Michigan Wingnut Wants to Put Natives in Concentration Camp

L. Brooks Patterson is one of the conservative good old boys here in Michigan. He’s been the highest ranking official in Oakland County, which includes many of the wealthy suburbs of Detroit, for 20 years. In a New Yorker profile he unleashes his hatred for Detroit and, apparently, for Native Americans.

In a recent interview for a profile by The New Yorker titled “Drop Dead, Detroit!” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson admitted, “Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough sh*t.”

Patterson recalled telling his children to “get in and get out” if they needed to go to Detroit.

“And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking,” he said.

Patterson also proposed a fix to Detroit’s financial problems: Turn the city into a reservation for Native Americans.

“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’”

So here we have a guy boldly declaring how strong he is in his hatred of Detroit and saying “tough shit” to anyone who doesn’t like it, along with advocating turning the city into a concentration camp for Native Americans. And then he does this:

After Detroit officials and activists reacted with outrage, Patterson’s office released a statement accusing The New Yorker of having an “agenda.”

“It is clear Paige Williams had an agenda when she interviewed County Executive Patterson,” the statement said. “She cast him in a false light in order to fit her preconceived and outdated notions about the region.”

Notice that he doesn’t say that she misquoted him. Notice that his “I don’t give a damn who doesn’t like what I say” bravado has suddenly changed to pathetic whining and misdirection. And then there’s the inevitable notpology:

Facing a firestorm of criticism, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said Tuesday he won’t apologize for negative comments he made about Detroit in a magazine article, instead expressing “regret” over the uproar.

“I regret that something I said 30 years ago is causing such consternation today,” Patterson said in a statement.

But it isn’t something you said 30 years ago. You repeated that statement during this interview saying that your prediction is coming true. I hope this finally forces this asshole to slink in disgrace out of office and into the retirement home.

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  • doublereed

    He thinks Indian Reservations are concentration camps??? And thinks that’s good??? What the fuck?

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    How dare they quote him verbatim! Can journalists sink any lower?

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’

    Did he come up with this idea shortly after watching Escape From New York?

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.pilger Robin Pilger

    Did Patterson specify whether the blankets should be infested with smallpox before they are thrown in?

  • raven

    I”m not too familar with the Native Americans of Michigan.

    1. Do they even have any? In a lot of states, after the European genocide, their numbers are now more or less insignificant.

    2. Are they attacking wagon trains in Michigan again? Around here, a lot of tribes run casinos and have gotten if not rich, well off.

  • matty1

    @1 To be fair it is not hard to see parallels between the reservations being set up to recieve native Americans forced off their land and the original concentration camps set up by the British for Boers forced off their land.

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    It seems Michigan is very high in per capita pinheads. My own anecdote: the only time I was given a hard time for my mixed race marriage was by a bunch of yahoos in the UP.

  • Ben P

    >1. Do they even have any? In a lot of states, after the European genocide, their numbers are now more or less insignificant.

    Actually you’d be suprised. I know of this tangentially through work. There are several recognized tribes of Ottawa Indians in Michigan, numbering 15-20k people. There are also half a dozen reservations, although none are terribly large compared to western reservations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odawa_people

  • Jordan Genso

    “He is a legend for good reason.”

    -Gov. Snyder, speaking about L. Brooks Patterson, on 1/16/14 during his State of the State address.

    I wonder if Gov. Snyder still feels that it was appropriate to praise Patterson during the SotS last week?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    heddle “My own anecdote: the only time I was given a hard time for my mixed race marriage was by a bunch of yahoos in the UP.”

    To be fair, combining marathon and hurdles is kind of weird.

  • Alverant

    Robin beat me to it. No he didn’t say, but given history it’s certainly implied. Why else would he give them blankets?

  • Michael Heath

    L. Brooks Patterson is arguably the most powerful Republican in the state of Michigan since Gov. William Milliken retired. That’s if you consider the full scope of that period, which is the last 30 years. Oakland County is one of two areas of Michigan where Republicans serve their financial constituency, the other being the Grand Rapids area where those monied familys are Calvinists who largely fund the Christianist movement in the entire U.S.

    Oakland County Republicans are generally considered sane, i.e., not driven by religion but instead business and economic matters. If Mr. Patterson’s rhetoric had nothing to do with Detroit, it would be shocking coming from one of their representatives. The Indian aspect remains shocking since most citizens are not anti-Indian nor is there a political movement to change that.

    “Not shocking” when it comes to Patterson’s condemnation of Detroit since the vast majority of the state, including liberals, has long been very antipathetic towards Detroit. That’s given how horrible Detroit’s been run over the past several decades, think about how bad the Republicans and screwed up the country in during W.’s presidency and multiply that by a big number and you’ve got an idea who bad Detroit is – where it’s liberals who are predominately the ones to blame for Detroit. One example of how we unity on Detroit is that the Democratic candidate for Gov. in 2010, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, has since criticized the current Republican governor for not being more aggressive in using an emergency manager to reform Detroit’s finances.

    Michigan has a large number of Indian tribes and reservations here. One of them, the Odawas, currently have a case at the U.S. Supreme court that will have the court looking at state sovereignty. The trial issue is trivial, whether they can run a small casino on land that was never intended to be a reservation, however the sovereignty issue is not trivial given how conservatives seek to dilute the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution and use state power to infringe upon federally protected individual rights. The state’s conservative AG is the one pushing the sovereignty case.

    Re heddle’s “yahoos”: The citizens of the U.P. (upper peninsula) refer to themselves as, “yoopers”, with those Michiganders in the lower peninsula referred to as “trolls” by the yoopers. “Trolls” since we live, “below the bridge” (the Mackinac Bridge that connects the two peninuslas). I point this out since the pejorative yahoo isn’t all that far off from how citizens of the U.P. describe themselves.

  • cottonnero

    I’m just surprised that it wasn’t Dave Agema. He’s really had a monopoly on monumentally stupid GOP statements in Michigan since Pete Hoekstra’s racist Super Bowl ad.

  • teele

    Part of Detroit (the Greektown area) was already essentially declared to be a reservation. Developers deeded land to the Chippewa tribe with the express intent of enabling the building of casinos in the area. The casino eventually went into bankruptcy, and is now owned by a consortium of hedge funds and private equity firms. The pretense that it was on tribal land was required to circumvent Michigan law, which does not allow gaming except on tribal lands. This ruse has subsequently been successfully used in at least one other part of the state. Perhaps Mr. Patterson is simply expressing a desire to turn Detroit into the Las Vegas of the Midwest?

    Heddle: while I rarely agree with your comments, this time you definitely got it right. Pinheadedness is particularly rampant here on the west side of the Lower Peninsula. Southern Baptists got nothin’ on the Dutch Reformed!

  • dean

    It seems Michigan is very high in per capita pinheads. My own anecdote: the only time I was given a hard time for my mixed race marriage was by a bunch of yahoos in the UP.

    Ever been to Holland MI? We adopted our boys from Korea. When we would visit Holland and go in shops, they were the boys the shop staff followed through the aisles, even when my wife or I were with them (well, our boys and any other child who wasn’t white).

  • Ichthyic

    he citizens of the U.P. (upper peninsula) refer to themselves as, “yoopers”, with those Michiganders in the lower peninsula referred to as “trolls” by the yoopers. “Trolls” since we live, “below the bridge” (the Mackinac Bridge that connects the two peninuslas). I point this out since the pejorative yahoo isn’t all that far off from how citizens of the U.P. describe themselves.

    sounds like a plot that was considered by Dr Seuss and rejected.

  • dogmeat

    To be fair, he claims he was using “Native Americans” as a metaphor for black people. It isn’t bad enough that it’s okay to call us “Redskins,” now a less offensive label for us is a polite way of saying “nuggets???”

    ———-

    Michael,

    Not to detract from the incompetence of the local government, but the de-industrialization of the Detroit area made it highly unlikely that even a competent government would be successful in that area.

  • dogmeat

    Stupid auto correct. Nuggets should be a quite offensive slang for African Americans.