Detroit Snob? Of Course I Am. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Detroit Snob? Of Course I Am.

Play associated audio

In the past few years, the news from Detroit has been fairly bleak so it's no surprise comedians like Stephen Colbert have taken shots at the downtrodden city.

"Maybe someone could attempt the unthinkable: walk through downtown Detroit."

But many positive changes are taking place. Desiree Cooper, who started a company called Detroit Snob, says residents have a lot to be snobby about.

"What people don't realize is how much Detroiters really, really, really are snobby about the great, great things that are happening in this town," she tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Celeste Headlee.

Some residents have responded to Colbert's comments by taking pictures of themselves around the city holding signs that say, "Colbert Wasn't Here," as a way to shame him into visiting.

"If you look at that Facebook page, thousands have joined it, and people are having a great time pointing out all the things that, if anyone comes to this town, they should come and see," says Cooper. "There's a vital waterfront, there's a great nightlife, the theater district is vibrant, you can eat your way through this town and never get through all the great food. And now this town, on top of everything else, is just crawling with the creative class."

But lots of people don't see this. Headlee, who discloses that she owns a Detroit Snot T-shirt herself, says, "I was wearing it one day and somebody looked at it and started laughing. They thought it was an ironic joke."

So just what is a Detroit Snob?

"We are tried of trying to explain our town and trying to excuse our town. And yet, those of us who are here know that ... there are a lot of great people, great neighborhoods and great things," Cooper says. "So it's a way for us to have our own self-esteem, and find each other, and say, 'Yes, this is how we feel about this town.' "

But even the most enthusiastic Detroiters acknowledge that the city has had its share of problems and things are not always easy.

"One of the things Detroiters often think is there's no one coming to save us," Cooper says. "That we've got to try some things. We've got to ... figure this out with or without the city council, with or without the mayor's leadership, with or without a tax base, with or without the Feds coming to save us."

Cooper refers to the auto industry bailout "last week."

"We talk about the Great Recession," she says, "and Detroiters have been talking about depression for years. So, yeah – thank goodness that some help came. But even if that wasn't going to come, Detroiters have already been talking about how to diversify industry in this town, how to get more people to be attracted to our neighborhoods ... so if others pay attention and want to pitch in, and if we can get policy looking our way, that's great. And if it's not coming, we're not going to hold our breaths."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Remembering The Maryland Roots Of An American Gospel Legend

Rev. Charles Albert Tindley is considered one of the founding fathers of American Gospel Music, and at least one historian in Berlin, Maryland, would like to hear more about his Maryland roots.

NPR

Sweet Deal? Chocolatier Lindt Buys Russell Stover

The purchase would make the combined company the No. 3 chocolate maker in North America. The deal's value is estimated at around $1.5 billion.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland's Andy Harris Defends Move To Block D.C. Marijuana Bill

The Maryland Republican Congressman who moved to block a bill that would decriminalize marijuana in D.C. defended his actions and criticized the move to boycott businesses in his district, which includes popular tourist destination Ocean City.

NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.