Have you ever felt a strange but significant amount of pride in your city? I never did and I never thought I would.
I’ve held this pride, and even mama bear type protection over places like my college, and groups like my athletic teams and people like my family. I think this comes from being emotionally connected to it, by going through adversity and over coming that adversity, and by being grateful for it.
It wasn’t until very recently that I had this feeling about Detroit.
I went to a concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills, which is about 40 minutes north of Detroit. The band said the typical “HOW YOU FEELING (insert city name here)”, and “THANK YOU FOR HAVING US (insert city name here), YOU’VE BEEN THE BEST CROWD”. This is typically the time when everyone cheers loudest and most passionately. As you can guess, the city name they inserted was Detroit. This logically makes sense because The Palace hosts The Detroit Pistons (for now), and the closest large city to its location is Detroit, But, for some reason it rubbed me the wrong way. Seriously, I thought to myself, “Ugh, why do I feel this way”.
Here we are nestled into a very wealthy area with thriving businesses and conveniently an arms length away from actual Detroit. In a place filled with people that heard to the city just to work their 9-5, and then heard out when their done. A place filled with people who likely voted against the RTA. A place filled with people who likely only experience Detroit for their Lions, Tigers, and Wings games. These are the people who likely don’t have very great things to say about Detroit because they actually don’t know Detroit. In my mind I felt like, how dare you cheer for a city that you only claim to be a part of in romantic scenarios. Is this crazy?
Truthfully yes it is kind of crazy and a little ridiculous. But let me explain why I felt this way. Once you learn even a little bit about Detroit’s history, you realize that everyone in the suburbs pretty much abandoned the city. To this day they fight to keep it at an arms length. When you live in the heart of Detroit, you realize you have to work to get to the gold. You have to dig, sweat, get dirty and put your soul into it. There are people living and fighting for this city, and have been their whole lives.
This is where the “Detroit vs. Everybody” and “Detroit Hustles Harder” comes from. There is serious pride and mama bear tendencies for this city and I am starting to feel it to. I don’t claim to be a Detroiter because I have only been here for 7 months, but if you live in the suburbs I wish you wouldn’t either.
I don’t want to speak for everyone who lives in Detroit, or stereotype everyone in Metro-Detroit because not everyone fits into these categories. These are just my perspectives based on personal stories.
And to wrap it up…I really wish it wasn’t this way.