Todd Levin, an estemed art advisor and curator,posted the article below on his Facebook wall, but since the majority of the text was contained in his comment that followed, simply sharing it on Facebook would fail to share most of his post. Although I, Judy Rey Wasserman, hail from Manhattan, I am an American, and Detroit is a special American city, with problems that I believe we, as a country need to face and find solutions for, including preserving the city’s great art museum. The blog post below is shared here with courtesy of Todd Levin.
DETROIT FILES FOR THE LARGEST MUNICIPAL INSOLVENCY IN THE HISTORY OF HISTORY
The city’s flag acknowledges as much – SPERAMUS MELIORA; RESURGET CINERIBUS: “We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes.”
No one cared much about Detroit until the Dow collapsed in 2008. But now, Detroit can no longer simply be ignored. Detroit has become epic, symbolic, historic – hip, even. Detroit is the birthplace of mass production, the automobile, the cement road, and credit on a mass scale. America’s way of life was built here. Detroit was called the “Arsenal of Democracy” in the 1940’s. And now, it is the unemployment capital,
where half the population does not work a consistent job. For those lucky enough
to get a job, a newly hired auto worker earns $14 an hour. This, adjusted for
inflation, is thee cents less than what Henry Ford was paying in 1914 when he
announced the $5 day. Detroit, which once led the nation in home ownership, is now a foreclosure capital. Once the nation’s richest large city, Detroit is now its
Detroit was born in July 1701. In the 19th Century the city was the center of the nation’s carriage and wheel and stove industries. Henry Ford, a farmer, built his first automobile plant in Highland Park in 1899. General Motors was founded in 1909. In 1919, the young and hungry men of GM devised an ingenious scheme to supplant Ford as the number one car producer in the world – credit. A century after its founding, in 2009 GM had more than $1 trillion loaned to car buyers and had expanded in to other businesses like home mortgages. On July 1, 2009, General Motors declared bankruptcy, following Chrysler, which had done so a month earlier. On July 18, 2013, Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of history. The car made Detroit and the car unmade Detroit.
Since its founding, Detroit has been a place of perpetual flames. Three times the city has suffered race riots and three times the city has burned to the ground. The city’s flag acknowledges as much – “Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus”: We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes.
Detroit was first burned in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, when a ten year old white girl accused a swarthy-skinned tavern owner named William Faulkner of rape. That was enough for the white mob that went berserk after his conviction, putting an axe in one man’s skull and burning down 35 buildings. Federal troops had to be called in.
Detroit burned again in the race riots of 1943, during World War II, after a group of white teenagers got into a brawl with a group of black teens. A rumor of a white girl being raped by a gang of blacks fueled a mob. People were pulled from cars and beaten; the black part of town was set on fire. After three days rioting, 34 people were dead. Federal troops had to be called in.
Detroit burned again in 1967, when police stormed a speakeasy frequented by black men. A party was in full swing for soldiers returning from Vietnam. Cops turned billy clubs on patrons and onlookers alike. Five days later 43 were dead, more than 7,000 arrested, and 2,000 buildings were burned. The National Guard and the 82nd Airborne had to be called in.
I was there.
And so Detroit has the distinction of being the only American city to have been occupied by the United States Army three times.
The way a society dies is a measure of the way that society lived.
Pass it on.
[Note — If you are a Facebook friend of Todd Levin’s please leave your comments on his page, rather than below. Thanks]
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.
Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself. See more.
Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com,