by Jean Vortkamp, January 3, 2014
Just came back from a little looksy at the bankruptcy trial. If you haven’t gone, you should. Detroiters are paying this bizarre circus of wealthy lawyers from Jones Day to spin yarns and tell tall tales. Why not go watch the storytelling festival? The lawyers for the union and retirees (Detroit’s real side) are on point. Too bad its all a sham. They would probably have won by now if they even had a chance from the get-go.
The legion, army, gaggle, cacophony, herd of rich white lawyers plus Orr is an astounding sight. All of them ridiculously unhappy in their ill gotten gains, their faces showing a life down the wrong road. I imagine a group in an unfriendly trailer park would be their equivalent.
I was surprised at how sheepish Orr is acting. Perhaps he sees his future. People like the ones spearheading this sham bankruptcy will throw anyone to the dogs. He knows he might be next at any time. When he started, he acted like he was king of the world, all talking junk about the patrons of the city (who are a big part of why we are being bankrupted – scrooges of the city would be a better description) and his threats. Now he sits sheepishly off to the side. Scared to face us Mr. Orr? Turn your chair around. Detroiters like to look people in the eye.
Sitting in the back of the courtroom is a wonderful group of souls who are the guardians of Detroit. At most protests and bankruptcy hearings you will see many of them, faithfully in pursuit of the truth. It is unfortunate that they are not the group governing. Everything seems to be flipside upside down in Detroit. They are incredible researchers, organizers and caregivers for humanity. When I am with them, I am proud to live here, proud to live in this time and place. I feel pity for all the expensive suits and shoes on the other side. They and their overlords want to just make money to go back to their gated communities and do something. What do people do in gated communities? That’s like a different country from Detroit. Detroit love is something they will never know.
So today at the bankruptcy hearing, your blood can just boil sitting a few feet from these robber barons, these representatives of scardy-cat bankers and superrich who would never show their faces in this whole scandal. We realize they are just their paid servants. Their clothes are entitlements – a gift Detroiters didn’t want to give, welfare we did not vote for, but somehow they are getting their government assistance checks from us. Only without our consent, Jones Day pays their lawyers $800 per hour instead of using our tax money to give jobs, food and heat to Detroit families who live in desperate poverty.
Suddenly from the pews across the way, in the midst of the judge talking, I hear the awesome Pastor Bill Wylie Kellerman bellow out that Jones Day doesn’t represent Detroit. They represent Bank of America. Indeed, as the pastor was wrestled out of the courtroom, the judge ran off to his chambers. You can say that was procedure or you can see there is some deep symbolism of a judge fleeing a pastor speaking the truth about Detroit.