(English version without translation)
Here the third episode of our new project called : « Enough Is Enough ». During the next weeks, you will be able to read a testimony of someone living in Detroit-area or Michigan about many current topics : racism, US society, police brutalities, social injustices… The Pistons France Team wanted to give a worldwide stage in order to denounce some facts about America.
Today our guest is James David Dickson (/downi75), beat writer for The Detroit News.
Pistons France : First of all, can you present yourself for our followers who don’t know you yet. A short presentation because obviously it’s not our main topic today.
James Dickson : I report on breaking news In Detroit. This could be murders, fires, court cases, obituaries. I never know what stories a day will bring.
P.F. : What do you think about the current movement in the USA? We saw many confrontations between citizens and police officers in several cities. How do you feel when you watch it as black man and beat writer?
J.D: Detroit is unique. Other American cities have seen burning and looting. We have not. We have serious disagreements In Detroit about what public safety means, and how it should be achieved. What we all agree on Is, nobody wants to see Detroit burn. This Is our home. There is no guarantee that anything burned down would ever be rebuilt. The risk is too high. The love for our home is too great.
P.F. : Can you describe the current atmosphere in your workplace? Do you think you (as black man) are sustained, helped and understood in this movement by your coworkers in the Detroit News redaction?
J.D: I don’t look for mental or emotional support in the workplace. I have family, friends and loved ones for that. I am there to do a job. I would advise people to not leave their emotional well-being in the hands of people who can fire you.
P.F. : If we didn’t misunderstand your work, you often write and speak about facts and stories related to criminal case, justice and others social stuffs. What have you learnt during your experience in this field? We assume you have seen and written about many inequalities or injustices?
J.D: Life is unfair. Always has been. Always will be. The only hope you have is to protect your loved ones, teach and correct young minds, and extend care and grace to people when they fall short. Be good to the people who are relying on you.
P.F. : As beat writer, how would you describe this type of period? Do you think medias could be part of the problem or contrary, could be a good solution to change the minds by trying to help the BLM?
J.D: This is a time of change. Important battles are being fought on the streets daily. Speak your voice. Start that blog. Write that book. Everyone else is.
P.F. : How do you describe the current atmosphere in Detroit? Do you believe Motown could be one of the main cities to help and support the Black Lives Matter?
J.D: Detroit is a city with 250-300 murders per year. Most victims are black males. Most of the suspects are not police officers. This has been the case for decades. 100 or so days of protests in the streets won’t change that.
P.F. : What would you say to others Black men in the US or France who are unfortunately living with a daily fear for their life? Do you think there are some solutions to not fall in a depression?
J.D : Fear is not a sustainable circumstance. Stress is a good way to shorten your life. Focus less on fear and more on being of service to your community. Offer your time and your talents to your loved ones. Be present in their lives. No one is coming to save you.
P.F. : In order to conclude our interview with a right way, what do you want to tell to our French followers? Maybe your motto or everything good vibes in these difficult times.
J.D: Just win, baby. The odds will always be stacked against you in life. Nothing will ever be fair or equitable. You can spend your time trying to make buzzwords come true or you can love your people, serve your community, and tip the scales of life in your favor.