The last time there was a white mayor of Detroit, the Vietnam War was just ending and the nation was getting used to a Supreme Court decision called Roe vs. Wade.
But now this city, which is in the midst of a trial to determine whether it is eligible for bankruptcy protection, is set to elect its first white mayor since 1974, Mike Duggan, and by an overwhelming margin. Recent polls show Duggan up by a nearly 2-1 margin over his opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, in a city that is 82% African American.
Duggan’s lead is seen as a signal that the residents of long-struggling Detroit are ready for a change in leadership — someone who hasn’t served the city in politics before. After all, still fresh in voters’ minds is the case of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who three weeks ago was sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption.
The winds of change, however, may also be fueled by the nation’s willingness to elect a black president.
Minister Malik Shabazz, president of the Marcus Garvey Movement/New Black Panther Nation in Detroit, is one of Duggan’s most vocal supporters. Shabazz admits that having President Obama in the White House changes things.
“In the last two national elections, African Americans have asked the nation to choose the best person for the job and not get caught up in color. And twice, Barack Obama has won,” he said. “Now, in Detroit, in 2013, the best man running is a white brother, and that’s OK.”
Read more about Duggan and his chances to win the Mayoral race in Detroit here
Source: LA Times