Civil rights leaders to L. Brooks Patterson: ‘Come to the hood’ and apologize

Local civil rights leaders today called for Oakland County Prosecutor L. Brooks Patterson to apologize for divisive, incendiary comments he made about Detroit and Native Americans in the New Yorker magazine.

“We don’t want you just to apologize with your lips,” said Rev. Charles Williams II, leader of the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network. “We are calling for you to apologize with your actions.”

That means, Williams told reporters, “coming to the hood – the heartbeat of the city of Detroit, and let’s gather with a real conversation about how we can heal the racial divide that has permeated throughout the southeast Michigan.”

Williams also challenged local business and political leaders to stand against Patterson’s comments, which caused outrage among many in the region.

In an interview for the latest edition of the New Yorker, Patterson said there are very few reasons to visit Detroit, where he warned, “You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking.”

Patterson went on to say: “I can’t imagine finding something in Detroit that we don’t have in spades here. Except for live sports. We don’t have baseball, football. For that, fine—get in and get out. But park right next to the venue—spend the extra twenty or thirty bucks. And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here.”

He added: “I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re going to do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.’ ”

Before boarding a yacht on Lake St. Clair, Patterson told the reporter: “Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough shit.”

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.

  • Mike

    The truth hurts NIGGERS!

  • Bruce davis

    It would be nice if he did apologize and mean it …I love Detroit

  • Billy Blake

    I don’t think he will come to Detroit to apologize. I think he’s afraid of being shot. Which I don’t believe would happen but in his racist mind he thinks that.

    • Dust Buster

      kwame had 12 security guys and 3 escalades drive him around. he said he was never thratened and called the n word so many times. also recall his speech when he said “he never had so many def frets” since he was elected mayor. so was kwame a racist?

      did these same ectivists call kwame out for lyin on the d about violence?

      the answer is no and we know why. its ok for a detroit based black guy to say something bad about detroit. its not ok for an oakland county white guy to say the same thing.

      • pat odoyle

        And Brook would drive himself. No 12 guards. Maybe one county sheriff with him, maybe.

    • pat odoyle

      He jackhole. He has been to Detroit hundreds of times. He was raised in Detroit, went to school in detroit, went to college in detroit. He has on official matters been to detroit many many many times.

      • Billy Blake

        I’m tired of people like him and his negative comments. He does not live in Detroit now. He may have in the past. What I said in my post was he will not come to Detroit and apologize because he is afraid of being shot. Did not say that he has never been to Detroit. You need to learn how to comprehend  what I wrote before commenting.

  • bebow

    L. Brooks Patterson doesn’t care what Detroit’s neighborhood residents think of him and his opinions. He’s concerned about reaction from the downtown and Midtown crowd. What he said is no worse than what our own have said and done. Who is LBP to us anyway? Who is he in a general sense? Is he a great man? Why should his opinions carry such weight? Our methods for determining value and importance are as flawed as the man himself. He’s pitiful.

    • pat odoyle

      How is he pitiful, you just said our own say the same thing. He is someone, he runs one of the nicest most successful counties in the country.

      He is speaking truths, though not nice ones about one of the worst run cities that borders his county.

      He has to deal with detroti politicans in stuff like regional things like cobo? Remember that, the detroit crew wanted everyone to pay, and they alone get to manage ?

      He pays for things in detroit, detroit does not pay for things in oakland, its as simple as that.

      • bebow

        His offensive comments are not truths. What makes Brooks pitiful is his ignorance.

  • LiberalMediaIsCorrupt

    Didn’t we just have a story yesterday about “genterfication”? Hypocrisy?

  • LiberalMediaIsCorrupt

    Don’t apologize.

  • Maurice Townsend

    Please boycott Oakland county and their grocery stores and movie theatres. Oops, no movies or groceries in the city that used to be detroit, never mind.

    • slovakD

      There are a few, very few, movie theatres: RenCen4, Bel Air megaplex, DIA Film Theatre, and the restored, majestic neighborhood movie palace, the Redford on Lahser north of W. McNichols. City does need more grocery stores. I often buy groceries in nearby Hamtramck whichhas a plethora of small, unique grocers, bakeries, and restaurants, all kinds, quite international in selection.

      • Samuel Hoadley

        Mexican town and eastern market are good for groceries as well

      • Dust Buster

        i think the point brooks made about theaters is that a city that large and 700.000 people it has less theaters per capita than any major city. there should be more than you can count on one hand

  • Matt

    It makes me sick that people like him are the yacht-boarders of the world… To me though, the worst thing he said was this: “For [sports], fine – get in and get out.” Because I’ve seen it a lot… it’s not just Patterson, but thousands of suburbanites running scared after sporting events with the same attitudes.

    • pat odoyle

      well there are about 400 smash and grabs on nights with two games downtown. That is just the reported ones.

      There is way way way more crime down there then say royal oak, or any town in oakland minus pontiac. Which atleast in pontiac laws will be enforced.

      Detroit will not enforce property laws, or violence laws.

  • Tracey

    Using terms like “Come to the hood” doesn’t help. It just perpetuates the stereotypes and encourages the divisiveness. I appreciate the call for an apology and the standing invitation issued to Mr. Patterson to come to Detroit, but it’s really time to stop with the inflammatory language to get attention. We’ll never solve any of this region’s problems as long as we keep playing these games.

    • Samuel Hoadley

      And what makes it the worst is the ones who called for the apology are from NAN, you know the guys at the Travon Martin candle light vigil passing out political literature. I would have been happier if the NAACP called him out or better yet a Native American tribe.

    • Dust Buster

      tracey, you should apply for the job as leader of the “civil rights activists” you are more rational and you make sense. sad to say but the large majority of folks around here that are labeled “activists” are self serving clowns or goofballs. pulpit pimps that dont walk the walk. my guess is this preacher is just trying again to get his silly mouth and mug some picture time.

      i would also say that his flock has about 1.289 more pressing issues than being butt-hurt over l brooks saying something. it isnt going to bring them a job. it isnt going to light their street light. it isnt going to graduate their kid or bring their murdered loved one back. i hereby decree that the word activist be placed next to aspiring rapper as 2 terms that indicate a failed loser or a clown.

      80% of the thugs shot are aspiring rappers and most didnt get shot walking to church as their mommas swear.