The City of Dearborn in Green Lantern #0
I know I am going to get pummeled for this. I know what I am about to do is going to be sacrilegious to the clan of Geoff Johns fans out there which I count myself among. However as a citizen of the town he portrayed in Green Lantern #0, there are very little truths regarding the city of Dearborn in there.
I’ve lived in this town outside of Detroit my entire life, and it was an interesting day on 9/11. On that day, Dearborn Muslims were cheering in the streets. Now, there were probably Muslims who found the actions of Al Qaeda horrific but the majority of the Muslim population in my city was cheering. Now, I found that major detail lacking from the comic which featured the new Green Lantern Simon Baz.
As a White Dearborn resident, I found Johns’ portrayal of us a bit offensive. While I’m sure there’s been racism shown towards them, I can honestly tell readers I have never experienced Muslims being treated that way nor have I participated in such foul behavior. I have some Muslim neighbors, and there have never been any quarrels between any of the other White families and them. I actually have seen our neighbors all get along together quite well, and continue to contribute to the neighborhood.
White Dearborners have actually been nothing but accepting of our Muslim neighbors. Dearborn Public Schools actually teach Arabic to students who are not as accessible in English. A recent federal mandate also has given Dearborn the ability to provide interpreters for Arabic students or parents who do not (or again have trouble speaking) English. I say that’s nothing but generous to the families in this city, and there are no benefits like that given to other racial groups in the city.
My main criticism of Johns was that in portraying a city he grew up near, I would’ve expected him to do more research. I mean he should’ve contacted other members of the community such as White and Black Americans in the city who have also been getting along peacefully. He went to the Arabic American National Museum for research on a city that’s a bit more complex than he realizes I think.
This is the city where Henry Ford grew up, and where it actually used to be quite a racist city (not from the citizens but from the political representation). Mayor Orville Hubbard would tell the city garbage men not to pick up the trash of African Americans who moved into the neighborhoods after the Civil Rights movement took place. However, once he was called by them, he said it was a mistake, and he immediately sent them back there to resolve the issue. That was political corruption and racism but it doesn’t happen anymore.
All races get along in Dearborn since I’ve grown up here. We have never had any racial problems like the major city Detroit has. If you ever come back to Dearborn Mr. Johns, please do your homework. I think we would all benefit from that…..
Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!