Oakland County, Mich., Executive L. Brooks Patterson has long bashed the city of Detroit—located in neighboring Wayne County. But in a new article in The New Yorker, the GOP official goes on the record making his disdain for Detroit as obvious as his racism against Natives:
“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.’”
Patterson now claims that the article’s author, Paige Williams, essentially coerced him into making this statement by bringing up similar statements he made three decades ago. He also made several racially coded statements about Detroit’s black population, and there are now calls for Patterson to apologize.
Michigan, whose name derives from an Ojibwa word meaning “large lake,” is already home to 11 federally recognized Native tribes and nations. Among them, the Bay Mills Indian Community is currently party to a Supreme Court case that may result in placing critical limits on tribal sovereignty.