‘Detroit’ and 10 other films about race that completely fail by centering the white gaze

By Law Ware

It should have worked.

In theory, a film about a city on edge that erupts into violence because of police brutality should inspire conversations and think pieces about how little things have changed in the 50 years since the incident being represented.

We could be discussing how the film shows the historical seeds of contemporary Detroit’s faltering public school system and city infrastructure. We should be discussing black victims of police violence. Instead, we have a film that caters to white viewers while it treats black pain as if it were torture porn, which some are calling the most irresponsible and dangerous movie of the year.

Nah, son.

Father released after false accusations of raping and murdering infant daughter

Charges against a Detroit father have been dropped after investigators discovered that the initial findings were erroneous. James Saltmarshall, 22, was first charged with felony murder, first-degree child abuse and first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges after his infant daughter in April. His attorney claims that facing these charges ruined Saltmarshall’s life after the death was ruled an accident with no evidence of physical trauma to the child.

Detroit Man Released After Serving 9 Years For Murder He Didn’t Commit

When Davontae Sanford was only 14 years old, he was sentenced to 37-to-90 years after pleading guilty to four counts of second-degree homicide in four murders. Now, nine years later at the age of 23, Sanford is being released after it was found that he inaccurately pleaded guilty following the advice of his attorney.

According to USA Today, a professional hitman Vincent Smothers confessed to those same murders, and eight others, just two weeks after Sanford’s inaccurate confession. Smothers even gave an affidavit last year repeating his claims that Sanford had no involvement in the crimes. 

Michigan Man Gets Residency At Hospital That Saved His Life 9 Years Ago

In 2007, Kevin Morton Jr. was a 22-year-old college student who worked nights at a Detroit Arby’s. His plan was to work through school and go into pharmaceuticals. Then he was robbed one night while closing, shot in the abdomen and left with a 10 percent chance to live through the night.

With the help of Dr. Dharti Sheth-Zelmanski and the staff at Detroit’s St. John’s hospital, Morton survived the incident and spent the next 50 days recovering. The experience completely changed Morton’s life and career goals and inspired him to go into medicine. Now, nine years later, he’s started his residency at that same hospital where his life was saved.

Detroit Makes Community Colleges Tuition-Free

Tuition-free college in the United States is becoming more likely as time goes on. The latest step to make what was once a far-fetched dream into a legitimate reality came in Detroit. The Detroit Promise Zone program that launched this part March will make attending any of Detroit’s five community colleges tuition-free for high school seniors who attended public, private or charter schools in the city. 

Detroit Students Win National Chess Competition

A group of girls from Detroit’s University Prep Science & Math’s chess team left the 13th annual KCF All-Girls National Championships with a victory in the Under 14 category.

“I was pretty amazed,” Jada Hamilton, 13, told the Detroit News. “It’s hard to describe how I felt that day because I was really happy.”

Hamilton’s win clinched the team’s surprise win after being viewed as underdogs, at least according to her coach, Kevin Fite. The team came out on top over more than 440 other competitors that all traveled to a Chicago hotel to face off against one another. 

Michigan Approves Nearly $50 Million For Detroit Public Schools

It was recently reported that Detroit Public Schools may be in danger of closing after April 8 due to a lack of funding and an inability to pay staff. It appeared that the only way to keep the school system open through the end of the school-year was for the state of Michigan to provide nearly $50 million.

Thursday, March 17, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a vote of 104-5 to allocate $48.7 to DPS, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Police Use Pepper Spray During High School Fight

A false fire alarm at Detroit’s Central Collegiate Academy broke out into fights among students that ended with police intervention. According to reports from FOX2, the alarm went off around 1:30 Tuesday afternoon and students claim that bottles and rocks were being thrown at them while they were outside. A brawl reportedly started among students and police used pepper spray to calm the crowd.