Mayor Mike Duggan's failure to react loudly to President Trump's racist outbursts this week is conspicuous by its absence, writes Bankole Thompson in today's Detroit News.
It is remarkably disgraceful to have a mayor who shows neither any inkling of cultural intelligence (the ability to understand the spirit and experiences of people who are different from your own background) nor a willingness to join the sweeping push against racism — especially given how other white mayors have been tackling racial problems head on.
... I continue to be disappointed in Duggan’s lack of leadership on racial issues and those who enable him by offering no criticism of his damaging silence. Just because the mayor can dangle a handful of black appointees on paper and parade a batch of black civic leaders happy to tap dance at all cost does not absolve him from the obligation to speak out on critical matters related to race as the leader of a haven of black culture.
Other big-city mayors have responded to racial issues, notably Bill de Blasio of New York, Thompson writes. De Blasio publicly disagreed with a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who choked Eric Garland to death five years ago.
But Duggan hasn't even responded to racial issues in his own city, Thompson writes:
The mayor has yet to publicly address the grave racial concerns of facial recognition technology his police chief, James Craig, is pushing. Expect Duggan to have a racial epiphany at next week’s NAACP national convention in Detroit. The mayor would perhaps repeat what he did at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition MLK celebration hosted by the Rev. Jesse Jackson in January at Cobo Center. At the celebration where we both were featured speakers, the mayor spoke about poverty and race before quickly retreating back to his customary silence on these issues from City Hall.
Attendees at the NAACP convention will begin arriving in Detroit this weekend. "I hope the NAACP convention is more than a feel-good event for the material successes of the Duggan administration," Thompson writes.