Wiley: Detroit EM protesters cross the line with 'Oreo' stunt

Wiley: Detroit EM protesters cross the line with 'Oreo' stunt

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Minister Malik Shabazz holds up a bag of Oreo cookies and tea bags to Detroit leaders Monday afternoon. Minister Malik Shabazz holds up a bag of Oreo cookies and tea bags to Detroit leaders Monday afternoon.
Minister Malik Shabazz holds out a bag of Oreo cookies and tea bags Monday. Minister Malik Shabazz holds out a bag of Oreo cookies and tea bags Monday.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

There are some (and I stress SOME) who don't like the fact that Detroit has an emergency manager. They're filing lawsuits, marching in circles, slowing down traffic and demanding meetings that even the so-called bigwigs don't easily get. I understand it. It makes sense. It's part of the process. But what happened in city hall Monday morning made me check my calendar because I couldn't believe what I was seeing in 2013.

Minister Malik Shabazz, one of the most vocal members of the anti-EM movement, tried to deliver tea bags and Oreo cookies to Mayor Dave Bing, Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. The tea bags are obnoxious, but the Oreo cookies are what really got under my skin.

It's a term with a long, ugly history. If you don't know what it means, just look at an Oreo. It is black on the outside, white on the inside. Back In the 1960s, the name was hurled at frightened teenagers who integrated schools in the name of education, families who strived to live in once off-limits neighborhoods and men and women who worked hard and broke barriers their parents and great-grandparents could only dream of.

And years later, it's being used in Detroit's city hall by a man who is "protecting" the interests of this majority black city.

I can't be the only one who sees the irony in this. A powerful black man is degrading three other powerful black men by essentially calling them Oreos. Is it because they're working in their offices, not protesting in hallways? Shame on Kevyn Orr for taking on the responsibility of fixing a city with a government so broken that an ambulance might not arrive in time to save your life! Shame on the mayor and city council for not joining in the fiery yet meaningless rhetoric and focusing instead on working with the EM to lead Detroit through this mess. Shame on them!

Or is it shame on him?

Shabazz was quoted as saying the Oreos represent the violation of African-American constitutional rights. If he truly believes that, then maybe he'll stop handing out Oreo's.

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