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Topics of Discussion

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why Allied Drive IS about race

It is often relayed in race relation circles that the best way to overcome racism is to oversee the differences of race and simply look at people for who they are. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, judge individuals by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. That is all great in principle; however generally, people do not have such discipline. So often we assess people based on what they look like, and once you go there, you can’t backtrack and defend statements without re-connecting it to race.

As much as I would like to talk about all the great people that live on Allied Drive and all the potential that residents here hold on their own, it is nearly impossible to talk about (and often defend) Allied Drive without addressing Madison’s divides relating to race.

I wish the following people didn’t go there:

"For the person shocked at the racial divide in this city all I want to say is that the white community has been bending over backwards to help black people. We are building them community centers, giving them their own personal community police station, giving them practically free housing and intregrating them into our neighborhoods, promoting equal opportunity at the expense of more qualified white candidates etc..etc..etc..etc... And the black community is showing their appreciation for our generosity by filling up the local jails, making the entire city unsafe, ruining the public school system so badly that parents are taking their children to the suburbs or sending them to private schools and putting enormous pressure on the hard working tax payer. Twenty or thiry years ago, at least we were rewarded with a few good comedians, good barabues and some quality music from black people, but we don't even get that from them anymore. The black community now takes much more than they return. I think most native Madisonians would have perferred if they just stayed in Milwaukee or Chicago instead of moving to Madison and bringing the ghetto here with them."

"It's the black people who are causing the problems. they are predisposed to violence. get rid of the black people, and you will get rid of the crime. there is no disputing this."

"I also lived on Allied Drive circa 1967 and it was a perfectly safe neighborhood. Even back in 1967 it was one of the poorer parts of the city, but there was absolutely NO CRIME. The only difference between then and now is the demographics of the neighborhood. Back in 1967 it was all white and now it is all black. I find it quite interesting that many people blame crime on poverty, but back in 1967 none of the poor whites were causing a problem."

Source for all above comments: Channel 3000 Forums

These sorts of comments are endless. For me, the icing on the cake is when a reputed newspaper publishes editorials that defend such ignorance, as the Fitchburg Star published the words of Kurt Getknecht:
"Fitchburg's no leader in the struggle for racial equality, but it's probably no worse than most areas of the country. We're a heavily segregated community, mostly by economic status and class, which is also characteristic of much of the country, including Madison. It was mighty galling it was to listen to Lorri Wendorf's discourse on how Fitchburg residents should embrace differences, which assumed that their concerns about traffic weren't valid. Mind you, I'm not a huge defender of all things Fitchburg, but I felt surprisingly defensive of our fair city. It's difficult to fathom how funneling more traffic through a neighborhood fosters understanding and racial equality, but I probably don't understand the lofty precepts of Madison's elite. Pity the poor Fitchburg resident who had a car end up in his bedroom, a few feet from his bed. He's probably confused to learn that his attempt to prevent this from happening again is a reflection of bias."

Racism is a form of abuse and as with any other abuse, it is not up to the perpetrator to define when abuse is taking place. Furthermore, being "probably no worse than anyone else" is not a valid defense. If you are honestly thinking that you are "probably no worse than anyone else", maybe it is time to venture out and see how you really fare with the rest of the country, and maybe even the rest of the world.

Look at Madison's disproportionate rates of incarceration, home ownership and per-capita income, all among which Wisconsin and Dane County lead in racial disparities when compared to other states and counties in the US. For three years of my life, I had a job that required travel for 120 days out of the year through which I have repeatedly visited nearly every major city in the United States and I can say hands down, I have never felt the levels of unspoken discomfort about race until I came to Madison.

Allied Drive is the most disconnected area of the city when you look at bus routes and accessibility, and we have to actually fight to open up a street? I’ve sat in and observed a lot of meetings about Allied Drive and I remember hearing Fitchburg residents say that they do not want the people of Allied Drive walking up and down the streets of their community, so to back track and shift the focus to traffic safety is like listening to a rapist blame short skirts. You have got to be kidding me.

I have not written in my blog for some time because it has to be known that these issues are very tolling. It is similar to being in a difficult relationship. Sometimes you come to the conclusion that your partner is not going to change so futile efforts may be better spent toward something more constructive. Like a condo downtown. In a city that embraces differences, away from all this madness.


Anonymous said...

It's the pervasive "us against them" attitude in Madison that I think is odd. You can see it in the comments you quote above. Inherent in that mentality is the idea that the "us" belongs, and the "them" don't. But, because Madison is so "liberal" and "enlightened", the "them" are tolerated and condescended to, but never fully embraced as equals or peers. I think that's just because it's been so overwhelmingly white here for as long as Madison has existed. Change comes slowly, acceptance of change comes even more slowly. I wish I could say that patience is all that we need, but the backlash against civil rights in this country over the last year or two has made me quite cynical about the ability of a place like Madison to ever fully integrate into the United States.

Allied Resident said...

Fitchburg needs to understand that aint got shit to do with us that they misplaced all their roads. That road that caused dude to crash into a bedroom would not be safe at 20mph with its lighting and all the twists and turns, you can't see shit at night out there. On top of that you have parking on two sides of the street leaving not enough room already for two cars to be on the bitch. and then you going to let parking be on both sides with all it's blind spots. That does not have shit to do with Allied. I guess this guy thinks that niggas and hip hop are responsible for pit bull fighting too even though honkies have been doing it for years.

Robert said...

I can't imagine why residents of a suburb would want to be isolated against Chicago's violent rejects. I mean, when someone empties a clip at some dude in the street, that just means that we need more compassion and outreach, not that we need to put his ass in jail or something.

Really, though, it's racism since most of the colored folks on Allied are good people and aren't related to the violent crime that the area is known for.

Lina Trivedi said...

Wow Robert - I think I understand your type ... you think that all black people play basketball, all Indian people own gas stations, all Mexican people love tacos and all white people are good, tax paying citizens whose hard work built the wealth of this country. This logic makes my point precisely.

Carrey said...

Truely said that individuals should be judge by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. But the real thing is that we need to have patience.

Schubsta said...

From what I read here, I feel reassured. I´m from germany and got called a nazi numerous times from guys from the so-called allied forces. I´m no nazi, not even pure-strain german. As sad as it is, my advice is to clean your own backyard, before talking bad about other countries.

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No, I don't think so that any evil in the city is for black, Although it is true most the criminal is black, but there is a lot of reason behind that like black are not so wealth like white.

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Anonymous said...

I wonder in which part of Madison does Ms Trivedi live? I invite her to come live in the Meadowood Park area, now invaded by African-Americans. I invite her to check out the men/youths hanging around in the parking lots at all times of the day: spitting, urinating, brawling, trespassing, testing the loudness of each other's car stereos, and picking on passersby. If such a situation does not elicit strong race emotions I do not know what does. I know a lot of good folks who are moving out of the area this summer. Mixed-income neighborhoods SHOULD BE BANNED!

gewinnspiel said...

I recently came across your blog and found this interesting post. I totally agree with Carrey that individuals should be judge by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

VoIP said...

It's so easy to blame crime and other social problems on race. It glosses over, what is, an extremely complicated issue.

To say that the problem is race because, 50 years ago this place was poor and all white but had no crime, is ridiculous.

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People do not want to live in discipline.Cause they think that its a joy if we able to break the discipline behind law.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize madison wisc is so backwards. I thought americans were more in tune with civil liberties and I am very surprised by the attitudes you quoted in your article. I guess it proves that ignorant people can be anywhere even where you least expect.

almost on Allied said...

"allied resident" thinks that it is twists and turns of Allied Drive that caused someone to crash into a bedroom? It was my duplex that had a car driven into it at 5AM, about 6 or 7 years ago, unless there has been another car driving into a bedroom on Allied. And it had nothing to do with any "twists and turns". Some woman was trying to run over her boyfriend, from a parking lot across the street, and she backed across the street at 30 mph and ran into my renter's bedroom. You can't blame that on anyone but the silly woman who tried to kill her boyfriend using her friend's car.

Funny thing was, she applied to rent that same duplex from me just a few months before, but she was on Section 8, and tried to get her boyfriend to rent with her--which is against Section 8 rules.

Wait, it can't even be Allied that "allied resident" is talking about, because s/he mentioned "parking on both sides of the street. There is no street parking at allowed on Allied, for the entire street.

Flag Day! said...

I too agree individuals should be judge by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

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E.C. said...

Jewish people are the most intelligent. They win almost 40% of the Nobel Prize's and they have a small population of only 14 million. So by far they exceed the other races in intelligence. The other races having huge numbers and such small contributions.

IQ tests, test intellectual conformity, not creativity and originality. This would explain the Asian high IQ's. They as a people are the ultimate conformists.

In IQ tests there is typically only one answer to the problem. That problem being a social conformity to reason. But everyone knows that Genius's and all of the greatest developments in the world are not the product of conformity. Conformity never breeds creativity. We can see this in the lack of influence the Asian population has had on Science. China used to be called the "sick man" of Asia. Their population is massive and their contribution to innovation is almost nil. We can see this lack of originality in their adoptation of European philosophies, I.e. Communism.

Friedrich Nietzsche and other Philosophers have critized Asians. Nietsche used the words "Pallid osification" to describe Orientals.

Pallid: lacking sparkle or liveliness.

Osification: The process of becoming set and inflexible in behavior, attitudes, and actions. Inflexible conformity, rigid unthinking acceptance of social conventions.

The reality is Asian people have yet to understand that laws and rules are arbitrary. Europeans make the rules and Asian's follow them.

It also doesn't make sense that Asian's are considered smart because of the fact that they have destroyed their own countries. This is due to over-population and their basic lack of enviromental understanding.

It is also common scientific fact that women who have many children are ignorant, and those who have less children are more intelligent. This has already been proven in studies. So it seems strange to say that Asians are smart when the obviousness of their backwards countries, and medieval lifestyle makes them contrary to that premise.

Europeans have the most advanced civilizations and every other race has yet to meet these levels other than the Japanese. The Japanese only being good at copying other people's inventions and making them better. Other than that their original creativity is lacking as well. They took American cars and made them better. They took the German camera and made it better. And they took German steel and made it better. Otherwise the greatest advances still come from Europeans and Jews. Other than that the Orientals have yet to produce an Einstein or a Thomas Edison.

When it comes to Black people. It makes sense that they have low intellectual comformity, I.e. IQ tests. They are far too creative to be trapped in this unoriginal form of conditioning. You can tell their creative capacity in their athletics, music, dance, and the way they talk. They by far exceed the Asiatic races in these areas. Being better singers, musicians ect. Blacks far exceed Asians in emotive expression. In all of North America there is only one or two famous high-paid Asian actors.

Reality, Europeans rule the world and they have allowed others to exist only out of desire for economic bennifet. They, (Europeans) are also the physically strongest, winning the Strongest Man competitions again and again.

The greater the conformity, the weaker the race. Thus we see the races as they are today. The wild animal being bred out of man, and the physically impotent, conformist thriving.

Otherwise "Group psychology" is the most destructive thing in the world. All these stereotypes are false when it comes to the individual. Individualism is the most important thing for this time. All countries, Religions, groups need to dissolve for man to live in peace.

Anonymous said...

To E.C. said...

Creativity is lovely. It's an embellishment that you earn after you can nourish and maintain your personal safety. You are not "safe" near Allied Drive. It's 80 degrees outside and your neighbors keep their windows closed tight.

I know! I'll be the individual who leaves my windows wide open! You can read about my demise in tomorrow's newspaper.

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if people did follow MLK's classic "not by color" example, the world wouldn't be what it is today!

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In terms of inequalities we can address race, but in terms of generalizations and evaluating people it's pointless to use race.

The idea of race relies on the belief that there are differences between skin colors. I refuse to accept this, asides from purely cosmetic differences related to melanin quantity, skin color or 'race' is a pointless evaluation.

Indian said...

To E.C. -
I think you were born today, or maybe you are just coming out. LOL. Go back in history and you will be surprised, no wait, actually you will be shocked, that the richest economies of the world were not from Europe (ouch) but they were from Asia - namely India and China. That's until your very advanced civilizations from Europe namely - the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French, the Spaniards and the worst of all the British started attacking India and looting India and killing and maiming and did I mention looting/robbing/plundering India.

On a side note I don't understand whats with this great European civilizations that believe so much in killing and looting other people's wealth instead of creating their own wealth. Where ever you advanced civilizations have gone, they have only robbed, looted and killed the locals - America (North and South), Africa, Asia, Australia, they have not spared anything. If this is advanced, I shudder to think what the uncivilized Europeans would be capable of. They would maybe put the present day Taliban to shame.

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