It is not easy being perfect humans.
One of my friends recently moved into a new house. The other night he and I were talking and he told me that his neighborhod was a "good neighborhood". I asked him to tell me about his new neighborhood. He said, "there is only one black family and they lived one street over". He went on to say that his area was mostly white professionals, and he went on and listed police officers, teachers, nurses as his new neighbors.
After he said this I was left with a sick feeling. I thought I knew him better but maybe I don't. I did not respond to his statement because I wanted to ponder it in private for while. Also I did not want to say anything to upset my very good friend by making it an issue.
After thinking about it for a while I now wonder if most white people feel this way. I ask this question because in my home city there are several very nice middle class black areas. When you look at these areas you do not see white people buying into the subdivisions. On the other hand you will always find some black people moving into white developments.
Do white people feel uncomfortable being the only white person living in an area? I have also heard that there is concern about who one's kids hang out with. The concern being that if your kid live, socialize and go to school with minorites then that may increase the liklyhood that they might date and even marry one.
I know that it is very easy for people to jump on their soap boxes and say that my friend is a racist. Some will even say that they are free from prejudice and list examples in their lives to justify this. The way I test myself is to use examples other than race. A good example is how we view over weight people. Beauty being another test. Would I hire a cross eyed receptionist to be up front in my business?
It seems to me that we all are funny little human animals. My point being; who am I to scold my friend.
I won't judge your friend, but regarding your post, it's nice to see someone has brought up this issue in an open-minded way.
I think it's natural for humans to be conservative, to want to preserve their culture and also not to be in a minority.
That said, whatever cultural clashes there are, I welcome multi-racialism itself. In my opinion, we have nothing to fear from it. Look at it genetically if you want. A lot of it is down to perception of who is in "our camp". Sure, the black man to my left has different genes to me, but so does the white man to my right. We have more in common than we don't.
I stand for freedom and liberal values, and I think we should not be afraid to denounce any right-wingers who want to inhibit our freedom, whether they are black or white, Nazis or Islamic Fundamentalists.
Well, you've hit upon a touchy subject to some. I will answer it honestly.
Do I want black neighbors? If they buy their home, maintain it well, mind their own business and treat others with respect, then I don't care if they are black, white, yellow or purple (well, I MAY drawn the line at Barney, OK? lol)
Directly across the street from me a mixed couple moved in. He is black, she is white.
They are wonderful people, respectful, hard working and love their new home. They always wave, wish us a good day and we are happy to have them as neighbors. On the other hand, the people they bought the house from would be considered "white trash" by a lot of people. They were nosey, loud and obnoxious, very foul-mouthed, and inconsiderate people. Their children were rough necks, liked to beat up on other kids, break things (including some neighbors' windows and very rude). These people put the
"FUN" in dysfunctional.
Color is not an issue to me. I listen to what would be considered "black" pop music -- MOTOWN. I've had white people made racial comments against me for preferring this so-called "black" music. I think they are just ignorant bafoons. Different strokes for different folks, ya know?
Actually, to go back to your friend. He is definitely a racist with the comments that he made. period.
It's hard to dispel all prejudices. Even I have a few. None really based on race, but other things. Personally, I could care less what the color of one's skin is, but at my school we did have troubles with kids moving in from the city (we were a nice quaint Chicago suburb) and causing trouble with other kids and whatnot, not leaving their defensive city lifestlye behind them. These kids aren't necessarily black though like many would think, they came in all colors and shapes and sizes. Many were of some minority, but there were plenty of white people that would be included. I was worried about having these people in my neighborhood though, because the kids would often talk about how they got arrested over the weekend and how uptight the suburban cops were about petty theft and such. I did not want any of this stuff near me, so I guess whenever someone moved into my neighborhood from the inner city, I'd get a little worried, but I don't think that I ever got too out of hand, just made sure the doors and windows were locked, which is a good idea anyway. I also don't want to give the false impression that we didn't have any trouble children in the suburb already. Actually, the children in the suburbs already had just as many problems, mainly because their parents didn't think their kids could do any wrong, if you claimed that their kid stole something from you and had video tape evidence, that wasn't good enough. If they admitted it, some parents still wouldn't buy it, that's how bad some of that stuff got, but usually you'd gotten to know the kids and where they liked to cause trouble, and luckily I lived in a place where this trouble wasn't as bad, but the people moving in from the inner city made up for a small population, but usually had just as much trouble. It's not necessarily their fault, they're used to living tough and having to defend theirselves, and it's probably tough adapting to the new suburban lifestyle for them, but that doesn't do anything to make you feel more safe. They wern't necessarily bad people, just did bad things due to their past life. I could go on with this, but I won't, there's more points on both sides that can be made, but I think I've given everyone my basic mindset on this.
A bad neighborhood is a bad neighborhood, no white or black or any other culture. There are some all white neigborhoods in Chicago that are horirible neighborhoods.
Take it Easy
I live in Columbia, MD. This is the first Rouse Company planned community in the US. The great thing about living here is that the community is so mixed. There is section 8 housing right next to $300,000.00 single family homes. Nobody really seems to care. One might think this would bring down the value of your home, but it doesn't seem to matter here. In my neighborhood, there are condos, townhomes, and SFH's all together. The Columbia Association (CA)makes sure that everyone keeps up their property, and all of the common areas in town are well kept. Sometimes the CA can be a little intrusive (we have to ask before we can paint our front door), but as a result we have a community where everyone; rich, poor, black, white, purple (even Barney if he wants) can live together w/o fear. Yes, we do have crime here, it's not perfect, but I don't automatically think it is because there are black people here.
Also, I believe last time I checked, there were more interracial couples in Columbia than anywhere else in the country. Rouse Co. made this community to be racially and ethnically diverse. There are still racial issues, I think there always will be, but it's much better and it is a great idea that seems to have really worked.
My point is that I hope more communities can be like this one some day. I realize that is not the case. I haven't alway lived in Columbia. In fact, I grew up in a town that didn't had one adopted asian girl, and the rest of us were all white. The community would have thrown a hissy fit if a black person had moved in.
Well, sorry to have droned on for so long
We are building our first community of this type in Greensboro. We are doing it under a Hope VI grant. Basically our biggest, oldest, and worst housing complex is being leveled and a community just like yours is being built. There are many fears in town because we are not sure if it will work. We question if middle class buyers will want to live beside Section 8 renters. There is fear in the neighborhood that the residents that were displaced from the housing complex will not be able to afford to move back in when the area is done. Charlotte had this problem where the low income people were moved to other public housing and were not able to come back to their neighborhood. The Hope IV Grant provides for education and job training for displaced residence so that they can be able to afford to buy a home in the new area. There is difficulty getting people to sign up because people have a lot of issues to overcome. This is also a long term investment for them and many people just don't see the benefit. I hope that it will work out and that our new community will be just as successful as your. Thank you very much for your positive input.