The Associated Press is reporting that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Friday encouraged Detroit’s religious leaders and residents to join him in an effort to buy dilapidated and neglected properties and take other steps to help revitalize the beleaguered city.
The fiery orator offered few specifics in a speech to the Detroit City Council, but made plain his displeasure with Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to appoint an emergency financial manager. He likened the takeover to buzzards circling over a carcass.
“The city abandoned, crime and violence rampant, and the governor has seen fit to take away the rights of the voting public,” Farrakhan said, referring to putting someone in charge of the city’s finances that wasn’t elected. “I don’t know what democracy really means if you can be given the right to vote and then somebody can take it away.”
He said the city’s downtown is “coming along pretty good” as its buildings are bought and renovated, but many other areas are “like a wasteland.”
“But a wasteland always gives opportunities those who have a vision,” he said.
Detroit’s problems include high crime, joblessness and abandonment; its budget deficit is about $330 million and rising.
Read more at CBS.