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Author Topic: Question for Ohio residents about racial divide...  (Read 1292 times)
Reaganfan
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« on: August 04, 2012, 04:21:46 am »
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I live about an hour outside of Cleveland. The city I live in is 95% white, 2% African American. Cleveland is 37% white, 53% African American.

When discussing politics with people of all ages, I find that many in the 30 years old+ range often mention how they are "fed up" with black people. These people do not seem like racists. They have black friends, work with black people, and many even voted for Obama. However, they moan more about black people than taxes or spending or unemployment. Seriously. This is how I know I'm definitely not a racist, because I don't complain about African Americans.

But it's everywhere. You can be talking about purchasing a home and someone will say, "The neighborhood is all black" in a negative context. Or they'll say, "Don't go there...that neighborhood is bad" (wink wink, nod nod).

Obviously it's a real thing. It's called white flight. It's been happening for years.
http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/03/census_data_reveals_new_migrat.html

I mentioned in a previous thread, I spoke to a union worker who hates George W. Bush, voted for Barack Obama, but told me he was voting for Romney because...and I quote..."Ever since Obama became President, these blacks all walk around with an attitude like they own the world and I'm sick of it".

As I mentioned, it's almost only people born before 1990. If I had a conversation with a group in their late 20s/early 30s or older and an 18 or 19 year old girl joined the conversation, she'd be shell-shocked. Perhaps growing up in the 2000s was different than growing up prior to that. Perhaps her parents were born in the 1970s or even 1980s instead of being born in the 1950s like many parents of people who are a bit older.

For posters like TJ and others from Ohio or Rust Belt states...has only else seen any evidence of this? I can't possibly be the only one?
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 08:58:46 am »
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I've had similar experiences with whites in Upstate New York - cities like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester have both significant African American populations and significant problems with crime and poverty. Like cities throughout much of the Rust Belt, they are widely perceived as being in decline, in every respect.

I live in a very rural, very white community. But it also hosts a large population of summer residents - many of whom once lived in Rochester or Syracuse. Kodak retirees, for instance. A large portion of them are solidly working-class - no high-school degree, but as they had a steady, well-paying job for decades and are now receiving a fat pension, they're better-off than most college graduates from our generation will ever be.

Many of these people - the working-class retirees of large corporations - behave in the way that you describe. They have no problem interacting with blacks whom they see as being similar to themselves, but they'll routinely make disgustingly racist comments. And it's easy to understand why they do - the cities that they lived in through most of their lives no longer seem safe to them. They're in decline, physically deteriorating. Probably the most important factor is that their children and grandchildren, many of whom still in live these cities, can't find jobs (or, to be more precise, they can't find good jobs), and often are entangled in crime.

Of course, a reasoned discussion would explain these changes as the product of a web of economic and social changes that have occurred over the past half-century. But it's easier to blame the Other.

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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 09:03:06 am »
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Is the crime rate amongst whites increasing in the rust belt?
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 09:10:30 am »
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Is the crime rate amongst whites increasing in the rust belt?

I don't know where I can find race-specific data on all crimes, but rates of violent crime, at least, are falling fast enough that they're probably declining among all groups.

Consider homicide rates, for instance:



Some Rust Belt cities might buck this trend, but in this case, it's perceptions of urban crime among certain groups, rather than actual rates, that matter.
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 09:15:16 am »
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People who I know who make racist comments have been Republican as long as I can remember, and I'm 39.
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 09:17:57 am »
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Is the crime rate amongst whites increasing in the rust belt?

I don't know where I can find race-specific data on all crimes, but rates of violent crime, at least, are falling fast enough that they're probably declining among all groups.

Consider homicide rates, for instance:



Some Rust Belt cities might buck this trend, but in this case, it's perceptions of urban crime among certain groups, rather than actual rates, that matter.

I know about the decline in crime rate and I was sure it applied to the rust belt as well. I just found your statement interesting that the older, white working class people were worried about their kids getting involved with crime. As if that is an increasing problem. But yeah, it's probably just ignorance.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 09:20:00 am by Senator Sbane »Logged
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 10:26:59 am »
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In CA, low income black neighborhoods are almost all gone. So I don't think the issue comes up much. Instead, what I see among 20 somethings, is an amazing number of interracial couples. Life is beautiful. Smiley
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Governor TJ
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 11:53:39 am »
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Racial tensions are a big reason why Cleveland and Detroit fared much worse than Pittsburgh and Toledo upon the collapse of the steel and automotive industries. In 1976, a federal court required Cleveland's school system to be racially desegregated by implementing busing between white and African-American neighborhoods when the neighborhood school boundaries had previously fallen largely along racial lines. In doing so, the mass exodus to the suburbs began and Cleveland Public Schools lost more than a third of its students from 1976-1980. The mass exodus was especially pronounced on the east side where the black population had largely settled, leaving behind increasingly large ghettos riddled with vacancies. Over time the ghettos grew and formerly middle class neighborhoods experienced the pattern and fell rapidly.

Real estate values are based on perceptions about an area, the perceived quality of the neighborhood. When African-Americans begin to move into an area, only a handful of people will initially assume the place is starting to decline, but it's enough that some residents will fear a future loss in housing value and move out. When this happens, everyone else's house is worth less because more people want to move out than move in and the area does begin to decline. The thing that makes the problem even worse is school systems. Most families want the very best for their children and if an area begins to experience a demographic shift, test scores seem to decline as well. This is truly the death knell for an area. As a single male, I would have no qualms whatsoever about living in Euclid or Garfield Heights. But if I have kids it's a whole different story. While those areas are changing in terms of demographics, they remain safe and largely stable neighborhoods. Crime and gang violence are not rampant in Euclid or Garfield Heights (or Richmond Heights or Bedford or South Euclid or any of the other suburbs in this category). But yet the school systems are not nearly as stable. This will result in no new middle class white families moving into those communities, thus the demand drops even more.

People in this situation aren't necessarily racist persay; they don't dislike black people in general or think less of them as individual people. However, they still would not like to be living in a black neighborhood, surrounded by only black people. It's kind of intimidating being the only white person in a black neighborhood (and I expect the same is true for the only black person in a white neighborhood). If I'm in an all black neighborhood, I do get some uncomfortable encounters with women making catcalls, young adults making random threats of violence, etc. But again, those people are the minority there too and most people, particularly older black people (I don't know why that is and it sort of worries me about the future of race relations), tend to be very nice and friendly. There is a pretty large cultural difference between blacks and whites on the east side of Cleveland about how to talk to strangers and that's also part of it (remember most of the east side whites are very wealthy and their ancestors never emerged from the sort of immigrant ethnic communities many west side whites' ancestors did and thus seem to be a bit less communal in perspective; west side whites often have much more in common with blacks than east side whites do).

Cleveland, while still extremely segregated, is experiencing some interracial mixing especially in the traditionally poor white neighborhoods on the near west side. While the west side often gets blamed for racism because of the immigrant days when certain European ethnic groups literally controlled certain areas and no one else was welcome there, these days the west side has far more racial diversity and far less stark tension than the supposedly "tolerant" east side, where the only racially mixed areas are gentrification invasions, formerly white neighborhoods turning black, homeless shelters, and poltically forced mixing like Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights, in the case of Shaker done well and in the case of CH done horribly. My real hope for the future is that the near west side continues to act as a melting pot for all the poor migrants, whether they came from the east side ghettos or Puerto Rico or as Middle Eastern refugees continues to remain strong and welcoming as the epitomy of the American melting pot. It would be nice if we could see the day when the black inner city neighborhoods become desirable ethnic communities like so many of the formerly undesirable European ethnic ghettos have. I think too often we forget that there are stable black neighborhoods in Cleveland too; not every black area is a ghetto. The best example of this in the city is Lee-Miles, which has a crime rate not too terribly different than a lot of middle class suburbs. You aren't very likely to randomly get shot, stabbed, or mugged in Lee-Miles. But unfortunately we tend to overlook that a lot based on the reality that if you walk through Kinsman, Central, or the non-hill parts of East Cleveland things are quite a bit different and much more of the city is like Central or Hough than it is like Lee-Miles.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 03:12:27 pm by Senator TJ »Logged

Dereich
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 01:39:00 pm »
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I see the same issue in both north and central Florida. Plenty of people I know will have no problem whatsoever working with or for individual black people, voting for them, or even having relationships with them but at the same time will flat out refuse to consider going to black parts of town and consider blacks in general as a group to be criminal and uneducated. I'd say this very phenomenon is the predominant kind of racism in the south today; you really don't get very many old school racists anymore.

People in this situation aren't necessarily racist persay; they don't dislike black people in general or think less of them as individual people. However, they still would not like to be living in a black neighborhood, surrounded by only black people. It's kind of intimidating being the only white person in a black neighborhood (and I expect the same is true for the only black person in a white neighborhood).

By definition, if it is motivated mostly by race that's a racist attitude.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 01:41:18 pm by Dereich »Logged
Governor TJ
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 01:56:11 pm »
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People in this situation aren't necessarily racist persay; they don't dislike black people in general or think less of them as individual people. However, they still would not like to be living in a black neighborhood, surrounded by only black people. It's kind of intimidating being the only white person in a black neighborhood (and I expect the same is true for the only black person in a white neighborhood).

By definition, if it is motivated mostly by race that's a racist attitude.


It's not so much that the entire neighborhood is a different race as much as it is that the entire neighborhood is socially different in some way the newcomer can never really belong. If I move to a 95%+ black neighborhood, I would be a social outcast there because I am not black, never will be black, and am easily identifiable as not being black. Every person I pass by on the street immediately knows I am an outsider to their community. Now, if I was really bent on moving there and making this my one great stand in life, I could probably become socially accepted but it would take time, effort, and a lot of confidence in myself.
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2012, 02:15:36 pm »
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Once a neighborhood goes black/majority black it goes down hill. There is no exception.  That's why there is angst.   Most of the USA lives in places where they've never been exposed to large black populations, so it's easy for a lot of people, like from Kentucky for example, to say "oh these people.. so racist"...  Nope, facts aren't racist

It's unfortunate that this is the case, but when 77% of black babies are born into broken homes, the result is social decay
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 02:22:39 pm by timothyinMD »Logged
retromike22
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 02:22:38 pm »
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I live in a working class suburb outside of Los Angeles, I rarely ever hear anyone say "don't go to (blank) because it has a lot of (racial group).

Instead, what I hear is, "don't go to (blank) because it's ghetto."

Ghetto being poor.

There is way more of a class division than racial division in the L.A. area, I'm not sure if that's true of all major cities.
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 02:44:26 pm »
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When discussing politics with people of all ages, I find that many in the 30 years old+ range often mention how they are "fed up" with black people. These people do not seem like racists. They have black friends, work with black people, and many even voted for Obama. However, they moan more about black people than taxes or spending or unemployment. Seriously. This is how I know I'm definitely not a racist, because I don't complain about African Americans.

This sounds like my family members in suburban New Orleans...except none of them would ever actually vote for Obama.
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 03:36:42 pm »
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Once a neighborhood goes black/majority black it goes down hill. There is no exception.  That's why there is angst.   Most of the USA lives in places where they've never been exposed to large black populations, so it's easy for a lot of people, like from Kentucky for example, to say "oh these people.. so racist"...  Nope, facts aren't racist

It's unfortunate that this is the case, but when 77% of black babies are born into broken homes, the result is social decay

wow.
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2012, 03:44:51 pm »
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Once a neighborhood goes black/majority black it goes down hill. There is no exception.  That's why there is angst.   Most of the USA lives in places where they've never been exposed to large black populations, so it's easy for a lot of people, like from Kentucky for example, to say "oh these people.. so racist"...  Nope, facts aren't racist

It's unfortunate that this is the case, but when 77% of black babies are born into broken homes, the result is social decay

These things are caused by the masters, Timmy, and they certainly aren't black.
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2012, 04:21:31 pm »
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Hearing people talk today in the south, you'd think we're all a rainbow coalition of peace, brotherhood and fuzziness! Everybody in the south claims to be colorblind nowadays. Jim Crow? Segregation?? That was years ago!! We're so past that, I'm not racist at all- why just yesterday me and my black friend at work went out to lunch! Would I do that if I was racist??

I think a lot of people are stuck in the mindset that racism only comes in the form of white hoods and lynchings. So if you live and work with people of other races and subscribe to general platitudes about racial equality, like "we're all god's children", then apparently you're in the clear.

I think that's setting the bar way too low. Because, from my experience, these same people will also say terrible things about other races and make really unfair generalizations. A common topic that comes up among whites down here is welfare. Apparently, every person on welfare is black and they're refusing to work or keep their legs closed in order to keep those checks coming in. Every problem in America seems to come back to this. And it's never, "some people" or "some black people on welfare" it's always, "the blacks on welfare." But then they'll compliment their black friend at work who (miraculously) broke the cycle in order to save face.

So, in the end, they seem to use their apparent colorblindness as a crutch to defend their racist attitudes. Things are better now, segregation is over, and any problem in the black community is not a residual effect of the racial hierarchies that have been in effect for centuries, but is instead a moral failing or weakness that black people are solely responsible for.

And for the record, I'm not entirely blameless either. It would be wrong to make this indictment yet exclude myself from blame, since this is exactly what many of the people I'm talking about do to escape criticism or self evaluation. Also, it's weirdly comforting to know that other areas of the country are dealing with this same attitude. The south always has to carry this burden of racism when it really exists everywhere.
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2012, 04:23:24 pm »
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It's unfortunate that this is the case, but when 77% of black babies are born into broken homes, the result is social decay

Pretty much sums up my opinion of the matter. I have lived in black majority areas - and I'm much happier now that I do not do so anymore. There are huge cultural differences and 'blaming whitey' for the bad decisions that black people make doesn't really fly.
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2012, 04:25:15 pm »
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Every single reply in this thread screams of honesty, intelligence and class. I'm very proud.

I will note, I don't have any black friends. There was one kid who my sister and I played with whose family bought a beautiful brand-new house down the street from us circa 1997/1998, but his mother did not approve of his playing with us. My parents belief was that the mother did not want her kid playing with white children. This would be racism as well.

But yeah, I mean...on average I maybe see a handful of black people each day. Currently I work and see very few black people at work. It's not by choice, it's just where I live and contort.
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2012, 04:37:24 pm »
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It's unfortunate that this is the case, but when 77% of black babies are born into broken homes, the result is social decay

Pretty much sums up my opinion of the matter. I have lived in black majority areas - and I'm much happier now that I do not do so anymore. There are huge cultural differences and 'blaming whitey' for the bad decisions that black people make doesn't really fly.

Aren't parts of PG County in Maryland reasonable middle class areas? Median income is pretty high there.
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2012, 04:57:33 pm »
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For the guy who said that black neighborhoods are always bad-

Come on down to Atlanta and you'll feel pretty dumb in about 5 minutes. I can't even name all the neighborhoods in the metro that are majority black and also really nice. Yeah, we have some bad black neighborhoods too, but enough upscale ones for someone like you to really take notice.

Your comment insinuates that either a) all black people are poor and prone to crime, or b) black people can't keep up a neighborhood. Both claims are untrue.

And Krazen ^^^ Yes, PG county is actually the wealthiest county in the US with a black majority. Dekalb County, GA is second.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 05:01:03 pm by cope1989 »Logged

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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2012, 05:02:26 pm »
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Hearing people talk today in the south, you'd think we're all a rainbow coalition of peace, brotherhood and fuzziness! Everybody in the south claims to be colorblind nowadays. Jim Crow? Segregation?? That was years ago!! We're so past that, I'm not racist at all- why just yesterday me and my black friend at work went out to lunch! Would I do that if I was racist??

I think a lot of people are stuck in the mindset that racism only comes in the form of white hoods and lynchings. So if you live and work with people of other races and subscribe to general platitudes about racial equality, like "we're all god's children", then apparently you're in the clear.

I think that's setting the bar way too low. Because, from my experience, these same people will also say terrible things about other races and make really unfair generalizations. A common topic that comes up among whites down here is welfare. Apparently, every person on welfare is black and they're refusing to work or keep their legs closed in order to keep those checks coming in. Every problem in America seems to come back to this. And it's never, "some people" or "some black people on welfare" it's always, "the blacks on welfare." But then they'll compliment their black friend at work who (miraculously) broke the cycle in order to save face.

So, in the end, they seem to use their apparent colorblindness as a crutch to defend their racist attitudes. Things are better now, segregation is over, and any problem in the black community is not a residual effect of the racial hierarchies that have been in effect for centuries, but is instead a moral failing or weakness that black people are solely responsible for.

And for the record, I'm not entirely blameless either. It would be wrong to make this indictment yet exclude myself from blame, since this is exactly what many of the people I'm talking about do to escape criticism or self evaluation. Also, it's weirdly comforting to know that other areas of the country are dealing with this same attitude. The south always has to carry this burden of racism when it really exists everywhere.

My thoughts exactly
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« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2012, 05:15:54 pm »
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Once a neighborhood goes black/majority black it goes down hill. There is no exception.  That's why there is angst.   Most of the USA lives in places where they've never been exposed to large black populations, so it's easy for a lot of people, like from Kentucky for example, to say "oh these people.. so racist"...  Nope, facts aren't racist

It's unfortunate that this is the case, but when 77% of black babies are born into broken homes, the result is social decay

Apparently nothing is ever racist if you simply say that it isn't racist.
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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2012, 07:13:40 pm »
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tinmd has a record of racist remarks as well, I note.
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2012, 08:25:55 pm »
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Most Blacks are lazy with a criminal record and they can't hold down a job.

Back up guys, I'm not racist! I have a friend from Nigeria and I supported Herman Cain for two weeks!
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2012, 10:05:05 pm »
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For the guy who said that black neighborhoods are always bad-

Come on down to Atlanta and you'll feel pretty dumb in about 5 minutes. I can't even name all the neighborhoods in the metro that are majority black and also really nice. Yeah, we have some bad black neighborhoods too, but enough upscale ones for someone like you to really take notice.

I have been to such suburbs and they really are very nice. But I have to wonder, if crime is low (which might not actually be low I suppose) then why don't white people live there?
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