Controversial Detroit Minister calls Mayor Dave Bing a “House N—–” during testy debate

Detroit community activist and Minister Malik Shabazz pulled no punches during a fiery debate this morning on Charlie Langton’s 1270 AM radio show, saying Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is part of a plot by “white supremacists” to hand the city over to Lansing.

“Mayor Dave Bing does not represent Detroit and has never lived in Detroit,” claimed Shabazz, who earlier this year threatened to burn down the city under a state financial takeover. “Mayor Bing belongs to you all. He is a House You-Know-What.”

Fittingly, the term “House Nigger” was popularized by Malcolm X’s famous speech, “Message to the Grassroots,” at the King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit in 1963, when the Muslim convert warned against black Americans who had abandoned the cause of civil rights to indulge in the luxuries of the white ruling class.

Shabazz is a divisive voice in Detroit, but his popularity is gaining among Detroiters who fear the state will seize the city’s crippled finances and take over gems like Belle Isle.

The minister was debating the roots of the city’s problems with Deadline Detroit reporter Jeff Wattrick, who blamed the financial mess on poor local leadership.

Shabazz disagreed, saying the city’s real failures began when “Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was run out of town largely by the media, the corporate, suburban, capitalistic, corporate power structure.”

What about the corruption, the pay-to-play politics, the nepotism and the lies that cost taxpayers millions? Wattrick asked.

“He made mistakes,” Shabazz said of Kilpatrick. “We all make mistakes.”

The true hero of Detroit is Mayor Coleman Young, the city’s first black mayor, Shabazz said.

“Mayor Young, to me, was the first great mayor of this great city,” he said.

Shabazz said he was worked up because he’s worried about the encroachment of “imperialism and colonialism.”

“We broke our neck to be able to use the bathroom with you and to drink and eat at the same restaurants and water fountains as you,” the minister said. “We died for that.”

Excerpt from Malcolm’s “Message of the Grassroots” speech:

“This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about “I’m the only Negro out here.” “I’m the only one on my job.” “I’m the only one in this school.” You’re nothing but a house Negro. And if someone comes to you right now and says, “Let’s separate,” you say the same thing that the house Negro said on the plantation. “What you mean, separate? From America, this good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?” I mean, this is what you say. “I ain’t left nothing in Africa,” that’s what you say. Why, you left your mind in Africa.”

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.