Black religious leader, protesters hand-deliver Oreo cookies to Detroit officials

Malik ShabazzSaying some Detroit officials are “black on the outside, but white on the inside,” Minister Malik Shabazz and more than a dozen protesters tried to hand-deliver Oreo cookies this afternoon to city hall offices in the latest protest against an emergency manager in Detroit.

“We have Oreo cookies for Mayor Bing and the emergency manager,” Shabazz said, knocking on the door of the mayor’s office, where staff kept the doors locked. “It’s just a gift. They earned them.”

Shabazz, a former black separatist, said he meant no offense to white people. In fact, some of the protesters were white.

“There’s nothing wrong with being born white,” Shabazz told me. “But if you’re black, why are you acting white on the inside?”

Shabazz also tried to deliver the double-stuffed Oreos to Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown, who either wasn’t in his office or wouldn’t come out.

About 10 minutes later, more than 30 protesters wedged onto the 11th floor, where the mayor’s office is. There, they prayed, sang protest songs and pledged to escalate the demonstrations until the city becomes “ungovernable.”

So far, the protests have been peaceful.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy and restructuring expert, took office last week. He was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, who said the city’s budget is a train wreck and needs immediate intervention.

Got tips or suggestions? Contact Steve at sneavling@gmail.com. 

Steve Neavling, who lives on the city’s east side, is an investigative journalist, a freelance reporter for Reuters and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Neavling explores corruption, Detroit’s unsung heroes and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for many more daily updates, investigations, photos and videos of the Motor City. 

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.

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  • Complete Cynic

    I was born in Detroit, worked downtown for almost 25 years, and have lived my entire life on its outskirts. The City started on a downward spiral beginning with the 67 riots (regardless of the presence of any initial justification) and, in my view, was lost with the election of the premier race-baiter, Coleman A. Young. Sadly, he either whipped-up – or else simply articulated – a deep-seated disgust for and/or outright hatred of “whitey” that persists today – and is unrivaled in any other major city in the U.S. After 40 years of this – while the City continued an inexorable plunge to the bottom – frankly, I’m for leveling the whole place and starting over.

  • Mr. Lyle

    How about acting like a polarized community. Working together!! It doesn’t show much maturity to insult others.( How does one “act black”?) Those people are embarrasing themselves.

  • is this the same guy who is backing mike (white on the outside and on the inside) duggan for mayor? methinks Shabazz is just an old fashioned media whore.

  • tylea

    Why are Detroiter’s listening to Malik Shabazz? Further, why is the media giving him any time at all? His 15 minutes has been up.

    • bebow

      Who said we’re listening to him? The only ones listening to Malik Shabazz are the media, Mike Duggan, and Malik himself.

  • bebow

    The content of these protests give people the impression that Detroit residents are ridiculous. Self-appointed leaders who clown for the media are doing the rest of us no favors.

  • DKmichigan

    How does one “act white?”

  • How do white people act?

  • “Shabazz, a former black separatist, said he meant no offense to white people. In fact, some of the protesters were white. There’s nothing wrong with being born white. But if you’re black, why are you acting white on the inside?”

    Now if the races were flipped in this quote, Mr. Shabazz would be highly offended and demanding an apology. So why does he feel that it’s perfectly fine for him to race bait? This kind of behavior and hatred needs to stop. It’s getting us nowhere and solving nothing.

  • Would it have been wrong if Mr. Orr, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Bing had accepted Mr. Shabazz’s bag of cookies and given him a box of Froot Loops in kind? Can’t help but wonder….

  • Steve

    There, they prayed, sang protest songs and pledged to escalate the demonstrations until the city becomes “ungovernable.”

    Oh boy

  • tz2026

    The only difference I see between Jamie Diamon and John Corzine v.s. Kwame Kilpatrick, is that Detroit is NOT too big to fail, and the leadership not too big to jail.

    Deliver your Oreos to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I doubt either token will make any difference.