For Lansing (MI) city officials, the test will come in the days
ahead to see if they were serious in their apologies to southside
residents for their reaction to a block party that drew around 1,000
people to the Churchill Downs neighborhood.
Tonight, I went to a community meeting for the neighborhood called
by Mayor Virg Bernero and City Police Chief Mark Alley. It was
impressive to hear the more than 150 people, both black and white,
young and older crowd the Wainwright School gymnasium. It was barely
City officials described how the block party was
approved and how the process was incomplete through a lack of proper
questions and monitoring on their end. The lack of control and
accountability resulted in an effort to throw a party for neighborhood
kids turn into potential crowd situation where police was neighboring
communities were called. K-9 units were called and brought out.
tonight's meeting, everybody talked and seemed to do it with respect
for each other. I left after standing for more than an hour.
seemed to be a positive meeting, but there was tension in the air. For
those over 50, there was the memory of racial tensions in Detroit
exactly 40 years ago that escalated into a riot that scarred more than
Wasn't it touched off by police raiding a blind pig in the city of Detroit?
enjoy living in the southside. It's a diverse community. We live with
African Americans, Vietnamese, Hispanics and others. And, it works.
But, to keep it working, people need to continue talking and listening.
hope the days a head prove that city hall was doing more than damage
control. The neighborhoods deserve as much attention as the downtown.