October 30, 2007, - 8:59 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Tonight is Devil’s Night, er . . . “Angel’s Night” in Detroit. You see, you’re not supposed to say “Devil’s Night,” about the night before Halloween, on which hundreds of houses are burnt to the ground through arson.
The fires still happen by the hundreds, many Detroit cops tell me (they send me the pics, too), but the media and the Pimp-Daddy Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, cover it up, making like there are few fires. They want people to think that Detroit–40 years after the riots–is not anymore the city of the Night of 1,000 fires.
But the fact is, the arson fires continue, despite what they want you to think. These days the official count is generally under 100 fires, when the real count still numbers far larger than that. Many of the houses that are burned down are set on fire by fed up neighbors who are tired of Detroit doing nothing to tear down crackhouses and homes of vagrant squatters in their neighborhoods. While I don’t advocate crime, who can blame them.
Despite the orange costumes and the gushing spin, Detroit is the same old city as–probably worse than–the one that writer Zev Chafetz wrote about in his book, “Devil’s Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit.” It hasn’t changed (other than for the worse). They just have better PR and a biased, non-objective group of media outlets who won’t report the real story. Instead, they’re all wearing these stupid, orange “Angel’s Night” hats, t-shirts, and ribbons promoting this new pretense for the night of many fires. That, despite the fact that all along the Lodge Freeway–a main artery from the suburbs into Detroit–there are burnt out shells of former houses that were torched on Devil’s Nights past, and never torn down.
So, taking bets: How many fires will actually occur this Devil’s Night, er . . . “Angel’s Night”? I’m not talking the pretend number.
Trust me, if there were no fires and Detroit was a peaceful place, there’d be no reason to marshal hundreds of orange-clad volunteers this week, and have curfews, last night through Halloween. And they wouldn’t have so many police officers scheduled to work.
Detroit is burning, and it’s a whole lot different than “Rome is burning.”
Tags: Debbie Schlussel Tonight, Detroit, Devil's Night, Halloween, Kwame Kilpatrick, Kwame Kilpatrick Pretends Devil, Lodge Freeway, Mayor, media outlets, non-objective group, Pimp-Daddy, Rome, writer, Zev Chafetz