A beautiful day in Detroit, where the other interns and I had lunch and went to the Riverwalk after marching in the parade.
Although I have been doing a wide variety of work during my internship this summer, you kind of get yourself into a normal routine and get used to your environment and tasks. Therefore, when the opportunity arises to take part in special events, I always find it to be enjoyable!
Therefore, this past Monday, I had the privilege of walking in the Detroit Labor Day Parade, which was attended by former President Bill Clinton as well. Despite having to wake up and leave Ann Arbor at 7:00 am, this was my favorite experience throughout my internship. There, I met up with other organizers, interns, and Dr. Kumar himself in Corktown, where we would be marching with an AFSCME council, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, one of countless Detroit unions proudly marching down Michigan Avenue. The parade spanned from Trumbull right into Hart Plaza, the heart of the Motor City.
Interesting to note is that, although Bill Clinton marched in the parade, he did not deliver a speech at the end. He hasn’t been all too popular in Detroit due to NAFTA, the mass incarceration laws exacerbating Detroit’s social issues, and the massive reductions in welfare in the 1990’s, all passed during his two terms. Donald Trump was also in Detroit this past weekend, despite his SINGLE-DIGIT survey responses among African-Americans, making Labor Day a battleground of sorts for the African-American vote in one of America’s most blue-leaning cities. Obviously, the media is consumed with the presidential election, but it is eye-opening to see and experience it from the perspective of the people of one of America’s most dynamic cities.