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I grew up in a city that was built on the backs of black, brown, red, white and yellow. What little segretagtion exists is economic and self-imposed. If a man wants a $5M house and he can afford it someone will sell it to him, or he will build it. I really didn't understand the deep black-white distrust and hatred until I moved down south. As a country we need to do something to lower the flame under this slow boiling pot before it boils over.
Incidentally I thought I read a comment in this thread that meant Chicago was founed by a Haitian. No so. Chicago was founded by a black French Canadian who lived in Peoria, Illinois. He sold his home, and person things to finance his desire to go north. Chicgo was a town in Peoria County for a number of years before Cook County was formed.
With their crime rate, it seems like everyone has a reason to fear Blacks. It's not the media, it's the violent actions of Black people themselves.
I've been avoiding the city-data forums because they've done nothing but make me angry and raise my blood pressue. I walk around upset alot and feeling emotions ranging from anger to embarrassment to confusion. Personally, I'm trying to stay sane.
However, there are some posts that I adamantly disagree with, mostly because they give no regard to "individuals" and more regard to "group". For this reason, I feel that I need to respond.
I am African-American. I don't commit crimes. I speak what is known as "proper English" with a slight Upper Midwest accent. I am in school and I will graduate from university with a bachelor's degree in May 2012. I have a job working for my university and had an interview with a bank this week. I'm a big geography nerd, and in general, I'm an intellectual. What angers me is that events such as the crap at Mayfair, Riverwest, and the WI State Fair make the news so much. I do condemn their actions and feel that those persons should be punished for what they did. Their actions are repugnant and disturbing to say the least. I also feel that Black people who are not part of that criminality, that ugly mentality, who are doing good things, shouldn't have to live with the mistakes of those who commit violent crimes and happen to look like them. I can't do anything about the person who does those horrible things. I don't live in Milwaukee. I can call them out and condemn their actions. I can call the police and turn in the perpetrators if I am a witness to it. However, those persons who committed those attacks, chances are, those particular individuals won't listen to me.
I am angry, but I'm not surprised. Like a friend of mine said "if it bleeds, it leads".
I also feel it is important for me to say this. You mentioned somewhere that segregation saves lives. I disagree and this is why. Let's apply this to Milwaukee's case. Segregation wouldn't save my life. I am what many people describe as "the Black person who talks and acts White". I have been jumped and beat up by a few Black teenagers because I was perceived as passive, nerdy, and, in a word weak. These actions have also been done to me my White teenagers. I was shot with a paintball gun by a White teenager. To me, segregation wouldn't save MY life. Most Black people are getting murdered by their own ethnicity.
And I have another question: Why are these "Black on White" attacks happening in the South as opposed to Wisconsin? I live in the Atlanta area and none of this is happening down here. In fact, in Mississippi, a 49 year-old Black man was beat up and ran over by a few White teenagers and then ran over a truck and killed. What do you think the difference is?
Look at what just happened at State Fair. Does my life experience sound so far fetched now?? Do I even have to argue my case anymore??? I've known that blacks in Milwaukee have been like this for decades; but people like you guys are just finding out now. Even the nation and world (I saw an article in DailyMail London) know what's going on. I've been telling people the whole time.....can't say I didn't warn you.
In case you didn't notice this website is called City-Data.com not Stormfront.com.
I am going to make my statement with all of this. If I could say anything to the criminals who attacked those people at the WI State Fair, and the persons who have racist attitudes, this is what I would say to them all:
For all of the persons who committed those repugnant acts of violence at the Wisconsin State Fair, shame on all of you. I hope the law catches up with you and you go to prison for your behavior. This was the Wisconsin State Fair. People come to the fair to enjoy themselves, to have fun, to have a place to bring their children. People don't go to the fair to get attacked and hurt. If the attacks at the WI State Fair were hate crimes, then those persons need to be punished. A Black person committing a hate crime is just as bad as a White person doing so. Such behavior is inexcusable. What did those individuals at the Fair ever do to you? Also, as an African-American, I don't like this behavior because when there are a group of African-Americans, especially men, behaving this way, there might be people who will look at me with suspicion and fear simply by skin color. That is the last thing I need as an individual who is trying to live his life. If Dr. King was alive today, I think he would be very angry.
For the persons who would judge individual Black people or write off the entire Black race as "inferior" or basically hateful towards Black people, shame on you. Such actions are wrong. Such actions are prejudicial. These actions are very archaic and reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. The last time I check, we are all suppose to move past that. Unfortunately, here I am, seeing that in 2011, the more things change, the more things stay the same. Some might say it's about survival. I say such prejudice has existed before Blacks were going around attacking Whites. It existed where there were Whites attacking Black people. Judging a person by their race is not what Dr. King had in mind. Such actions give no regard for the individuals who are decent people, who are hardworking, who do obey the law, who are good people. If an African-American individual is a decent individual, why should said individual be judged by the actions of some criminals who just happen to be African-American? It isn't fair to the individuals who are trying to lead decent lives.
Segregated cities in the US don't usually occur by accident. At one point it was intentional, and certainly not benevolent. I like the idea of "fixing" Milwaukee because a fix is necessary [disclaimer: I am considering relocating to WI].
The OP set forth some very salient points. However, his premise was attacked by some of the very types of people who would prefer the status quo. Keeping Milwaukee segregated and mostly Black--regardless of their economic status--is short-term thinking that guarantees long-term ignorance and economic short-comings for the entire metropolitan region.
Yes, there is a brain drain. Yes, there are pockets of crime. And yes, some are simply suspicious/scared/hateful of Black Milwaukeeans based on perception and presumption. I live in the South. I see confederate flags flying out of and attached to pickup trucks every day. Can't very well presume that all White people believe in supremacy and violence. It's just as absurd to make presumptions about all Black Milwaukeeans.
Once people get over their fears and ignorance of each other, hopefully Milwaukee can move forward.
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