My friend Steve Cherry made the following proclamation last night from his bunker in Hamtramck, and, as I agree with it, I thought that I’d post it here, for your consideration.
Having spent much of the big east coast blackout of 2003 in Hamtramck, I can say with some degree of confidence that, when the shit finally hits the fan in a big way, Detroit’s probably the place you want to be. When everything requiring power ground to a halt, and people everywhere else worried that we were under attack, things in Hamtramck just kept right on going. Businesses stayed open. And no one freaked out. There wasn’t even a hint of “Oh my God, what will we eat?” panic. Maybe it’s because the Eastern European and Bangladeshi immigrants had seen so much worse, or maybe it’s that Detroit just infuses people with a power to keep moving forward when others would give give up, but, for whatever reason, I just got a sense that they’d find a way to keep society going, no matter what happened.
By way of context, Steve’s original post, which started the thread that eventually brought about his comment above, had to do with the new Whole Foods that just opened in Detroit. Here it is:
Detroiters, while you were celebrating Whole Foods opening in midtown, the California big ag just put 10 more family farms out of business through water diversions. California’s corporate-organic farms are unsustainable in every sense of the word.
So, I put this question to you… Is the Detroit Whole Foods hurting the long term viability of Detroit? Is it derailing the path toward self-suffitiency that the City was on? And, while we’re at it, is Whole Foods bad for agriculture?
And, I should add, I’m not suggesting that Whole Foods opening in Detroit isn’t a net-positive for the community. Given all the pro-Whole Foods coverage yesterday, though, I thought that it might be worth discussing the other side.