How did Washington DC’s Anacostia neighborhood become a festering slum and why has it become trendy again? What can that cycle tell us about events in Ferguson, Missouri?
Almost sixty years after the murder of Emmitt Till we continue to murder young black men for reasons we barely understand and seem powerless to stop. We are in broad, national agreement on our desire to free ourselves from racism, yet racist ideology still distorts our best efforts at political and economic progress. Only by confronting this history and recognizing its continuing hold on our culture can we neutralize it and move on.
Blight-ridden stretches of our inner cities are being restored to their former splendor, but those burned out hulks have a crucial story to tell. Before the last crack house in Chicago’s West Town becomes a yoga studio we should stop to bear witness. The history of these troubled battleground neighborhoods holds clues that could help us understand our illness and its cure.
Picture if you will, a thriving working class neighborhood in a busy northern city. The year is 1950 and the Supreme Court has recently struck down deed restrictions that block African-Americans from purchasing homes in this neighborhood. An opportunity looms. Someone is going to seize it.
Black neighborhoods are severely overcrowded due to a history of racist restrictions and informal practices that prevent them from buying outside their neighborhoods or building new ones. The most affluent black families are ready to take advantage of the new opportunity, but banks still will not lend to them and very few realtors in white neighborhoods will broker a sale.
A new business model emerges. It requires a very small capital investment and a nasty streak of cynicism. It works like this.
First you purchase a home in a white neighborhood and resell it to a black family. The black buyer is forced to buy the home at a steep premium, sometimes referred to as the “black tax,” necessary because their access to brokers and capital is blocked.
Since banks will not finance the transaction, the seller can further profit by self-financing. The black family regularly brings a 10-20% down-payment, but they do not receive a conventional mortgage. They obtain no ownership interest and gain no equity in the property until (unless) they complete their 30 years of mortgage payments on time. They have no access to foreclosure protections or redress beyond what is available to renters.
If that’s where the grift ended then the story of African-Americans’ progress into the middle and upper classes might be completely different. We would recall a tough, but generally successful climb against long odds as a formerly oppressed group made their way into the American mainstream. That’s not where the grift ended.
There was good money to be made helping the most affluent black families find new homes in better neighborhoods. There was spectacular money to be made by extorting those vulnerable families, shaking down powerless low-income white families, and converting successful working neighborhoods into smoking holes of blight, crime and misery.
After moving one successful black family into a financially precarious new existence in a white neighborhood, the grift entered a new phase often called “blockbusting.” With the arrival of a black family on the block, nervous whites worried that blacks would ruin their neighborhood. The blockbusters worked hard to exacerbate and capitalize on those fears.
In some cases they would hire African-Americans to walk the block, dressing and behaving in ways meant to feed cultural stereotypes. A poorly dressed black woman would walk down the sidewalk with several crying children. A black man would cruise the street playing loud music. The blockbusters would then go door to door at the white homes explaining that black families were moving in and making low-ball offers for their houses.
What followed was a kind of Dutch auction for the remaining homes on the block. Whoever responded to the racist appeal first got the best price. As the process continued prices of white-owned homes on the block would plummet. White families faced a stark choice. Get out fast or see your investment in your most valuable asset ruined. As the process peaked, there are examples of brokers buying an undervalued home from a terrified white owner for $10K and selling to a black family for $25K in the same week.
Ironically, the black families moving in were the most educated, affluent and successful members of their communities. Generally, they were far more educated and accomplished than the people they were replacing. That dynamic wouldn’t last long. As the grift continued it exacted a toll.
Black families with no opportunity to gain justice through the courts and few economic options poured every available resource into a desperate bid to gain access to solid neighborhoods and schools for their children. Some would survive the machine of piracy and exploitation into which they were being fed, but they were the exceptions.
If they were able to make their very steep payments, they would soon be presented with “code violations,” which would render their homes legally uninhabitable if not repaired. Often these were outright frauds. In other cases they were organized in collusion with local authorities in a misguided effort to stop the blockbusting. Families that had strained and borrowed to the very limit had few resources available to deal with any eventuality. Repairs faltered. Both spouses took multiple jobs. The fabric of a vulnerable community unraveled.
Default rates were high. With no legal recourse, black families consistently lost their homes along with capital carefully accumulated across multiple generations. The broker simply removed the family, retained for himself whatever equity had accumulated and repeated the process.
By the mid-‘60’s the prime opportunity to profit from this scheme had passed. Most of the black families with enough resources to be looted had been looted. In the turned neighborhoods, a few survivors kept making payments and working hard to hold their homes. The rest had reverted to being renters, sometimes in the very same home they had originally “purchased.” Remaining properties that could no longer be flipped to vulnerable buyers with a little money became slum rentals or were often simply abandoned.
By the mid to late ‘60’s when the Federal government finally intervened to give African-Americans protection from housing discrimination this cycle had largely completed. Discriminatory lending practices still would not be outlawed for another decade. After they were finally barred by law, discriminatory lending would still linger in practice for at least another decade and a half.
Chicago’s Lawndale with its beautiful stone mansions was by the ‘70’s a dangerous ghetto. Black families who invested their savings in the neighborhood were once again trapped in a slum. The accumulated wealth of an emerging generation of black elites had been systematically and legally looted.
The working class whites targeted in the scheme had lost their communities and much of their savings. A Saturday Evening Post article from 1962 poignantly describes their experience:
Some white owners simply stare, almost dumbfounded, as we draw up sale papers for them. Others break down and cry. Some say, “It’s OK to show the place to Negroes before we move, but we don’t want to be in the house to watch it when you do.”
What little protection they enjoyed came as a perk of their racial identity. Being white did not save them from extortion, but it gave them the opportunity to start over in new suburban communities with access to legitimate financing, legal protections, police support, and full public capital for schools, parks and libraries. A financial reversal caused by blockbusting was often compensated over time with appreciating suburban home values.
Lessons were learned. Those with the keenest ear for a racist appeal suffered and lost the least. In a great American irony, working whites’ experience of being victimized by their own racism and by the racist exploitation of their black neighbors actually reinforced and hardened their racism.
When they returned to visit the neighborhoods they had left, their eyes told them that their prejudices were valid. As those neighborhoods burned in the late ’60’s, whites congratulated themselves on their inherent superiority. After all, as was so often said, what kind of people would “burn down their own neighborhood”? A racist assumption filled the gap in whites’ understanding. If black families would just work as hard as “we” did, their neighborhoods would not be burning.
Aided by the slightest compassion or curiosity, those white families might have discovered that black residents by that time owned virtually nothing in those neighborhoods. Everything around them from the homes to the liquor stores was part of an infrastructure engineered to extract every penny they earned before it could be converted to capital or power. Looting that occurred in the riots of the ‘60’s was as much a metaphor as a reality, the only avenue by which African-Americans could participate in a legal and economic model constructed for organized extortion.
The entire cycle would be repeated in a refined and far more sophisticated form in the subprime lending boom of the early ‘aughts. Once again, black families who had managed to accumulate a little capital were systematically looted, leading to a broader economic meltdown. As in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, none of the perpetrators would be prosecuted because the process was entirely legal.
Today in places like Brooklyn, Washington DC, Chicago and elsewhere, white residents are taking advantage of depressed prices to move closer to a newly vibrant urban core. Many of these white residents see themselves as progressive pioneers, converting swaths of burned-out ghetto into gleaming urban playgrounds.
Victims and survivors of a generation of racial extortion are displaced as the process comes full circle. Elaborate beards and skinny jeans are to them what a black woman with a crying baby was to a previous generation of white residents. Black residents priced out of what’s left of their homes rightly see the new influx as the final step in a cycle of exploitation. A vicious circle is closing. Now that their neighborhood has some renewed promise it’s time for the black survivors to get out of the way.
They are shipped off to suburbs like Ferguson, Missouri that are the suppurating new focus of American poverty, where struggling blue collar whites will once again greet them as a portent. Their influence is contained through aggressive, discriminatory police tactics, their little accumulated wealth siphoned away by selective law enforcement and political tactics designed to dilute their influence.
Ferguson is the depressing postlude to blockbusting. The wheel keeps turning.
Young white progressives ignorant of the process that turned Chicago’s Near North or DC’s Anacostia into slums, react with righteous frustration to the hostility of black residents. Similarly, a thin, emerging class of successful African-Americans whose families narrowly survived the urban meat grinder sometimes look back on those whose families were destroyed with a complex blend of emotions.
A lucrative new niche industry has emerged for black figures willing to cast themselves as Horatio Alger, confirm white racist stereotypes, and help Americans hide from our past. They assure audiences that America has no obligation to blacks. After all, if Dr. Ben Carson can become a surgeon then any African-American could be just like him if they would stop wearing hoodies, pull up their pants, and speak properly. Insult is added to injury as blacks are told to take “personal responsibility” for the wholesale expropriation of their capital and the disintegration of their communities.
History denied is history repeated. America’s great Achilles Heel is her racial mythology. The damage has never been limited to the black community, yet we relentlessly resist an honest reckoning. Over the last half-century we have very nearly exhausted the capacity of legislation to combat our own racism. Younger Americans are less invested in the myths of white supremacy that define the shape of the world for older Americans. Yet, judging from the shape of the arguments over gentrification, they are only marginally more aware of our history and its continuing impact.
Truth is powerful. Perhaps we can muster the courage to confront our history honestly and honorably, and thereby begin to escape the political distortions created by lingering racism. Our national debate over the murders of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin might offer glimmer of hope. By openly wrestling with the demons of our past we might begin to recognize their fingerprints on our present and break their hold on our future.
The Saturday Evening Post, 1962, Confessions of a Block-Buster
Edward Orser, 1997, Blockbusting in Baltimore
The Atlantic, 2014, The Case for Reparations
New York Times, 2014, In Ferguson, Black Town, White Power
The Atlantic, 1972, The Story of the Contract Buyers’ League
[…] wealth gap between white and minority households is the lingering fingerprint of generations of systematic, legally sanctioned looting. That looting has not ended. We are no closer to acknowledging it or doing anything about it than […]
Helpful tips for comic-boy and kitling:
Wow, just wow.
The left is calling for anarchy here.
The left saying that it is excusable to rob, steal, riot and burn businesses of blacks, Asians and other “minorities”.
No respect for the law, excusing the attacks on law abiding citizens, attacking and trying to kill police officers.
People that demand involuntary servitude of others, deny the civil rights of others, assume guilt of others, then demand government control of all while railing against government control against their own actions against others and government.
People that reject facts and reality and logic and then substitute fantasy based on emotion.
People that want to live in the past, that support the democrats that brought us slavery, Jim Crowe laws, segregation, affirmative action, set asides, lowered standards.
People that view “minorities” as inferior and then claim some kind of “white guilt” and accuse those of us that are mixed race as being racists and “white supremacists”.
And then some people that are of the same mixed race saying that means they can’t be racists while accusing people of mixed race as being racists.
People that complain about “redlining” and force the banks and mortgage companies to make bad loans, then complain that it wasn’t being forced to make those bad loans to “minorities” that caused the crash, then complaining it was banks and mortgage companies being forced to make loans to “those people” that caused the boom and bust.
That is the “logic” of the left.
Yeah, what does one have to say in response?
You are right Sternn all the problems in the world are the fault of the left.
What were you saying about the absurd being funny to you Tutt…….well start laughing, it does not get more absurd than this rant from cartoon man.
In other words, you have nothing but the absurd.
Says the crazy cartoon, you need help, to most of us here your ramblings sound like that of a mad man.
You are not right in the head Sternn, for societies sake seek professional help.
You refuse reality, facts and logic. Think I will stay in the world of reality, facts and logic. Sad thing is that you probably vote.
Sad thing you are allowed to own weapons, you are crazy.
Stern buddy…with that rant, the only conclusion I can come up with is that you either are doing way too many drugs or not nearly enough drugs.
Wow! I see what the loony left is doing. They are rewriting the facts to fit their argument AGAIN. If all the left does is repeat talking points handed to them by MSNBC or from a blog for that matter, why even engage them. The grand jury transcripts are easily available but yet the left quotes news supposition. How can an ‘honest’ dialogue even come close to realization when one side refuses facts? It can’t. Rinse, repeat.
“How can an ‘honest’ dialogue even come close to realization when one side refuses facts? ”
How many times a day are your comments exposed for the unsubstantiated BS that it is? Pretty much every comment you make (up) is filled with your litter gold.
Now there’s an interesting example of toilet humor combined with the absurd. Something for everyone.
The banks were not forced to make high risk loans to consumers. Period.
Click to access fcic_final_report_hennessey_holtz-eakin_thomas_dissent.pdf
Excellent article – I had not realized the dice were quite as loaded as that!
But how can it be fixed?
Is Elizabeth Warren’s financial consumer thing a good first step?
“…we continue to murder young black men for reasons we barely understand…”
Really? What part of attacking a police officer *in* his vehicle and attempting to wrest away his weapon is hard to understand? It doesn’t matter whether you are black, white, brown or purple with green polka dots: If you attack a police officer and attempt to kill him/her with his/her own weapon, chances are you going to end up well ventilated. There is *zero* mystery to be found in that scenario.
As for the block busting, thanks for the history lesson. Never been an urban-dweller, so it’s new information for me.
If he had been shot next to the vehicle that would be a good reason
To chase an unarmed man 140 yards down the street shooting at him the whole time – that is a whole different animal
He was shot next to the vehicle, while he was partially inside the vehicle trying to take the weapon away from the officer. Then he tried to leave the scene, and officers cannot allow criminals that just assaulted them and tried to kill them to simply leave.
The officer was not “shooting at him the whole time”. Brown turned and charged the officer, and that got him shot at fairly close range. When Brown stopped charging, Wilson stopped firing. When Brown charged again, Wilson shot again. Brown was downed just a few feet from Wilson, 8 to 10 feet away, and that was with Wilson backing up.
Brown was never shot in the back.
All of this is public information now, openly available to any that want to deal in facts, logic and reality rather than make things up that sound good and rely on emotion and ignorance.
This kind of deliberate ignorance makes me want to go beat my head against a brick wall. Maybe if I did that I would be more at that level.
Duncan, if you’ll review the Michael Brown grand jury evidence package (http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_documents/ferguson-shooting/) you’ll see that your description of events is sadly misinformed.
Civilians might argue about whether pursuing Mr. Brown was appropriate, but a police officer has no choice in such matters. Mr. Brown had just committed multiple felonies (assault and attempted murder of officer Wilson); *any* police officer would have been obligated to pursue him. Had Mr. Brown refrained from *again* attacking the officer, he would most likely be alive today.
Any officer who witnessed a perpetrator committing a felony and failed to do everything in his/her power to apprehend said perpetrator would be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. Officer Wilson had just been beaten by a larger and physically stronger man, and nearly killed with his own sidearm. I very much doubt officer Wilson *wanted* to pursue Brown or physically tangle with Brown again in any way. He was, however, obligated by *duty* to pursue and apprehend. That’s his job a a law enforcement officer.
At every stage of the encounter Mr. Brown made choices that led ineluctably to his own demise. He would be alive today had he simply *complied* with officer Wilson’s lawful commands. One person, and one person only, is responsible for Michael Brown’s untimely and tragic death. That person’s name is Michael Brown.
A smart police officer would have retreated to a position from which he could have kept the suspect under observation, called for backup, and then apprehended him with overwhelming force. A poorly trained, panicky, police officer would have pulled his gun and started blasting away on a residential street with plenty of chances for collateral damage.
Your ignorance is showing, John. Wilson was defending his life, and then attempting to stop a violent criminal.
The Washington Post has a graphical depiction of the events as constructed by the Grand Jury, with the testimony of the officer, accomplice, and witnesses. There is some disagreement about the first scuffle: how it started, whether Brown threw a punch or not. Here is the officer’s testimony regarding the first shots fired:
“Wilson drew his gun and said, “Get back or I’m going to shoot you.” Brown grabbed the gun with his right hand and said, “You are too much of a pussy to shoot me.” Brown twisted the gun down and dug it into Wilson’s hip. Wilson shifted and pointed the gun down. “I pulled trigger and nothing happens, it just clicked,” he said. “I pull it again, it just clicked again. I pulled it a third time, it [went] off … he kind of stepped back … and had the most intense aggressive face. He comes back me again with his hands up. I tried to pull the trigger again, click. Without even looking, I just grab the top of my gun, the slide and I racked it, and … I pulled the trigger again, it goes off.”
By his own admission, he drew his gun in a situation in which a larger man could have (and nearly did) take it from him. He then fired basically blindly, to the point that he had to pull the trigger three times before it went off. There is no way this is standard police training – it was a panicky impulse decision whose possible outcomes were nearly all bad. Is it murder? Maybe not, but it was horrible policing.
Again, the officer was in a police car, an SUV actually. His life was not in danger until he drew his gun. Pull forward, break away from Brown’s grasp, if he had one, call for backup, and arrest the suspect from a position of force.
You skipped the part where Wilson tried to exit the vehicle before drawing his weapon and Brown slamming the door shut and punching Wilson. How convenient for you. That is why Wilson drew his weapon to begin with. Facts and reality are not your friends, John.
Sternn’s “facts and reality” are carefully curated, so as only to recognize those which confirm his existing prejudices.
It’s a closed mind. Well, maybe only the first word can apply in his case.
jg, with respect to the “clicking” of Wilson’s sidearm, that’s a classic indication of a Sig being out of battery during the attempt to fire the gun. The way it gets out of battery is to have somebody’s hand on the slide, i.e. Brown’s as he attempted to take it away. Frankly, it’s surprising Wilson was able to get a shot off at all. After the first shot the pistol obviously failed to cycle properly, indicating that Brown’s hand was still on the gun’s slide when the first shot was fired. Wilson had to manually rack the slide to properly chamber a round for his second shot. (BTW, this is one of the reasons why a carry a revolver – they are less prone to malfunctions when fighting at contact distance. Any kind of interference with the slide of a semi-auto pistol will prevent it from firing or cycling properly; revolvers are less finicky.)
It is indisputable that Brown attacked Wilson in his vehicle and attempted to wrest the officer’s weapon away. That’s attempted assault with a deadly weapon and deadly force is justified right there.
There is only one thing about the interaction between those two men that is “indisputable” – Only two people know what really happened and one of the them was killed by the other one.
In those situations we resolve the ambiguities with a trial. There will be no trial in this case because influential people went to extraordinary lengths to prevent one from occurring.
So there we are.
Chris, by “influential” do you mean the twelve citizens of the grand jury? After all, they made the call.
No, I’m not referring to them. I mean the people who put on an absolutely extraordinary show for the grand jury in order to avoid an otherwise obvious indictment.
When the only reliable eyewitness is the guy who was killed, a indictment is pretty unavoidable…unless it isn’t.
What happened in that grand jury process is a horror show. Honestly, I can’t believe I’m in my forties, living in the 21st century, and this kind of stuff is still happening. it’s humiliating. We are supposed to be past this.
Here’s the kicker — these people are almost all Democrats. Why isn’t a Republican capitalizing on this???
Answer- because we can’t. See the comments in this string.
One might ask why Wilson had even bothered to encounter Michael Brown in the first place. He was not aware that Brown was a suspect in a robbery, after all. And how is it that a confrontation with police escalates so easily and so quickly? Are we to presume that Brown was just an animal, incapable of even the barest civility toward a police officer during a routine encounter?
I know what the evidence says. But it’s like with Trayvon Martin (a case I am convinced was a murder). What is the purpose of accosting people who are doing nothing more than walking down the goddamned street? Are we to assume that Wilson approached Brown and politely asked the good gentleman to take to the sidewalk? I’m sure that’s how it happened, right? And then Brown got those “demon” eyes and just went bananas on him. Surely that’s what happened, right?
If Brown had been white, Wilson would have kept on driving.
“If Brown had been white, Wilson would have kept on driving.”
No. I look white, but I am often profiled. Then again, I do not rob stores, push the owner of the store around and I comply with the police when I am pulled over after being profiled.
Do not compare Brown or Martin to animals as that is an insult to animals.
And yes, walking down the middle of the street and blocking traffic is cause for a police officer to demand you move to the sidewalk. And when that happens, it is definitely not a good idea to slam the door of the police SUV shut, beat the officer in the face and try to take his weapon away in order to kill the officer, no matter how light or dark you skin color is.
Nor is it a good idea to be looking into houses in a high crime neighborhood, much less sneak around and attack a Hispanic man and try to beat him to death by bashing his head onto a concrete sidewalk. That Hispanic man might just be armed and capable of using that as a means of saving his own life.
Seriously, what kind of person or people defend and support those that try to kill others and lose? What kind of person or people support and defend rioting, looting and burning the businesses of blacks and Asians? What kind of person tries to justify the attempt to kill a Hispanic man or a police officer? What kind of person or people excuse strong arm robbery of a store?
Well, we know the answer to those questions. People like you.
Sternn, your opinions on these cases are f***ed beyond belief. Seriously. They are entirely rooted in a perception of black people that is decidedly skewed in favor of the common assumption that black people are animals.
Trayvon Martin had every right to kick Zimmerman’s ass up and down the block if he could. I can only imagine what would happen if the average white swaggering gun-toter were approached in the middle of the night in similar fashion. You might even cite the Martin case as one example except for the fact that it was Zimmerman who chased him down and not the other way around.
But it is what it is. There is no real desire on your part, or on the part of most other conservatives, to get to the root causes of these cases, to try to understand why we’re in the situation we’re in. What it is, Sternn, is acceptance of the status quo; your worldview is based on the notion that if everybody just acted right, everything would be better. Which is a piss-poor explanation for anything and certainly not a solution to anything. It’s saying that people like Brown and Martin are just bad people, and therefore–I don’t know, expendable, I guess. It wouldn’t take much effort for someone to take your point of view and follow its logic to its natural conclusion: just eliminate the black race. And of course, there are some on your side of the political spectrum who contemplate that possibility.
P.S. One more thing, Sternn.
It is very stupid to get angry at what somebody posts online. I am well aware of that. But you are not a troll; your posts are sincere. And that last one made me angry.
The tone you take when talking about these people is brazenly casual, even celebratory. It’s as if you are happy that these people are dead. You celebrate these killings. They align perfectly with your view of the world; they confirm your twisted view of human relations and morality in general. You, sir, are glad to see young black men die, and I don’t think it actually matters what the circumstances are, or what the evidence for each case says.
It’s really disgusting, and not at all surprising that it comes from an evangelical Christian.
“Trayvon Martin had every right to kick Zimmerman’s ass up and down the block if he could.”
No, he didn’t. Might as well say I have the right to shoot you on sight. I don’t. Might as well say every black person has the right to kill any Hispanic person they see during the day.
You support anarchy and murder, I do not. You celebrate the attacks on citizens and police officers. I do not.
Yeah, I get pulled over by the police I cooperate. You say I should try to kill the cop. not going to happen. And guess what, I don’t get shot and killed by the cop.
Again, maybe if I go beat my head against a brick wall until I get brain damage I might understand your point. But I choose not to do so.
Anse, how do you jump to the conclusion that the eventual wish is for the.extinction of the Black race? Blacks as expendable, as animals? The way you phrase it sounds like projection.
Stern and Cap – you are talking nonsense even in the USA a policeman does not have the right to keep shooting at a fleeing suspect
Anse: And no, Cap does not rejoice when a Black man dies or take his death casually. That’s pretty far-fetched. And no, he’s not an.evangelical Christian, either. Another assumption.
He does take liberties with other people’s words and jump to outrageous conclusions. He thrives on word games. So, in that respect, I don’t feel too sorry for him when others make false conclusions about him, even though in your case it’s not intentional.
“Stern and Cap – you are talking nonsense even in the USA a policeman does not have the right to keep shooting at a fleeing suspect”
Actually we do. Even though that was not the case as Brown was charging, but in Texas (not the case here) we do have the right to shoot and kill a fleeing criminal. Might help you to look up the laws. We CHL holders are required to know the laws and pass written tests as well as tests on the range.
The online world is rife with false impressions. You can’t truly know someone until you meet them in person.
A mental case with a chl .
Trayvon Martin was an unarmed kid, doing absolutely nothing threatening besides walking to his girlfriend’s house with a bag of candy (the real kind). He was confronted by a self-appointed vigilante, whose behavior before, during and after this incident calls utterly everything he has said into question. Florida law basically makes it legal to murder someone if you feel even vaguely threatened, even if you were the instigator. That Zimmerman got off scot-free is a travesty.
Trayvon Martin snuck upon and attacked Zimmerman and tried to kill Zimmerman. That is illegal, John. But you support illegal actions and defend attempted murder while denouncing self defense. I guess you also blame women for being raped. They were just asking for it.
I am done with the likes of you for today.
According to the man accused of Trayvon Martin’s murder, he was attacked unprovoked. That you accept the obviously self-interested words of a man on trial, knowing he cannot be refuted as there were no eyewitnesses, is more telling of your own biases than anything I could say. Zimmerman was told multiple times by a 911 dispatcher to leave the scene if he felt threatened. He chose to solve the problem he created with the gun he carried. His history of anger management issues and law enforcement fetish tells what is likely the more accurate story. But we’ll never know, because the only other person there is unable to defend himself.
Anse – Stern has often spoken of his version of the events leading to Martin’s death. Never once does he mention the actions prior to his defending himself. His version of events begins with Trayvon attacking Zimmerman apparently unprovoked. Sternn and the rest of those that defend Zimmerman see no crime in an chasing an unarmed black teenager for the crime of walking on public sidewalks. No the crime occurred when Martin had the gall to defend himself.
Sternn makes a point to call Zimmerman a Hispanic man multiple times. Like that somehow makes Zimmerman’s actions OK. It doesn’t by the way. Nor does it diminish the fact that all too often black lives are treated as expendable by the criminal justice system.
Of course Sternn has bragged that he carries a firearm but I am sure he would be fine if someone tried to do to him what Zimmerman did to Martin.
John, reality is not your friend. There is a lot of physical evidence in by the the Martin and Brown shootings that back up the shooter acting in self defense. Dispatchers have no authority to give orders, and even at that, Zimmerman agreed to go back to his vehicle and wait for police because he had lost sight of Martin.
Turtles, you should work on your reading comprehension. I did address the actions that Martin committed before he circled around and attacked Zimmerman. But hey, I guess you would think a person would be justified by sneaking up on you and attacking you just because you looked at them.
Maybe some of you would say that a person should call the police when they feel threatened, there is no justification in taking matters into their own hands. Zimmerman did call the police, Martin did not. Wilson was the police, brown was not.
But then y’all claim there is no justification in self defense, so it doesn’t really matter.
Singularly the MIchael Brown case does not meet the burden of proof of a rooted and systemic racial prejudice in our police forces and media responses to the epidemic of falling violent crime rates. Yes, rapidly falling violent crime rates-for decades now. P A N I C !
But, assume justification for the Michael Brown case: it was followed by a teen shot and killed in Cleveland for a toy gun, a man shot in North Carolina for the crime of stepping out of his vehicle.
It was preceded by Trayvon Martin.
There is gray in each case of the black person shot by the cops, too bad the grey wasn’t the color of their skin.
Are these the only shootings you know of? Are these the only shootings you care about? Would either case be because of the color of the criminal’s skin? Do you not care when a cop shoots a white person?
What I don’t care about is your inability to take seriously our black citizens concerns regarding how they are generally treated by the police for the crime of either living where they do or being where they are.
From goplifer – “If I have a right to feel any pride when I stand on a beach in Northern France and remember what someone else did, then I have a duty to bear responsibility for the rest of that complex picture of my heritage and my present and my future.”
Wow, a perfect response to those who say “that was 200 years ago or I didn’t do that or …”
Scare tactics and exaggeration are rampant in many situations, not just in cases of neighborhoods supposedly becoming Black and leading to White flight. I live in my childhood home, in a neighborhood that is experiencing some major gentrification right now. Aside from offers to buy my house, I have been urged many times by so-called friends to sell my house because my property taxes will skyrocket. Well, that hasn’t happened, and why would I sell a house that’s already paid for?
I was remembering how back about 2009 there was an arsonist loose in the Heights, setting fire to abandoned properties and mounds of rubble, and I know some people moved out of the neighborhood as a result. I’ve wondered if this was a scare tactic on the part of real estate types.
Lifer’s blog entries on this thread have made gentrification sound positively scary. No thanks.
Chris’s comments are not about gentrification per se, but about a specific form of it in which working class white neighborhoods from long ago became poor and largely black slums, through the unsavory process he described, and are now switching to trendy inner city addresses. In both transitions, any gains from these assets were largely appropriated by everyone but the residents.
My neighborhood in Houston (Braes Heights) has been gentrifying for 20 years, as the old 50’s era bungalows give way to much larger houses. This probably seems bad to the original residents when they pay their property taxes, but will seem great to their heirs when they sell a 1,200 square foot teardown for half a million bucks. This is not the same as what Chris describes because there was no racial component to this (other than that the original neighborhood was largely if not entirely white while the current makeup is fairly diverse).
Well, I’m a minority, and from the way Chris talks, the gentrifiers are coming to get me.
Cap says he pictures me sitting on my porch with a shotgun, the last holdout, surrounded by demolition crews.
My frustration with debates over things like this is that people go into them without considering that both sides of the argument have merit; yes, there is a moral problem at work when it comes to things like looting or crime in general. Deciding to rob a convenience store is a bad decision and must be met with consequences. Destroying someone’s business is a poor expression of civil disobedience and protest. I don’t think anybody can dispute this. And yet simply leaving it at “these people need Jesus” or whatever is not sufficient; neither is it enough to lament the decline of family structures or the influence of pop culture. It may be legitimate to observe the problem in these terms, but these are not *solutions*.
There are economic and political forces at work that set the conditions and context for this kind of behavior. Yes, Johnny made a bad decision when he chose to rob that convenience store, and he must be held accountable for it. But it is also true that there are conditions that contribute to and exacerbate that kind of behavior. Solving the problem means addressing those conditions.
For example, if the destruction of the nuclear family is a driving force here, how do we solve that problem? How do we compel people to do what they do not wish to do? How do you hold marriages together that are not going to hold together? How do you encourage people to marry when they have no desire to marry? We can create incentives to act in certain ways and they often work. But we’re not talking about getting people to consume less gasoline or drink fewer calorie-packed sodas.
I appreciate Chris’s willingness to look at the underlying conditions and historical antecedents that have brought us to this present situation. It’s the thing that sets him apart from other Republicans. I have been a Democrat since I first voted for Bill Clinton in ’92 at the age of 19 and I have voted Democrat my whole life since. But if Chris Ladd and other Republicans like him were to ever gain a significant voice within the GOP, I’d be challenged to rethink my party affiliation.
Anse, I think conservatives in general cogitate quite a bit on such things. Lack of aggressive social action does not indicate lack of concern. Rather, most conservatives tend to take a Burkean view of such things. Not unlike the Hippocratic approach to medicine, most conservatives seek to first do no harm when it comes to addressing social issues. This tends to make them appear as laggards in comparison to so-called progressives.
The problem with social tinkering of almost any sort is that one person’s social justice is almost invariably another’s social injustice. In most cases redressing one group’s social grievances mean visiting some form of injustice upon another group, deserved or not. Affirmative action is a case in point. Affirmative action is an attempt to redress very real social injustices visited upon blacks for literally hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the dead can’t be made to pay for their sins; that cost must be borne by the living. Non-blacks pay a very real price in the implementation of affirmative action, and a great many of those folks never had anything to do with the historic injustices visited upon blacks in the first place. Affirmative action is fundamentally an example of trying to make a right from two wrongs. And thus we see an unending stream of litigation over the nasty side effects of affirmative action.
Better go easy there, Anse. Significant voices within the GOP rarely add up to a policy change…
Totally off topic but it’s Sunday and we all need a little humor before Monday. I almost fell of my chair laughing while I watched this. It’s an Irish show so the accents may be difficult to understand. The reference to “Jordan” pertains to an English Kardashian-type known for her promiscuity, many marriages and huge, fake breasts.
Ok, that was funny. Hope y’all had a good Thanksgiving.
Okaay, that certainly was an interesting example of “humor.”
I had a feeling you wouldn’t like it Tutt but I figured others on here would.
Well, toilet humor is not my cup of tea, and the rest of it was a bit over the top, but at least you made Cap crack up.
Sorry for being harsh. Glad to see you back. Seriously.
When are flatulence jokes ever not funny?
Never. They do absolutely nothing for me, besides make me roll my eyes.
I like puns, but I’d say what makes me laugh most is the ABSURD.
Then you must be laughing at the Captain all the time.
That’s NOT funny. 😦
In the mid-seventies the bus company of my city had a strike as the drivers tried to gain a living wage. These drivers were white. Their clientèle were mainly black. The only people who supported them were Black Ministers. One of them declared we do not have worry about white power or black power but green power. The drivers lost their strike. But I never forgot this incident in my youth or the wise words of that preacher. What was just described in this post is not free enterprise but crony capitalism design to fleece good working people of what little wealth they have. Nothing much has changed to this day except the schemes now fleece nations. The banking crises of 2008 showed that. It was the main reason we have President Obama. What the GOP needs is a Teddy Roosevelt not a Mitt Romney if we are to have a hope to revive our party. And God forbid someone like Rick Perry gain the Presidency.
Somebody like Ted Cruz would be a better choice. Funny thing, we were visiting antique stores today and one had some old Time magazines. The magazine on top of the stack was titled, “Rebirth of the Democratic Party” or something similar. Jimmy Carter was on the cover. So …
What exactly is a living wage?
Do you understand democrats were running the federal government in 2008? Since January 2007?
Did they win in the 2006 elections because of the 2008 crash?
Did the war fatigue have nothing to do with the victories by the democrats?
Which states in the blue wall would Cruz flip?
A living wage to me is enough money to pay for shelter, clothing, medical care and save for retirement. War weariness did not help McCain who BTW I voted for. And no the government was divide until after Obama took office in 2009. Bush was President until then. Without the banking financial crisis and resulting economic recession that came with that I doubt that Obama could of won. Ted Cruz is manipulating people by appealing to their basest emotions of fear and ignorance. The guy graduated from an Ivy League University and knows better. So he is just a flim flam man. He reminds me of Hitler’s style of using racism and fear to manipulate the masses and like Hitler originated outside of the country he is politically active in. He frankly makes the alarm bells go off like crazy in my mind. And anyone else that knows a little history if they have sense would also be uneasy. I hope that Jeb Bush runs in 2016. He is in my opinion our best hope to win the Presidency in 2016. And even he is a long shot in my opinion.
So the fact that those bus drivers were making enough to live on means they were already making a living wage.
Yes, democrats did win the 2006 elections and control of both houses of congress, control of the federal government.
The federal government was divided after the 2006 elections, democrats controlling congress and the federal government, a left-leaning republican as president.
The federal government was completely united after the 2008 elections, democrats winning the oval office and a super majority in the senate and the majority in the house. They were able to pass major bills when not a single republican voted in favor of the bill.
It was not divided again until the 2010 elections when republicans won the house, but not the senate. Harry Reid, senate majority leader, refused to allow about 350 bills passed by the house to even be debated, much less voted on.
Democrats would not even pass budgets when they had control.
Want to talk about fleecing the wealth of the working class? Democrats and the left in general are pushing for major inflation. That reduces federal debt, but it also destroys the wealth of the working class, their retirement savings and their property values.
Ted Cruz is Hispanic, what the left calls a “minority”, and now you are comparing “minorities” to the Nazis. Go figure.
A deductive fallacy?? Now you’re just mailing it in.
So which states in the Blue Wall would Cruz flip??
You buy in with Lifer too much, Fly. Kind of like calling him a “Texas conservative” when he is actually a Chicago liberal.
How is that permanent democratic majority working out for you these days?
But then that’s all you have, nothing even close to dealing with facts or reality.
Republicans have about 12 to 18 months starting in January to make a difference. The GOP establishment better step up, else the tea party movement will keep beating them down.
The GOP establishment, likes of Lifer, want the GOP to lose because of the likes of the tea party movement. He is so far left that you and many like you will not follow that far to the left of insanity.
There is now a rift in the GOP. But you wouldn’t understand that because you walk in lockstep with the democrats, you follow like a blind sheeple, no independent thought.
Let us see how things work out over the next year or so. Things haven’t been so good over the past eight years, and I think that is what you know and fear.
Sternn, it’s a simple question. All you need to do is start naming states. Too scared to put even rhetoric $ where your mouth is?
Too early, Fly. Will wait to see what happens over the next 12 to 18 mo0nths.
Fly, you and others have talked since 2008 about the demise of the GOP. “If they don’t change, they’re over”. Well, here we are today and the democrats have lost support of the nation as a whole. So your insight and advice of what the GOP should do is…well…laughable. Just because you and other liberals and media do not like Cruz does not change the fact that he is a very intelligent and credentialed individual. Give him the forum and he will sway people. Not committed liberals but independents and GOPers.
I love how trepanned Tea Party terriers like kabuzz manage to psych themselves into the delusion that an eminently predictable loss in a single election means “the [D]emocrats have lost support of the nation as a whole.”
kabuzz and comic-boy demonstrate that being an asshole is easier than thinking.
Sternn simpered, “So the fact that those bus drivers were making enough to live on means they were already making a living wage.”
I can just see Sternn, or a moral clone of him, showing up at the Nazi concentration camps and determining that, since prisoners were able to get up and attend morning roll call, clearly they were not being fed a starvation diet.
Owl screeches and tries to compare bus drivers, people free to leave their jobs and find better paying jobs, to prisoners of the Nazis. The internet generally recognizes that as an “Epic Fail”.
Fly, are you doing research on this?
I am collaborating on a project involving flies and alcohol, but more about how the flies get drunk. But more beer flavors is a most worthy research area! Great link- thanks!!
I love me some chocolate stout!
I recently had Coffee Porter by Real Ale, which I think is in Blanco.
The coffee wasn’t obvious to me, but it was provided by the local Katz Coffee.
It may be a seasonal brew, but I’d drink it all year long.
When we moved to Chicago we didn’t have a lot of time to shop neighborhoods. A friend set us up with a realtor. I found some places that looked interesting – very close to the city, good schools, reasonable prices, etc.
The realtor, who I hadn’t met in person, looks at the listings I’ve found and makes a little mumbling noise on the phone. She says, in that south Chicago accent, “So…am I right that you’re a white guy? Don’t get me wrong, just trying to help you make the right choices.”
There’s an awkward moment and I confirm. She goes on to ask where I’m from. She doesn’t mean Texas, though that answer apparently tells her what she needs to know about how Irish, Italian, Swedish, Polish, German or whatever I am.
She then carefully explains that she’ll show me a property anywhere I want, but there might be some places that my family would be happier than others. She recommends we go look at some nice homes in Naperville, which is the Katy of Chicago, the place forty miles out of the city where you put unconnected, undifferentiated white people.
Racism, like almost everything else, is far more complex, subtle, nuanced and in some sense even more graceful than back home. Despite my intentions and my resistance, I was carefully sorted into exactly the kind of community the machine would prefer for me. And unsurprisingly, we have both thrived and chafed here. This machine is designed and calibrated to produce the best possible outcomes for me and for people like me by constraining the options of certain people who are not like me.
After a decade here I’m starting to understand why my realtor carefully steered me away from that Polish neighborhood close to the city. Those people did not and do not want me there. Same for the Irish neighborhood. And I’ve had a glimpse of what happens to a black family who goes shopping for good schools outside of the neighborhoods set aside for them.
It’s fascinating, because it provides a glimpse at how Bridgeport, for example, has resisted (or at least delayed) not only segregation, but gentrification, while the black neighborhoods are swept away. It also helps explain why it is such a dangerous thing to have your neighborhood gentrified. There is truly no place for you to go where you will not face alienation and hostility. The machine abhors a loose cog.
White racial solidarity may mean nothing to me and to other younger white professionals, but it is the last fortress in which lower income whites are able to protect themselves from the machine. The system is incredibly subtle and remarkably resilient and almost entirely beneath anyone’s consciousness. And it has actually changed very little in the past fifty years.
I am kind of the loose cog in my neighborhood. My educational background and political views are definitely not aligned with everyone else. It doesn’t matter to me, because I have all my social connections via Rice, UH, TMC, and the various bands I play in. Home is my fortress of solitude.
Chris, I was born and raised ‘up North’ right outside of Philadelphia. The areas are extremely old (I talking towns founded in about 1700). What you take as white isn’t the case. It is ethnicity. The polish and Czeck people had their block, the Italians, the Irish, on and on. You lump them all in as one collective decision based on color and in the NE, that is not the case at all as I am sure Chicago is also.
So, where does this leave us Hispanics? We can be considered either white or brown. I think it’s silly to be called “brown,” as I’m very fair-skinned, silly for.everyone to be classified by.something as inaccurate as skin color.
“… silly for everyone to be classified by something as inaccurate as skin color.”
In my home town one block was Puerto Rican’s and Cuban’s.
Only liberals see color. There is much, much more to diversity.
“Only liberals see color.”
That’s because only conservatives of kabuzz’ particularly retrenched type are so backwards as to still be using their original T.V. sets.
Kabuzz, I think it would be more accurate to say that liberals only see skin color.
I can’t imagine anything more boring than living in an all white world or neighborhood. My ancestors were a diverse group and we have carried on that tradition.
One of the ironies of this place is that you can actually get a truly diverse neighborhood. They are few and they are extremely expensive, more than I could afford.
Resisting the machine is possible, it’s just expensive.
That’s really surprising Chris. I would think that the more diverse the neighborhood the cheaper the property. I’ve never spent much time in Chicago so it’s a new world for me.
A diversity of Doctors, Lawyers, and other undesirables.
A diversity of residents, Big and Small.
I recently moved from an almost all white, gated community (heavily Republican) to Galveston where you can have a nice old Victorian next to a shack. One part of a street may be neat and tidy and further down it’s a row of crack houses.
I live in midtown, and on my stretch of the long street, most of my neighbors are Hispanic. I have one White guy next door. I love the diversity and the Mexican family next door brings me over great food when they grill and I don’t even mind the music they play loudly at such times. Gets me in the mood for margaritas. I feel as safe as I did with the exception that I do lock up at night whereas before I didn’t have to.
I agree with Rush that non-diversity is boring as hell.
Birds of a feather tend to flock together. Why is that shocking or even racist?
It’s only racist when that flock tends to actively chase away, or passively gather to obstruct, any birds of a different feather who try to settle in the area.
Which is what Chris is discussing, for those intelligent enough to read between the lines.
Trust Sternn, like all too many modern Republicans, to try to understand the world through aphorisms intended for children.
Orlando Florida where I live is doing better. It is possible for the Black and Hispanic middle class to buy homes in the same neighborhoods with the same financing terms as middle class Whites. We are a minority majority country already. People of all ages are mixing it up including intermarrying. When this process is finish nationwide I suspect that the kind of race baiting and dividing you described will not work so well. This great grandson of a Confederate War veteran is just fine with this. Ignorance and racism is not necessary a southern thing. And I am in my sixties.
Believe it or not, Katy has the most diversity of any place I have ever lived. While it’s true that most of the people I met there were not hurting financially, I regularly had contact with a wide range of cultures.
On one side of our house, I had a family from Pakistan as neighbors and on the other side lived a couple who had adopted a child from Russia. Across the street, my neighbors were a couple from two different South American countries. Two houses over, I had a friend married to a Pakistani husband and next door to her lived a Venezuelan friend.
My son spent time with his friend one street over who had a British mom. My daughter, who was away at college most of the time, had a Chinese friend who liked to visit our house on breaks.
Many mornings I would go walk with a young friend from South Korea. On summer mornings when it was too hot to walk, a friend from India and I would sometimes go to Katy Mills Mall to walk while she pushed a stroller with her toddler.
My Cuban friend introduced me to yoga at the Y. My favorite instructor was Vietnamese and had converted to Judaism through her husband.
At church, my minister, the youth minister, and their spouses were of Mexican descent. I worked in the baby room with the minister’s wife. Usually, the music minister’s wife, who was from Guatemala, stayed with us since she had had three babies in a short period of time and had to nurse them,. We always had a good time talking while rocking the babies. At the time I left, we had an African American baby, two babies of Hispanic and Caucasian descent, one white baby, and one Korean baby. Before my stint with the babies, I worked in one of the toddler rooms with a friend who had emigrated from Norway.
At work, my husband had a Portuguese boss and worked with a group of Nigerians on a project. He had a friend who was married to a woman from Kazakhstan that we spent some time with socially.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Katy is home to a variety of people from many different ethnic backgrounds who have successfully integrated into the community and are living the American dream. Most of the people I mentioned where immigrants and they came here legally – which is ironic considering that there is so much emphasis on illegal immigration at this time. I realize that I usually gravitate toward people with foreign backgrounds since I grew up among immigrants, but my point is that it is easy to experience diversity and a wide selection of cultures – even in Katy, Texas.
Missing the point. Katy in Houston and Naperville in Chicago share one very important quality that distinguishes both of them from the more established neighborhoods in Chicago – they are designed for transients.
Once establishing that I had no deep emotional ties to a particular ethic or religious community and that I knew nearly nothing about Chicago my realtor made the obvious conclusion about where I belonged – Chicago’s Katy.
Naperville is a tidy community of tract homes, good schools, gleaming malls, and big freeways far enough from Chicago to be anywhere. Dropped there from the sky you’d have no way to guess whether you were in suburban Dallas, Atlanta, St Louis, or anywhere else. It’s the Chicago definition of “white,” which is not black, and unconnected to any other identity or any sense of community.
Naperville and Katy are not so much suburbs of Houston or Chicago. They are suburbs of commercial America. As fungible as any McDonalds. We didn’t choose Naperville.
Lifer, so, I’m a “transient”? I like it! Tutt, we have a new term to use. 🙂
I’ll be perfectly honest. With only a week to choose a home, we followed a friend’s advice to live in Katy. We were only going to be in Texas 18 months so our only considerations were to buy someplace that we could easily resell in a year, near work and with good schools .
Although there were many other people we met who were in the same position, the majority were ready to put down roots and stay. The Pakistani doctor next door wasn’t going anywhere after establishing her practice and the guy from Uruguay across the street had built up a business. He was going to leave his client base. The only move he was planning on making was a move to a bigger house in a nicer subdivision in the area.
Quite a few of the people we knew from Venezuela were transferred back to the Houston area and decided to retire where they had found homes – mostly Katy, Cypress, The Woodlands and Conroe.
While I’m quite in agreement that the houses are cookie-cutter homes, they are affordable and with features most people like.
Personally, I have no desire to spend retirement in Katy. My house here in New Mexico is one of a kind and designed to fit into a rocky hill. That said, it has a few “quirks” that make me miss the house in Katy on some days. The landscape is open and there are lots of opportunities to enjoy some spectacular scenery and national parks here and in Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
The population, however, is less diverse than in Houston. Most people here fall into three groups. Well, really only two. Since most Hispanics are usually not new immigrants, they blend into the Native American and white populations and many have intermarried. The largest ethnic group consists of Native Americans. Whites (from the area or non-immigrant oil patch or professional) make up the next largest group. There are only a tiny percentages of blacks and Asians.
Unfortunately, there is way too much poverty, alcoholism and drug addiction in the area. The professional people who work for work for oil companies tend to be transient here much like they are in Houston.
My husband and I will probably stay here when he eventually retires. The myriad of roads where he can ride his motorcycle and his big shop are more than enough to keep him happy. You never know, though. Being a transient has it’s advantages in fact it may be a positive for adaptation and growth. My husband may hear about another job opportunity – and off we go…
A lot of people live in Katy. Very few are “from” Katy. And, at 85% Caucasian (though some of these are Hispanic), the numbers would suggest your experience is not typical.
JG, That would be in “Old Katy” which has a population of around 14,000, I lived in the greater Katy area which has a population of 270,000 and growing every day. Katy ISD breaks down the student population like this:
Total Students (2013-14) 67,213
Asian/Pacific Islander 12.37%
You’re right, though. My experience was probably not typical. I’m most comfortable with people who are immigrants, second generation or have traveled a lot. I am drawn to them, and apparently they are drawn to me. 🙂
I was going off data from this site, which is for the larger Katy area, not just “Old Katy”, and lists a population of about 300,000. I actually mis-added and it’s 81% Caucasian.
The school demographics are not necessarily representative of the population as a whole because, even in Katy, a greater proportion of white residents will put their kids in private schools, for whatever reason.
JG, your site lists:
Population by Race, Black (2014): 24,814 (8.6%)
Population by Race, Asian (2014): 31,823 (10.5%)
Population by Race, Hispanic Ethnicity (2014): 83,542 (28%)
By using your logic the city of Houston would be considered 69% white by combining Hispanic and white populations.
Breakdown of population in Houston
Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2010 43.8%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2010 25.6%
Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race. Individuals of Hispanic origin can be black, white, or mixed race.
Yes, I know that, JG, but my post was about ethnic diversity in Katy. If I would say that Katy was 81% white and Houston was 69% white, a person, say from Ohio, would come to the conclusion that the Houston area population was largely of European/Caucasian descent.
Hispanics are counted as “minorities” when the left finds it convenient, and then as “white” when counting them as “minorities” is suddenly inconvenient. No consistency. Hypocrisy tends to be a liberal’s trait
JG, I might add that most parents in Katy put their kids in public schools. One of the main reasons people moved to Katy was because the area had a reputation for good schools.
You’re right, Cap. One of the reasons I like the area I live is because whites and Hispanics have more of a history together and have intermarried quite a bit. There are sometimes cultural dis-congruities such as a white looking Mariachi band playing at the local Green Chile Festival. (Hey, they were actually pretty good!)
When “liberals” are wishing to be accurate and are talking about race (which doesn’t really have much meaning except to demographers), Hispanics can be white, black, other or multiple. When talking about minorities, in this country, then Hispanics count. It is only recently that accuracy has a party bias.
At one point when I was living in Boston I was searching for a new place to live, to escape the expensive tenement I was inhabiting on the north shore (Malden, for the aficionados). When I looked at places further south (like Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury), landlords were occasionally puzzled why I would move “down here”. The total distance was probably 10 miles, but metaphorically, it might have been across the country.
So very many things wrong with this entry. Yes, there were bad times in the history of these United States directed at many different groups, not just at black people.
But now, Lifer, you are contradicting what the left has been saying about the housing boom and bust from the 1990’s and 2000’s. They assured us it was not because banks were forced by the federal government to make loans to “minorities”.
Now you are saying it was because the federal government forced banks to loan to “minorities”, specifically to black people. Got news for ya, it wasn’t just black people signing up for those adjustable rate mortgages, not even just “minorities”.
Seems you regret being born too late to be part of the civil rights movement of several decades ago. Too late. While the civil rights of same are still being violated by law, people like you support those violations. But in general that past is behind us.
And so you make excuses for the rioting and looting, recent and past, people looting and burning businesses owned by black and Asian people, burning their own neighborhoods. There is no reason, excuse nor justification for that behavior.
I addressed your entry about Ferguson you posted on the Chron.com site back in September, one of the few you do not have the comments section closed. You never approved my comment, and I didn’t expect you to do so. It was actually addressed directly to you, and that entry never made its way to this blog site. http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2014/09/ferguson-from-a-police-perspective/
Both Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were killed in self defense. That is justifiable homicide, not murder. Facts and physical evidence back up the cases of self defense. When the physical evidence doesn’t back it up, the person is convicted and sent to prison. Look up Raul Rodriguez And Michael Dunn for examples.
You are really grasping at straws and trying to stretch things to the limits to justify what is happening in Ferguson. There is no justification. You seem to admit to being a racist, and you project that on everybody else, at least everybody else that would be viewed as being white. Well, more news for ya, there are a whole lot of us out here in the world that are not with you on those views or opinions.
We do see things with open eyes, but we do not apply them across the board and say that all black people are bad because of the actions of a few. That would be like saying all white people are serial killers because of Bundy, Dahmer or Ed Gein (that last one will cause nightmares), It just isn’t so for many of us.
But then it does seem to be so for people on the left. If a person is against illegal immigration, they must be against all immigration and especially immigration of Hispanics, and that is because that person is a racist even though Hispanic is not a race and most Hispanics are considered to be white. Deliberate ignorance and projection of racism.
Racists focus on race, the rest of us do not. And yes, any person that works hard, gets up after a failure, continues to improve, can find success. Not just black people. Seems the racists only think that applies to black people, the rest of us understand that it applies to all, even ourselves.
As I already noted, acknowledgement is the first step towards recovery.
Cap will never be part of this country’s continued recovery and progress.
Of his own volition and as evidenced by all he posts.
Like freaking clockwork, and in one eye and out the other.
Yep. That is the way of the left, Fly. Bubba is the perfect example. You follow right along. Like clockwork.
Even for you Sternn, that’s a lame rebuttal. You’d rather stick your head in the sand and deny problems. Bubba got it right, you are part of the problem, and change for the better will happen in spite of people like you, not because of people like you.
You are a binary thinker Sternn, no gray for you only black or white.
The change did happen in spite of me and people like me, Fly. The left got absolute and total control, the economy collapsed, debt skyrocketed, unemployment doubled, more of our liberty and rights have been violated, people are rioting and looting and burning down the property of others, al Qaeda is making a comeback, the Muslim Brotherhood is on then rise, ISIS has formed and is on the move …
Yeah, and you say all that is for the better, and it is because of people like you. Thanks a lot.
You are right Sternn all the problems of the word are the fault of the American left.
World not word.
Sweet baby Jesus, Sternn has gone completely round the bend.
I know right.
Right Sternn, nothing bad ever happened until the left came along.
ROR, Texan, are you feeling oppressed? Because I sure am not. I am far more free than I would have been even 50 years ago.
No Fly, I’m not feeling oppressed at all. However, I am a bit depressed about Sternn and his seemly coming unglued. Hopefully he will get the needed intervention from people that care about him.
Well now there is institutional oppression. Got caught with weed in the early eighties by a Harris county sheriff , he let me go with a verbal warning. That would not happen today.
The only oppression I can think of is not being able to buy hard booze on Sunday at the liquor store.
That annoys me too Texan. Same with wanting to buy beer in the grocery store late Saturday/ early Sunday.
The idea of reviving the cult of Bacchus and suing on religious discrimination grounds does amuse me.
Why, you young whipper-snappers, I remember not being able to buy a loaf of bread on Sunday…much less beer or hard liquor! I remember going to Johnny B Daltons and being told I couldn’t get in because my shirt didn’t have a collar. Still pisses me off, plus the cover charge to dance around in a circle (which I could do at home for free…with a bonfire and naked).
Well, I see a lot of empty name-calling from the left. That’s what happens when facts and reality don’t fit with their agenda or fantasies.
So tell me Sternn, how easy was it 50 years ago for a single woman to get a mortgage, even if she had good credit and a steady income?
I don’t know as I was not around 50 years ago. You want me to have guilt about times before I was even alive? What sense does that make?
As long as white democrats keep putting in programs because they think blacks can’t compete against whites the problems will continue. This is a great case in point, mostly democrat yet all the alleged racism.
Buzzy watches a football game where the refs are obviously making calls favoring team A, and when fans of team B justifiably complain about that biased officiating, he says that those fans just really think that team B is inferior.
Yea, Fly, that makes sense. NOT>
This is what you get when Reagan shut down the mental hospitals……. The Captin.
In a very skinny comment to a prior blog posting I had suggested that ending overtly racial behavior and laws didn’t magically create the rfm (real f__g money) the laws and practices had prevented from accumulating. The response was I wouldn’t know what to do with an F25 fighter bomber, ipso facto mumble jumble, insert the vague paean to conservative religious beliefs and fishing here.
Thank you very much for this educational post.
Going back pre-Thanskgiving . . . I still don’t understand why Chinese parents who travel here under tourist visas for the express purpose of giving birth here and then go right back to China are praised for their sacrifice. If that’s not gaming the system I don’t know what is.
That question was not answered to my satisfaction.
I agree, it is gaming the system. It’s a loophole in the 14th Amendment, and it can’t be closed short of another Constitutional Amendment. It’s such a charged issue that I can’t see anything happening any time soon, but if I were to redefine “native born citizen” it would be:
1) Born on US soil/ US territory with at least one parent who is a US citizens or legal resident
2) Born outside US territory, but have at least one US citizen parent
It is a disconnect, ask right wing blow hard Malkin, an anchor baby who is against anchor babies. She is from the Philippines and I guess that makes her special.
I can understand accepting it because you can’t really prove parents’ motives, or tolerating it as the loophole it is, after all, you can’t really blame kids for the actions of their parents, they just want a better life for their kids, and doubting the citizenship of anyone born here could be misused against unwantables in general … but to actually PRAISE one group for gaming the system while criticizing another for the same behavior and even calling for a constitutional amendment to change the law is beyond me.
Are they to be praised? Maybe so. They are giving their child an advantage for the future. Isn’t that what parents are supposed to do, work hard and try to make life better for their children?
My dad grew up poor on a dairy farm. He had to make cows get up so he could warm his feet in winter as he had no shoes. I never lacked for shoes and I never had to milk cows.
Yesterday at our Thanksgiving dinner, one uncle described the hunger of his family. There was almost never any food in their house, and nothing much around to kill and eat. He told a story of a crow flying over their property, and all ran to grab a shotgun. They killed the crow, plucked it and ate it within half an hour. He is now a multi-millionaire. He is able to provide his family with advantages he never had. Is that wrong? I say it is not wrong. And he doesn’t have to eat crow.
But we come to the part of the discussion I generally try to avoid, and a term I try to avoid using, but is now necessary, anchor babies. It is necessary because it is the core of what the president has just done, and it is necessary because it seems people here don’t understand the term, the concept or the complaint.
Some people from China come here legally as tourists, and it just so happens that they decide to be legal tourists during the time the mother is to give birth. Well, imagine that, give birth here and the child is a natural born citizen. Then they all pack up and go home to China. When that child comes of age, they can take advantage of being a natural born citizen and come here for a better life, and do so legally.
Others come here illegally, then give birth to a child, which is then a natural born citizen. They use that child’s citizenship as an excuse to remain here illegally. They use that baby/child as an anchor. An anchor baby. It is not the child’s fault, it is the fault of the parent or parents.
The Chinese “tourists” are not using their child as an anchor to stay here illegally, so the term “anchor baby” doesn’t apply.
Well Cap I will give you credit for consistency. Consistently obstinate and obtuse.
Doubling down on your hypocrisy and still insisting it’s ok for the Chinese but not Hispanic people to give birth to children in the US to gain citizenship?
I don’t want to hear any more of the same convoluted hypocritical hair splitting crap, Cap.
In your own damn words, “They are giving their child an advantage for the future. Isn’t that what parents are supposed to do, work hard and try to make life better for their children?”
But it only applies to Chinese but not Hispanic parents who “work hard and try to make a better life for their children”?
According to Cappy:
Chinese nationals with money who game the system to become US citizens? A-OK.
Hispanics with no money or means who want to “make life better for their children”? Screw you, you nasty dirty ILLEGALS!
That is YOUR “compassion” for your fellow humans Cappy? Conditional on who has the money?
That’s not what this country represents for me.
The Chinese parents are not using their natural born citizen children as anchors to stay here illegally, Bubba.
Can I be any more clear than that? Or will you just continue to be deliberately ignorant and stupid?
I’ll answer that. Bubba will always go for the rage and invective. Always.
Play the semantics game all you want Cap and buzzy obsequiously kisses up to Cappy no matter what he says.
You guys do it so often and do it so well. Get a room already.
Screw the “anchor baby” derogatory epithet semantics. It’s ok for Cappy and buzzy for wealthy Chinese nationals to game the system but not poor Hispanics. Period.
Cappy has reiterated it half a dozen times now. We get it Cap. We just don’t like it or your constant abject hypocrisy, elitism, and racism.
My point is not about the meaning of the term ‘anchor baby,’ nor about parents striving to provide a better life for their kids. It’s about praising one group of people for gaming the system while criticizing another for doing the same.
It has nothing to do with “gaming the system”, unless that is referring to using the child as an anchor, and the Chinese “tourists” are not doing that. I use the Chinese parents as an example because it was in the news a while back, but it doesn’t matter where they are from. Any parents from any nation have the option of coming here as tourists, giving birth so the child will have options in the future, and then leaving.
The “and leaving” part is the issue. Some people come here, give birth, then demand to stay here illegally. Obama’s recent executive decision is built on that, the idea of the anchor child. That is fact and reality. If somebody that supports it also finds it offensive, then maybe they should rethink what it is that they are supporting and defending.
Wow. I always learn something here.
Today, I learn Michael Brown was “murdered”. I had no idea.
Wasn’t Raisin in the Sun about a Chicago suburb? I live in Houston’s fifth ward. To paraphrase Twain, I don’t feel guilty. Do you?
I don’t feel guilty. I feel responsible.
Not because I committed these acts, but because now, as a grown up American citizen and voter, I own the house under whose roof these acts were committed and continue to be committed.
If I have a right to feel any pride when I stand on a beach in Northern France and remember what someone else did, then I have a duty to bear responsibility for the rest of that complex picture of my heritage and my present and my future.
Americans have trouble wrapping our heads around anything that is inherently collective. Our mythology excludes any collective dimension, but it’s still there. I take pride in what men did under my flag at Normandy and I feel a duty to make right what men did under my flag in Selma. That’s what it means to be a grown up.
It isn’t about guilt. It isn’t about apologies, it’s about living with your eyes open and confronting injustice when and were it happens.
Capitalism does not work when people are free to steal and murder with impunity. As academics have explained, Capitalism cannot thrive under “extractive institutions.” We shouldn’t be surprised that the black community has yet to experience the wealth revolution that capitalism has brought elsewhere. They are still, even today, locked out of it by institutions built to loot them. That must not remain the case. I am responsible for working to fix it whether I recognize and accept that responsibility or not. It is inescapable.
“Today, I learn Michael Brown was “murdered”. I had no idea.”
That case is the perfect example of how complicated and messed up things are. So many people on both sides with an agenda and spreading falsehoods.
We each have a responsibility to be honest. Sometimes that is painful, but, it is always the right thing to do. Thank you Goplifer for understanding and sharing the difference between guilt and responsibility. Hopefully, our young people understand this better than their parents do. Exploitation demeans us as people and as a nation. We can and must do better.
Playing golf today with my very gun loving police officer brother-in-law. Politically, we are miles and miles apart but darn near best friends.
He mentioned the “shit going on in Ferguson” and them “burning their own neighborhoods”. I agreed that looting and fires were the work of idiots but pointed out that similar idiots show up when a team wins a superbowl or national championship.
I was interested in his take on the shooting. He thought that it was a legit shooting and once Brown and Wilson had an altercation at the squad car, it was going to be a legit shooting.
To this point, I don’t disagree. The officer, at the point of the shooting, was justified in the shooting.
However, I was curious if my brother-in-law would have shot him from 150 feet away. He said that once the adrenaline is flowing, things happen. A couple of holes later, we were 50 yards from the pin, and I pointed out that the shooting was this far away. I asked from this distance, would you have shot.
He laughed and said with a pistol, there is a low likelihood that he would hit him from that distance, and if he was really afraid of Brown, he could have just gotten behind his car or car door to see if there really was a weapon. Now, Wilson didn’t have to do that, and the shooting was legit, but Wilson did not have to shoot Brown.
So, certainly without knowing all the facts of the case, I do not disagree with the decision not to indict Wilson. He was justified in the shooting. However, he did not have to shoot.
That type of scenario plays out many times a year in the US, and if you have some illusion that the race of the person plays no role in that outcome, you just have not been paying attention (or are willfully being ignorant).
You might also note the 12 year old in Cleveland shot with a BB gun that looks very similar to a real gun. The video shows the kid falling down from a gun shot less than three seconds after the police car pulls to a stop. Did the officers fear for their lives prior to shooting? Maybe. Probably. Did they have to shoot? Nope. There were a dozen different ways to handle that situation, and the officers choose one of the ways that ended up with a dead 12 year old. Was it a justified shooting? Kid waving a gun near an officer. Probably justified. Again, however, the cop did not have to shoot him.
When there is a gun in play, you have very little time to defend yourself. We can’t make officers second guess themselves when the seconds could mean life or death to the officer.
Fine line between”very little time to defend yourself “and trigger happy, a mediocre of restraint would be nice.
I saw that video from Cleveland. It doesn’t look like there was much time for 3 put your hands up commands.
Definitely police protocol needs scrutiny here, but also WTF are replica guns that look real (or are so easily altered to look real) out there and available to kids?? Those need to banned and taken out of circulation.
HT, Brown was 8 to 10 feet away from Wilson when he was finally brought down, not your claim of 150 feet. But hey, don’t let the facts and reality get in your way.
If the officer, who was in a 5,000 pound patrol car with the engine on, felt threatened by Brown, who was apparently 8-10 feet away, why did he not drive 50 yards down the road and call for backup? Why was shooting from his window necessary?
The Cleveland video is very disturbing. It appears the officers had already decided what they were going to do long before they crashed their car into the park.
Police officers are not paid to run away, John. Wilson did not shoot out the window and Brown was all up in the car trying to take Wilson’s weapon away. Wilson was trying to fire through the door. When Brown backed away, Wilson got out and pursued, which is his job. Brown turned and charged, so Wilson fired. Brown stopped and Wilson stopped firing. Brown charged again, so Wilson fired again while backing away. Brown went down just 8 to 10 feet from Wilson.
All of this is public information now, the photos, the physical evidence, the blood in Wilson’s SUV, everything. But as usual, the left wants nothing to do facts, reality nor logic. It’s all just made up as they go, saying whatever sounds good at the moment and all based on emotion.
I agree with part of your ‘white guilt’ expose’. I do fervently believe that there has to be an honest dialogue between whites and blacks. But it seems we only get a monologue no matter who is conducting the venue.
Secondly, money rules for every race. If I have a very well priced home and for whatever reason something may cause the value to decrease quickly, I have to get out while the getting’s good. I don’t believe there is no one here that would take a multiple thousand dollar hit for a principal.
Missouri which has a democrat governor and house, Ferguson has a democrat mayor and a democrat attorney general yet it still didn’t matter to the black community. When you riot with pre printed signs you know it was going to happen. A tragedy yes. A strong message? No. For those who do foster stereotypes, the black riots just enforced their beliefs.
What is need is a true and honest dialogue from both viewpoints to be sincerely heard and thought over. That is the first step in developing a working relationship.
” I don’t believe there is no one here that would take a multiple thousand dollar hit for a principal.”
I’ll actually agree with that statement. But if we turn up the sunlight full blast on such predatory behavior and outlaw it whenever applicable, then we can have less black and white victims. But that means actually admitting we have a problem.
This courageous Ferguson police office gets it.
Can you spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T?
We need more of him. Everywhere.
Provincial side note: He’s a former Texan but they don’t say which hometown.
Lt. Jerry Lohr has mastered the art of “Give respect, get respect”. It’s beyond me why it’s so hard for people in authority to understand that. The best cops are the cops that the neighborhoods trust and respect.
We’ll never know exactly what was said between Brown and Wilson, but I strongly suspect it started with disrespect on both sides, and snowballed downhill from there.
I also think that the police body cams are part of the solution. They won’t change any underlying bad attitudes, but they can change behavior, and that’s a 1st step.
I think body cam’s are a good idea but won’t pass muster. A defense lawyer will certainly raise the fifth amendment if it is to be used against him. The current dash cam’s are really to keep check on the cops.
It’s already happening, and the results look good:
I’d say cost, rather than any legal issues, would be the biggest hurdle.
Darnit, lost my comment to the hotel Wi-Fi.
Ok, to sum it up, police body cameras and in-car systems are good. They most often show that the officer was in the right, but not always. Police are human and they make mistakes.
The systems are expensive. I have seen where people suggest something cheap like a Go-Pro, but those videos are not secure, they can be edited and there is no real tracking.
The systems police use are very secure, though they can be turned off or not activated. The in-car systems have become very automated and easy to use, but the body cameras not so much. The body cameras require a person to be moderately computer literate and patient.
The systems require dedicated servers and terabytes of storage space, even for a small agency, as well as IT support staff. It will be very expensive for Houston PD.
Once a video recording is made, it is very difficult to edit or do away with. There is tracking, logs created, for when it took place, when it was uploaded, who views it and when, if it was marked to be retained and by whom, and if not then when it was purged from the system and if it was exported to have a copy made and by whom.
Very well said.
It seems like we as a country have allowed our racism to evolve — where now it’s much less overt and less based on racial hatred as it was before.
We as a country have just gotten a little slicker at it.
And it’s hard to criticize folks like Ben Carson, Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, Mia Love, Tim Scott, and other African Americans who are highly accomplished and successful but espouse a viewpoint that tends to “reinforce racial stereotypes.” I imagine their views are genuinely held and I would agree it’s wrong to suggest that anyone isn’t entitled to their own viewpoint regardless of their race or anything else. (And I know that not what you were saying.) Still, when I read about some of the things that Dr. Carson has said or written, I just wonder how he reconciles all of this history in his own mind.
And as for that industry that sprang up in the 50’s and 60’s to prey on Black Americans trying to get mortgages for buying homes beyond the red-lined areas, I imagine its rightful heirs are not only sub-prime mortgage lenders but the PayDay loan industry as well.
And here’s where we’ve morphed and become more sophisticated, these relatively “new” industries don’t just target Blacks and other minorities, they’ll take advantage and suck the life blood out of anyone. So I guess it’s not racism.
Thank you Chris for a very in depth, profoundly thoughtful and nuanced (and well sourced) analysis of our societal dysfunction unique to this country.
As they say, acknowledgement is the first step towards recovery.
Reposting this here, as it is a good read and on topic:
” After all, if Dr. Ben Carson can become a surgeon then any African-American could be just like him if they would stop wearing hoodies, pull up their pants, and speak properly.”
I have no doubt that the usual suspects will be here to riff on that very theme. But I do see another place were people could take some personal responsibility. One thing I heard about Furgeson is that black voter participation is really low. It won’t cure all the ills, but if every eligle black voter voted in the next city election, that could be a very big first step in dealing with the problem of a government they feel is not responsive to them.