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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Council of Baptist Pastors Push Detroit Loan Deal

This is from the Detroit Free Press:

Automakers’ woes hit black community, Baptist pastors say


Minority auto suppliers are being disproportionately hurt by the auto industry implosion, and that is devastating Detroit’s African-American communities, the city’s influential Council of Baptist Pastors said today.

At a news conference in Hamtramck, Council President Rev. Dr. Oscar King called on Congress to approve a loan package for Detroit automakers, saying minority suppliers and the African-American communities that rely on them need the American auto industry to survive.

“This is not a gift. We are not asking for anything that is not ours,” King said of the federal assistance funds for the automakers. “Taxes go up to the federal government. We’re asking for a reasonable redistribution. Give us our money back so that we may use it to provide for the stability of this faltering economy.”

William Pickard, chairman and chief executive officer of Global Automotive Alliance LLC, a Detroit-based group of minority automotive suppliers, said minority suppliers have been hurt as the automakers and major suppliers have “stretched” their payments to companies lower down the chain.

“I suspect if you had 10 suppliers here, you would have at least 11 different scenarios,” Pickard said. “And indeed the Big 3 have stretched their suppliers, and I’m sure Tier 1 and Tier 2 have done the same thing. We probably were more highly leveraged as an industry than our white counterparts, so it affects us more, but throughout the spectrum, you are having delayed payments.”

Asked about yet more cutbacks to come as the Detroit automakers try to qualify for federal assistance, Pickard issued a dire prediction.
“I think the reduction will take on many different forms, but surely the smaller you are, the more vulnerable you are,” he said. “We all know there’s been a tremendous decrease in the number of suppliers. And I would say this time next year, we’ll probably lose another 20, 30%.”
The Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity was founded nearly fifty years ago with the purpose of "offering sound leadership in every field of community endeavor." Comprised of hundreds of Baptist pastors in the Detroit area, the Council of Baptist Pastors is regarded as a highly influential organization. On Thursday, December 4, the Council of Baptist Pastors along with Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders will convene in Detroit to discuss the economic crisis.



Blogger Georgia Mountain Man said...

As much as it leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of Detroit's failure to keep up, I think these guys are right. I think they are standing up for their flock, which needs help right now. Not a political thing. More of a social one.

6:35 PM

Blogger Cat's Dad said...


Fine, but let's be sure to apply it consistently. The next time a right-wing preacher calls for overturning Roe v., he shouldn't be chastised for standing up for the unborn by calling on the government to act!

2:03 PM


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