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Old 12-19-2012, 06:09 PM
 
25 posts, read 17,966 times
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I think race is definitively still a problem, although it has improved over the years. A coworker who was very nice once told me that her fiance was looking for apartments but decided against one that they liked because he did not want their son around African Americans. I was so surprised that she said this to me that I did not not what to say at the time. My opinion of her as a person changed after that conversation but there are still people in this area with that mentality even if they are not as blunt as she was about it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleRic View Post
I think race is definitively still a problem, although it has improved over the years. A coworker who was very nice once told me that her fiance was looking for apartments but decided against one that they liked because he did not want their son around African Americans. I was so surprised that she said this to me that I did not not what to say at the time. My opinion of her as a person changed after that conversation but there are still people in this area with that mentality even if they are not as blunt as she was about it.
Unfortunately you are correct. I have seen a world of improvement during my lifetime. Where I live race relations are a couple hundred percent improved since I was young. AA families are competing with several other cultures, Indian, Middle Eastern, Indo-China, Hispanic, and all the rest. But the homes require a good income to afford even moving in. Those families capable of living here are all accepted quite well as people recognize what they have achieved. It does not take a lengthy conversation to recognize what their aims are, the same as you and I.

I don't think race per se is the problem. The problem is too many people stuck in lives with too little income to exist decently. And the problem is just increasing. 50 years ago a person with little education could be trained to operate a machine in a factory with a decent income. With the decline of manufacturing in the US, this route has effectively been cut off.

Where are the students of the vocational school to find a job? Just how many people pounding on the keyboards of computers do we need? A computer is just a way to perform a clerical job without paper. But it in itself produces nothing physical, just a lot more words, as I am doing here. I can produce more volume of verbage in one day than my secretary could do years ago. And the majority of it likely warrants no reason to be kept. But this forum probably will make it available online for years, as there is no recognized procedure for getting rid of all the Sh**t!
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:21 PM
 
25 posts, read 17,966 times
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Right. Generally middle class African Americans are pretty well integrated but I have heard plenty of racist comments about those who are not. The coworker that I mentioned was presumably speaking about African Americans of a lower income background. What bothers me is the lack of empathy or understanding of how difficult it is to move up the ladder.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleRic View Post
Right. Generally middle class African Americans are pretty well integrated but I have heard plenty of racist comments about those who are not. The coworker that I mentioned was presumably speaking about African Americans of a lower income background. What bothers me is the lack of empathy or understanding of how difficult it is to move up the ladder.
I definitely agree. Those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder have a tough road to hoe. I am not so sure there is a complete lack of empathy, but I do recognize there are many who make stupid racist remarks without recognizing it was just circumstances of birth which gave them a leg up.

I am very bothered by the failure of our social welfare programs to make a significant dent in the situation. All they have done is create a huge and horribly expense bureaucracy at all levels of government with a dismal record of actually helping the poor and uneducated. So we have a whole sea of bureaucrats who are actually doing quite well on the plight of the poor and downtrodden. Of course they are all dedicated public servants - just ask them.

Perhaps the approach needs to be reconsidered. Empathy yes, but more reward for achievement. If the situation it is better to not look for a job or work at all there is zero incentive. I am definitely in favor of resurrecting the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) type of approach. There are thousands of needs for public work to be done in the US. And we do not need a huge new bureaucratic department to administer it. Just revise the operating rules of existing agencies. You need food stamps to exist on, OK you will provide so many hours a month to assist in food pantrys, food kitchens, etc. You don't perform the public work, you don't get the food stamps, this is not a fee ride. You need Section 8 housing to survive, OK you will provide a room to a homeless person outside you family. The whole subject of social welfare needs to be re-thought, partricularly the cost of the bureaucratic structure which often costs more than those they are supposed to help.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:13 AM
 
800 posts, read 696,490 times
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Portland is far from a perfect place. It was basically a plain jane mid-sized city like Dayton or Ft. Wayne until the 1980s, when they started doing policy things completely different than the rest of the country. They established the growth boundary and started building an enormous rail transit network. Today Portland has roughly the same sized rail network as Los Angeles, a metro area nearly 10X larger.

You can't see any mountains in Portland unless you go on top of one of the hills, and even then the mountains are 30-40 miles away. WAY out there in the distance. The Williamette River is not particularly interesting, and again the Columbia River gorge is at least 45 minutes away.

Architecturally Portland is totally weak compared to Cincinnati. There is not even a single really dominant pre-WWII building. No skyscraper, nothing like Music Hall or Union Terminal. No neighborhoods like Over-the-Rhine, Clifton, or Hyde Park. It's all totally unremarkable.

The progressive crowd started moving to Portland because it was way cheaper than San Francisco or Seattle. San Francisco, especially, is dominated by people who have inherited their wealth whereas Portland has a lot of people who went to art school.

Then in the late 90's, but more like around 2002-03, large numbers of wealthy people started moving to downtown Portland along the brand new streetcar line. The new buildings in downtown Portland and immediate adjacent to it are really impressive. They have at least a half dozen that are as noteworthy as The Ascent in Covington.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,748,743 times
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Quote:
Portland is far from a perfect place. It was basically a plain jane mid-sized city like Dayton or Ft. Wayne until the 1980s, when they started doing policy things completely different than the rest of the country. They established the growth boundary and started building an enormous rail transit network. Today Portland has roughly the same sized rail network as Los Angeles, a metro area nearly 10X larger.
I recall that Seattle was the hot place back in the early/mid 1990s. Portland was only known in wonkish planning and urban policy circles for its land use & transit things, otherwise sort of a blah place as Meck notes.

The chronology is a bit off, though. The land use control thing dates back to the 1970s as part of the environmental movement but also due to farmers in the Willamette Valley wanting to avoid development pressure...not just from Portland but from Salem, Eugene, etc, thus this statewide growth control policy was established and survived recall referdums.

The way they handled it in Portland WAS unique as they gave growth control authority in the Portland metro to a multi-county agency which was originally set up to deal with regional solid waste disposal. Also in the 1970s there was a big grassroots freeway revolt that led to the development of the transit system (which led also resulted in fairly progressive local politics). This was part of the frist wave of interest in light rail.

So there was this regional growth control, governance, and transit structure that evolved which does make Portland unique in the US.

Also, late in the 1970s probably more in the 1980s, there was a big influx of IT firms from Asia--starting with NEC--- establishing branch plants in Portland (the so-called "Silicon Forest"), which helped revive Portlands stagnant economy (the place had a relatively weak postwar economy..the 1950s/60s boom wasn't that big there)...so the money was flowing that helped the place execute their plans.

And, as was alluded to upthread, Portland didn't get a big black influx, aside from WWII war industry workers (sort of like what happened in the Bay Area). So you didn't have the racial discrimination thing going on (since there wasn't that many blacks to discriminate against) leading to a big minority underclass, and you didn't have this big white flight thing with whites running from "the coloreds" and cedeing the older parts of the city to the blacks, the way you saw in Cincy, Dayton, and elsewhere in the Midwest.

In fact the opposite happened...the old WWII-era ghetto neighborhood in Portland, Albina, became whiter.


So Portland is sort of a unique thing...in various ways.

However, I don't really get why the place became like, the counterculture/hipster new hot spot, sort of the Haight Ashbury of the 2000s.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,726,919 times
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good points, j. i think that the american system has always favored new. really western systems (financial, political, cultural) everywhere do to varying degrees.

what i mean is it is easy to turn a mudpit into a turkish bath than it is to turn an existing barbershop into a trendy spa. the mudpit, there is nothing there; a few people can gather around the mudpit, come up with ideas, and eventually, you know, do it. banks have heard that turkish baths make good money and they are happy to give the money for one. the people who were standing around the mud pit can pat themselves on the back and say, wow this turkish bath is awesome. we are the best.

with the barbershop, you've got people making a living off the place, existing customers, a neighborhood presence, and the status quo works. sure, some of your customers are dying or going to newer trendier places, but there is no need to go crazy. you've got a totally decent barbershop. plus it has a legit pole from 1910 out front.

so the people at the barbershop might say, hey we want to be a turkish bath too. but then they think, well, things are actually okay as they are. plus we still owe the bank for this building we bought 40 years ago. plus we don't have enough space for a turkish bath unless we annex the doughnut shop next door. and people love that doughnut shop.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
3,378 posts, read 3,694,700 times
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^ A creative and provocative summation, progmac! Succinctly and cleverly, you've unfolded what really needed to be said about Portland and Cincinnati. Thank you.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Originally Posted by motorman View Post
^ A creative and provocative summation, progmac! Succinctly and cleverly, you've unfolded what really needed to be said about Portland and Cincinnati. Thank you.
I agree, progmac made a very good summary.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
3,378 posts, read 3,694,700 times
Reputation: 1746
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Portland is far from a perfect place. It was basically a plain jane mid-sized city like Dayton or Ft. Wayne until the 1980s, when they started doing policy things completely different than the rest of the country. They established the growth boundary and started building an enormous rail transit network. Today Portland has roughly the same sized rail network as Los Angeles, a metro area nearly 10X larger...

...Then in the late 90's, but more like around 2002-03, large numbers of wealthy people started moving to downtown Portland along the brand new streetcar line. The new buildings in downtown Portland and immediate adjacent to it are really impressive. They have at least a half dozen that are as noteworthy as The Ascent in Covington.
Jake, thanks for your erudite expose of Portland (one of our new "media darlings") not for what it isn't, but for what it is--really a decent city, but one that hasn't blown Cincinnati out of the water. Although similar in MSA-size, these two cities might as well be on different continents--and that's not a criticism of either one. Two good cities, but also also two cities...miles and miles...apart.
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