The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law
– the New Jim Crow

Apr 1, 2013

More than 500 Detroit residents turned out for a meeting at the Historic King Solomon Baptist Church and another 100 or so attended a demonstration to voice the opposition to the city’s new Emergency Financial Manager. They were outraged that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had the nerve to make the appointment in direct contradiction to a vote by the people of Michigan in November to overturn the state’s Emergency Manager law.

Many at the meeting and the demonstration drew the comparison between the state’s use of emergency managers and the old Jim Crow system of the South – and they are exactly right. With one exception, all the cities and school districts in the state where emergency managers were appointed are majority black.

White working people would be fools to believe that what is being done to black communities and school districts will not affect them. Jim Crow meant lower wages and working conditions for white workers in the South, every bit as much as for black workers.

In just the same way, the attacks on public worker wages and benefits and cuts to social services being imposed in Detroit will eventually spread to other cities and school districts.

Unless, that is, working class people band together despite city boundaries to stop them.