Louis Farrakhan: Blacks need to invest and buy property in Detroit

Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) – Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan urged Detroit’s pastors and majority black population Friday to join him in an effort to buy neglected properties and take other steps to help revitalize the struggling city where the movement started more than 80 years ago.

The fiery orator offered few specifics in a speech to the Detroit City Council, but made plain his displeasure with Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to appoint an emergency financial manager. He likened the takeover to buzzards circling over a carcass.

“The city abandoned, crime and violence rampant, and the governor has seen fit to take away the rights of the voting public,” Farrakhan said, referring to putting someone in charge of the city’s finances that wasn’t elected. “I don’t know what democracy really means if you can be given the right to vote and then somebody can take it away.”


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said the city’s downtown is “coming along pretty good” as its buildings are bought and renovated, but many other areas are “like a wasteland.”

“But a wasteland always gives opportunities those who have a vision,” he said.

Detroit’s problems include high crime, joblessness and abandonment; its budget deficit is about $330 million and rising.

“Suppose we in leadership, the pastors of the city, stop arguing,” he said. “Why shouldn’t we come together and own Detroit?

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