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Old 09-26-2011, 10:45 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,177,937 times
Reputation: 4221

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PVPete View Post
People think Johnson County is perfect, but it is far from so. Post your best Johnson County problems.

1. Our Homeowner's association only allows three different shades of beige.

2. The Whole Foods near us only carries two different brands of kumquat and only ONE is organic.

3. Our high school only offers basic Latin, not intermediate. WTF?

4. There is only one dog groomer within TWO MILES of my home. Ugh.

5. The Starbucks down the street has sporadic wi-fi service AT BEST.

What other problems do you find in Johnson County?

Geeze, could you be any snarkier? My biggest problem with Johnson County is that it's in Kansas.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,496,291 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by smellykat View Post
Your post bashing Johnson County by attempting to portray the county as a racist community paints an false picture, past and present.
I don't live there currently, so I won't (and haven't) made a judgement on current race relations. But yes, JoCo was quite, if not very racist in the '80s. When I was in high school, the "N" word was used by pretty much all of my friends. And minorities were nearly non-existent. Sorry if you prefer to change history.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:39 PM
 
327 posts, read 819,266 times
Reputation: 253
KCMO - yes, I'm very aware of the history of the Leawood police tatics of monitoring DWB. Those actions are beyond shameful, but no community was immune to racism in the past, and to be honest, it's still very much alive and well today. Racism existed in Kansas City, Missouri, the Missouri suburbs, St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Springfield, Chicago, Chicago suburbs, Denver, Denver suburbs, and on and on and on. Johnson County does not hold exclusive rights to present or past acts of racism.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:28 PM
 
327 posts, read 819,266 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
smellykat, you do realize that JoCo owes much of it's success to racism don't you?
Wow! That's quite a statement! Links, please.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:44 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
414 posts, read 744,099 times
Reputation: 211
https://twitter.com/#!/FirstWorldPains
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:50 PM
 
327 posts, read 819,266 times
Reputation: 253
Decided to do a little research, and discovered that J. C. Nichols (developer of the Country Club Plaza and influential Kansas Citian) was a racist. My apologies to you, Denver and KCMO. Johnson County does have a racist past as does Jackson County, Clay County, and Platte County.

Fascinating link (from a historical standpoint only) from Tulane University revealing Kansas City's dirty little secret.


ijurr24-3-gotham 616..633

Last edited by smellykat; 09-26-2011 at 10:49 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,493,517 times
Reputation: 5409
smellykat smellykat....how does that song go? .

I never said KCMO didn't have similar issues back in the day. KCMO had race issues before JoCo was ever much of a thought other than farmland and that little town way out there somewhere in KS that could be reached via the Strang Line Commuter rail.

And I NEVER said the people of JoCo are any more racisit (now or in the past) than any other part of KC. When blacks moved to South KC or even showed up in malls and theaters, the whites left in droves and it wasn't till there was no white ecomony left that crime and blight took off and stores closed. It had nothing to do with blacks. Way off topic....

The big difference is in the 50's-60's, blacks were not really allowed to move to JoCo in the first place, but they were moving to Raytown, Ruskin etc, so my point was that JoCo has somehow managed to sort of wall itself off from nearly all of the social and race problems in metro KC even though it's a core county of the metro. The county has been able to basically keep out the blacks, the poor and whatever else that might run off middle class whites.

I don't have links or any of that and I'm not going to dig them if (if they exist), I think it's very clearly visible with the naked eye.

You can blame it on the real estate industry who kept blacks out of JoCo for the longest time and sold the county specifically to whites as a place to go to avoid blacks. You can blame city and county planners for not offering affordable housing or refusing to have transit that interacts with KCMO in any way other than commuters.

It is what it is. But yea, that's why the county has been able to sustain attractive stats. It just doesn't have a lot to offset the good like all the other counties in KC do.

Race played a major roll in how JoCo has evolved today and continues to evolve to this day. But what has happened in JoCo is no worse than what has happend in raytown, SKC, etc where whites have run for the hills at that sight of blacks and left the city to rot in their rear view mirror.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that all of KC is a complete racial mess. It's segrated like crazy and whites continue to flee from blacks, which leaves behind a mess, causing the middle class blacks to flee as well and it's just a vicious cycle.

But still back to the point of this post. How is a county that is a core county of the metro that borders two high minority counties so white? Looking past the KS vs MO stuff, it really is interesting.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,496,291 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by smellykat View Post
Decided to do a little research, and discovered that J. C. Nichols (developer of the Country Club Plaza and influential Kansas Citian) was a racist. My apologies to you, Denver and KCMO. Johnson County does have a racist past as does Jackson County, Clay County, and Platte County.

Fascinating link (from a historical standpoint only) from Tulane University revealing Kansas City's dirty little secret.


ijurr24-3-gotham 616..633
I would imagine that racism was an issue in about any white, suburban area of any city in the '80s and before that. My parents were not racist, and any such talk would not have been tolerated in our home, but my older relatives were racist. The last time I was in JoCo (4 yrs. ago) I noticed how much more integrated it's become, at least in NE JoCo.

I lived in Orange County, CA for a decade and it was considered to be very racist even 25 years ago.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,493,517 times
Reputation: 5409
Just to defend myself, I decided to do a little research myself (even though I honestly already know this stuff pretty well and have studied KC's history extensively in the past).

Here are a few quotes from a story written by the Johnson County Museum.

Quote:
In 1966, Donald and Virginia Sewing moved their family to Fairway. They purchased an unassuming three-bedroom ranch-style home at 4118 W. 59th Street for $23,000. Donald was a banker and real estate agent based in Kansas City, Kansas, while his wife stayed home with their two young children. While this may seem unremarkable, their arrival in the neighborhood prompted front-page stories in the Kansas City Star, and the number of cars driving by their house to check out the new neighbors created a traffic jam. Why all the interest? The Sewings were the first black family to move into the affluent enclave of northeast Johnson County.

Once in the suburbs, suburban developers such as the J.C. Nichols Investment Company and the Kroh Brothers used deed restrictions to exclude some potential buyers, such as African-Americans or Jews, who may also have had the financial means to leave the city behind. These restrictions were intended to safeguard property values —a common fear among whites was that selling a house to a black family would inspire “panic selling” among the neighbors, causing property values to plummet.

Although racially restrictive covenants were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1948, minorities continued to face barriers to suburban home ownership. Discrimination in lending practices and the de facto racism practiced by many real estate agents, who refused to show homes in certain areas to “undesirable” buyers, made the American Dream of owning a home in the suburbs an impossibility for many minorities.

Donald Sewing liked to say that, after seeing war—he served as a medic in the Korean War, where he earned a Bronze Star—nothing much fazed him. So when he and his wife Virginia made the decision to move their young family from Kansas City, Kansas, to northeast Johnson County, Sewing was undaunted by the challenge. Earlier efforts to integrate northeast Johnson County’s exclusive neighborhoods had been unsuccessful. For instance, in 1963, a black family bought a home in Westwood. Before they could move in, a group of white residents in Westwood raised $25,000—nearly double the value of the home—to purchase the house and keep the family out of the neighborhood.

A 1956 graduate of the University of Kansas City (now UMKC) School of Business, Sewing had established a thriving real estate business based in Wyandotte County. Despite his real estate background, however, finding a house to buy in Johnson County was not easy—many white realtors sought to maintain the segregated status quo by refusing to show homes to blacks. To circumvent this barrier, Sewing used his professional contacts to locate a house for sale in Fairway, and bought it directly from the owner. When the Sewing family moved into the house in February 1966, they were faced with a traffic jam of cars driving past, and a lone picketer whom they invited in for a soda. Soon enough, thanks in part to the support of Fairway mayor Neale Peterson, life returned to normal for the Sewings and their neighbors.

To grow his business in 1970, Donald Sewing opened a real estate office at 7544 Floyd Street in Overland Park. Later that year, a smoke bomb was thrown through the office’s window but did little damage. But the mid-1970s, Sewing decided to close his Overland Park office. Despite changing laws that outlawed discrimination in housing, Sewing still found it difficult to gain entrée into the circle of Johnson County realtors, a handicap that made the business too expensive to run. He continued to operate his Wyandotte County office until his death in 2007.

Despite the many barriers to equality that were broken down by advocates for fair housing in the 1960s, Johnson County today remains largely homogenous. 2006 United States Census figures indicate that 90.3% of Johnson County’s 516,731 residents are white, while people from a diversity of ethnic backgrounds make up the remaining 9.7%.
That pretty much sums things up, But it didn't end in the 70's or even 80's. It was still very difficult for a black family to comfortably move to JoCo and find help doing so from the real estate industry long after many new laws were put into place. The racial issues were well established in JoCo and JoCo was consistently sold as the place to go to avoid blacks and to some degree it still is today, albiet primarily under the table.

And like I said earlier, today things are probably better (because you can go to jail now for steering people to certain parts of town due to race), but many middle class blacks avoid JoCo today and would rather live in other suburban areas. (I personally know well off black people that are from urban kcmo that avoid JoCo at all costs because of getting pulled over etc and would never live there), but I do know that there are now many middle class blacks living in JoCo and do just fine. A lot of it is resentment. You spend your entire life blocks from an area that you know the history of, but if you move to KC from another city, it may be easier for a black family to settle in JoCo. Even today, much of JoCo's minority population if affluent Asians and then the Hispanics which are slowly running the whites out of parts of Olathe. Very few blacks in a very urbanized county directly next to Jackson and Wyandotte.

So yes, race has a lot to do with the current state of Johnson County, if not everything to do with it. Having a "suburb" across the street from central KCMO and KCK pushed all the black migration in different directions that did allow it (such as South and far east KCMO) and that caused mass white flight and resulting blight in those areas. Had such migration occurred into JoCo, I'm sure the results would be the same and JoCo's demographics would be more like Jackson or Clay where the older parts of the county would be seeing much bigger blight problems today while the outer areas thrive. And it sucks that it's that way. Why do blacks moving in cause mass white flight and blight? Because whites over react and flee. So the booming suburban areas of SKC were just as bad as JoCo. They might have allowed more blacks to move in, but they obviosly wanted no part of it and it brought the super fast growing suburban areas of Ruskin and Hickman Mills to a halt. In the 80's. Not 50's.

But instead of JoCo facing similar issues, you have a large affluent mostly white suburb only blocks from the central urban core of the city. You have to go 10-15 miles to reach such areas on the Missouri side.

That is how JoCo initiated its standing of a great suburb and how it maintains it today. Race. Then you add in all the other destructive and unproductive ways that JoCo interacts with metro KC (business poaching, refusing to participate in regional funding, refusing to be involved in regional transit etc and just the joco attitude that many in joco have that joco is better than any other part of kc and you might just might start to see why a person like me with so many ties to urban kcmo and a family with deep urban kcmo roots has a lot of resentment toward the place, because it's not a great suburb for doing every right. It might just be a great suburb for doing all the wrong things and getting away with it.

I'm not saying KC would be better off if JoCo was a mess of blight and white flight like other parts of KC. But the county gets a free ride as if it just got the way it is today with amazing city planning and great schools. Not so much...

Last edited by kcmo; 09-27-2011 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:03 PM
 
210 posts, read 348,476 times
Reputation: 117
To be fair, pretty much all of KCMO south of 39th and west of 71 was developed because of racism too.
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