Posted by
Walt Khadafi
• 08.21.12 09:00 am

Sometime around May (my memory is a little foggy), I graduated college.

I’m one of those assholes who went to college 20 minutes from where they grew up, which is kinda relevant to the issue at hand here. It’s relevant because I had the sudden realization sometime around the middle of May that spending the rest of my 20s "playin wit my nose" in murky basements and dating girls who have tortured and complicated histories with five or six dudes I know was "not the wave," as the kids say. With this in mind, I packed up my toy robots and folding bicycle and headed to the nearest affordable and "relevant" city, this being Detroit. After mom and pop helped me hang my Dizzee Rascal poster in my brand-new studio apartment and treated me to an impossibly obvious to all passerby White Child Send Off Dinner In the Big City ("Bro can I get that burrito vegan? Thanks. Yes mom for sure I’ll call every day, yes I promise to brush my hair, yes I’ll wear clean clothes"), I was off to a good start. 

Now here’s the thing about Detroit, guys. Detroit and white people have a history which is very "tortured and complicated." We’ve all been to college and watched the Al Jazeera special so I doubt I need to explain it, but what my readers may not know is that almost all white people in Michigan are totally and completely fucking terrified of the Motor City. When I announced I was moving here all I got from adults and my less "hip to the scene" peers was "DETROIT!!??!?! WHY WOULD YOU EVER MOVE THERE!?!?!?" I got tired of explaining how I can buy a house for like zero dollars and have my own chicken farm/writer colony at age 22 so I kinda just stopped bringing it up. 

As to why white people are afraid of Detroit, I’m not sure. It’s either the 20-year media campaign to get all the honkies out of the city and construct the Detroit suburbs, the fact that race-baiting and thinly veiled anti-white sentiment is the most popular method of gaining traction in Detroit city politics, or maybe they just saw RoboCop. Either way, a couple of my townie friends kicked around the idea of coming with me and eventually bailed, most of the people in the "scene" started hating on me out of some (totally unfounded omg) belief that I thought I was cooler and edgier than them for living in Detroit (wow I so totally don’t think that I have no idea omg), and worst of all the young lady who was debating joining me in my adventures decided against it and broke up with me. In her words, "Detroit isn’t somewhere where someone like me can have a very autonomous existence." By the way, if anyone asks, she was right. My neighborhood has a 60/40 ratio of cockroaches to crackheads, hordes of rogue youths fight in the street, and the city burns down around me as I pine for our lost love. There aren’t like a thousand 20-something-year-old white girls living in my zip code. 

In my voyage to the former capital of the Western World, I was on my own. I’ve been here about a month now, and I figured I would let everybody know what the scoop is on Detroit. A lot of people around the country have been telling me that they were thinking of checking it out, but they were worried about safety and most importantly (nobody will admit this) being fucked with for being white. 

Have I been subjected to "reverse racism" and "the hate that hate produced" since I’ve been out here? The honest answer is yes, but it’s nowhere near what people would expect and when you look at it for what it is it’s not that big of a deal. I’ve only really been fucked with by three groups of people: crackheads, hoodrat single moms, and public workers. As anyone who’s ever lived in the city knows, these are generally belligerent and unreasonable groups of people who live to fuck with everyone around them for no reason, regardless of race. Sure I might have gotten more than my share of grief or been subjected to especially harsh street confrontations because of my hue (as opposed to the content of my character—way to sell out Dr. King, guys!), but it’s not because everyone down here hates whitey or any shit like that. It’s just that my whiteness and the fact that I’m on a folding bicycle wearing a Star Trek T-shirt makes me look like someone who’s gonna be more sensitive to hostility and hence be a better unloading point for the stresses of their lives. 

And I don’t get upset or take it personally. For one, I went to college, so I know full well that I’m the "oppressor" in these engagements! Second I lived in the hood for a little bit in college, so I’m used to dealing with the downtrodden masses. The sheer volume of zombies and people yelling about Jesus that I encounter on my way downtown every day was jarring at first, but by now I’m accustomed to it. The thing about Detroit is it’s actually pretty easy to stay safe, mostly because the boundaries for "someone like" my former wifey are clearly defined and the Wayne State cops actually patrol there. Nobody except squatter crust punks lives north of a certain point, and if you buy a house in one of the no man’s lands outside of downtown you can pretty much shoot a crackhead for fucking with your shit anyway. I’m an advocate of aggressive and uncompromising nonviolence myself, I’m just saying. I guess I should probably mention that I’m 6’2 and 200 and the women folk are generally more careful than I am, but if you’re in a core neighborhood near the college (or one of the inner-ring suburbs that all the pussies who are afraid of the city live in, FERNDALE WHATTUP DOE!) I would say that you’re as safe as you are in any other major American city. 

That’s pretty much what it boils down to. Virtually all of the crime in Detroit that the media loves to hype up happens out in the neighborhoods miles away from where any college student or graduate lives. There’s a thousand fun things to do every day, everyone here is excited about the city and what’s going on, French guys show up at the party to buy you beers and ask you where to "take photo of ze street art," etc. I’m probably going to buy a house next year and rent it out to some friends so I can go back and forth from here to London or whatever, but I think I’m gonna be here for a long time in one form or another. If you can’t deal with a crackhead asking you "HOW COME THEY AINT GOT NO GREEN JOBS FOR BLACK FOLKS, MOTHAFUCKA?!?!" on your morning commute, then yeah, you shouldn’t live here or anywhere else except your mom’s house, you fucking baby. 





  1. KISS Army says:


  2. hubert wang says:

    Ok, you’re retarded and wrong about where and when crime happens. Here ya go dummy: .

    Anywayz, I am a white female who works in Woodbridge, frequents midtown and lives on the East side. In the past 9 months 3 of my friends have been carjacked kidnapped and raped. 2 girls who lived down the block were abducted put in a trunk, executed and buried in a shallow grave. IN MIDTOWN my friend was jumped strangled until her eyes bled and then….robbed. Can’t even name the rest of the bullshit that has gone down around here lately. Oh yeah, vandals burning down my friend’s house. I’ve personally been carjacked raped robbed at gun point and bugged a million times by crackheads. Not moving because yes it is cheap and yes it is fun and I don’t know who you’re hangin’ with but no one has ever asked me why I moved here.

  3. walt says:

    I said virtually all, not all.

    I should probably defer to your judgment though because you live on the east side so you’re edgier than me. I’m a lame whitey who lives in Midtown.

  4. Sam Spade says:

    If you need to justify the merits of a city and/or discredit misconceptions, you’re not really from there. Or you are just white person or a baby trying to dispel myths and wrestle with a non-existent reality.

  5. walt says:

    yeah I mean it clearly states in what I wrote that I am

    a. not from Detroit
    b. white
    c. young

    wow you guys are really harshing my buzz, I have like no friends and wanted to lure people out here to hang out with me and you’re totally trying to ruin it have a heart man jeez

  6. Peter Glackin says:

    Hey are you white and did you go to college??


  8. that one guy says:

    if travel is the best education, i think every kid in the state should spend a mandatory year at least within the city. there are things to do there that cant be done anywhere else in the state and it always made me smile to think of all the thousands of new yawkas out in a2 who go lib degrees but never spent more than a minute in det. that said, its just heartwrenching to witness the abuse and corruption that goes on there day after day after day enabled by the searchers and dogooders who just have to keep it that way to be pc. i think its great to be the one guy having all the fun. but it sucks that the cops dont have a place to put the animals of all color.

  9. hubert wang says:

    I’m not from here either dingus! Just wanted to set you straight on crime-y stuff.

  10. 12th & Perry says:

    Talk that shit at the Unitarian Universalist church-an it a go down!
    Yo, you got chili cheese fries?

  11. Holy shit, ZMF is here.

  12. walt says:

    wow ZMF didn’t reply to my tweets about whether or not he can sell me a hot burner, I don’t know anybody else who’s “down” and I don’t wanna get smoked

  13. hubert wang says:

    @that one guy, you are so correct! I’ve been here for 5 years now and it has been a Mr. Toad’s wild ride. Wouldn’t change it for anything.

  14. green chile chef says:

    detroit’s a weird city geographically its industrial dominance came from its location on the lakes but now it’s just got people and buildings good luck walt any city needs people as daring and humble as you

  15. Wyatt says:

    Detroit is full of stupid, violent BLACKS! Of course no one likes that shithole. If this stupid country had any sense, we’d nuke the degenerates. Congratulations, tough guy, you managed to survive in a city full of monkeys! My girlfriend is Chinese, and this Christmas, I’m going to Beijing! So enjoy living in a slum full of hoodrats with an IQ of 80 while I’m emerged in a real city. Dumb ass white kid.

  16. America will improve only when we all see the flaws of modern liberalism. Life is. America is merit, virtue, talent, sacrifice, honesty, respect, love for family and country. Detroit has loss that. All societies can fall, however rise once again to a honorable and dignified life. God save Detroit … God save America.

  17. walt says:

    hey this is Walt checking in to remind everyone I still exist and bet 10 dollars that “zodiac muther fucker” doesn’t actually live in the city

  18. Philo Bedo says:

    At least there’s shit to do down there. Up here in Flint you get all the worst aspects of D-town minus the entertainment.

  19. mike says:

    Come on man your in mid town of course its fun and mot scary but if your foing to write about life in a city i think you should call it life as a hipster in midtown detroit…..i mean eastside or southwest are different man but u guys cant bash the kid for liking midtown lol its safe haha kinda cute

  20. One Crazy Guy says:

    Are you still living in Detroit and if not, what made you leave? I’ve been very fascinated with it’s decay for at least the last decade. I’m 45 and have always entertained a notion of moving there myself to buy a house for less than $50k in hopefully what would be a neighborhood of other like minded folks who see what could be a fledgling opportunity to start rebuilding a city. BUT…I’m white (with brown hair) and have a blonde wife and blonde kid so the crime and murder rate their is obviously the biggest deterrent for us as well the bankrupt city, lack of clean water, bad education, etc, etc. And so, yeah, a house there at any cost, even free, is most likely not worth the risk of living in the Baghdad or Beirut of the USA. And while we would look to place our kid in a private school, or charter, if even any exist, we feel that unless you “wall yourself in” somewhere that all the dangers mentioned seem far too real.

    For years, I’ve fantasized of how we would buy some boarded up million dollar home for next to nothing, build a cement wall around it with barb wire, and go from home to work in armored vehicles with guns on our hips. It sounds adventuresome and daring but I bet after 6 months it would begin to suck big time unless you had an ample support group of like minded others you could fraternize and sympathize with.

    I grew up in the south and had many black friends but I also spent time on the upper east coast and in New York City. All I can say is that a vast majority of inner city blacks dislike whites no matter how much you may have nothing against them. They may not all be violent but the underlying hatred is still there. You are “the man” even if you are as poor as they are. They may hate “the system” just as much as you do but to them you are a sign and reminder of that system. It’s a double standard as there are a lot of whites, myself included, that would willingly move into a bad area to help out the community in whatever ways I could but would for whatever reason, be shunned and hated for it, if not killed. It only leaves me to feel that those who are left there deserve what they get because the are too poor, too uneducated, and too uncaring to solicit the help of others (of any race or color). In a lot of ways these people shit in their own yard and don’t care to clean up the mess (quite literally I suppose as well). It’s tragic and they would rather just sit in the mess that is Detroit and point the finger at everyone else (ie; the “man” and “system”) rather than try and do something productive and positive to change their city and entice others to come back. The problem of living with cockroaches is living with cockroaches. Get rid of the cockroaches and you might actually enjoy it.

  21. Ashford Miner says:

    Bro once you said you are 6’2 and 200 pounds it all tied itself together as to how you walk around safely. You aren’t a little white woman, nor even a small statured white man. I’m 5’9 and 150 soaking wet. I wouldnt be as safe as you are walking alone in Detroit. I would carry a tucked pistol.

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