In the wake of Congress’ decision not to offer loans to Detroit’s Big Three automakers, concerned motor-city citizens are organizing in support of their auto industry. Most people are addressing the situation like adults, with public demonstrations, activist Web sites and snarky bumper stickers, one of which reads “Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign."
One man, however, has decided that the best way to encourage his neighbors to buy American is to vandalize their foreign cars. The man slashed the tires of five different foreign cars in the parking lots of a Lowe’s and Kohl’s in the Detroit suburb of Woodhaven, Mich. The man also wrote on the vehicles with a marker, advising owners that he would have preferred it if they had bought American automobiles.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Detroit has a history of violence against foreign cars. In the 1980s and early 1990s, union workers smashed Hondas and Toyotas with sledgehammers.
The violence even escalated to the point of murder. In 1982, two laid-off auto workers killed Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American man who they assumed was Japanese and blamed for their employment situation.
Charles Hyde, a history professor at Wayne State University, says it’s unlikely that Detroit will see that kind of violent racism again.
“I don’t see the kind of public blaming of the Japanese for the situation with the auto industry," Hyde said. "It’s pretty clear to people who know anything that the basic problem has been the collapse of the economy."
Unfortunately, the people who are willing to do research on the situation probably aren’t the same people who are out slashing tires two weeks before Christmas.