Friday, July 17, 2009


There is no comparison anywhere in the Midwest to the relationship of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, Michigan. History will reveal the crimes that exist there today. A desperate State of Michigan will do desperate things to please the stakeholders. Benton Harbor is again the victim of desperate acts on the part of the State. The greed of land developers coupled with a major international corporation has created a truly immoral act: the theft of public Lake Michigan shore land dedicated to the people of Benton Harbor. The people’s land is becoming a golf course for the elite. Someday history will reveal the true lack of morality of corporate greed. The perpetrators in this case are the infamous Whirlpool Corporation in conjunction with land developers. The victims are again, the Benton Harbor citizens.

Benton Harbor actually stood up and rioted a few years ago. We all remember the outrage after police brutality put the town over the edge. National attention was brought to Benton Harbor and the Governor spent time there promising jobs and grants. The nation looked on and wondered why a town in the 1990s rioted; nobody rioted. Benton Harbor was and is uniquely oppressed. The downtrodden state of Michigan has allowed corporations such as Whirlpool to take whatever they need to stay in a state losing jobs, gaining unemployment, and experience a gigantic shift. Whirlpool has been provided with tax breaks, national representation via a congressman (Fred Upton), and has been able to pull off a “Jim Crow” agenda in St. Joe. Police are on many street corners of both cities giving signs of an odd and almost third world presence, as evidenced also by posters in St. Joe warning of surveillance. Enlightened people will not set foot in St. Joe. It is a town of frightening whiteness as designed by Whirlpool.

The promises made by the original Upton family, the founders of Whirlpool have become a distant echo. Their fraternity heir, Fred Upton, continues to parade his false face while voting against the stimulus package, against the environmental bill, against policies that would benefit the poor. He disguises himself by occasionally working on a program for children. Most people in his district are fed up with him and he was seriously challenged in the last election by a last minute candidate. Only the elite like him.

The Governor of Michigan has lost credibility due to her allegiance with corporations, her promises to create jobs in Benton Harbor by buddying up with Whirlpool, and the recent acceptance of the people’s park land (Jean Klock Park) going to Whirlpool developers. NO one has been hired from Benton Harbor for this heinous project. NO Benton Harbor resident has been hired despite excessive promises made by the governor/developers. The Jack Nicklaus golf course is an insult even if it were not on public land. The lack of morality in this case will make history books. The people involved will be viewed like those who were against Brown v. Board of Education. There is no justice in Benton Harbor and it is high time everyone knew what is really going on there.

Setting foot in St. Joe or playing on this new golf course is like giving money to a corrupt and immoral system. Those educated Chicago residents who like to visit the area will be informed. Those citizens who enjoy the downtown, the restaurants, the huge public shoreline park in St. Joe, the Box Factory, the Children’s Museum, etc., will be informed. Boycott St. Joe, Boycott the Jack Nicklaus Golf Course, Boycott all Whirlpool products until the land is given back to the people of Benton Harbor. Pass the word on, e-mail the word and let justice rise. BOYCOTT EVERYTHING IN ST. JOE UNTIL THE LAND IS GIVEN BACK. --K.T. Schmidt