It’s culture, not skin color

John Derbyshire’s story about going to an amusement park brought back memories of my visit in the 1980s to an amusement park called Boblo Island, a truly unique place.    It was located on an island out in the Detroit River,

The island is actually in Canada, but back “in the day” was a place where people could go in the summer  (Cedar Point down in Ohio has replaced it for that purpose).

I didn’t grow up in Michigan, don’t have a personal story about how Coleman Young put the word out to chase all non-black people out of Detroit following his election.  All of my contact with black people in my life was while living and working  in North Carolina.  Being a “low status” white teenager, I interacted freely with blacks and generally everyone accepted each other as equals.

So in 1982, I move to Michigan and start hearing all these stories about what happened (and was happening) in Detroit.  Being a skeptic, I wanted to see if it was just white racists ranting or whether it had a basis in fact.   I drove up and down the major thoroughfares on the city observing what types of businesses there were (very few – mostly liquor stores), what people were doing (blatant daytime prostitution and drug dealing right out in the open).    There were a few neighborhoods where I sensed I was being watched closely because of my skin color, and felt racial hostility for the first time in my life when I went into a McDonald’s and got a definite “You don’t seem to understand the rules” reception.

There were 3 ways to get to Boblo Island – there were short boat rides from Gibraltar Michigan and Amherstburg (from Canada) , but the main way was from large boats that ran from downtown Detroit to the island, carrying up to 2,500 passengers at a time.

The boat trip took about an hour, and you can imagine the arrival (and departure) of the large boats was a major event.  Because the island is in Canada and offered a way to cross the border, US and Canadian Customs had a presence to make sure people returned to the correct country.   (Nearby Gross Ile island is worthy of its own story at another time)

It was summer and I was still in exploring mode, so I decided to spend a weekend day at Boblo.   I parked at the parking deck at Joe Lewis arena and walked through the walkways to where the dock was – noting the groups of young black men loitering, “eyeballing” me as I went past.    I was as prepared as I could be or wanted to be – my wallet had maybe $20 and nothing but my ID.  I was wearing nothing that suggested I was a stupid white person carrying a $500 camera or a real Rolex watch.

After arriving at Boblo Island, I quickly became familiar with what I call the “Shield of Racial Immunity”.   The only white person who doesn’t understand the term is one who lives in a gated community and avoids all contact with black people.    It’s the understanding that “Civil Rights” really means that black people have the right to not be civil.     While white people stood politely in line, black teens blatantly jumped lines, knowing that it was their “right” to do so, and that no white person would be foolish enough to say “Hey you! – back to the end of the line”.

What this helped me understand was that when confronted with a city government that upheld the Shield of Racial Immunity, white people had little alternative but to flee the City of Detroit and move as far away as possible.    The last whites left (other than the city employees) were the seniors who were too old to move and were robbed with impunity by the punks or terrorized until they got the message and left for the surburbs or a graveyard.  Any idea that the Detroit Police were there to protect all people equally was long gone – if you were a landlord insisting that your black renters actually pay the rent each month, you were an especially big target.

If you read the Wikipedia article, it mentions a famous Supreme Court case that I either forgot about or never knew about.   In the 1940s, Boblo island had a “No Zoot Suiter” dress code policy as well as a “No coloreds allowed”.    The island is located in Canada and was privately owned, so they felt United States Courts had no jurisdiction on them (despite being a Michigan Corporation).   Michigan had passed criminal laws against racial discrimination and brought charges against the company.

The United States Congress has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate commerce between countries, but do States have the ability to pass laws regulating it? [remember this is 15 years before Congress was talking about federal laws and Detroit was mostly white).   Is a boat trip to Canada engaging in “Interstate Commerce” or International Commerce or neither?

The US Supreme Court essentially decided that even though Boblo Island is in Canada, it is defacto part of Detroit – so therefor the State of Michigan’s laws could be applied against Canada to protect a “special local interest” even though it clearly didn’t match the legal facts.    At the time, there apparently was no boat service from Canada to the island, so all the visitors were coming from Detroit only on the two boats.

If you take that case and map its facts against the idea that Arizona can’t pass a law that only restates existing federal law to enforce laws against illegal immigration, you see just how fluid the courts really are.

Back in the 1970s, I had visited the recently opened Carowinds amusement park, which straddles the North/South Carolina border (literally – there is a line painted down the middle) and there was no similar racial friction.

That difference is when it hit home to me that it’s the culture of the urban Northern parasitic black person raised on the Democratic party’s plantations that’s the problem, not skin color or genetics.    Most blacks not part of the ghetto culture are devoutly religious, politically more Conservative than most white people, and have been the people who came to my rescue a couple times when I needed help, when my fellow white citizens ignored that I was in difficulty and needed help.   Those stories about “Angels” showing up in the form of a black person are not (entirely) fiction.

Do we move toward further racial segregation and living in “gated” communities and maybe even a “race war” – or do all good people come to understand the Saul Alinsky strategy to destroy the United States that President Obama is following?

Can handing out enough ObamaBucks blind black people to how they are being set up to become slaves again, but to a different Master?   I don’t know.  I tend to doubt blacks can resist the temptation to give in to their own racial hatreds.

The epilogue to this story is that during the following years, more racial incidents happened on Boblo, white visitors mostly stopped coming.  The place eventually was taken over the Michigan AAA to try to find a way to keep it alive as a tourist destination.   The place closed in 1993 and was bulldozed and is now mostly vacant land, connected only to Canada via a ferry.

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16 Responses to It’s culture, not skin color

  1. Ed Gein says:

    Culture and skin color (or ethnicity) are inextricably linked, like familial DNA. Statistics don’t lie. Statistics have no agenda, nor does empirical evidence. Minority cities are toilets, cesspools of crime and degradation of the highest order.

  2. Art Stone says:

    Coleman Young was elected in 1974 and served until 1996 when his police chief went to jail for pilfering the fund of confiscated drug money and splitting it up with the mayor (recorded on tape by an FBI informant). Chief Hart went to jail, Coleman Young wasn’t even indicted. He remained a major power broker in the Democratic Party until his death in 1997.

    More important though are his connections. He and his close associates were members of a place called “The Shrine of the Black Madonna” – it was created by the same black nationalist that founded Reverand Wright’s Trinity Church in Chicago.

    Coleman Young didn’t conceal his plan at all. His goal was that Detroit would become “A Nation within a Nation” – a place run by blacks for blacks (only). The National Anthem of the Black Nation of Detroit would be “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the official Black National Anthem.

    During the 1967 riots, it was discovered that down in the basement of the Shrine of the Black Maddonna, they had a gun range – an odd thing for a church.

    The core belief of the church is that Jesus was really a black Nubian prince and the entire Christian religion is a lie perpetrated by “the Jews”

    I’m gonna guess this is news to some of you – since you surely didn’t hear any of it on the national TV news 🙂 Some of it is a bit hard to track down since it was all before the internet.

    If you go off on your own search to confirm this (and I would encourage you to), there is a “Shrine of the Black Madonna” located in Poland that has nothing to do with this topic.

    Here is the self description of the church if you’re looking for a starting point to play “connect the dots”

    The Shrine of the Black Madonna™ of the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church (PAOCC), formally known as The Central Congregational Church was founded in 1953 in Detroit, Michigan by Reverend Albert B. Cleage Jr. (Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman). The PAOCC began its mission as a socially conscious, religious institution. For more than 50 years, the PAOCC has provided and continues to provide the theological, philosophical, and programmatic foundation to build “institutional power” for Black People. We are committed to transforming the spiritual emptiness, economic powerlessness and social disorganization that plagues the Black community.

    Keep in mind the public face may be a bit different than what is said inside the place.

    The Black Nationalist movement was heavily promoted by the KGB as Russia wanted to use racial division to disrupt the United States. When you see me refer to the Black Communisty, that’s not a typo. It is entirely plausible to me that the conception of Barack Obama was in fact arranged by Soviet intelligence with the goal of breeding a mixed race leader for the future. The Russian’s national sport is Chess. Queen to Rook 8. Your move.

    • foyle says:

      Regarding your final paragraph above Art — nail meets hammer. Ding, ding, ding…. give that man a cigar! All the evidence is there for those who will simply look. The connections throughout the life and raising of this man, the mystery life and past with any inconvenient information (school & travel records, legal documents, etc –all erased or obscured) You couldn’t write a novel with more intrigue than what we now face in this country. The Russians (& the Chinese) don’t work in 30 second soundbites like the Americans. They plot, they plan, they toy with you like a lion fiddling with its prey. They take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but onward they progress towards their goals.

      Kruschev told the world exactly what they were going to do to us. Today we see the unfolding of 50+ years of work.

      • Art Stone says:

        Not to go too far out on the Alex Johes Conpsiracy limb, but I think if we backtrack all those meth labs and encouragement in our culture over the past 40 years to use drugs to “escape”, we’ll find the same starting point as part of the same goal.

        At the least, the example of Joe Kennedy proves that using the force of the government to control behavior (ie consumption of alcohol), it can make the people who push for the control very rich then bypassing the laws.

        I’m not a big fan of the libertarian stand on drugs, but I generally agree with them that it’s the illegality of it that makes it profitable – and ultimately corrupts police departments into “pimping” small time drug pushers. Let them sell a lot of drugs, raid them, take the money, deposit the money in the police pension fund, repeat.

        Could a modern country function under the libertarian model? I don’t think so. We currently are protecting the negative behaviors and socializing the costs of the consequence. Insurance IS socialism. If you allow people to do whatever they want, then you can’t rush in to save them from the consequences of their bed choices.

        The linch pin to most of this is the free 13 or so years of public education. The collective “We” have an investment in each child of ~$150k in that education (likely to add 4 more years soon). Only a portion of that education cost was paid for by the parents through property taxes. School districts borrow the money to pay for the schools under the belief that the district will continue to receive income from the future taxpayers of the community

        If the young adult then kills themselves or just hangs out playing video games in his mom’s basement (and not renting or buying their own house), our “investment” in that education is being thrown away. If there was no “right” to a free public education, students would only go to school if their parents paid or a church taught them or they were taught at home. I don’t like that option either. A healthy society needs well educated people aware of the world around them.

      • Art Stone says:

        Harry Belefonte was the conduit for providing the funding that Barack Obama Sr to the United States to inseminate Anne Dunham with the sperm that would become Barack Obama Jr. Glenn Beck mentioned the Belefonte connection on his show today, but didn’t continue to connect the dots.

        Just search on “Harry Belefonte communist” or the like and you’ll connect all the dots that make up the Communisty.

        This financing was done by a group called the “African American Students Foundation” (in this case, African actually means Africa, not black)


        Glenn and Pat did however incorrectly try to break the connection between John F Kennedy and Barack Obama Senior by saying that JFK wasn’t President yet – but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved – he was a US Senator prior to beating Richard Nixon with the help of the Daley machine canvaassing the graveyards of Chicago…

        The above history mentions 3 names as the founders when untion activist Tom Mboya of Kenya asked for help:
        – William X. Scheinman who served on the board.
        – Frank Montero
        – and Ted Kheel
        (Ted Kheel was born in 1914 and his parents gave him the middle name of Woodrow – he was a labor union lawyer)

        I’m not a journalist. I found those things out in half an hour. Imagine what a well organized research institute could put together….

        William X Sheinman bio:
        (note this is from 1999, long before anyone knew of Barack Obama)

    • Art Stone says:

      Smoking gun

      For those who may think I’m a John Birch Society wingnut who sees a commie hiding behind every tree.

      When the Internet was brand new (and possibly still true), the Socialist Workers Party freely identified that leaders of the Democratic Party were “their people” and vice versa.

  3. Parrott says:

    Art: that story could be a documentary on PBS showing the decline of society. They would never show anything like that on PBS, unless you could tilt it to make Ronald Regan look like the person that run Detriot down.
    I have never been to Detriot, but your description of being ‘watched’ and blatant disrespect for civility rules is sort of what I experienced in Atlanta in 1995. When was the first democrat mayor elected in Detroit ?

    I think that Foyle summed it up completely, war on poverty Great Society has delivered this country into the abyss. I have lived in Virginia and West Virginia and what Foyle said is true, small communities are now ‘Meth Labs’ and illegals working the tree farms. Sad.
    Its something what some of us have seen, as Gen-X or the very last of the baby-boomers. We have seen in our lifetime a truly prosperous society, turn into a welfare state. I remember small towns that are dead right now prosperous places with grocery stores , drug stores and you could get awesome models. I always like the Western Auto stores when I was a kid with my parents. It was like a LLbean with bicycles, fishing poles and anything else you could think of. They had such cool stuff.
    All gone.
    We spend so much on the programs to ‘help’ the dependent class now, that we cannot afford NASA or a large Navy. The UK is a one or right now no aircraft carrier Navy. They once had a great Navy. We’re going the same way.( we’ll argue later if aircraft carriers are needed anymore)
    My point being we are growing and dragging along so many ‘Dregs of society’, we can’t afford science and technology.
    Yeah Foyle, when we go to Winston-Salem, movies, or shopping I keep my head on a swivel !

    • foyle says:

      I attended UNC Greensboro for a few years and the area around campus was very safe in the 1980’s with a mixture of student renters, families, and retirees. I happened to be in Greensboro a couple of years ago and thought I would ride by campus for old times’ sake. I was shocked by what I saw. Even in broad daylight the entire area (except for the immediate campus) felt unsafe. It was evident by the pedestrian traffic that section 8 housing has been placed all around the area.

      The area around N C State’s campus has had a somewhat similar decline in the past 25 years as well.

      I have a buddy that lives near Greensboro whose wife retired last year after teaching public high school for 30 years. He told me horror stories of how much the high school kids had changed from when she started until now. They seriously considered having her retire early for safety sake alone. So sad….

  4. foyle says:

    I would echo and agree with much of what you said here Art. I spent my formative years in the South, then moved to Michigan, later returning to the South. My experiences and observations of the both areas are similar to what you have written.

    However, I will tell you that 40+ years of LBJ’s Great Society (and all the additional DC sugar daddy programs that have been added and expanded in the past 4 decades) have taken a tremendous toll on the culture in the South (both black and white, but more so in the black community).

    Growing up I rubbed elbows daily (in public schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces) with black people in my area. The vast majority were as you describe decent, hardworking, moral folks. But their were pockets already of ‘welfare queens’ and there were parts of the city with open drug dealing on the streets in broad daylight (in a small town in the South no less!). However the difference between then (the late 1960’s through early 1980’s) versus now (since I returned in 1996) is marked. The shopping centers which were once safe are now hotbeds of robbery, car break ins, and rampant shoplifting. Even some law enforcement friends I have tell me that the ‘gangs rule the night’ in many parts of the city. This is not the South of my youth and the welfare state is what changed everything.

    As bad as it is in the cities of the south, what is truly sad to me is driving through some of the small rural communities that were literally like the Andy Griffith’s Mayberry back when I was kid. Those same areas once dominated by family farms worked by blacks and whites have been replaced by crack addicts, corporate farms worked by illegal immigrants, and illegitimate children everywhere.

    What a mess government handouts have made of this once great nation….

    • Art Stone says:

      I have wandered for brief visits back South – the most recent time about 5 years ago looking into the situation. My family retired there in 1970 – I grew up in a deliberately segregated part of Pittsburgh – we don’t get to choose our grandparents. The only contact I had with blacks until I moved to North Carolina was seeing a few people that worked at the dry cleaner on the corner, and to some degree downtown. The high school I attended had 2,000 students – one of whom was “sort of black”.

      Statesville’s schools had been segregated but by 1970s were long ago integrated. Without different standards and expectations, the black students mostly flunked out of the integrated high school. Was it lack of preparation earlier in school? Parents who didn’t have the skills to help their children? Fear of “acting white” if they did well in school? Something else?

      Albert Hiatt was the principal. He took no crap from anyone. If you brought a knife to school or had drugs on you or drank beer in your car during lunch, you were kicked out of school. The local NAACP leader called for Hiatt to be fired citing racism in his treatment of black students. When the school board didn’t fire him, the black students planned a riot. They had a preset time that all of them knew they would leave their classroom and go outside for the TV camera crews from Charlotte who were standing by to film it. It got national news coverage. Al Hiatt got a desk job at the administration building. The school quickly deteriorated after that.

      The biggest irony of all of this was it was this same time that the City of Boston (MA) had riots over being forced to integrate their public schools – the same people who glibly think racism is a “Southern Thing”

      I remember being shocked on one of my prior trips back to NC how devastated Rocky Mount was. Rocky Mount I knew as the headquarters of Hardee’s back in its early days. Getting off the interstate, there were abandoned buildings and the signs in front of stores had been vandalized and not repaired. It screamed “This is a very dangerous place to be”. This was about the time that Tobacco as a crop was being shut down as a money crop, being replaced by pig cultivation, which required large amounts of cheap labor readily available from the illegal immigrant population drawn to the state.

    • foyle says:

      This is a prime example of what the “Great Society” has done to the small towns of the South:

      Yesterday evening in the small town of Washington, NC sheriff deputies attempted to arrest a drug dealer. The dealer fought the officers and then swallowed the bags of coke and pot (he is presently in critical condition). What ensued was then an evening of rioting against the police and I wouldn’t be surprised if the rioting continues (or recurs following the next time the cops dare to arrest one of LBJ’s great-grandchildren).

      What makes this all so sad is that Washington should be an idyllic place. It is located on the Pamlico River and has a history stretching back to 1776 (they call themselves the “Original” Washington and claim to be the first place named after George). It was occupied and (largely) burned by troops during the Civil War. Today it remains a town of less than 10,000 people but if you drive through it you will see elements of the populace that would not look out of place in the Baltimore projects. 30-40 years ago this was a sleepy town that was largely peaceful and occupied by poor and middle class whites and blacks. Today it has become one more town filled with drug usage, crime, and illegitimacy (of both blacks and whites — it is merely a larger percentage of the blacks that are involved). Just so very sad….,_North_Carolina

      • Art Stone says:

        Back when I lived in North Carolina, I used to drive around places without any real plan just to get familiar with the “lay of the land” (in my younger foolish days). I remember spending the night in a motel in Washington. The coastal plain area was very different than I had imagined. You’re living history – the legacy of the cotton plantations that burned out the soil and moved South and West, and the legacy of the Civil War – large numbers of black former slaves left to fend for themselves after the well intentioned abolitionists broke apart the existing social structure.

        The poor land would barely support agriculture – peanuts became important as they can almost grow in mid air and require little nutrition from the soil I was stunned by the seemingly endless flat land on either side of the road just overgrown with kudzu and weeds or scraggly shrubbery hanging on for dear life waiting for the next hurricane. This ain’t Boston we’re talking about.

        There was a similar incident in New Haven over the weekend – a night club downtown with young black men looking for trouble and the New Haven Police getting into a potential tricky situation trying to take a man into custody with a crowd of cell phone toting “witnesses” just waiting to capture something on video.

        You can count on this continuing to escalate – especially if it looks like Barack Obama may not be reelected. Societal disruption works in his favor and he has an army ready and willing to engage in it.

        • foyle says:

          The other crop that grows supremely in the soil and humidity of Eastern NC is tobacco. Whether you think tobacco is the spawn of Satan or not, the crop was once the cash cow of this part of the state. It was a community based economy with small farmers able to eke out a living on their private farms and also provide livelihood for local poor folks (anyone ever heard of sharecropping?). Everyone worked hard, most were dirt poor, but people had a general sense of morals, value, and community. Race relations were not terrific but were better than today’s politically correct history will ever tell you –and far better and less polarized than what we have now!

          As with so many other things, the Federal government decided that it knew better than the marketplace how to grow tobacco, so they subsidized the farmers. When smoking became public enemy #1, the government then started paying farmers NOT to grow tobacco (and giving them only limited allotments of what they could grow on private property–didn’t this used to be a free country? Seems like a war or two was fought over that…)

          …anyway, as with so many other industries, tobacco is now a dying industry. The poor blacks and whites who once made a living working in tobacco can now sit on their fat behinds, draw welfare, make babies, and ingest drugs while migrant Mexicans handle any physical labor that the massive corporate run farms need done.

          • Art Stone says:

            I have a tendency to ramble – I’ve written before about tobacco allotment system and how it allowed non-farmers to sit on their ass and collect a guaranteed income for life, while locking out the black farmers.

            This kind of “managed production” mostly was FDR’s idea – farming cooperatives were set up that everyone knows the names of – blue diamond almonds, sunkist fruit, sun maid raisins, ocean spray cranberries… Farmer cooperatives that had the right to assess members to promote the crop, define the quality standards, determine the crop size and allocate it among the members. Their decisions had the force of law – if you planted an unauthorized almond tree and sold the almonds except as cattle feed, you were going to jail.

      • Art Stone says:

        Then we can count on the angry 75 year old dying of cancer to pour gasoline in the flames

  5. prboylan says:

    “it’s the culture of the urban Northern parasitic black person raised on the Democratic party’s plantations that’s the problem, not skin color or genetics.”


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