Bashing the black city

L. Brooks Patterson
L. Brooks Patterson

The often outspoken Oakland County Executive is once again in hot water over comments he made about Detroit in a recent interview with “New Yorker” magazine.

L. Brooks Patterson is quoted in an article titled “Drop Dead, Detroit!” as saying he only has negative things to say about the Motor City. He made the controversial comments while giving reporter Paige Williams an extended tour of Oakland County last September.

“Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher,” he said. ”The truth hurts, you know? Tough s***.”

The 75-year-old Republican went on to say he warned his children never to travel to Detroit.

“I used to say to my kids, ‘First of all, there’s no reason for you to go to Detroit. We’ve got restaurants out here.’ They don’t even have movie theatres in Detroit — not one,” he said.

Patterson said the one thing Detroit offers that the suburbs can’t is live sports – and even then a trip to the city is quite risky.

“For that, fine — get in and get out,” he said. “But park right next to the venue — spend the extra 20 or 30 bucks. And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking.”

He’s also quoted as saying a prediction he made has come to pass. He said, “What we’re going to do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.”

A statement from Patterson’s office said the seven-page article casts the executive in a false light, but didn’t dispute the quotes or apologize for his actions.

The National Action Network, an organization founded by the Reverend Al Sharpton, is calling for a public apology from Patterson. The group is holding a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday to request the apology.

In a statement, Rev. Charles Williams II, the National Action Network’s Michigan chapter president, said Patterson’s remarks were “repulsive” — not just because Detroit is mostly a black city, but “because it is also a direct slight to the American Indians who occupied the land before Detroit was Detroit, and Oakland County.”

Source: CBS Detroit