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Smith: Another successful Mackinac conference

Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’ ”

Congratulations to Detroit Regional Chamber President & CEO Sandy Baruah and his team for another outstanding Mackinac Policy Conference at the beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Now in its 37th year of bringing together statewide leaders to discuss Michigan’s economic future, various national and local thought leaders tackled this year’s conference pillars, including restoring civility in American politics, winning the race in connected technology and increasing economic activity. As always, there was a lot to learn, as long as you brought your open mind and willingness to really listen to opposing ideas. You may have held on to your original view, but hopefully now with a better understanding of how the “other side” got to where they are.

Gubernatorial candidate spotting was certainly great fun for all, with a seemingly inordinate number of people at least contemplating a run. A few were definitely taking note of reactions, both positive and negative, after their surrogates floated the idea that their “bosses” might enter the race.

In terms of learning, the best teacher of all was Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan who presented a factual history of race in the City of Detroit. It truly was an eye opening “connect the dots,” very easily understood relationship between racism, economic inequality and racial segregation, all guided and sanctioned by city and federal discrimination that must be understood by all and never repeated. If the mayor’s presentation was captured on tape, it should be replayed for all. Often.

Edmond T. Ahee jewelers will host its 36th annual Capuchin Souper Summer Celebration at Comerica Park this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.