Barbara-Rose Collins’ behavior this week was irresponsible, out-of-line, and downright amusing. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who has paid attention to the last 25 years of local politics. Collins has spent much that time acting like an ass. The very fact that Collins still has a political career suggests that not enough of you people have been paying attention. Elected officials don’t exist in a vacuum so a lot of this blame has to fall on the Detroit electorate for repeatedly electing this third-rate dullard to office.
Nevertheless, Barbara-Rose Collins’ antics win her Detour’s inaugural Douche of the Week honor. This is almost a lifetime achievement award, of sorts. Barbara-Rose Collins is a woman who devoted her life to douchebaggery. We celebrate her entire catalogue.
Collins was a train wreck when she served in Congress. There were shady campaign finance doings, missed votes, and the firing of a gay employee because his partner had died of AIDS. That last thing is neither a rumor nor an allegation. It actually happened. A government grievance board reviewed the case and found Collins at fault. It remains the only occasion that a member of Congress was found to have wrongfully fired an employee. Apparently, Collins was afraid she might catch AIDS from her staffer because his boyfriend had it. Barbara-Rose Collins doesn’t much care for science. Or basic human decency.
When she resurrected her political career, Collins naturally won support from the gay community. In 2005, the Triangle PAC endorsed Collins’ re-election campaign for City Council. That makes sense. The NAACP often endorsed Lester Maddox for public office. Why politically aware gays and lesbians didn’t throw Molotov Cocktails at the Triangle PAC for that decision is a question for the ages. But we digress…
Barbara-Rose Collins is no ordinary douche. She is a royal douche. According to the City Council website: The Ghanan town of Pepease has designated her as a queen mother. Councilwoman Collins has said that “this is not merely an honorary position, but a genuine coronation, with all the responsibilities and privileges afforded to royal family members.”
Responsibilities and privileges, you say? Like wearing a tiara to work on your birthday? Then there are the events of Thursday last. Perhaps most comical and revealing was her recital of Onward Christian Soldiers during an incoherent rant about European imperialism. Comical, because Onward Christian Soldiers is an English hymn celebrating the missionary work of Europeans in the third world. Revealing, because there is a thin line between the pseudo-progressive religiosity of Collins’ pan-Africanism and old-fashioned right-wing dominionism.
Both worldviews envision benevolent religious dictatorships to protect the masses from such horrors as reason, science, and cultural diversity. Barbara-Rose Collins, in Barbara-Rose Collins’ mind, was selected by God to help the oppressed masses throw off the White Man’s chains. This kind of thinking, as crazy as Pat Robertson believing he prayed away a hurricane, is a central tenant of Collins’ Shrine of the Black Madonna Church. And if that ain’t douchebaggery, what is?