Meet Michigan's divided

With disappearing common ground, it becomes easy to demonize those we know little about, reducing them to disparaging and inaccurate stereotypes: the uneducated rural, the lazy urban, the narrow-minded Christian, the terrorist Muslim, the racist white man, the job-stealing immigrant woman. The growing gulf between groups makes it difficult to understand how others vote the way they do; and beneath that, the aspirations, fears or other factors that lead to those votes.
 
Bridge is following 11 Michigan people and families throughout 2017 to try to pierce the bubbles in which they, and the rest of us, live. We will check in on their lives throughout the year. 

Read their stories

Meet Dave and Sherri Frohriep from Newberry in the U.P.
Meet Aric Knuth and Jim Leija from Ann Arbor
Meet Tom Herbon from Troy
Meet Lisa King from East Lansing
Meet Ron Price from Holland
Meet Hussein and Mariam Charara from Dearborn
Meet John Hulett from Sunfield
Meet Wilfredo Diaz from Wyoming
Meet Cynthia Shafer from Harbor Springs
Meet Asandi Conner from Detroit
Meet Ben Shomo from Traverse City

About The Author

Nancy Derringer

Nancy Derringer is a Bridge staff writer and editor concentrating mainly on Detroit issues. She can be reached at nderringer@bridgemi.com

Ron French

Ron French is Bridge senior writer, based in Lansing. He can be reached at rfrench@bridgemi.com

Pat Shellenbarger

Pat Shellenbarger is a freelance writer based in West Michigan. He previously was a reporter and editor at the Detroit News, the St. Petersburg Times and the Grand Rapids Press.

Jacob Wheeler

Jacob Wheeler lives in Leelanau County. He edits and publishes the Glen Arbor Sun and Betsie Current newspapers.

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Comments

Karen Weaver
Thu, 02/09/2017 - 2:26pm

Thank you for this series. We need more stories that show people doing ordinary things in the community. We need more bridges--not walls. Or, at least, a doorway through a wall like this series.

Das
Tue, 01/24/2017 - 1:13pm

Thanks for interviewing people who didn't vote at all, though you should have interviewed even more non-voters, since only 55% voted in the presidential election last November. Maybe if Michigan joined the 34 states who have easily accessible early voting options we can improve that percentage a bit. Early voting in 34 states means being able to go to the open polls on multiple days and not having to go get an Absentee Ballot and then lie about why you can't vote on Election Day. Not having early voting is another deliberate method of restricting the franchise. Sad!

sammelvin
Tue, 01/24/2017 - 4:05pm

1960 the news; build fallout shelters ,they russia coming, they will bomb the usa!In the fallout shelters have eoungh food and water for six months..Now if you/me have the only fallout shelter in the neighborhood.and It would happen, they your neighbors all would fight o get into your fall outshelter..and in case you survived IT. there would be no doctors, hospitals ..to save you from the fallout or cure you. there would be no houses or other buildings standing.etcet fukushima/japan, 5 years ago. or chernobyl/russia.We are still here and the politics are still doing there propaganda behind closed doors..to us the face us with a flag...now if they wanted for us to have the American Dream why are they stealing our Socail Money and THEY haven't payed into it>they get healthcare .you payed for it.etc etc.Security Lockbox money like in 2004 to bail-out AIG and the Big banks.we need our money now..it will go into the economy in each city.town and village once Senior get there SS checks up to $ 4000 months..we do not have forever,Hillary Husband president bill Clinton left the federal Budget with a SURPLUS of $ 260 billion ..we all worked when democrat is in the office,Republican Mitt romney wanted to CLOSE .gGeneral Motors in dDETROIT<,Detroit..we need a living paycheck ..we are in 2017..Congress get an automatic raise every jan. ofCongress are millionaires, plus the get $ 2000 from your Social Securtity

sammelvin
Tue, 01/24/2017 - 4:11pm

UPS i forgot the number of the Social Security lockbox in 2004 $ 1,5 TRILLION our/mine SS..money .we workers payed into it over 30-40 years and still paying into IT!