He was here in 2009 to promote an album -- I mean, "help the homeless" -- and he's here again "to help the homeless." Actually, he's here to promote another album.
Event organizers whitewashed Jim Lawton's sculpture Pink Landscape: Three Trusses Plus (which the city had recently refinished). Through the efforts of onemorespoke, the sculpture was again refinished in 2010.
Event organizers whitewashed community murals installed to prevent graffiti. And. . .the graffiti's back.
Event organizers cut down park trees to improve their sitelines.
Event organizers hired private security to patrol city streets and to harass neighborhood residents. Folks were prevented from coming and going for the weekend, prevented from walking their dogs, getting groceries, leaving the house. Private security even prevented folks from going to church on Sunday.
The 2009 event collected canned goods and left them in the park overnight to be pilfered. KEM got a Grammy nomination, though, so it was totally worth it.
In a functional city with rational, intelligent leadership, these sorts of abuses would have been stopped and then prevented from happening again. Not in Detroit, though; city leaders are anything but intelligent or functional about the use of public space. Just say "help the homeless" and you can do pretty much anything, even whitewash a city-owned sculpture as a means to promote yourself. Those morons who whitewashed the Joe Louis fist should have thought of that.
Over the objections of neighborhood residents, Kwame Kenyatta and Dave Bing pushed KEM's event petition through committee and granted a permit. Here we go again.
Stay tuned for updates.