Dateline: Dud or Descriptive?
Reactions are all over the place to Sunday's Dateline special about Detroit. Bloggers, Twitter types and newspapers are all commenting on what they thought of Chris Hansen's hour-long look at the city. Some highlights:
* The Detroit Free Press asked those who watched to comment on why they love Detroit in 140 words or less (the same length as a typical Twitter post or Facebook status update). The reactions were an impressive collection of memories, thoughts and feelings about the city. My favorites:
@RyanMeray: "I love #Detroit for the warmth of its denizens, the mildness of its weather, depth of its culture, strength of its beer."
@kcheyfitz: "I love Detroit because it never gives up. At the center of America's worst nightmares and brightest dreams, it persists."
* The Detroit News had a great rant on its blog from Ron Scott, a Detroiter and activist who posts on the Politics blog:
It was a propaganda gem. But it bore no resemblance to the hard-working Detroiters reshaping the city every day, giving vision to hopelessness and doing what must be done to re-mold a city plagued by underdevelopment. It was a classic "blame the victim" scenario.
* Detroit Moxie got so fired up that she is calling for action. I'm in, Moxie girl!
Did it show an accurate picture of Detroit? Yes. Did it show the whole picture? Most certainly not. It was a lost opportunity for a hometown boy to do the job right, to actually make a difference in the way the world sees our city.
Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, Detroit won't be fixed overnight. But we can make a start. We can work with Motor City Blight Busters to tear down the abandon homes or work with Habitat for Humanity to build new, livable homes. We can work with our local food organizations such as Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest to feed the people who can't afford to feed their families. We can clean up Detroit and take the trash out.
I'm open to suggestions. I'll start making the phone calls today. I just need you to show up. The big question is: Are you in? Were you all talk while watching Dateline or are you ready to get your hands dirty and make a difference? I'm rolling up my sleeves and heading in. I hope someone joins me. I hope I'm not all alone.