One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Making Fun of Detroit

Question: Should we give a pass to those from Detroit to ridicule Detroit?

Consider Steven Crowder, a popular YouTube correspondent (is there such a thing?) who does comic interpretations of life. His most recent effort is "Detroit in RUINS! (Crowder goes Ghetto)". One of his opening lines: "Detroit sucks." The video has had more than 300,000 views so far.

On his personal Web site, he says he was born in Detroit but raised in Montreal.

During the YouTube episode, he blames The Left, government bureaucracy, the United Auto Workers and teachers' unions for ruining Detroit. He also focuses on the "corrupt politicians of the last half century," given the city's longtime trend toward Democratic leaders. He also does a tour of an abandoned Detroit house, highlighting the ruin and the leftover paraphernalia he finds there. He claims this is where America is heading -- a city where the aura is one of "hopelessness," he says. Ugh.

There is a very anti-President Obama feel to the whole thing, and the people who comment on his YouTube and Facebook pages follow that theme pretty closely. A Republican, Crowder has been on "Fox & Friends," "Hannity" and the like, so you know his viewpoint. He often uses the tag line: "Liberalism is a disease... Meet the cure."

Here's what he says about his YouTube effort about the city:

I know that some of you may think that the last thing Detroit needs is another hit piece. Granted, some could consider this video as THE hit piece. Detroit however, can serve as a valuable lesson to the rest of the country. It has been the perfect laboratory for leftist policies at work. The more you examine the policies of Detroit's politicians, the more strikingly similar to this administration they become. The results… are shocking.

Check out his video and tell me what you think.

  • Print
  • Comment
Comments (20)
Post a Comment »
  • 1

    Why do you post this crap??

  • 3

    Your description of him is very kind, teabagger would be more apt. I'd say brainless teabagger but that would be an oxymoron.

  • 4

    I am utterly appalled that you have given a forum to such laughable drivel – but hey, that's America so be it. But this Crowder fellow is so full of nonsense, it's almost impossible to know where to begin. Shall we start with the white flight of the late 60's and early 70's that led to Detroit being the most segregated urban area in the country, thus robbing the city of a prosperous tax base?

    Or shall we look at those paragons of virtue, the Big Three, who should have been leading the charge for national health care which would have solved their health care cost issue (admittedly a problem). I'm no big fan of the unions but why is it that the Right is so bent on blaming them when they are successful? One always wonders if the Right would want us to go back to the pre-union days when workers had no protection. Maybe hire children? Run sweatshops, what the hell?

    But the fact that Crowder took us to the Packard plant, closed in 1956, at the height of Dwight David Eisenhower's administration – when capitalists were capitalist and Engine Charley Wilson let the world know that what was good for GM was good for the country and for Crowder to make us think that the Packard ruins, a blight to be sure, are the fault of the “liberals” – oh please. What a poor piece of propaganda…even the tired tours of Michigan Central – again admittedly blight, but I wonder about last time Crowder took a train?

    Hey, no one knows better about what a tragedy Detroit has become than native Detroiters; but to simply blame it on the unions and liberals and teacher unions – please; that's simply preposterous. What we need is people with vision and hope for the future –inch by inch; step by step. Crowder is a vicious hater; we don't need that.

  • 5

    Well I for one got a good laugh out of it. But I'm sure he is just scratching the surface of all the problems that have caused Detroit to become what it is.

  • 6

    I never pay attention to losers like Crowder of course those who support his themes are losers as well..Why so people like to support losers and negative themes is not a part of my cultural dna..I simply do not know how to be a loser like that...

  • 7

    Mr. Crowder was raised in Montreal, a city more liberal than Detroit in many, many ways. Yes, Detroit is certainly blighted, but don't blame that fact on liberalism.

  • 8

    My mama always said if you are not doing anything to help you are not allowed to complain. I think she was correct.

    Detroit ROCKS!

  • 9

    From what I gather after reading all that everyone has said, people you all need to stand back and laugh at him, like I did. He is funny after all. Yes the city has major problems, yes Crowder touched on some of the problems but not all of the problems.

    It is easy to say why Detroit is the way it is, but the hard part is to change it, Which seems that no one is really up to the task of doing at the moment. It will take the whole State of Michigan and it people to make a difference, and until that happens Detroit will remain what it is. A third world city.

  • 10

    They burned a house down in Detroit when they filmed the movie "8 Mile". When asked why, the Hollywood director said, "Because that's what they do here in Detroit." And Detroiters raved about that movie. We were so proud. We overlooked the scenes of slums, the ruins of the Michigan Theater, the poverty. We were in the movies! Look at us!

    They are looking at us - at every rotting house, every abandoned skyscraper, every crooked politician and more. But when people like Crowder point out our flaws, we either angerly defend or we stick our heads in the sand.

    We need unions as a check on abusive management but the unions need fixing. They demand too much. Arbitrary work rules must be eliminated. Requiring a licenced electrician to change a burned out light bulb at a desk lamp is one very small but typical example. Job banks are a serious problem and a perfect example of liberalism run amuck. The union problems at Cobo Hall were a factor that almost cost Detroit the NAIAS. City Council's fight to "save" Cobo Hall from a dreaded take over by the suburbs was an exercise in stupidity that, had it succeeded, would have killed Cobo Hall and the auto show for certain. The corruption in the DPS and the demands of the teachers union are costing Detroit $millions. How many of us enjoy the job protection of Tenure? As Dave Bing pointed out, Detroit is required to pay the salaries of city union presidents who, in turn, negotiate against the city. How idiotic is that?! But that is liberalism which so many of you defend. Gimme, gimme, gimme. You owes me. That is the liberal attitude. Well look what it has gotten us.

    I have fiercely defended Detroit for decades and like many have stuck my head in the sand. I hate the negative attention we are constantly subjected to believing that it will only accelerate our decline. Who will want to come here now? But I have come to believe that the only fault for our condition is ours. No one is coming to our aid and no amount of government money will fix Detroit. We are in this alone. Time we all pulled our heads out of the sand.

    • 10.1

      I like your thinking. Do you have a blog? I just Googled balloon-framed construction, interesting.
      I'd like to hear more of your ideas on redeveloping Detroit.

      I agree with anounceofaction. Why do you post this crap?

  • 11

    I'd love to yawn but the fact is that while this is a puerile, 14 year old mentality take off on Michael Moore with a Rush Limbaugh twist, it is VERY pernicious and far more harmful than one might like to imagine.

    The reasoning is anything but impeccable, yes it is acually ludicrous, but vicious in it's ignorance... exactly a rabble rousing diatribe.

    It's Michael's Flint scenes from "Stupid Whie Men" in flint all over again with the oposite concusion.

    Detroit actually has some very beautiful areas believe it or not, and while we get endless views of areas of Detroit that are 90 to 100 years old where we built baloon frame housing which obviously doesn't last, this is such a negative and biased view that all credibility is lost.

    Is there any mention about Federal Government policies that welcomed in Foreign Automakers? Is there any mention of rapidly advancing technologies that require less and less people to make the product.

    Is there any mention of containerization and it's impact upon product delivery.

    Is there any mention of the making of the middle class under the guidance of the unions?

    Is there any mention of the destruction of the education system by wierd philosophies of the Ed Schools? Or mention of the absurd textbooks that are now being foisted upon the students?

    Is there any mention of Time Magazine's article on Great Professors in the late 60's where a Business Professor at Harvard was advocating the Killer Instinct?

    We surely have seen the results of that.

    Is there mention of H. Ross Perot's forewarning of the "Great Sucking Sound"?

    Is there any discussion about the arrogance of the Accountants who tried takeovers in the Corporations and ruined them?

    The answer to all these quesions is simply no.

    The conclusions of cause arrived at by the young man are completely wrong, inverted, and smack of the tactics used by the National Socialist Party. He is one, simply another stupid white kid. Talkative though.

    The horrors that have befallen America and Detroit are clearly the end product of The Republican Party's openly espoused philosophies, disgusting as it is.

  • 13

    I was in the midst of a very lengthy reply to smalltownsher having taken about 2 hours to write it and I hit the google tiny link to check some spelling and it overwrote the work in the blink of a second.

    This day and age!

    If I ever get ahold of Sergei and Larry, I'll strangle them!
    To use Gates favorite word... stupid!

    It will take some time for me to reconstruct my answer to you and I probably can't do it until new years day.

    I talked about the City's architectural history, Preservation Wayne, Attempts to save great treasures, the Medical Center, Hudsons, The great lost restaurants, the exodus, the rings of development, Charles Blessing, the Medical Center, the Universtiy Cultrual Center and what I see as obligations missed by the Universtiy of Michigan and I was going to go into the issue of housing and how the Michigan State Housing Development Authority has gone flaccid, Lafayette Park, Marting Luther King Housing, and on. It could be a book actually.

    This loss of time and effort is exhausting and I need to recoup now.


  • 14

    Lots of things are wrong w/ Detroit. Lots of things are good in Detroit. Just like every other city. People should leave it alone.

  • 15


    Exactly the wrong thing to do, you can't leave it alone, we must get in there and pitch to make it great if we want to see it great.


    I now think that any reply should not be in this thread.
    The premise and conclustions of the young man are way too off base and I am no longer interested in any kind of association with this stream of thought.

    Two things,

    I see that I have performed a great number of spelling mistakes and there is no spell check in this venue. Because of the fact that you can quickly loose everything that you have worked upon by opening another IE, it would be advisable to work in a good checking word processor and then dump it in this box.

    The Blog did serve to get my dander up to present a background that is clearer and more far reaching in it's conclusions... a sort of look at Detroit as a City in History and how do we get going to move it forward and bring out some greatness...

    Flint is collapsing, Saginaw too. Other manufacturing cities as well.

    So we have to take a hard look into the future. A new Blog is needed... maybe something like Detroit, Past and Future. Just what is a City?

    Much of what has been written in the Time Blogs is trivial.


Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

More News from Our Partners

Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.