Response To My Letter Ten Weeks Later – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Response To My Letter Ten Weeks Later

Honestly I think i have achieved all of the goals/hopes that I had for the summer. I think that I am only more invested than when I wrote that letter. I have learned more about what I want to do with my life since then, when I wrote that letter to myself I had no idea what I was doing or really what was going to happen. Reading it now I can say that I feel like I have more direction now. According to my boss I was a bit naive when I came in initially and I have to agree with her. I would not say I am more jaded now, I have certainly had my hopeful expectations crushed a few times, I am realistic now, also distrustful of business and most people in government. There are definitely two paths that Detroit can go down, and I still believe that the city is not forgone to gentrification and a government that will let people go without water. Though I do not know how likely one of those paths is, I’ll still know that someone will be fighting for it.

Something that would have never occurred to me would be the idea that the politicians and business interests in Detroit are like gangs. When we were driving to Chicago to testify to the EPA my boss brought up how the people in power only serve themselves, and how they are basically gangs. Instead of colors they wear suits and the difference between them and people gang banging in the streets is that they were established. The cops came out of gangs, it was a group of white men who patrolled “black bottom” that eventually transformed into the police force. Just like gangs they are just trying to make money. I am not going to argue with anyone on whether or not that is true, but it is certainly an interesting thing to think about. I would say now, that I definitely believe that the idea of a public servant is rarely replicated in real life. I do not think I believed that earlier, but now that is only cemented into me.

Money is the driving force behind every thing that gets done in the city, there are very few people who are not working for the money. Just working with the downriver community there are a ton of people who are working purely to make the area safer and healthier for people to live in and then there are people who are so lethargic and apathetic who just slow anything good that is happening until they have money waved in their face. It is sad, but at least there is a way to combat it. And it’s not to say that the time I have spent in Detroit has not influenced what I want to do with my life or not been the most fun summer of my life. My expectations were met though there was a slight but wait there’s more moment, I just don’t think that I could have expected all of the small nuances and details. Either way I am really bummed that the internship is ending, I told Rhonda I am just an email or call away so she can keep sending work my way. I’ll miss this.

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