Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This is a grumpy post...

I was going to comment on THIS ARTICLE, or write a 'letter to the editor'.  BUT, I decided to take my rage to my blog (fancy eh?).  Now check it, there is a good chance I may say a thing or two that might sit uncomfortably with you, the reader.  So, if you are easily offended...skip this one and come back for quick takes.

Here's the scoop.  There's a teen night club in Canton (my home town and where I worked).  The club is awful, and irresponsible and should disgust every adult.  I actually agreed with much of the article, even wrote some of the same things on my fancy facebook wall.  BUT then, I read the following two paragraphs and lemme tell you, it actually took my breath away.

"Why do they even need these “professional security” people anyway? This is Canton Township for gosh sakes? I've never met a kid in Canton that I was even remotely afraid of. There isn't much crime to speak of in Canton, most certainly not violent crime.
These are not all Canton kids. Or Plymouth kids. Not even close. I have been told that the majority of the kids that come to this place are from other areas. From Ypsilanti, Belleville, Ann Arbor, and Detroit. I understand that I am entering a sensitive area here, but the story needs to be told, and I am told that upwards of 70% of the kids that attend these Hip Hop dance parties are from communities that have a much higher crime rate. There is no other nice way to put it. If it wasn't so, why the need for all the bouncers?"

This article (blog) was written in the Plymouth-Canton Patch.  And the author, editors and anyone associated with the Patch should be ashamed.

The author has never met a Canton kid who he was remotely afraid of? Lemme tell you, I was a Canton kid, and I worked with Canton kids for 10 years...and I have met PLENTY of Canton Kids I have been afraid of.

The author is concerned, 'the majority of kids that come to this place are from other areas'!!!  You know, SCARY places, like Ypsilanti, Belleville, Ann Arbor and, thank God he had the guts to say it... DETROIT!  Can you imagine, these scary kids, from other cities, creeping on such a sacred city as Canton, Michigan?  The SHOCK! the HORROR!

Then, THEN, he has the audacity to say, '70 % of the kids that attend these hip hop dance parities are from communities that have a much higher crime rate'.  And right there, without a doubt, I was clear on what he meant.

Where the hizz would he get a number like 70%?  The reality is, he couldn't possibly know that.  Not looking too far beneath the lines, it's obvious what he meant was 'kids that are poorer than our well to do, well behaved, CANTON kids'.   And I don't think it's too far of a stretch to say, what he meant was black kids.

If you know me, you know that I try very very hard not to cry, 'racism'.  I think it's a term that is used far too often to describe things that might have nothing to do with race.  However, it's hard not to throw out that word right now.

You know, I am blessed to be married to a pretty exceptional guy, who makes a really good living.  When we were getting married, our options were wide open as to where we would live.  Where we would raise our family.  And one thing I said, with certainty, is that I did not want to raise our little mixed family in the Plymouth/Canton Community.  My reasons were intentional and specific.  My reasons were once again affirmed in this article, the editors who allowed it, and the people who commented with statements of support.

We chose Redford for very intentional and specific reasons as well. And some of those reasons, as time went on, I realize were 'idealistic'.  Now that we live here, I do worry about the school system. I do worry about my kids being exposed to a 'rougher' (for lack of better word) crowd. I worry about the friends they will choose, and the things they might be exposed to.    But here's the thing, all of those concerns didn't measure up against my concerns with raising our children in communities like Plymouth/Canton.

As I read the article, I realized the author, Mr. Bryan Bentley was referring to MY KIDS.  Mr. Bentley wouldn't want my kids, 1/2 black 1/2 white, creeping up on his safe and protected Canton, Michigan.  Mr. Bentley wouldn't want kids from 'other areas', with higher crime rates to infect the good/sweet children of Canton, Michigan.  And Mr. Bentley should be ashamed of himself.  He didn't say the club attracts thugs (which it does- from EVERY city), he didn't say we have to help kids make good decisions, what he said was kids like MY KIDS should stay away.

And, I gotta say, in 2014- I am disgusted that Mr. Bentley feels that way.

I realize the majority of people who might read this blog are from Plymouth/Canton. I was raised there, I don't hate the cities and I get why people live there.  So, you needn't blow up comments defending those cities or telling me why they are great.



  1. The author is a jerk. Pray for him. Let it go.

  2. "I've never met a kid in Canton that I was even remotely afraid of." Um, has he ever set foot on the PCEP campus? Mary, I got really riled up by this guy's "article." I've basically been talking about it to anyone who will listen (sorry, Gary!). What I will say is that I did greatly appreciate Jerry Thompson, one of my high school teachers, calling the author out on his assumptions in the comment. Good to see that good old Mr. Thompson is still fighting the good fight in town.

  3. Well stated... I lived in Canton, and its the only place I have ever had my Car broken in to.. Having said that, Detroit is the only place I ever had a car stolen from and Westland is the only place I have ever had my house broken in to... There are a lot of "stupid" things a lot of "stupid" kids do... From Canton to Detroit... There are also a lot of "Smart" things a lot of "Stupid" kids do and a lot of "Stupid" things a lot of "Smart" kids do... Maybe we need to look at the form of entertainment our kids are involved in, maybe we need to listen to the music they listen to and as adults, as parents learn to say NO, this is not acceptable... Maybe we need to look at there group of friends and say no, they are not acceptable... Maybe parents need to learn how to be parents... I agree with Mary... Canton would not be the place to raise her kids... Sad to say... really sad...