Review: Escape From Detroit

Escape From Detroit by Paul Kersey


I’ve spent the better part of a month agonizing over how to review Paul Kersey’s Escape From Detroit for a non-OD audience.

It wasn’t until this morning that I concluded that the significance of this book couldn’t be properly described in any other venue. OD is the only website in the online racialist universe that is addressing the negro question on this wavelength.

I was preparing to write a review of Escape From Detroit from the perspective of “race realism,” but something about that approach just kept nagging at me, and ultimately I couldn’t square how to write this review in any other way.

This isn’t a book about race realism. It is not about the GM Renaissance Center becoming a Congo-style marooned skyscraper, the demise of the Pontiac Silverdome, the black residents of post-Negro Revolt Detroit feasting on raccoon, the golden chairs in the Detroit Public Library, or the ambulance that broke down in Detroit on New Year’s amid a barrage of gunfire. These hilarious stories are merely illustrations of a greater truth.

Escape From Detroit is really a personal meditation on political theory, economics, sociology, and history. The real significance of this book is the vocabulary and the theoretical context that Paul Kersey has created to describe the process by which the “Paris of the West” was inexorably transformed into the “Mogadishu of the West.”

This arsenal of concepts include Black Run America (BRA), Actual Black Run America (ABRA), Disingenuous White Liberals (DWLs), Black Undertow, Climate Change, Structural Inequality, The Black Imprint, Detroit-ed, “Those Who Can See,” and The Visible Black Hand of Economics.

There are plenty of race realist websites which dwell on subjects like racial differences in intelligence, morality, and behavior. What’s rare is Paul Kersey’s willingness to go beyond race realism, to take race realism as a given, and to explore its implications for the broader liberal paradigm.

It has been over a 150 years since Southern political theorists like John C. Calhoun and George Fitzhugh argued that negroes lack the capacity to maintain civilization, confidently asserted that “free society” has failed, that liberty would prove to be a curse rather than a blessing for the negro, and that black freedom and equality necessarily requires the degradation of Whites, the loss of their liberty, the decline of their civilization.

Kersey has meditated on the prostration of Detroit for so long that he has arrived at similar conclusions. There are echoes of George Fitzhugh’s pointed criticisms of free market capitalism in the chapter on enterprise zones. John C. Calhoun must be smiling down from the Great Plantation in Heaven when he learns that 21,000 free negroes have been murdered at the hands of other negroes in Detroit since 1969.

In the nineteenth century, it was commonplace for Southern writers to observe (in the wake of failed abolitionist experiments in Hayti, Liberia, and the British West Indies) that the free negro, when left unrestrained and to his own impulses, has a striking tendency to throw off the artificial shackles of European civilization and to retrograde into a state of barbarism more congenial to the content of his African character.

The observable fact that Detroit has retrograded after 39 years of black ascendancy – symbolized by Joe Louis’s black fist on the cover, which knocked out its prosperity – reminds me of Calhoun’s Prophecy:

“But when once raised to an equality, they would become the fast political associates of the North, and acting and voting with them on all questions, and by this political union between them, holding the white race at the south in complete subjection. The blacks, and the profligate whites that might unite with them, would become the principal recipients of federal offices and patronage, and would, in consequence, be raised above the whites of the South in the political and social scale. We would, in a word, change conditions with them – a degradation greater than has ever yet fallen to the lot of a free and enlightened people, and one from which we could not escape, should emancipation take place, (which it certainly will if not prevented), but by fleeing the homes of ourselves and our ancestors, and by abandoning our country to our former slaves, to become the permanent abode of disorder, anarchy, poverty, misery and wretchedness.

With such a prospect before us, the gravest and most solemn question that ever claimed the attention of a people is presented for your consideration: what is to be done to prevent it? It is a question belonging to you to decide.”

In a cruel twist of fate, Escape From Detroit explains how the Great Migration fulfilled Calhoun’s Prophecy by bringing thousands upon thousands of free negroes out of the South to Detroit to work in wartime manufacturing industries in the First World War and Second World War.

In 1900, Detroit was 1.4 percent black. By 1940, it was 9.4 percent black. It was 28.9 percent black in 1960 and surged to 43.7 percent black in 1970 after the massive 1967 race riots forever altered the demography of the city. Finally, Coleman Young was elected as the first black mayor of Detroit in 1973 and presided over the Africanization of the Motor City during his twenty years in office.

After the 1967 riots, Detroit was abandoned to the Black Undertow. A critical mass of Whites fled to the suburbs and the remaining Whites changed conditions with the negroes. Eventually, the Whites of Detroit would flee the homes of their ancestors and turn over the city to the blacks who recreated it in their own image as a “permanent abode of disorder, anarchy, poverty, misery and wretchedness.”

The insidious force that is known as the Black Undertow penetrated neighborhood after neighborhood, lowering property values, destroying legitimate business activity, ruining the public schools, corrupting local government offices, eroding the tax base, blighting homes, and driving out the White residents through fear of violent crime.

The Visible Black Hand of Economics swept over Detroit’s commercial districts leaving behind in its destructive wake nothing but the familiar Climate Change economy: an endless series of shuttered businesses, car washes, title pawn stores, title loan stores, cash advance stores, dollar stores, pawn shops, beauty supply stores, liquor stores, and fried chicken restaurants.

Because African-Americans lacked the capacity to sustain Detroit’s economy and infrastructure, they were left behind to cope with the insidious legacy of Structural Inequality in the form of higher sewer and water rates. In Highland Park, their financial inability to maintain the existing infrastructure has left large parts of the city shrouded in darkness after 1,400 street lights were removed by DTE Energy.

Every city that shares Detroit’s demographics and is committed to the project of Black Run America (BRA) must eventually become “Detroit-ed,” which is to say, those cities (Birmingham, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta, Richmond, Dallas, Oakland, etc.) must also retrograde to a lower level of civilization that can be sustained by the majority African population.

Escape From Detroit was written in anticipation of the collapse of America’s black metropolis and the appointment of an emergency financial manager by the state of Michigan. While that can has been temporarily kicked down the road due to its world-historical symbolism, Detroit remains a zombie city that is running out of financial options.

If White Americans were willing to acknowledge that MLK’s project of freedom has failed, that black people were given the keys to America’s fifth largest city only to demonstrate once again that they lacked the capacity to sustain civilization, Paul Kersey is optimistic that America could be restored through, say, the legalization of restrictive covenants.

This is my only criticism of an otherwise excellent book: the fact that the Supreme Court was able to intervene and outlaw restrictive covenants (and segregation and much else like “disparate impact”) in the first place only shows that John C. Calhoun was even more right than even Kersey has imagined.

In a consolidated liberal democracy where every major decision is made at the federal level in Washington, DWLs who live thousands of miles away have the power to dictate their own utopian racial fantasies to communities they have never visited and in which they have no stake, while remaining utterly oblivious to the stress that the Black Undertow puts on the actual people who live there.

Therefore, the only real solution to the problem presented by Detroit (to the problem of the DWLs who are committed to the project of Black Run America) must be a renewed assertion of states’ rights, local government, and strict constitutional limitations on concentrated federal power. Unfortunately, the “toothpaste is out of the tube” as some would say.

The federal government won’t voluntarily relinquish the power it has usurped from the states. Due to changing racial demographics, it will attempt to rob the states and the people of what little autonomy they have left in order to preserve and advance the unsustainable project of BRA by redistributing wealth through social programs like Obamacare.

Someone has to tug in the opposite direction. But who dares?

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About Hunter Wallace 12381 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. “negroes lack the capacity to maintain civilization”. Depends what they meant by ‘civilization’.

    If we take it to mean more or less what we have now (Western democratic social welfare state) the loss of civilization in white or Asian control may be more drawn out, but it is no less inevitable: It is an unmaintainable project no matter who is running it. The incentives are all wrong, and they will inevitably drive down morality from generation to generation, little by little, until the whole society is Detroit-ed. Blacks just do it quicker.

    What ‘civilization’ meant exactly back when the statement was made I could only guess, but it probably wasn’t a very fair assessment given the brief time since slavery when it was made.

    So the statement does not stand scrutiny.

    If instead of the largely politically based civilization we have now, we are talking about market based civilization, the studies of Lord Bauer in Africa show what appears to be, in contrast, a sustainable civilization manned entirely by native Africans.

  2. Yeah right Brett. We have moved blacks into the White House and that group has moved communism and socialism into the American economy, handing out trillions of dollars to blacks through every kind of means at their disposal.

  3. “If instead of the largely politically based civilization we have now, we are talking about market based civilization, the studies of Lord Bauer in Africa show what appears to be, in contrast, a sustainable civilization manned entirely by native Africans.”

    If Brett had provided say five examples of this “sustainable civilization” from any points in history, it would have been much appreciated.

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