Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

White White White Livonia

15. November 2005 • Jason Voss
Email this article

Remarks made by some Livonia residents during a city planning commission meeting are propelling one white pastor to action. Their assertions that building a Wal-Mart store in their city would attract Black Detroiters and eventually turn their neighborhood into a ghetto has made headlines.

The Rev. Skip Wachsmann is pastor of the predominantly Black, Genesis Evangelical Lutheran Church on Detroit’s eastside. He said the remarks were racist and challenged all honest thinking people, especially the clergy in Livonia, to condemn them.

Waschsmann wants churches in Livonia—tagged America’s whitest city—to begin deeper discussion on racial issues.

from BlackBox Radio 11-15-2005



  1. Livonia voted to get rid of SMART bussing for the same reason.

    If only the residents of Livonia knew a tiny bit about Black people. At a TRU meeting where the SMART proposals were discussed, a woman said, “I’ve been Black 53 years and never heard anyone salivating over the Walmart or Livonia.” I believe her too.
       —Hillary    Nov. 15 '05 - 11:38AM    #
  2. Not to argue to wrongheadedness of these Livonians, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to expect that a number of black Detroiters would drive to a Livonia Wal-Mart. The city lacks many shopping opportunities Americans have come to expect, for better or worse (including those featuring low prices many Detroiters desperately need). Yeah, Detroit has some neighborhood markets, but these are often expensive and don’t have the selection large chains do. Visit malls or shopping centers in otherwise very white inner-ring suburbs (Dearborn comes to mind, from my experience) and you will indeed find a large number of black shoppers that probably aren’t living in that jurisdiction.

    Is these folks’ business undesirable and are they turning those shopping centers and communities into a “ghetto”, however? THAT’s another issue…
       —Brandon    Nov. 15 '05 - 12:20PM    #
  3. When I lived in Detroit, I sometimes took the bus out to the end of the line to shop in a supermarket just outside Detroit. It was an hour each way, so I didn’t do it too often.

    To someone accustomed to the grim, filthy, high-priced little stores in central Detroit, as I was, suburban grocery stores are just dazzling in terms of selection, freshness of produce, and astonishingly low prices.
       —Larry Kestenbaum    Nov. 15 '05 - 02:23PM    #
  4. Larry: Frankly, I can’t figure out why anyone would leave Detroit for groceries. The cost of living here is much lower than it was in Ypsilanti. The Spartan store just east of Hamtramck in Detroit is every bit as cheap as Spartan stores in other places. The fresh things in Hamtramck are generally fresher, and we have access to a extraordinary variety of things. At the Eastern Market, they’re practically giving food away on Saturday afternoons. I bought a bushel of apples for $8 this year.

    (Sadly, the Cass Co-op has filed for Bankrupcy)
       —Hillary    Nov. 15 '05 - 03:27PM    #
  5. It sounds like Hamtramck and vicinity may have better groceries than in the Detroit neighborhoods where I lived. I once bought a package of margarine before noticing that the sell-by date was five months earlier. And the prices were extremely high.

    Going to Eastern Market was fun, but it wasn’t practical unless I could enlist a friend with a car.

    In my last year there, a Farmer Jack’s opened on E. Warren. It was so much better and cheaper than all the other local supermarkets (for a wide and densely populated area) that it was packed to the gills all the time. The checkout lines filled the aisles all the way to the back of the store. Ideally, you needed to have a friend to stand in line with the cart while you scrambled around the store to find things, and then switched roles.
       —Larry Kestenbaum    Nov. 15 '05 - 03:57PM    #
  6. Brandon: A large portion of Walmart’s demographic in Detroit can’t afford cars. I think it’s more probably that Detroiters would ride the bus to a Walmart to work. The cost of getting to the Walmart negates any advantage they have over the stores in my area as far as prices are concerned.
       —Hillary    Nov. 15 '05 - 04:13PM    #
  7. Larry: I am spoiled in Hamtramck, but there are a number of good grocery stores in Detroit. It seems to me the problem is more that the buses do not go where people need to go rather than Detroit not having adequate shopping.

    I heard the same stories about the Farmer Jack in Hamtramck. The Farmer Jack, and the Food Basics that followed it, have since closed. The population density of Hamtramck is around 11,000 people per square mile.
       —Hillary    Nov. 15 '05 - 05:17PM    #
  8. The DetNews reports that the Livonia WalMart is back on, but still contentious ; the Livonia Council approved the project, but wanted to limit hours of operation to 6am-midnight instead of 24 hours. WalMart is not happy –

    When asked whether the national store will file suit or pull out of the project completely, David Ewing, regional director of real estate for Wal-Mart said only, “Everything is under review at the moment.”
       —Murph    Dec. 1 '05 - 05:26PM    #
  9. “Waschsmann wants churches in Livonia—tagged America’s whitest city—to begin deeper discussion on racial issues.”
    In today’s PeeCee Amerikwa being white is a de facto “hate crime”.But excuse me for stating the obvious.

    Maybe some selfless freedom fighters will find a way to stop the greedy globalist traitors of WalMart. The WalMart scum are allies of the Bush-neocon gang who see the US as simply an economy attached to a military expeditionary force.
       —steve    Dec. 24 '05 - 01:12AM    #