Monday, December 30, 2013

Charles Thomas, Jr. on the Real Flint

Charles Thomas, Jr., a Notre Dame graduate who was born and raised in Flint, reflects on media coverage of his hometown for Deadline Detroit:

When I read articles or hear one-sided renditions that portray us as second-class citizens who are deserving of such atrocities, a certain level of moral outrage and righteous indignation accompany my feelings. I do not like it one bit.

Flint residents are a hopeful people. In the face of insurmountable odds, we prevail. At the very least, we try.
Yes, it is undeniable that there are undesirables who cause problems, but I would submit that they would even do better if provided positive opportunities, alternatives and resources. No one, regardless of what they say, wants to be perceived as second-class citizens or inferior beings of lower status and significance. Everyone wants to be appreciated, loved, encouraged and have the opportunity to add value. Some people just do not know how.

I can offer a litany of people from Flint who are successful in their chosen endeavors and do what they can to make a difference in their small corner of the world. These individuals range from teachers, coaches, professors, businesspersons, authors, entrepreneurs, public sector employees, doctors and the list goes on.

Read the rest here.

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at