One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

The Dead of Winter

This is why I was so pissed a few months back at the callous hatefulness that went on full display from many so-called pundits in the wake of the ruckus at Cobo Hall last fall.

"This is obviously a tragic situation, but possibly one that could have been avoided," Simons said, adding that assistance programs are available.

Yeah. "Possibly."

Sure, the chaos at Cobo made for easy headlines and even easier cracks about Detroit and poor people. And it served as a great launch pad for the phony moral outrage of the gasbags who love to attack social safety nets, working-class and underclass Americans and anything Obama. But truth is, fear of tragedies like this is exactly why those lines wrapped around the block, why so many poured into downtown at the mere idea of getting a little help to stay warm and indoors this  winter, why they were willing to jostle and fight for even a sliver of relief.

Because in Detroit's poorest quarters, not only can winter kill — so can your best efforts to stay alive.

I don't know if any of those who perished in this fire were actually in line at Cobo last fall — their heat had been cut off in 2008, according to reports — and I'm not suggesting that they couldn't have done anything different, smarter, whatever. They "possibly" could've.

My point is that, while fat cats in TV studios and radio booths concerned themselves with insulting our city, pointing sanctimonious fingers and openly scoffing at even the idea of government offering relief to the worst off among us, many of those people stuck in that line downtown knew enough to be anxious about something a whole lot more basic and whole lot more real: death.

And once again, we've been reminded why.

  • Print
  • Comment

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.