Kid Rock Protest, Detroit, 2017

The march against Kid Rock opening Little Caesar’s Arena had been, for the most part, against opening this public funded venue by a performer who’s past embracing of the Confederate flag and support of Trump were taken as a political slaps in the face by many city residents.  

At the marcher’s core were not the ANITFA that some expected. In fact, many appeared to be older residents of the city. They were joined by local clergy, non-profit workers (a couple of whom I recognized from having worked for Covenant House, Detroit years ago), and others who were equally appalled at the choice of opening acts.

The demonstration was organized and focused. The marchers began at Grand Circus, made their way to Little Caesars Arena and then back down Woodward. They chanted. They stopped to pray. There were angry words but no violence. Not as many concertgoers nervously passed police and protestors. Not as men flipped them off while screaming that they had no reason to protest and or that they had all been paid. Not as a stream of bikers gunned their engines to counter the protesters’ chants.

Detroit is still a city divided. It is a snap shot of our nation, where cultural, economic and class divisions are neatly laid out by streets and neighborhoods. For those with the means, the core city is one of entertainment, sports, gambling and economic growth. For others, it’s a land of food deserts, empty and underfunded schools, and despair.