Michigan has become one of the most racially divided states. Benton Harbor is the place to look if you want to see a tragic example of how corporations and extreme racisim combine to destroy a community. One of the lead players in pursuing this agenda is Jeff Noel, the Vice President of the Whirlpool Corporation.
It is important to understand his ability to create a smoke screen. Noel has the skills to look like a helpful corporate leader enhancing communities while leeching the resources out from under the poorest citizens.
Jeff Noel was recently asked to speak at the Gobal Urban Symposium at University of Michigan Business School. At this event (Sept. 21, 2007) he openly revealed his strategy of advertizing an alignment with a humanitarian organization as a means of getting a community to give his corporation what it wants, e.g. pulling in Habitat for Humanity and giving all their new homes applicances as a means of getting the poor community to give up land. After all is said and done, the community ultimately loses but the corporation is enriched. He states this strategy unabashadly. He is so conniving and single minded as revealed in his corporate history. He has worked for the tobacco industry, one of the greatest corporate deceivers of our time.
Benton Harbor is his latest community to deceive and ultimately destroy. Whirlpool has continued to eek away at the resources once held by a successful mostly black community. With leaders such as Jeff Noel, land has been given away, community services have vanished, and housing, jobs, community resources and the welfare of the citizens are at an all time low. But, every new Habitat House has a dishwasher. Jobs that are created by Whirlpool are low paying. Drive through Benton Harbor and see what Jeff’s company has really done for the city. Try and find a museum, a park, or a stock of decent housing for the city. Drive across the bridge and see what Whirlpool has done for the white population of St. Joseph. You will find an art museum absurdly funded, a children’s museum, parks, a concert shell, a shopping district with boutiques, even a horse drawn carriage to carry the white children around.
Don’t get fooled by Jeff Noel’s agenda. Whirlpool is racist and is headed by corporate spin doctors who take the most well-meaning citizens by the nose and attain submission. Some are coming up dizzy, wondering where the land went, where the decent paying jobs are, and why all these wealthy white people are sneaking around talking to real estate agents about the future of a golf course and gated community on the Benton Harbor beach. Meanwhile everyone with black skin wanders around trying to figure out what Jeff Noel really did.