Love & Hate in Michigan

the-people-of-detroit-stylist-make-up-artist-by-noah-stephens

The People of Detroit: Stylist | Make-Up Artist, photo by Noah Stephens

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan had the highest number of hate incidents among states in the Midwest in the 10 days following the Nov. 8 election, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center released this week.

There were at least 40 incidents involving bias against African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, LGBT, and others in Michigan in the period following the contentious election, 18 of them involving suspects who mentioned Donald Trump, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

It saddens me greatly to see Michigan, a “home free” stop on the Underground Railroad and a state that has gained as much from immigrants & diversity as any in the Union, to lead in such an ignominious category.

Anyway, in the interest of tolerance and appreciating our shared diversity, I wanted to steer you all to one of my favorite photographic projects, Noah Stephens’ The People of Detroit. It’s a fantastic glimpse inside the vibrant mix of people that call Detroit home. His post on Sharon who is pictured above says in part:

Sharon is a stylist and make-up artist who immigrated to metro-Detroit at 16 from Puerto Rico. We had a really cool conversation about the differences between the two places – especially the weather.

…Sharon never became much of a fan of the winter weather, but she did say she loves summer in the D. She talked about how much she and her friends like to bike around downtown in the summer and then go down to the Riverwalk to relax, read a book, and maybe have a couple of sips of wine.

I told her about a large, male co-worker who works downtown but who has never spent a single afternoon walking around and doing some of the things Sharon likes to. He has these notions about about some sheathed menace that lies in wait, anxious to envelop him the second he steps out on Jefferson Ave.

Of course no such menace exists. As downtowns go, Detroit’s is as safe as any other major city’s. A fact Puerto Rico expat Sharon is well aware of.

Funny how sometimes the most accurate appraisals of a place come from one thousand miles away.

Indeed. View Noah’s photo bigger, see more in his The People of Detroit slideshow, and follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Love & Hate in Michigan

  1. Don’t get political. I voted for Trump because 1) he wasn’t Hillary and 2) the country could not continue on the path we were on. But, I come to your website for photos, not commentary.

    Like

    1. I think you might be new here Brian. I will write whatever I please here. If you don’t like it, you are free to move along. Besides, I don’t think it’s political to say that it’s shameful for Michigan to lead in public expressions of bigotry.

      Liked by 1 person

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