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Old 09-22-2015, 06:48 PM
1 posts, read 4,362 times
Reputation: 10


Considering moving to Dubuque...I've heard there is a checkered/racist past.

How does current Dubuque look? Is racism rampant? I have a 4yrold black daughter, and can't imagine moving somewhere our entire family wouldn't be welcomed.


Other pros and cons would be great!
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:10 AM
3,492 posts, read 5,280,387 times
Reputation: 5386
My experiences were around Iowa city rather than Dubuque, but I found larger cities outside of the Midwest tend to be the safest bet. Perhaps Dubuque will be isolated from the effects I saw and I certainly hope that is the case. Prior to living in Iowa City, I thought racism was mostly dead because I hadn't encountered it much on the West coast. When I left Iowa, I found the problems did not follow me.

Many people will tell you that you can't judge an entire state by the actions of a few, but how many times should one have to overlook casually hearing racist terms at work? In my opinion, the answer is zero.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:36 PM
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,585,574 times
Reputation: 522
There are racists everywhere, just look on Facebook at the number of people, all over the US, that post horrifyingly racist stuff. Or at things some Presidential candidates say... The anecdotal fact that 1 poster worked with some racist people doesn't make Iowa any more racist than other states. Iowa has a long and progressive civil rights history. I don't know as much about Dubuque's history, but its certainly not some kind of KKK oasis of racism.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:35 PM
Location: St. Paul, MN
320 posts, read 749,176 times
Reputation: 452
I know Dubuque visually and geographically rather well. Most of the city is remarkably clean and well-kept-up and the outskirts are filled with upscale new houses. My perception is that racism correlates mostly with lack of education, and what I've seen in Dubuque shows that most people there are well-educated. Three colleges right in town and plenty of solid employers. The poorest people generally live in the North End, which are the flats north of downtown, and around downtown, so you'll probably want to avoid living in those areas. There's also a situation unique to Dubuque and a few other small midwestern cities where Chicago tore down some of their worst section 8 projects and gave them all vouchers to move to these other cities. From what I've heard, these people are behaving the same way they did in the projects which is generally perceived as horrible and offensive or rude to mainstream Americans. Most Dubuque residents should be smart enough to know that those people are a small subset of the black population and those issues are limited to that small subset. Many of the less educated people in the poorer neighborhoods might have an experience or two watching these people and their behavior and might make the simple mistake of assuming that most black people act like that, because they don't know enough about different demographics to know that that's a bad assumption. Plenty of ignorant yet opinionated people out there. If you live in an upscale neighborhood (most of the city is upscale) and watch where you go to interact with people to avoid the less educated people near the city center, you will probably be fine. Dubuque is a nice city. Rather homogenous, but courteous and will wish you well.
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:48 AM
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When I experienced it, it was as squeamish suggests. With one slight modification. Most of the people had at least a Bachelor's degree and quite a few had Master's degrees. I would've felt better if it was limited to the least educated, but it did seem to increase dramatically after Chicago tore down the projects. Unfortunately, when that happened the backlash seemed to be aimed at all black people in the area.


I hope you don't think I'm suggesting it to be an oasis of racism. I'm simply suggesting that open racism is far more common in the Midwest than in the more developed regions. I believe it is also fair to say that "Deep South" areas (basically the southern part of the Midwest) is the area most known for the problem. I'm not suggesting that Iowa is doing worse than other Midwest states, just that I feel for people moving from more progressed locations.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:04 AM
Location: Iowa
1,667 posts, read 2,394,022 times
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Interesting the OP hasn't been heard from since their first and only post. I've noticed this from several other threads in the past regarding racism and LGBT, especially threads for CR and IC.

Nonetheless, I'll throw my two cents in. Regarding Dubuque, my neighbor, a young health care professional in Cedar Rapids, originally from Dubuque, with two brothers who are anesiologists in Iowa City, basically reinforce Squeamish's observations about Dubuque from a discussion I had with her recently on the subject.

In regard to Cedar Rapids and Iowa City: From my experience having raised children from kindergarten through high school in Cedar Rapids with one of my daughters staying in Iowa to complete her studies at the University of Iowa before moving to Portland Oregon 2+ years ago, and our family coming from the Los Angeles area to CR 21 years ago, I agree with Squeamish's post. I work with blacks and other minorities, my children's school principle was black, and I have know biracial families in our neighborhoods and schools. The educated professionals I work with and others have never shown racism. I won't say it doesn't exist, but I find Iowa to be very progressive. Many Iowans I've known have traveled to and organized groups to help the refugee crises and other natural disasters around the world in under developed countries.

On the homefront, the major complaint from transplants, whether minorities or white, is that Iowa is comprised mostly of people who have grown up here all their lives with extended families in the area. Although they are welcoming to outsiders there is less incentive to extend their contacts outside of family and long-time friends. This takes extra effort for transplants to make friends, unless your work is comprised of others in your situation.

As poster Squeamish states, Chicago tore down their housing projects and many of those moved to Cedar Rapids and the Iowa City area. I noticed this 15 years ago when it seem like an overnight change in Cedar Rapids when my youngest daughter was in middle school. The community has had to adjust to the change as it brought a different culture that the schools have been working on to adjust their teaching methods to accommodate the unique challenges these kids face. Before that, the community was mostly white with a few exceptions which I instantly noticed coming from Southern California. However I've been impressed with the general acceptance and respect for all nationalities in Iowa.

These days you find quite a few blacks, middle eastern, and other minorities in the community, the mall, grocery stores, fast food chains. From my observations, no one bats an eye. As always though, there will be some idiots, but I haven't seen it with the exception of one time when I was part of a mixed race couple and a little old lady in a park stared at us with a look of disapproval. Her husband quickly whisked her away.

Last edited by smpliving; 10-04-2015 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:04 AM
8 posts, read 8,507 times
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I grew up in Memphis, TN and now live in a small town outside of Memphis. We are wanting to relocate to just outside Dubuque. Since I am from the south and I have seen cases of racism and even been called a racist by individuals who don't know me, let me explain . In Memphis the majority of murders and gang activity, which are rampant in Memphis, come from and are committed by blacks. Black does not mean you're a criminal. It just happens that the majority committing these crimes are black. From low social economic 1 parent families who live off the welfare system. Does that sound racist? I hope not. I am simply stating that the majority of the inner city crimes committed are by people of color. Now we are having an influx of Hispanics. They, too are now committing crimes. Just because they are black, does not make them bad people. It is the individuals that have a " entitlement" mentality that makes most people appear racist in the south. My adult son, who currently lives in Cedar Rapids has a best friend who is black. He is part of our family. He was raised to be respectful and a hard worker. He doesn't have that entitlement mentality. He was raised with morals. That is what a lot of blacks in the south lack. My philosophy has always been " I didn't take you to raise. I only raise my children". When you have black children walk up to you and say " Give me some money" and fully expect you to just give it to them, then that gives you a sense of what entitlement mentality I mean. Even our friends son, who is black, will tell you that he dislikes blacks who think everyone owes them. I have met blacks in other areas such as in WI, and MN and they do not act that way. They are respectful . That is what we all want. Give respect and you'll get it back. I guess that is my main point. So for those that in the south are called racist, most is due to individuals behaviors not their skin color. It just unfortunately becomes too easy to put all blacks into a category ,sometimes without giving them a chance.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:05 PM
Location: Iowa
36 posts, read 92,053 times
Reputation: 57
The only place I would consider living in Iowa is Cedar Rapids. Iowa City, Coralville are made up of professional snobs from the University of Iowa hospital and school and have little regard for lower income or middle class folks. Everything done there is all centered around the University. Dubuque and Waterloo - nope. Still two of the most prejudice cities.
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:48 AM
1 posts, read 2,711 times
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Don't move to Dubuque if you are a minority or if you have a soul for that matter. I grew up there and they are racist as hell and still are. Nothing has changed since the national news stories of cross burning and hatred towards minorities in the 90s. I left Dubuque 16 years ago and it was the best decision I ever made. To be honest, it was an embarrassment being from that town. I've lived in DC and in Colorado and even they have heard of Dubuque and their racism. I was ashamed and still am ashamed of what people from my home town are guilty of. A lot of people from that town have no problem dropping the "N" word, calling black people "Coons" or being disrespectful towards anyone who isn't white. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere as many others have. The population of Dubuque has been on the decline. Lots of people leave....I've had a lot people with the same mentality as myself leave...because they are sick and tired of living in a town that is white, backwards and shows no signs of evolving in their social mentality. That town is ****. I loathe even going back to visit friends and family. Sadly enough, I've even dropped friends I've known for 20 years because of their failure to evolve as humans. That town is the armpit of America, hands down!
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:50 PM
Location: Northern United States
215 posts, read 183,965 times
Reputation: 299
Yeah? The towns population is declining yeah? Huh, that must of happened very recently because it is growing according to the latest information. Also, there are far more minorities in Dubuque now than ever and the minority population is growing fast. Not to say that there isn't some racism in Dubuque though. Just thought there was a little too much hyperbole in that post.
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