Detroit has a long rich history between its strippers and patrons. So, it’s only fitting that Detroit’s City Council President, Charles Pugh, got up and expressed his displeasure with the way the patrons and owners of the strip clubs are being discriminated against during the city’s latest attempt at a crackdown on the red light district. According to the Detroit News, Pugh was on a local gospel channel with Marvin Winans, pastor of Perfecting Church, comparing the rights of African Americans in this country to strippers and the proposed restrictions on their clientele in the clubs. He was quoted saying, “You’re making a judgment about what’s being sold. Some people made a judgment against African-Americans having the audacity of walking in the front door,” Pugh said. “I’m talking about discrimination. I’m talking about targeting laws against law-abiding businesses.”
Did he go there? Did he really try to make the parallel between the two circumstances: strippers being denied lap dances and their clients inability to drink in the establishment to improperly educated black children, unemployed black families forced to apply for welfare due to unlawful regulations of a people based on the color of their skin? Tell me he didn’t just do that. He really needs to get out of the business of making analogies because another of his misplaced analogies, which may have led to the strippers remaining topless rather than wearing pasties, was his little gem that compared pasties to toupees, “It’s kind of like a comb-over,” Council President Charles Pugh said Thursday. “You aren’t fooling anybody. You know what’s under there, I’m just saying.”
The battle to ensure the safety of the community and the people inside these establishments has long been a crusade of prominent Attorney Richard Mack, brother of financial expert Ryan Mack (both from Detroit). He has exposed the corrupt practices that has led to this conversation in Detroit politics. Not to mention, the controversial cover-up involving the former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to a stripper by the name of Tamara Greene who was ambushed and shot 18 times, six months after she performed at a party in the mayor’s mansion.
The sexually transmitted diseases, mysterious deaths, and lack of community safety where the clubs operate, caused Attorney Mack to begin the crusade and beg the question, “How many jobs have we lost because a business didn’t want to open up next to a strip club?” Which is quite a valid question when it comes to the economy of Detroit, whose unemployment rate skyrocketed to as much as 15 percent.
But no! Detroit’s City Council has been teeter tottering the regulations to place on the strip clubs because in referring to a proposed alcohol ban “I don’t want us to be too self-righteous,” said Councilman Andre Spivey, according to the Detroit News. Or are some of you guilty of being at Mayor Kilpatrick’s soiree’s at the mansion and places like Watts Mozambique? The restrictions have included an alcohol ban, opaque pasties, 18-inch tall stages with special licenses from the city and the demise of VIP rooms where too many dreams may have been coming true, but at the same time deferred.
Read about the debate between Marvin Winans and City Council Chair Pugh here.