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The Detroit riots in 1967 are known as one of the most catastrophic and destructive riots in U.S history. Not only was it remarkable for how long it lasted, but their efforts to impose order on a city with chaos. To some people, however, believe the riots were started due to a misunderstanding. But as time went on, the events highlighted serious conflicts for the residents. The city of Detroit, known as the “heart of the ghetto”, mostly had African American residents, who were the target of racial profiling. During this time period, race relations in Detroit had high levels of tension, which ultimately had a critical role in the riots. The entire city of Detroit struggled with social and economic conflicts. As a result, the city was left with vacant stores, unemployment, and hopelessness. The riots of Detroit negatively impacted the city, and would for years to come. The events of 1967 were ultimately a tipping point for race relations in Detroit. During World War 2, the city of Detroit expanded the powerful and successful Fort Motor Company, which would greatly impact the African American community of Detroit. The Ford company was the only company to stay in Detroit after the riots broke out. Most manufacturers avoided the city due to the hostility it had. The city of Detroit became the heart of car manufacturing in the first part of the 20th century, and also manufacturing for defense equipment following WWII. Lots of black workers moved to the area, which created tension between blacks and whites. By the early 20’s, there were about 45% of African American men worked at Ford in Detroit. According to professor Bates, “those jobs at Ford gave hope to Blacks”. One night, members of the community were having a special occasion for veterans who had recently arrived home from combat at a bar called the “Blind Pig”. However, it was interrupted by the police and they arrested multiple patrons. This caused extreme tension among the residents of the community. Fires broke out, bottles were thrown down on the street, all causing small riots.  Looting began, and closed stores and businesses were raided. Fires broke out and by mid morning, the policemen and firemen were at the scene. The National Guard was quickly put to use and helped keep control. Then, police were sent by the Governor to try and keep the riot from expanding. However, it just got worse and worse as time progressed, so order was finally reestablished. During the four days of violence, approximately 7,000 people were arrested. 1,700 stores and nearly 1,400 buildings were either ransacked, burned, or looted. This caused $50 million in damage. As a result of all the violence, around 5,000 people were left without a home. As the city was still facing violence, President Lyndon Johnson warned the country and said, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal”. The city’s riots ultimately crushed any hopes of achieving equality. All they did was negatively affect race relations. What caused so much violence in such little time was the police raid at an illegal club. Everyone was arrested, including 82 African Americans. The local residents became protests after witnessing the raid. The riot was also caused by the long lasting anger, frustration, and resentment that the African Americans had because of numerous things such as, racism, unemployment, extreme poverty, and lack of economic and educational opportunities . In addition, reports were released regarding the reasoning behind the unrest in the city. They were found to be problems with medical facilities, education, transportation, housing, job opportunities.  Another reason why the riots broke out was the housing problem in Detroit. The city had been known to have discriminatory housing policies. They began during the 1940’s when the white residents of Detroit tried as hard as they can to block African Americans from moving into the city and integrating housing. Some white establishments even refused to serve black residents and numerous black business owners were inconvenienced. It is said believed that the underlying conflicts that ignited the events in Detroit started in Michigan, where it suffered numerous forms of chaos. Shortly after the riots broke out, the violence continued throughout many other cities in Michigan including, Grand Rapids, Jackson, and Lansing. The summer of 1967 was on the first time there was tension among the races. The Detroit Police Department was responsible for causing such tension. Their practices towards the African American community were a critical contributor to the conflict and tension both before and after the 1967 riots.The riots brought the city to a place of no return. There’s years of damage, failing schools, and insolvency. Detroit was officially declared bankrupt in July of 1967, when the riots broke out. In the wake of the Detroit riots, President Johnson arranged a National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Commission. Seven months after the riots took place, the commission published  a 426 page report. The report stated that, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white–separate and unequal. Reaction to last summer’s disorders has quickened the movement and deepened the division. Discrimination and segregation have long permeated much of American life; they now threaten the future of every American.” After the riots, African Americans and whites viewed the events that took place in various ways. Many struggling with the idea of how much damage there was. 22% of the African American residents of 12th Street believed they should “get along without whites entirely” . Detroit Councilman Mel Ravitz believed that not only did the riot divide races, it also opened a door to a sharp division in the black and white communities as well. In the London Free Press, it stated that Detroit was a “sick city where fear, rumor, race prejudice and gun-buying have stretched black and white nerves to the verge of snapping” . After 1967, the African American community in Detroit gained more attention from state and federal governments. There began a dramatic increase in minority hiring due to the state and local governments reaction of the riots. The riots ultimately brought about change in the city of Detroit. It used to be run by all whites, but is now currently run by African Americans. The majority of the city’s population came to be 76% African American. The riots left a big scar on the city. Hundreds of burned businesses were never rebuilt, thousands moved to the suburbs, the city’s tax base shrank, and schools become worse. Because of both the effects the riots brought and the changes made to the economy, Detroit ultimately never recovered the luxury it had in the mid-1960’s. This event is known to symbolize America’s failures to commit to reducing poverty. However, the truth is that poverty has worsened over the years. The riots brought attention to the idea of facing the realities of poverty throughout the country. Rosa Parks had an opinion of what had happened in Detroit and termed it as, “the result of resistance to change that was the needed long beforehand”. A decade after 1967 led to both the 1973 election of the first African American mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young, and the whites departure from the city. Years later, the city of Detroit transformed from dominantly white, to dominantly black. The white population declined by more than 362,000 people. In 2013, the city itself started having financial problems, which resulted in bankruptcy. In 2016, a journalist claimed, “that the people in and around the Detroit area, race relations are a little bit better here than in the rest of the country”. It’s believed that Detroit has made progress on the racial tension and attitudes since the riots in 1967.African American power was a historically important development after the civil tension in 1967. Because whites fled to the suburbs, African Americans became the majority of the population of Detroit.

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