Detroit, Michigan – During an unprecedented show of civic unity, community activist groups and civil rights organizations in conjunction with the Detroit Police Department made their strong presence known this weekend during a recent sweep apprehending all of the individuals involved in the brutal assault and robbery of a suburban motorist last week.
Taking part in this weekend’s events was civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson along with his Rainbow-PUSH Coalition. “We are here to fight for the dignity and integrity of all Americans. No one should have to suffer for doing the right thing,” said Jackson after visiting the victim’s family at St. John’s Hospital.
Also taking part was the Rev. Al Sharption. Host of nationally syndicated “Keepin’it Real” and “Politics Nation” along with his National Action Network. While watching the last of the assailants being taking away in a squad car, Sharpton said, “I cannot imagine how an upstanding, hardworking father of three, is beaten to within an inch of his life by thugs and hooligans simply for stopping and doing what any decent human being would do.”
Local civil rights leaders such as the Minister Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party took part as well. Talking to reporters after canvassing the neighborhood where the assault and subsequent arrests took place, Minister Shabazz commented, “You may remember me talking about burning the city to the ground not that long ago. Well, I’m here to burn something today. No, not our beloved city, but evil and injustice wherever it may lie. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.”
This show of unity was not just limited to the civil rights and community groups.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy announced that she would be pursuing those involved with the same zeal she demonstrated when going after Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers.
Michigan Attorney general Bill Schuette was announcing that he preparing hate crime charges against those involved.
US Attorney General Eric Holder was also announcing that his office will be filing hate crime charges as well to be pursued after Michigan Courts have passed judgement.
Doctors are hoping to take the victim out of his medically induced coma sometime later this week and are hoping for a full and complete recovery.
Okay, for those of you living outside of Southeastern Michigan, aside from the savage attack and robbery of a motorist I’ve described at the beginning of this post, nothing else above actually happened.
And this is troubling.
Let me bring everyone up to speed.
Last Wednesday afternoon, Steve Utash, a landscaper from Roseville was driving along Morang on the Eastside of Detroit. David Harris, a ten-year-old boy from Detroit, walked away from his father who was standing with him on the curb, and in front Utash’s truck when he was hit.
Realizing what had happened and doing the only decent thing. Utash pulled over to see how the boy was and if he could offer any assistance.
While he was stopped, a pack of a dozen thugs rushed Utash and proceeded to savagely beat him. Despite Utash’s pleas for mercy during his assault, the mob beat him into unconsciousness and subsequently stole his paycheck, wallet and credit cards along with equipment from the truck he was driving in.
Utash was taken to St. John’s Hospital on the Eastside where he has been placed into a medically induced coma due to the injuries he suffered. His family commented that the initially didn’t recognize him due to the amount of swelling his body sustained as a result of the multiple head injuries
David Harris has been reported to have a broken foot and is at home with family members.
Harris’ father was arrested, not because of any involvement with the attack, but on other outstanding warrants.
Detroit Police have said that Utash was not speeding or breaking any traffic laws, and that he did exactly what he was supposed to do during a situation like this. He is not facing any charges or citations related to this incident.
Oh, and if it even remotely means anything to anyone here: Utash is white. Harris, his father and Utash’s assailants are all black.
If there is any good news here, aside from a little boy not being seriously injured, is that the family had initially set up a fund to pay for his medical bills due to the fact that he does not have any insurance. Their initial amount was for $50,000, an amount they set because they didn’t want to appear greedy. As of Sunday Morning that amount pledge is over $90,000 and climbing.
Another bit of good news is that Detroit Police have arrested two teens, a 16 and 17-year from that neighborhood, in conjunction with last Wednesday’s assault. They are still on the lookout for the remainder, but are having difficulty getting cooperation from the local community in identifying the attackers.
That’s the situation as of early Sunday Afternoon.
The word that I’ve gotten is that there is a rock house in the area which is partially the reason police are having problems ID’ing any suspects. The locals are afraid of retribution. “Snitches get stiches” and that sort of thing.
What is also interesting is the silence and ambiguous statements coming from what passes for “leadership” in Detroit.
Mayor Duggan and Council President Jones have issued a joint statement on the assault that read in part:
“We are asking all Metro Detroiters to demonstrate our true character by exercising calm and patience during this emotionally charged time.”
I don’t need to jump into the DMC-12 to know that the black population was the one responsible for burning the city to the ground and required the Michigan National Guard to be called in to restore order.
Is Mayor Duggan and Councilwoman Jones expecting the whites to march down and level what’s left of the city?
Also interesting is the silence and lack of follow through from the usual pack of race-baiters.
The three examples at the beginning of this post, Jackson, Sharpton and Shabazz are all strangely quiet on this issue.
One of the few exceptions was US Congressional Candidate, the Rev. Horace Sheffield who issued the following statement:
“We need to show up in numbers and search that entire area block by block for these heartless perpetrators just the same as we have when it was 90-year old female victim of rape,” said Sheffield, executive director of the Detroit Association of Black Organizations and chairman of the Detroit Ecumenical Ministers Alliance.
“Consequently, I am calling on all activists, march organizers, protest promoters, representatives of the people, speech makers, candidates for public office, ancestral worshippers, talk show hosts, and protectors and defenders of Detroit to prove that we equally deplore injustice and unbridled brutality no matter what color the victim is or of the one committing it’.”
Sadly, no searching has been done yet because Rev. Sheffield didn’t include any time or location for people showing up in numbers anywhere in his statement and hasn’t returned any calls seeking clarification.
The Detroit Free Press’ resident race-baiter, Rochelle Riley also needed to say something otherwise her long history of race hustling will be called into question. Not taking long to go into la-la land, Riley wrote:
“The greatest hope for Detroit is that the police find, and the prosecutor try, and a jury convict, every person who attacked Utash.
May they all serve many, many years in prison.
But more important than that, may Duggan understand that, as important as it is to make sure people don’t steal scrap metal, it is more important that Detroit have a zero-tolerance policy on people stealing lives.
Those men’s homes should be seized — to pay Utash’s medical bills.
Those men should be banned from living in Detroit when they are released from prison.
And how we treat them should be a lesson for anyone else who doesn’t understand that in the Detroit we’re building, there is no room for that kind of violence, no room for that kind of hate, no room for them.”
Ummm, yeah. Seizing the homes of teenaged punks. That is assuming a lot, including what passes for parents in that part of town ever owned anything to begin with.
And banning them from The D?
Eerily reminiscent of Coleman Young’s “Hit Eight Mile”, if you ask me.
Ms. Riley has been strangely silent on that.
So in the end, what does this all mean?
For one, it means that Detroit has a long way to go if it ever want to become a viable city for people to live in again.
Flushing money down the toilet in the form of state bailouts in a vain effort to make things better will have no positive effect. Gov. Snyder pouring gasoline on a large stack of Michigan Taxpayer cash and setting it ablaze will have the exact same effect as any bailout he proposes.
Two, race baiters have a literal blind spot.
They’ll be the first to jump in front of a camera were the roles reversed (i.e. black driver senselessly beaten by a white crowd after hitting a white child). But, in this situation…nothing but heartily-bred Michigan cricket sounds.
When they feel the need to thrust themselves into the media and prostitute themselves for another 15-munites of fame, they need to be reminded of their silence(or hypocrisy…take you pick) on the cases they choose to support and those to flat-out ignore.
Third, “hate crime” laws need to be abolished and what passes for law enforcement (read: County Prosecutors and Attorneys general) need to come to the realization that “hate crimes” are nothing but a distraction to make community organizers and other similar race hustlers feel empowered, while doing nothing to address the real problem with crime.
I’ve never heard of a situation where someone viciously pummeled someone, or even killed them, because they “loved” them too much.
“Hate Crimes” are a misnomer, and should be readily dismissed as such whenever anyone tried to invoke them in the future.
Thank you for the best commentary I've read so far on this tragedy. I live four miles from where this happened, but the communities themselves are worlds apart. I live in the mostly white city of Grosse Pointe Park. If this had happened on my street, but the races were reversed, I know Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton whould be on our from steps denouncing the racial hate crime, and bet there would be rioting throughout Detroit with reverberations nationwide. The silence on this is killing me. I drove to the convenience store this morning, hoping I would see some sign that the community acknowledged that a grim tragedy occurred there, perhaps just some peaceful marches or a wreath at the edge the road. There was nothing. I sat in my car and wondered if these people, my neighbors really, would do the same to me if given the chance, and if nobody among them would try to help me. My heart ached for all of us.
Will the teenagers be charged as juveniles? Will the adults who participated be turned in by the community that is so concerned? Will anyone else stop after an accident in Detroit?
You expected otherwise?
Let's not forget a certain event over the last couple of years...
This is beyond sad. The lack of media attention is a compounding crime against society; particularly after what we saw with that other famous trial.