Detroit Mayor on City’s Financial Woes: Not a Black and White Issue

July 22, 2013 - 4:29 PM

Detroit Finances Mayor

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(CNSNews.com) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing on Sunday said he does not want to turn the city’s financial crisis into a “black and white issue.”

“I don’t want to make this a black and white issue. It’s a financial issue, and it’s green. We’ve got to get some funding that’s necessary to help us fix our problem right now. I don’t want to stir the pot and bring up all kinds of racial issues. We’ve got to get beyond that,” Bing said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous.”

On Thursday, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy with what is believed to be a $380 million budget deficit. State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr asked a federal judge for permission to place the city into Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

“Over the last 50 years Detroit has gone from more than 80 percent white to more than 80 percent black city, and Keith Richburg, an African-American reporter for the Washington Post points out that Detroit is one of the most racially polarized cities in America, and he adds this,” Stephanopolous said.

“He says, ‘Older Detroiters are correct that the city was surrounded by a ring of often hostile white suburbs, in a largely conservative state that had little time for poor, destitute Democratic and black city … The governor’s appointment of an emergency financial manager … is again seen as a hostile, racist takeover by the state over the city’s elected black leadership.’ How do you respond to that?” Stephanopolous asked Bing.

“I don’t want to make this a black and white issue. It’s a financial issue, and it’s green. We’ve got to get some funding that’s necessary to help us fix our problem right now. I don’t want to stir the pot and bring up all kinds of racial issues. We’ve got to get beyond that,” Bing replied.

“The polarization between our city and our suburbs is something that’s been going on for the last 60 years. We’ve got to change it,” he added.

Bing said Detroit’s troubles would affect the surrounding suburbs as well.

"Once again if Detroit fails, doesn’t make it, then all of these surrounding suburbs are going to feel the brunt of it also. So it behooves us to see how we can work together to make this entire southeastern region livable for all of us,” he said.