Photo: Mathias Berlin/Shutterstock

11 Ways You'll Be Stereotyped for Growing Up in Detroit

by Nicole Sunderland Jul 19, 2016

1. We all hang out with Eminem on a regular basis, drinking 40s and smoking blunts.

Because it only makes sense that between the millions of people who also reside here that I would know him? Actually, no. I didn’t grow up with him and I don’t know his kid.

2. We all just drive to Canada for free healthcare.

Does that work? Clearly I have been living life wrong. Last I heard, Canada will unfortunately not pay for my healthcare should I get injured or fall ill while visiting.

3. You’re from Detroit? But .. you’re white.

That’s right — this whole shade of white covering my body is not some big birthmark. It is also true that I am not the only Caucasian resident from Detroit. The city is thriving with people from all walks of life. Just like most major cities, it is a melting pot of people who live together.

4. That we’re all in gangs.

I grew up in Detroit as a child/teenager — my gang was my mother and brother. We did a lot of crazy stuff together like eat meals, celebrate holidays, welcome people into our home, Oh, and we did chores. Mom was the leader of the gang and what she said was the rules.

5. That we must have spent time in the clank.

When I was 12 years old and grounded for the entire summer, that was my only version of the clank. As for prison, no. I am proud to say I haven’t screwed up so bad that I had to take an extended visit there.

6. That our only passion is the Red Wings.

Actually, I don’t watch any sports. If I have time to watch anything, I am watching Friends again on Netflix.

7. There’s hookers everywhere.

There are hookers in Detroit. Are they everywhere? No.

8. That we all live on 8 Mile.

Actually I did, and more than once. 8 Mile stretches through various neighborhoods and isn’t exactly identical to Eminem’s movie portrayal along the entire length. Some areas of 8 Mile are not that great, but for the most part it’s fine. Would I live there now? Sure. Like I said, it’s a big road.

9. That we are Juggalos.

I know ICP is from Detroit but that doesn’t mean I have to surrender to liking everything from the city. I tried to get into their music when I was about 13 but it never really stuck.

10. We all must have been shot at least once in our life.

I had never seen a gun until I was over 21 — and even then, it wasn’t being pulled on me.

11. We all depend on welfare to survive.

Detroit is not a city full of people living off the state. Like all other cities, there are people who need assistance (and that is not something to be ashamed of), but it is not the entire city. Believe it or not, people still work for a living here.

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