Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another Country Full Of Opportunity Awaits Kyle

New York's outdated LaGuardia Airport is no one's favorite destination in the snow-laced dead of winter but today it's a stepping stone of sorts to the possibility of a better life for my step-son.

I'm attending a copy writing class Monday evening in midtown Manhattan. I'm taking my step-son to visit Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut during the day. The writing class is for me; the better life is for Kyle. I'm not saying I've given up on Michigan, nor am I saying I don't believe the best schools in Michigan to be good enough for Kyle. I'm saying there's another world out there for him to discover if he so chooses.

I truly believe one of metro Detroit's greatest downfalls is the lack of knowledge or understanding within its' surplusof residents of how the rest of the country operates, how it lives and how it defines itself. Too many companies believe Detroit and the surrounding suburbs simply are too far behind the times in so many key categories to catch up in this lifetime and therefore, don't consider the region a viable candidate for business location or re-location. Sadly, I think we all know job gain/loss statistics back up my beliefs.

I haven't given up on Michigan -- in part because like everyone else, I can't sell my property -- but I'm worried, almost panicked, about what Michigan will look like in another ten years. If the next decade is anything like the last decade, we're in real trouble, as if we're not already. I don't have confidence in Governor Jennifer Granholm's presence, moxie or ability to lure whole industries to the state to replace the many mountain's worth of jobs that have crumbled into dust over the years. The southeastern Michigan region is mired in racial gridlock, something that disgraced politician Kwame Kilpatrick did nothing but exasperate while losing his position as Detroit's mayor. And while I found president-elect Barack Obama's election-night triumph to be an energizing moment for the country and a departure from politics per usual, anyone who thinks Obama will be the magic elixir for Detroit's ill, much less the country, is a punch-card's hanging-chad dreamer.

As if one needs additional evidence of Detroit's lack of cache within its' signature industry, check out Nolan Finley's piece in this morning's Detroit News lamenting the lack of energy, spirit and pride for the annual auto show that kicks off tonight.

This is less about Yale and more about a better chance, a better place, a better life. Yale's simply one of the Ivy League schools. There's Harvard in Boston, New Jersey's Princeton and New York City's Columbia University, too. We'll look at her buildings, touch her doors and walk her hallways. Hopefully, the visit will inspire a desire within Kyle to be an achiever first and a dreamer second. The days of hoping for a Motor City renaissance have long since floated downstream of the Detroit River.

It's time to remake Detroit completely -- that much is fact -- the real question is can this region's car-first mentality be overhauled before it's too late? I'm not waiting to find out on my child's behalf. Today is about the future, so it's on to LaGuardia, to the Metro-North train, to New Haven, Connecticut and back.

All Aboard!

~T.C. Cameron is the author of Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries from Arcadia Publishing. Cameron's 2nd title, Metro Detroit's High School Basketball Rivalries, is due August 2009.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home