One of the first articles that was reposted in my newsfeed this morning was about Detroit recently shutting water off to an enormous amount of the city’s population who have been negligent in paying bills, especially since a recent 9% increase in cost. Activists have of course been appalled by this and are fighting the case. In other words, people are pretty upset. But what upsets me is not that Detroit is shutting water off to citizens – it’s that people think this is wrong and will drop everything to get up in arms about it, but no one thinks about the most impoverished corners of the nation: the reservations. Do they think it’s worse to have something taken away then to never be given the opportunity to have it in the first place? For the hell of it, I’ve pulled out some statistics about Detroit. Since Detroit is probably viewed as one of the worst cities currently in this country, I’ve also pulled out some statistics to compare it to the Navajo Nation – arguably one of the worst Rez’s in this country. Looking at these stats, Detroit’s got it good. Detroit Population: 688,701 People per square mile: 5,144.3 Median Age: 34.8 Income per capita: $13,965 Unemployment: 29.3% Below poverty line: 38.1% High school degree: 77.4% College degree: 13% Homes without electricity: unknown (national average: 1%) Homes *that have recently LOST* running water: 0.9% Average house size: 2.74 Crime rate compared to national average: 368% National life expectancy: 77 years Navajo Nation Population: 180,462 People per square mile: 6.7 Median Age: 24 Income per capita: $7,629 Unemployment: 56.1% Below poverty line: 57.0% High school degree: 56.0% College degree: 7% Homes without electricity: 44% Homes THAT HAVE NEVER HAD running water: 48% Average house size: 3.77 Crime rate compared to national average: 400% Average woman/man life expectancy: 50 years Statistics vary slightly depending on sources, but the Navajo Nation consistently comes out much worse than Detroit. And I only use the Dine as an example because of the size of their Reservation. If you want worse statistics, try a Rez like Pine Ridge Sioux. Detroit, you have nothing to complain about. At least the government didn’t revoke your Constitutional Rights a million times over and try to assimilate your cultures and kill off those who refuse. Pay your bills. At least you have a utilities service at all.
[Note: Of course I care about people in Detroit, and I’m sure many in the population have been marginalized for various reasons. This blog more or less serves as a place to write satirically or to rant/put things in a different perspective. Just thought I would clarify…]