Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $12 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Monday, June 23, 2003 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: USDA Opens $3 Million Biotech Conference in...
2003-06-23

Benton Harbor: Where Does it Go From Here?

download:   Video Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

A week after an African-American motorcyclist died in a police crash, the Rev. Russell Baker of Benton Harbor examines the impact of the recent protests and riots on Michigan’s poorest city

It was a week ago today that the city of Benton Harbor in Michigan entered the national spotlight.

A 28-year-old African-American motorcyclist died during a police chase.

Soon the city was in flames. For three nights protests and riots shook this city, the poorest and one of the most segregated in Michigan. By Thursday, 21 houses had been burned. Hundreds of police in riot gear marched the streets.

One local resident said Benton Harbor looked more like Beirut than the former popular lakeside vacation spot that it once was.

The problems in Benton Harbor have been growing for years. During the 1980s a team of urban affairs professors examined the city in search of a solution. The effort failed.

One of those professors, Joe Darden, of Michigan State University, told the Detroit News, "When you combine segregation with the intense, concentrated poverty, hopelessness and grievances associated with police brutality, you have potential powder kegs on your hands."

  • Rev. Dr. F. Russell Baker, First Congregational United Church of Christ

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news