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Old 02-18-2014, 07:49 PM
 
6,122 posts, read 7,169,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydlee View Post
Not from Chicago and not Black, but as a person of color, this speaks to me. It's good, though sometimes difficult, to bring up such a nuanced topic about things not everyone may be able to see due to different individual experiences.
It's an old subject. It's been around since the beginning of time.

It takes an open mind to be able to listen to someones story and learn from their experience even if they are different. I experience Black Chicago every day and I also get to see a lot of the city and see how it gives a different experience based on race, culture, economics and education. We could not possibly experience the same Chicago due to the dynamics and how Chicago has established itself.

Just look at the subject. Some agree with there being a brain drain and others don't. We seem to be divided based on our experiences with Chicago and life.

I never fear discussing tough subject because it stretches the comfort zone of those involved including me.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago
319 posts, read 451,997 times
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In the medical fields, Chicago more than holds its own. It seems like on this site people are always listing finance, tech, and entertainment as the only field that exist. In medicine, these are some of the following societies that are headquartered here and for ease of simplicity I'm quoting Wikipedia:

"The American Medical Association, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, American Osteopathic Association, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Clinical Pathology, American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Hospital Association, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association are all based in Chicago."

I can't remember where I read or heard this, so take it as anecdotal, but I heard somewhere that 1 out of 6 physicians had part of their training (whether it was undergrad, medical school, of residency) here.

With this kind of presence in a field that is like what 16% or whatever of the total economy, I think Chicago more than holds its own in at least this field.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:47 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,614 posts, read 2,663,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtinmemphis View Post
The segregation takes its toll on many Black American transplants especially after they find out how limiting it can be on their lives to the point where we leave for smaller cities to thrive socially and professionally.
I'm not saying that segregation doesn't take a toll on an individual, but I am curious about one thing: if segregation has taken such a toll on you in Chicago, then why are you moving to St. Louis?

I don't have the statistics for integration levels in the city of St. Louis itself, but I do know that Greater St. Louis as a whole is supposed to be ever so slightly more segregated than Chicagoland as a whole.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerseusVeil View Post
I'm not saying that segregation doesn't take a toll on an individual, but I am curious about one thing: if segregation has taken such a toll on you in Chicago, then why are you moving to St. Louis?

I don't have the statistics for integration levels in the city of St. Louis itself, but I do know that Greater St. Louis as a whole is supposed to be ever so slightly more segregated than Chicagoland as a whole.
Good question.

I saw the stats for that. Many exurbs of St Louis like St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties are 95% White. That is what leads the region to having a slightly higher segregation index than Chicagoland.

The city of St. Louis on a block by block basis does better than Chicago as a city. When comparing the Central West End, Tower Grove, Old North, Soulard, Lafayette Square and Compton Heights to areas like Andersonville, Edgewater, Ravenswood and other 2nd tier Chicago neighborhoods there are more options for Black and White integration with in St. Louis.

As a gay man in St Louis, my social circle was normal. Actually I had more White friends then Blacks. The gay community seems a lot less fragmented and less polarized than the scene in Chicago.

St. Louis is no utopia by no stretch of the imagination. There is nasty history there and they do a good job of covering it up. Here in Chicago they let you know quickly who they are with no apologies. The worst racism I experience there was the usual funny looks or grabbing purses out of fear that is typical midwest foolery. Here it has been taken a step further on the level of being verbally confrontational. My over all experience has been a lot worse in Chicago than any other place. I can deal with the covert stuff more so than Chicagoes overt stuff.

My move to St. Louis is just as much personal as it is professional. I can actually have some of the same toys to play with that I have in Chicago with less hassle and have a higher standard of living. I think it's all about preferences and where you are in life.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,302,360 times
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This is going to be long, but I had to get my thoughts out there because some of this really bugs me:

Here's the thing - the poor black south side areas are not going to get any better all of a sudden in respect to segregation for many reasons - crime, amenities, etc. The Asian population is creeping into the big hispanic areas like McKinley Park and recently Brighton Park. The best hope for a bad neighborhood becoming better is what is happening in Greater Grand Crossing not far from South Shore and Jackson Park Highlands.

However, this is what gets me. I understand that we all have parts of ourselves that are identified by our races, but after that I think it's incredibly shallow to look at someone who's not the same race and just assume that they won't accept you and won't find anything in common with you. I've been in places around the world where I'm the only non-black and non-Asian person in the middle of thousands of people. I've been to bars in these countries where it's the same thing. Hell, I've been to south side suburbs where I was one of 3 non-black persons at an establishment. Did I say "huh? I'm the only ____ person here." Yes, but after that it stops because if there's anything I've learned around the world, it's that people no matter where they are from, have the same basic needs and wants. It's easy as hell to relate to people if you aren't shallow and I have had 0 problems anywhere in the US or world relating to people even when I'm the one in the deep minority. Even amongst people I have encountered that are racists, I have been able to talk to them and relate on some human level where they eventually put down their racist tendencies and start seeing a human as a human, and not sub human.

Here's my observations since moving here and this is as a non-black person, but also as someone who loves to observe human nature in any setting. First of all, I think that there are a few groups that can bring about change in migration.

1) Hipsters. They tend to be part of pre gentrification in many areas. Their migration follows an easy pattern of being close to other hip areas. For example, hipsters may inhabit Hermosa because it's next to Logan Square, but offers cheap rent. They are not going to Montclare because it's too far away from their hipster meccas.

2) Artists. They may form in little areas anywhere in a city but their effects are small. The exception to the rule may be what Theaster Gates is doing in Greater Grand Crossing, which I think is nothing short of amazing.

3) Working class families. They tend to inhabit some areas for sure and bring about a little more integration, but it's not a lot. They tend to follow an almost hipster model and spread out from one area. The example I can think of right now going on in Chicago is Asian families expanding from Chinatown into Bridgeport and now McKinley Park and recently even Canaryville and Brighton Park. You could say this about the far north side with groups of Arabs and Assyrians in some area, Filipinos, etc.

4) "Young professional" transplants. They go where there is stuff to do. This is important because people just assume magically that because Lake View is 80% white, that they aren't open to other peoples. The real fact is how the neighborhood is set up. People are moving to Chicago because they want to live in areas that are safe but also offer that urban experience of being able to walk around to find things to do, eat at, etc. There's a reason why people are not moving to North Lawndale en masse. It has nothing to do with the fact that there's loads of black people there. It has everything to do with the fact that there's gangs there which someone who's making at least $65K/year knows there are other places in town they can live where they don't have to put up with safety concerns. Second to that are the amenities. Usually someone who can't afford to live in a better off neighborhood will follow the hipster trend instead of something else.

Since I live downtown, I can only offer up my experiences in these areas and the other areas in question which people just magically associate with white and "not open minded." First of all, as some of you may know - I am of mixed race. If you compare me to a normal white person with blonde hair, I'd stick out a lot. However, I have NEVER had any racist encounters myself in Chicago in these neighborhoods. I know what racism is - I grew up with it subjected to me and my family and that continued into college for my first two years. I have also never dated someone who is 100% white in Chicago. In fact, even if you count dates I've been on, you'll only find a few white women I've gone on dates with. Almost everybody has been of another race. Yet, I have NEVER had a racist comment subjected at me in Chicago at any point. I have dated two black women since last summer having spent at least 50% of our time downtown, Lincoln Park, or Lakeview. Again, not once have I noticed any weird looks or comments directed at us. The only looks I got were from 60+ year old black women but I wouldn't say they were "wtf?" looks. Other than that, nobody has given a flying **** and has never stopped these girls from not wanting to spend time in the neighborhoods. They often times suggested places to go to in these neighborhoods - not me dragging to them because it's where I live. They sincerely liked the neighborhoods.

The thing I truly believe is that some people are ultra sensitive to their own race and associate any negative or different body language from others with having to do with that person having issues with race. It's just another form of being a cognitive miser, yet so many people seem to do it. When they are in a group where they are the obvious minority, everything is amplified. I've been there before and it's easy to follow into, but logical and critical thinking will make you realize how shallow it really is and how much you're missing.

My friend actually went through this recently. He is of mixed race, partially hispanic. He seems to think that because HE knows he's part Hispanic, that everyone else thinks so too and any different body language in his vicinity MUST be because they are racists. However, he doesn't look like it. He basically looks mixed Italian and European Spanish and looks like a movie star which women go crazy over. He came to me a few weeks ago and opened up how pissed he was that people look at him weirdly. Because race is on his mind, he thinks that MUST be the reason. My attempts to tell him that he doesn't look Hispanic at ALL and all of our mutual friends agreed with that sentiment didn't register with him. I then offered up the revolutionary idea to him that you can't judge what people are doing - everyone has their own **** going on and you have no idea what they're thinking. Unless they straight up tell you why they're looking at you weird, it's utterly pointless and counter productive to guess and assume it's because they're a racist. I have had times walking down the street where my contact has semi come lose while walking, which has caused me to squint when it's cloudy out. There's no doubt in my mind that people would probably think I was thinking "the **** is wrong with you?" at them. However, nothing is further from the truth. My contact was loose, causing me to squint. Other people have bad days and anybody who gets in their way doing anything annoying is going to get a weird look. I've done it before and I'm sure others on here have been in the same boat.

I remember one time in middle school, there was a new student who had just moved from Wisconsin and as we were sitting in class, I noticed him looking at me weirdly. I assumed that because he moved from a small, racially homogeneous town in Wisconsin that he MUST be looking at me weirdly because of my race. I went and told my friend's mom about him that day and saying how he was a racist because he was looking at me weirdly. Well, turns out I made friends with this guy shortly after. I confronted him about it and it had nothing to do with my race. I was doing something weird, which caused him to think "the hell?" It turns out he's one of the most open minded people I've ever met and he's worked for the CIA and State Department in a handful of developing countries where he is the minority and has absolutely zero problem with it.

The point is that people need to stop assuming that everybody else has a problem with them because they're of another race as someone else. Sure, there will be racists out there, but in my experience especially in Chicago, the younger generation on average really does not give two flying ****s what race you are and people need to stop assuming that because you are in a per-dominantly racially homogeneous area for whatever race it is, that people are going to have a problem with you if you aren't like them. It's absolutely not forward thinking and is counter productive to society if we continue to think like this.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:08 AM
 
6,122 posts, read 7,169,922 times
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Marothisu,

I understand what you are writing. I've experienced a lot of gestures that could or couldn't be taken as racism. I've seen White women get defensive with other White women on trains.

When you hear racial slurs at a certain intersection and hear another person complain about the same thing less than three blocks away. And someone else have a fight outside a bar over being harassed and he was walking past the place. The alarm goes off.

I went to an all White private school in one of those 95% suburbs and never ever ever had a racial problem or thought of a student or teachers as being racist. I know many other situations where people where like you the only one. One of my favorite restaurants never have any black customers here in Chicago and I always get treated very well when I take clients there. I understand exactly what you are writing.

What I have issue with is when people have the balls to verbally tell you that you are in the wrong neighborhood. When other people who look like you have the same experience in various neighborhoods across the city that's a problem that can't be denied. If Chicago was just segregated, I wouldn't be complaining. When you have segregation mixed in with the second highest unemployment rate among Black males next to Milwaukee. Constant issues being made with unfair business practices between the city and the Black community. Then tons of stories like mine with different neighborhoods, you've got a hot mess that can't be denied. You can follow my post all the way back to when I first moved to the area and you will notice the difference as I begun to experience the city.

Race is an uncomfortable issue for many. I understand not everyone is racist in Chicago. Most Whites in Chicago are not racists even the ones who live in segregated neighborhoods. There's a culture that isn't very flattering to the city when it comes to the Black community vs racism. I hope this helps to understand where I'm coming from.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:44 AM
 
190 posts, read 287,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSunshineKid View Post
You would mention it because you think "Integration = good" while "Segregation = bad." You see that blacks are leaving the city and think "Systematic racism!" The common myth of segregation is "Well, it must be due to some backward thinking. Something must've happened in the system that the Chicago black community is struggling ... it MUST be the system. It has to be. And by golly, it most likely is due to racism."
you seem to have an aversion to understanding long term historical trends.

the way neighborhoods were formed regarding black segregation in this city absolutely has to do with systematic racism.

race riots, redlining, restrictive covenants, white flight, police brutality...the list goes on...

that treatment formed all black (and mostly poor) neighborhoods with very little upward mobility.

you're right, a lot of that stuff ended 50 years ago (some of it still exists).

but humans are a product of their environment and that treatment absolutely had a lasting impact on the segregation in this city, to pretend otherwise is laughable.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:48 AM
 
11,973 posts, read 29,415,369 times
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I can see the disconnect in this thread. While Chicago remains attractive to white and Asian, and maybe even Hispanic professional/creative people from other cities and regions, there very well could be a "black brain drain" occurring in Chicago.

In a college sociology course I had in the 1990's, Chicago was held up as one of the largest concentrations of "black middle class" in America, largely centered in neighborhoods like Chatham and many south suburbs. But the last 20+ years have not been kind to this black middle class in greater Chicago, and the recent well-publicized economic struggles of the middle class have affected the black middle class to a greater degree. The data do show an out-migration of black residents.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Seattle
8,030 posts, read 8,086,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
I can see the disconnect in this thread. While Chicago remains attractive to white and Asian, and maybe even Hispanic professional/creative people from other cities and regions, there very well could be a "black brain drain" occurring in Chicago.

In a college sociology course I had in the 1990's, Chicago was held up as one of the largest concentrations of "black middle class" in America, largely centered in neighborhoods like Chatham and many south suburbs. But the last 20+ years have not been kind to this black middle class in greater Chicago, and the recent well-publicized economic struggles of the middle class have affected the black middle class to a greater degree. The data do show an out-migration of black residents.
Yes, it was clear based on 2010 Census data that Chicago has seen somewhat of an exodus of middle class black people but it's hardly something unique to Chicago. It's clearly part of a nationwide trend of blacks moving from the Northeast and Midwest and California cities to southern cities/states or to the suburbs.

Census estimates show more U.S. blacks moving South - USATODAY.com
What Explains The Middle-Class Black Exodus From The Northeast? - Forbes
Blacks' exodus reshapes cities - USATODAY.com
In CA and Other States, Black Migration Alters the Political Landscape - New America Media
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,161,235 times
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I can say from firsthand observation that a decent # of my black St Ignatius classmates have moved from Chicago to Atlanta or NYC. To be fair, these are the extraordinary high performer types, they were in the top tier of an already elite academic environment. But, part of the appeal of Atlanta is simply the weather. Believe me, I am feeling that right now.

Many more have stayed, and judging just by social media postings, the extremely overt racism you see in the "Gunshine state" is far more pressing on their minds than the kind of stuff mjtinmephis describes.

And I agree Chicago is very block by block. I worked for the Census ages ago, and I *did* have to go block by block in a pretty large area, and it was quite an enlightening experience. Not very many native Chicagoans, much less transplants, are familiar with every block in any given area.

And what I find bashing-my-head-against-a-wall ironic is I am 100% sure that the yahoos who would tell a gay black man in Lake View it isn't "their neighborhood" aren't Chicago natives. There is no question in my mind they are transplants from incredibly un-diverse parts of the country, and they seethe at the idea of Wrigleyville having to coexist with Boystown.
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