—Words By Invincible
“Drunken Sleuth” was written as a way to creatively call out the many forces conspiring to profit from land grabs, gentrification, displacement, voter disenfranchisement, and political corruption in Detroit. Each verse is loosely based on real stories that took place over the past five years in the city.
Since I wrote this piece many of these situations have grown exponentially worse. Bob Bobb, who was then Emergency Financial Manager of Detroit Public Schools that shut down dozens of schools and threatened to displace the block in verse one, went on to Stockton, California where he filed for that city’s bankruptcy in 2012, stripping away at lifelong city workers’ pensions. One year later, Detroit was forced to file for Bankruptcy, threatening thousands of pensions and city assets including parks, schools and even the art collection.
The plot thickens: the state appointed Emergency Manager (Kevyn Orr) was directly hired on from Jones Day, one of the country’s largest bankruptcy firms and days after coming into his position— hired on his own firm. This firm formerly advised and represented Bank of America and other banks that currently stand to benefit the most from Detroit’s bankruptcy. Kevyn Orr also went on to hire the Manhattan Institute, the think tank that invented Stop and Frisk, to import that method and train Detroit Police in these racial profiling tactics. Speaking of racial profiling, over 50% of Michigan’s Black population is now under State appointed Emergency Managers, meaning that elected officials power has been stripped by the State, and these EMs can make top down decisions without any accountability; bad money all around!
The good news (and there is good news) is that there is a growing movement on the ground doing the tireless work of exposing this madness. You can support this movement by reading the Detroit declaration and signing on in solidarity here: DetroitStateofEmergency.org