lifelong Detroiter, I grew up all across the city - my family lived in Rosedale Park, the Cass Corridor, Green Acres, finally Oak Park and Grosse Pointe. I'm now a proud homeowner in beautiful SW Detroit. My family's story of migration is complex, one that many Metro Detroit Jews identify with - the movement towards areas of greater comfort, privilege and perceived safety. In each of the border communities I’ve lived, I heard rhetoric similar to Trump's, using false narratives about Detroit (and other predominantly Black communities) to rationalize the hoarding of resources, stoke fear, and further divide us against one other. The stories we tell have the power to do great harm. They also have the power to deepen connection.
That’s why it is so rewarding for me to advance the work of DJJ - together, we are building solidarity and coalition across city lines, across divides of class, race, gender, and religion.
Since our inception, one task we’ve committed to is challenging dangerous and destructive narratives about this city we love. It’s one of our Core Principles:
“We are committed to listening to the chorus of diverse voices which continuously remind us that Detroit is not a blank slate, nor does it need saving. We are grateful to center our work in a city with an inspiring history of powerful social movements -- a history that continues with the visionary leaders and communities in Detroit today.”
You can be a part of the next chapter of DJJ’s organizing: read up, speak up, and donate. We need you to give $10, $18 or $36 a month so we can continue to amplify the voices of Detroiters telling the truth about this city.
-- This month, every new monthly donor will receive three “Challenge Destructive Narratives” stickers --
-- If you're already a current monthly donor, thank you! Email Blythe@detroitjewsforjustice.org to up your monthly gift, if you want in on the stickers --
In the words of my Representative, Rashida Tlaib:
“Oh hell no. We love it here. We birth movements here. We fight for what’s right and take care of each other. But we've been left behind by a government that doesn't yet represent the needs of everyday people.”
While attending the rally in SW Detroit on Sunday, I saw the Detroit I’ve always known. With two dozen diverse organizations (including DJJ) sponsoring, the 400+ folks in attendance all resonated with the theme of the day: Tu Lucha es Mi Lucha, Your Fight is My Fight. Lifting up solidarity, trust, partnership - we are in this fight together.
The reality of Detroit is complex. There is so much power and wisdom here, alongside struggle and inequity. We have much work to do together, as we turn the page on 45's most recent round of hate. Thank you for doing this work with us.
>> Want to learn more about why and how we do what we do? RSVP for DJJ Orientation
>> Want to get serious about racial and economic justice? RSVP for the New Campaign Structure Launch