Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Zoo

The Detroit Zoo is located in Royal Oak, a few miles from where I live. As a kid, I frequently went to the zoo, and as a parent, i can't count the number of times I have taken my kids to the zoo, even for just an hour. Membership does have its privileges.

But it looks like Detroit is in a pissing contest with Lansing over who controls the zoo, and in a vote this past Saturday, the city council voted to close the zoo. This is a zoo which has had millions of dollars invested in it over the past few years, both for exhibits and their new conservation center.

Lansing allocated $4 million to the zoo, with one caveat. The city of Detroit had to hand over control of the zoo to the Detroit Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization. Detroit, still in the afterglow of hosting a great Super Bowl, had a chance to continue building momentum in for a city that desperately needs help. Instead, the city council voted 7-2 to close the zoo.

Oakland County (where the zoo is located) Executive L. Brooks Patterson said the zoo cries out for regional management, and he was highly critical of the council's vote.

"They'd rather close the zoo than share its management with the region," Patterson said about the Detroit City Council's decision. "And shame on them for that point of view."

But the most bizarre quote comes from councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins, who sees this issue as a racist issue, where Michigan's white legislatures don't trust Detroit's black city council to run the zoo.

"This is not a plantation," Collins said. "We are not owned by everyone else. Black folks are not owned by white folks anymore. I made the point Saturday that the state Legislature was pimping the City of Detroit, and that we should not play the role of prostitute. That upset a lot of people, but I stand by my words. The symbolism is that Detroit is a black city, and we're not able to govern ourselves. It's a racist attitude and I resent it."

I'm not black. I don't see racism in every move made by government. And I can't see how asking Detroit to hand over control of the zoo to a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the zoo is a racist move. Currently, Detroit has a lot more important issues, like a 20% unemployment rate and dismal city services, to concern themselves over. Let the zoo people run the zoo. Let the city council try to fix some of Detroit's problems.

20 Comments:

Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Traces of Solomon in this bad decision.
Seems to make the point exactly of who should be in charge. Remarkable!

February 21, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Krunk said...

Well,it might be a racist issue.We have to look at how many of the zoos animals are black.If it's a high percentage...

February 21, 2006 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where would you put the zebras? how about the orange animals, like Lions. It is really too complex.

February 21, 2006 10:49 PM  
Blogger Krunk said...

Lions aren't orange.They're more like beige.Not orange.

February 21, 2006 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a black person, i can tell you that detroit is an island of black pride in a sea of white, well-meaning, racists.

kwami is my man!

February 22, 2006 1:38 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Anonymous, if you are going to pose as a black detroiter you need to be more realistic, and not have an ISP that is coming from Israel.

February 22, 2006 5:24 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Get the hell out of there while you still have the chance!!!
-OC

February 22, 2006 7:06 AM  
Blogger The Zwicker said...

So much for the after glow.

February 22, 2006 8:54 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

OC -
I don't think they are going to just let the animals run loose.

February 22, 2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger Mrs. AP said...

air, i think oc was referring to you guys getting the hell out of detroit, not the animals getting the hell out of the zoo. :)
but i totally agree with your post, the whole situation is pathetic and so...what's the word? detroit.

February 22, 2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

adina - Are you sure she wasnt warning us to get out because the aniumals will be running loose?

February 22, 2006 10:13 AM  
Blogger Mrs. AP said...

hmm...my take was that she was immitating our friend anon.'s constant warnings of turning back while you still can, before you make aliyah. it had that familiar tone to it, but i could be wrong...maybe oc will clarify?

February 22, 2006 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

detroit is still safer than the middle east, roaming elephants or no.

February 22, 2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

the elephants left the zoo last summer. i dont remember where they were shipped to

February 22, 2006 10:43 AM  
Blogger Veev said...

Hey Krunk, where did your blog go??

February 22, 2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger Krunk said...

I think the elephants were shipped to San Diego or something,to live out their days in a retiremnt complex.And Veev,my blog has been destroyed due to an attempted security breach.(translation:My mom and crew were THIS close to finding it.So rather then have it fall into their hands,I opted instead to destroy it.I'm still debating whether or not I will start a new one.)

February 23, 2006 12:25 PM  
Blogger Krunk said...

Ok I have a new blog.due to concerns about security,if you will email me at rapstar05@aol.com i will gladly email you back with my blogs URL.sorry for the inconvienence.

February 23, 2006 1:23 PM  
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