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Neighborly multiculturalism

By Jim Killebrew

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[February 12, 2014]  The journalist Frosty Wooldridge posted an article titled "How multiculturalism, immigration and white flight destroyed Detroit, Michigan," where he said in part:

"For 15 years, from the mid 1970s to 1990, I worked in Detroit, Michigan. I watched it descend into the abyss of crime, debauchery, gun play, drugs, school truancy, car-jacking, gangs, and human depravity. I watched entire city blocks burned out. I watched graffiti explode on buildings, cars, trucks, buses, and school yards. Trash everywhere!"

Mr. Wooldridge went on to report several disturbing statistics:

"The murder rate is soaring, and 7 out of 10 remain unsolved. Three years after Katrina devastated New Orleans, unemployment in that city hit a peak of 11%. In Detroit, the unemployment rate is 28.9%."

"Detroit plummeted from 1.8 million citizens to 912,000 today. At the same time, legal and illegal immigrants converged on the city, so much so, that Muslims number over 300,000. Mexicans number 400,000 throughout Michigan, but most work in Detroit."

"High school flunk-out rates reached 76 percent last June according to NBC's Brian Williams. Classrooms resemble more foreign countries than America. English? Few speak it! The city features a 50 percent illiteracy rate and growing."


Mr. Wooldridge concluded by citing an article published in Time magazine's Oct. 4, 2009, issue, entitled "The Tragedy of Detroit: How a great city fell, and how it can rise again."

"The ultimate fate of Detroit will reveal much about the character of America in the 21st century. If what was once the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation has been brought to its knees, what does that say about our recent past? And if it can't find a way to get up, what does that say about our future?"

I believe this is sobering for sure. I believe too, that there is more involved in this process that goes beyond simply blaming "multiculturalism" and white flight from the city. I believe it has its roots in the very heart of man (mankind) who, for the most part, has abandoned the moral standards established by God and has attempted to disavow all knowledge or understanding of what God's will for our lives should be. Rather than trying to live by the principles of the Ten Commandments, we spend a lot of time and effort seeking to diminish them or hide them behind the walls of the church. We constantly try to erase God from even being recognized as part of the American heritage or founding history. Therefore, as a substitute, we must rely solely upon each man's thinking in matters of what is right or wrong. Aside from the moral perspective introduced by God, we only look from the perspective of a fallen mankind that can supply only the strength that can be derived from a sin nature. Throughout history, mankind has not ascended upward, he only tends to spiral downward.

There seems to almost always be a "mirror image" type of reaction to the downfall of cities as described by Mr. Wooldridge. When cities like Detroit have been strong and powerful with low unemployment, high salaries, broad tax base and wealth ruling the city, with intact neighborhoods, strong law enforcement, functional, productive schools, and I might add, predominately Christian citizens, something catastrophic has to happen for that to be so significantly changed.

For sure the rising oil prices of the '70s slowed down the production of the larger gas hogs Detroit produced. When that slide begins, however, the producers and workers begin to move out to look for ways to sustain their lifestyle. It creates a void that is usually filled by those who cannot afford to maintain what is there. So it begins to deteriorate and crumbles under the weight of neglect, destruction, waste and war: war between neighbors. The people who have had little get a taste of what they thought was a good life, but fail to have the knowledge or experience to maintain what they have inherited, and it begins to significantly decline. Humanitarian forces, but mostly the government, move in to help prop up those who have taken over. When a radical religion element is added to the mix, like the Muslim radical groups whose aim is to destroy, the result is the city, state or country will rust and rot from the inside and topple over eventually from the sheer weight of the structure.


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Most people who watch with interest have seen it before, just as I have. The Bible talks about a person's heart being where his/her treasure is. Jesus said it plainly in what scholars call His "Sermon on the Mount," found in the Gospels:

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)

When a man's treasure gets shifted to another place, the man's heart soon follows. The void that is established is filled by others whose treasure becomes the carcasses of the materialism that was left behind by the founders. Neither having the means nor the know-how to build or maintain, the new owners feed on the abandoned treasure until it is completely gone. Not having the means to move on themselves, they tend to stay and wait for another to come bringing goods to sustain them. If there is a radical element embedded in the new group, they organize and become scavengers and believe it to be their "calling" to lay waste the riches of others. They take on the mentality of "victims" to justify their actions of destruction, believing they have a right to destroy those who have the wealth, since the belief is that they likely stole it in the first place from the rightful owners: those who currently engage in the destruction. That is when they devise a tactic to advance their cause by social change, or force when necessary, to "redistribute" the wealth from those who do not deserve it to those who want it.

I remember a time in the decade of the 1950s in my hometown. I knew of kids who lived in a neighborhood a couple of streets over from my house. There was a plot of land with trees growing all around it, a little stream flowing through it and a small house in the middle. There was an elderly man living in the house. He subsequently died one day, leaving no or few heirs. The house stood vacant for a long while, unattended and neglected by whoever owned the property. Soon the neighbor kids began to explore the woods surrounding the house. With each week there were no consequences to their having penetrated the property, and they finally reached the house. Over the next year or so, the house was completely destroyed by neighborhood kids: kids from several blocks away. It became known as "the old man's house" and was a playground for destruction. The house was torn up, with even the windows taken out, floorboards torn up and finally walls knocked down.


Not a single kid in those neighborhoods worked to produce that property; they had no responsibility for upkeep and no respect for the former property owner's memory. Without memories of living in the house, it was nothing but an empty shell, useful only to be torn up because nobody cared. I look back on that memory as a microcosm of our society and how we treat what is not ours with such disrespect. Those kids were not mean to start with; they were not evil or bent on destruction in the beginning. The property and house were just there with no personal investment, and with no investment, it had no meaning except what it could provide for the neighborhood kids: a place to have fun. And even as children, the sin nature, or lower base instincts, took over to destroy the house and call it fun.

That is what happens when amoral behavior rules the hearts of men (and children, for that matter). It is not enough to say that multiculturalism is always to blame; civilizations of mankind can come together in peace and prosper if they first accept the moral standards of living that start with loving God and loving their neighbors as they love themselves.

[By JIM KILLEBREW]

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