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Old 02-28-2011, 05:38 PM
 
110 posts, read 202,229 times
Reputation: 121

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsimms3 View Post
See I differ from you because "hostile stares" are not exactly the environment I want to be in, especially if I'm one color and not too large (or a woman) and the hostile stares are directed at me or my party.

Now I know OysterFest is a ~80-90% white event, ok? BUT, it's two days of thousands of drunk partiers and I have to hand it to the crowd and to crowd enforcement that I saw lots of people throwing away their trash, no fights whatsoever even though the alcohol was flowing, no hostile glares, no people that appeared even slightly intimidating, and I'm white and I ended up swing dancing with a black girl by the end of it on Saturday. It was quite fun. This is a large outdoor party with a mix of people and lots of alcohol. Any number of things could have gone wrong, but nada. zip. Everyone I went with lives in Midtown and everyone I met there lived in Midtown or surrounding neighborhoods. A girl I met there was an attorney for Alston & Bird and we even talked a little bit of business. It was that kind of crowd.

I would not necessarily trust the AS weekend night crowd to be as docile as the large crowd at Oyster Fest, and their appearances and past performances give me those doubts. I stereotype, along with 99% of people (whether we like to admit it or not). In your own words (brownhornet), I would classify at least most people who wear "holy jeans, cut off shorts, wranglers, the chains from their wallets to their pants, hats with fishing hooks, etc to be white trash, rednecks, hillbillies" just like I do, admittedly, classify people with sagging pants, chains, gold teeth etc thuggish. And for the life me I can't figure out why many of their lady friends obviously spend lots of time and money trying to beautify themselves in whatever way they see fit and their male counterparts just look like slobs. So yes, stereotypically to me those are thugs.

Anyway, I would love to see events like Oysterfest carried out on a routine basis at Atlantic Station, and a diverse crowd is *great*. I still prefer to be in crowds of people that share at least a good portion of my own cultural values, but aren't we all similar that way? I don't think I share any cultural values with some of the folks that show up at AS at night on the weekends. I avoid Opera and most crowded clubs for the same reason, but they are in more designated nightlife districts than AS. I share lots of cultural values with Midtown/intown residents, and many current revelers of AS are not Midtown/intown residents. I wish that AS would cater more to the residents nearby than to nighttime partiers from other parts of town. Obviously, this goes for retail as well. Switch it up from bland mall to hip, urban commercial district (and by urban I don't mean "Lids" and Footlocker, though maybe if there is a market for that for residents within 3 miles of the place then sure).
JSimms, I actually respect your candid honesty and reasoned points. I think you were a victim of an unfortunate incident and I don't think you have malice in your heart (unlike some of the trolls on here). I do disagree with your stereotypes though. You say you don't share cultural values with the people at AS, but you have no idea what their cultural values are. Maybe that's colored by your incident, but would it be fair/reasonable for me to say I don't share cultural values with white people who wear UGA sporting gear because I was called the Nword in Athens (which I was)? Or white people who drive pickup trucks because a group driving one with a "Coonhunter" bumpersticker threw trash at me (which happened)? Or white people who wear Abercrombie & Fitch, cargo shirts and backwards baseball hats because I've seen so many of them get into fights at clubs, or college football games, or the streets of Boston, Austin, OKC, Georgtown in DC, NYC and, yes, Atlanta? That's not even going back to the horrors my parents experienced (and God forbid, I go back to my grandparents). We're all supposed to forget, forgive and move on right? At least that's what I hear white people tell black people whenever slavery, the lack of civil rights, or blatant discrimination is mentioned.

Why do I bring all that up, because one "cultural value" of great importance to me is not judging individuals or groups based on ignorant stereotypes? Whether that is some heightened sense of morality on my part or neccesity--seing as I don't have the option to pick and choose to always socialize with crowds where 80-90% of the people share my style of dress or pigmentation or diction or walk--I'm not sure. But I do know that adhering to this cultural value has certainly exposed me to some wonderful people, places and experiences.

I find it funny that you would love to see events like Oysterfest that are 80-90% white, even when it includes drunken partiers but then state that a diverse crowd is *great*. A drunken crowd of 80-90% of drunken white folks is not diverse, and believe it or not, isn't that welcoming to most black people. You speak of hostile stares, but try being a black person walking into the "wrong" place in Fayette County, Bartow County, or even the City of Atlanta and imagine the "hostile" stares you might receive. The difference being, I can pretty much assure you that the "thugs" at AS (who are more likely lawyers, businesspersons, entrepreneurs and school teachers) really don't care that you're there and likely don't notice you. The "hostile" stares you (and others) notice are more perceived than reality because you've been conditioned (through ISOLATED incidents you've either experienced or have had protrayed to you through that great bastion of honesty known as television) to either be fearful or it's something that you're looking for . If you have any doubts, just once go to an all-black social setting and watch the love and positive attention that whites actually get when they are genuinely comfortable and just trying to enjoy themselves.

What does all that have to do with AS? The problem with stereotyping is more often than not it deprives/harms the stereotyper before the stereotypee (not words, I know). You (not to get personal) seem to be borderline petrified by the clothing you see on people at AS (and in 2011, there are not that many people walking around with gold teeth, especially at AS) with nothing more to go on. If, AS, attempts to weed out undesireables (who realistically are not causing any problems) it WILL do more harm than good...if for no other reason then that's pretty much impossible in a city with the demographics (economic and racial) of Atlanta. Therefore, AS will always struggle because people who are frightened by stereotypes will continually flee to their homogeneous enclaves where they don't have to be "threatened" by anything different themselves. Not reason, but irrational fear will always hinder AS if the majority holds on to the same preconceived notions that currently exist.

Also, here's a few tips as you (and others) go forth and try to accept a "cultural value" that doesn't judge someone on something as shallow as clothing: (1) somebody with a gaudy chain on (why this is indicia of thugdom makes no sense to me) likely has the financial means to not be concerned with attacking/robbing/maiming/raping/killing a completely random person. (2) A teenager with skinny, sagging pants (and I hate that trend more than probably anybody on this board) and a mohawk likely doesn't have the physical mobility to attack/rob/maim/rape/kill a completely random person because they would trip over their own waistline. Nor do they have a place to stash weapons. There more akin to young white skateboarders who really just want to look cool.

I know the type of person who hangs at AS on the weekends and in most establishments north of I-20 frequented by black people, more often than not they are like the girl you enjoyed dancing with at Oysterfest, or a person in Corporate America (who you could talk business with) trying to wind down from the work week. Why do they choose AS? Because, realistically, AS is free of incident, is a comfortable safe area to enjoy and once you talk to the people there and interact with them, you realize how many of the same cultural values they all share.

Moderator: I'm not trying to be too personal. Again, I greatly respect JSimms comments, his honesty, and constructive dialogue. Anytime I used "you" it's either in general or to specific statements that he made only to further get my point across. Not to attack or demean. Another one of my "cultural values" is to not get angry on a message board, demean or belittle people, and generally to pray that their heart is touched to the point where they can drop any discriminatory beliefs (even BringBackWhatishisname) before they meet or are judged by what ever deity they may believe in (or karma if they are atheist/agnostic). Please don't edit my post again.

 
Old 02-28-2011, 05:43 PM
 
110 posts, read 202,229 times
Reputation: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I think you guys are being a little hard on jsimms. The opinions offered make alot more sense than those from others on here that have trouble with Atlantic Station....

Different people will be impacted differently from "hostile states" or perceptions of hostile stares. Some people will shy away from it, some people will not care, some people will stay in the exurbs and offer racists rants, and some people will stare right back.

But if we are to have an honest two-way conversation about race relations at Atlantic Station (and by all means... we can ignore the trolls and unproductive conversation). We have to realize this is a two-way thing.... The fact that there are hostile stares is an issue in itself that we eventually have to overcome.

I'll be honest... I don't quite like the phrase hostile stares, even though I immediately know what people are talking about. The word hostile makes it sound like the person staring has to be bitter and wants to lunge out and attack and that usually isn't the case. But the stares do exists. I don't care what people are there ultimately, but there does need to be some mutually agreeable set of cultural values we all follow if we are to build a neighborhood and truly share and enjoy areas together. I'm not saying we aren't moving in that direction. I'd say we are rapidly... but when I hear these arguments.. I think the exact same thing.

The reason I brought up StoneCrest Mall earlier... the area and it's customers are majority black (and I am white), but whenever I am there I don't feel, notice any stares of looks like I am out of place... or I am just some privileged white boy visiting there. It is a better atmosphere for more people to come together in a way where they feel like themselves regardless of who is around. .... and I am saying this being the guy who usually doesn't care. I grew up down here and it is a simple fact of life there are people who act in these different ways and people who don't, but I notice many outsiders get scared away easily.

and Arjay... I really do respect you and your opinions even though we disagree sometimes... but to me this isn't a question of whose turf is it and shouldn't be. I also wouldn't characterize this as discussing demands of how people behave... but more so discussing our evolution of race relations. There are bound to be different opinions with many valid points, but over time these are issues to discuss and "socially negotiate"/come to an understanding... even if it isn't white and black or put into words or policed. These are the types of things to discuss if we want to continue moving towards a society where people get along better.

People have the right to go elsewhere, but that is the thing... they do. I still dream of a society where people don't and share spaces better. The weird thing is people do share spaces very well in some areas
Good post! I agree (except I don't think progress is being made as quickly as you do).

If we should ever cross paths, I'll treat you to a drink (or coffee). I'll be the 6'2" black dude, with either slightly baggy jeans and a t-shirt, or maybe slacks and a sport coat, or maybe a suit, or maybe shorts and Jordans, trying not to look to hostile. Unless I had a bad day, or stubbed my toe, or the sun is glaring in my face, and then if I happen to look at you the wrong way, please don't take it the wrong way. I'll still treat you to that beverage. Just feel free ask.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: 30080
2,124 posts, read 3,393,533 times
Reputation: 1461
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlyoungin View Post
Good post! I agree (except I don't think progress is being made as quickly as you do).

If we should ever cross paths, I'll treat you to a drink (or coffee). I'll be the 6'2" black dude, with either slightly baggy jeans and a t-shirt, or maybe slacks and a sport coat, or maybe a suit, or maybe shorts and Jordans, trying not to look to hostile. Unless I had a bad day, or stubbed my toe, or the sun is glaring in my face, and then if I happen to look at you the wrong way, please don't take it the wrong way. I'll still treat you to that beverage. Just feel free ask.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 08:09 PM
 
12,917 posts, read 20,990,812 times
Reputation: 4076
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlyoungin View Post
JSimms, I actually respect your candid honesty and reasoned points. I think you were a victim of an unfortunate incident and I don't think you have malice in your heart (unlike some of the trolls on here). I do disagree with your stereotypes though. You say you don't share cultural values with the people at AS, but you have no idea what their cultural values are. Maybe that's colored by your incident, but would it be fair/reasonable for me to say I don't share cultural values with white people who wear UGA sporting gear because I was called the Nword in Athens (which I was)? Or white people who drive pickup trucks because a group driving one with a "Coonhunter" bumpersticker threw trash at me (which happened)? Or white people who wear Abercrombie & Fitch, cargo shirts and backwards baseball hats because I've seen so many of them get into fights at clubs, or college football games, or the streets of Boston, Austin, OKC, Georgtown in DC, NYC and, yes, Atlanta? That's not even going back to the horrors my parents experienced (and God forbid, I go back to my grandparents). We're all supposed to forget, forgive and move on right? At least that's what I hear white people tell black people whenever slavery, the lack of civil rights, or blatant discrimination is mentioned.

Why do I bring all that up, because one "cultural value" of great importance to me is not judging individuals or groups based on ignorant stereotypes? Whether that is some heightened sense of morality on my part or neccesity--seing as I don't have the option to pick and choose to always socialize with crowds where 80-90% of the people share my style of dress or pigmentation or diction or walk--I'm not sure. But I do know that adhering to this cultural value has certainly exposed me to some wonderful people, places and experiences.

I find it funny that you would love to see events like Oysterfest that are 80-90% white, even when it includes drunken partiers but then state that a diverse crowd is *great*. A drunken crowd of 80-90% of drunken white folks is not diverse, and believe it or not, isn't that welcoming to most black people. You speak of hostile stares, but try being a black person walking into the "wrong" place in Fayette County, Bartow County, or even the City of Atlanta and imagine the "hostile" stares you might receive. The difference being, I can pretty much assure you that the "thugs" at AS (who are more likely lawyers, businesspersons, entrepreneurs and school teachers) really don't care that you're there and likely don't notice you. The "hostile" stares you (and others) notice are more perceived than reality because you've been conditioned (through ISOLATED incidents you've either experienced or have had protrayed to you through that great bastion of honesty known as television) to either be fearful or it's something that you're looking for . If you have any doubts, just once go to an all-black social setting and watch the love and positive attention that whites actually get when they are genuinely comfortable and just trying to enjoy themselves.

What does all that have to do with AS? The problem with stereotyping is more often than not it deprives/harms the stereotyper before the stereotypee (not words, I know). You (not to get personal) seem to be borderline petrified by the clothing you see on people at AS (and in 2011, there are not that many people walking around with gold teeth, especially at AS) with nothing more to go on. If, AS, attempts to weed out undesireables (who realistically are not causing any problems) it WILL do more harm than good...if for no other reason then that's pretty much impossible in a city with the demographics (economic and racial) of Atlanta. Therefore, AS will always struggle because people who are frightened by stereotypes will continually flee to their homogeneous enclaves where they don't have to be "threatened" by anything different themselves. Not reason, but irrational fear will always hinder AS if the majority holds on to the same preconceived notions that currently exist.

Also, here's a few tips as you (and others) go forth and try to accept a "cultural value" that doesn't judge someone on something as shallow as clothing: (1) somebody with a gaudy chain on (why this is indicia of thugdom makes no sense to me) likely has the financial means to not be concerned with attacking/robbing/maiming/raping/killing a completely random person. (2) A teenager with skinny, sagging pants (and I hate that trend more than probably anybody on this board) and a mohawk likely doesn't have the physical mobility to attack/rob/maim/rape/kill a completely random person because they would trip over their own waistline. Nor do they have a place to stash weapons. There more akin to young white skateboarders who really just want to look cool.

I know the type of person who hangs at AS on the weekends and in most establishments north of I-20 frequented by black people, more often than not they are like the girl you enjoyed dancing with at Oysterfest, or a person in Corporate America (who you could talk business with) trying to wind down from the work week. Why do they choose AS? Because, realistically, AS is free of incident, is a comfortable safe area to enjoy and once you talk to the people there and interact with them, you realize how many of the same cultural values they all share.

Moderator: I'm not trying to be too personal. Again, I greatly respect JSimms comments, his honesty, and constructive dialogue. Anytime I used "you" it's either in general or to specific statements that he made only to further get my point across. Not to attack or demean. Another one of my "cultural values" is to not get angry on a message board, demean or belittle people, and generally to pray that their heart is touched to the point where they can drop any discriminatory beliefs (even BringBackWhatishisname) before they meet or are judged by what ever deity they may believe in (or karma if they are atheist/agnostic). Please don't edit my post again.

Superb.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 08:10 PM
 
28,136 posts, read 24,659,949 times
Reputation: 9534
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
and Arjay... I really do respect you and your opinions even though we disagree sometimes... but to me this isn't a question of whose turf is it and shouldn't be.
cw, I understand what you're saying and my use of the term "turf" was inappropriate. I simply meant that if I go somewhere where the crowd is 90% black it's not my place to demand that everyone refrain from giving me the evil eye. I can either deal with it or go somewhere else.

Like you, I hope we will get to a place where race is not a big deal. Where anybody can walk into a crowd when they're in the minority and nobody will think twice about it.

As I said earlier, had time permitted, I might have even tried to work this staring thing out. It's hardly as if Atlanta is seething with racial discord. Sure, there are some issues but I'd say we're much further along than many places, some of which are deemed more "liberal" than we are. In Atlanta we are at least able to have conversations like the one in this thread. And I can go to AS without worrying about being hassled.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 08:36 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,112 posts, read 5,130,284 times
Reputation: 898
I'm going to get off of this dialogue. I don't think it's heated or even negative, but it's slightly off topic. Research has been done on the local market. The local market is growing very rapidly, both in population and disposable income. The local market is the market within a 5-10 minute drive tops. The local market is a lot more diverse than you guys may realize, and becoming even more diverse. The thing that binds everyone together is

a) educational level...decent or excellent 4 year school or better (MBA, prof. degree, PhD) (% b.s or higher in surrounding areas is climbing rapidly and already ranges from 55-75% of the workforce)

b) desire to live in an urban lifestyle (urban meaning close, almost communal living with walkability, amenities, and excitement and the opportunity to live amongst one's peers)

c) professional job with rapid job growth (the most rapid income growth in the Atlanta metro is occuring in the surrounding neighborhoods)

d) and active in the community, whether with an art society, ULI/CNU, Midtown Alliance, Beltline, or some philanthropic organization (being active myself, or as active as I can be, I can tell you with certainty that the late night party crowds that we have been discussing are not active in any organizations I am aware of)

People with these common interests/background come from all colors nowadays. This is the market that the new owners of AS seem to want to serve much better than in the past. This market apparently wants an end to late night party establishments at AS (and a quiet pub that's open late is different from what Strip becomes after 10, requiring bouncers and all and offering mediocre overpriced food). From what I have heard, this will be the first thing addressed. The current late night crowd there, whether truly docile or not, comes from outside of AS's market.

The lease roll on the retail side of things does not serve the market either. Many stores will be forced to change or relocate. This is probably one of the biggest and most difficult changes for the new owners of AS to implement. Atlanta is a weak retail environment, so it is difficult to convince retailers to locate here and of course it is always a financial difficulty for independent retailers to open a new shop and take that risk without having 500 other stores to fall back on.

Another thing that I hear may be addressed is a greenspace for residents. A temporary one may be built either on one of the parcels on 17th St or where Cirque du Soleil always goes. I say temporary because I think the eventual plan is to have more condos/apartments and perhaps a hotel.

And FTR, I still ride MARTA a lot. I ride it to work when it's nice out (not today). I rode it back from Midtown this weekend early in the evening. I'm a big public transit advocate, but I won't deny that I think MARTA has a long way to go before I would feel completely comfortable riding it (there are some systems that have great reputations that I can attest to).

BTW did anyone see the Weather Channel reporting live from the 17th St bridge by AS today during the storms? I did! They were being wimps

One has to keep in mind that one of the largest growth demographics for intown neighborhoods is the empty nester segment. Families are also moving in. Atlanta will have to grow in such a way that really loud and crowded nightlife districts will have to bloom in areas where there aren't a lot of people already and where there aren't a lot of people moving. Retail will have to cater to a more local crowd.

Finally on the nightlife side of things, speaking for myself as a Midtown resident and for most of my friends, who also live in intown neighborhoods, work really really hard during the week. We work, volunteer, cook, clean, repeat. We even work/volunteer on the weekends many times. We are frankly too tired to party and dance and drink and smoke all night more than every once and a while. There are many weekends I don't even go out at night because I'm passed out on the sofa (or preferring a movie at home). A day in the park, brunch, and dinner/early drinks is all I, as a local resident, need. I think I speak for many people in the area.
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