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Old 08-22-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Midwest
77 posts, read 178,954 times
Reputation: 89

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
^ I totally agree. Divesity is coming, and actually Iowa City put forth a pretty decent level of community involvement and interaction during 2010 with areas on the southeast side of Iowa City. I think 2008-2009 were the low point, and people were starting to get very concerned. There was a mini "riot" during 2009 with dozens of people involved, lots of arrests, police injuries. A few shootings, a pretty big spate of robberies and beatings around town with the whole "the suspects are described as being african american, approximately 5'10" to 6'1" tall, medium build, 180-200 pounds and last seen wearing blue hoodies" and a murder.

Things have quieted down a LOT though. There has been police and school involvement, and something like community open houses to gather residents concerns that live in the area, getting them on the news and out in the open - as opposed to just talking to white people about why THEY'RE upset. It helped that the news stations started going to the black residents and asking them what they thought about the crimes and their neighborhoods, issues, etc. instead of just talking to some white couple. It helped the new residents feel like they were part of the community and someone cared enough to follow up with them, and it made the white community see that it's just real people like them living down there - with the same concerns.

The largest cities in Iowa are now home to around 80,000 black residents, up by tens of thousands in the past 10 years.

Growth in AA population 2000 to 2010:

Cedar Rapids: +69%
Iowa City: +96%
Davenport: +21%
Dubuque: +225%
Waterloo: +14%
Sioux City: +17%
Ames: +50%
Des Moines: +46%

Interestingly the places who already had the largest black communities per capita, Waterloo and Davenport, actually saw the lowest amount of growth during the 2000's.

I live in Davenport, so I'll give you a theory. Most of "us" (AAs) are generations deep in both towns, and primarily hail from Mississippi and Arkansas, with a population ranging anywhere from 25,000-30,000. The black population has hovered in the 20,000-30,000 range for roughly 20 years, and though there are a number of AAs moving to my area (Quad Cities), since there already was an established, sizeable (relatively speaking) black community on both the Iowa and Illinois sides of the river, it just didn't make people sit up and notice. Also, unlike the Des Moines-Ames area, or the IC-CR Corridor, the Quad Cities economy just doesn't have the dynamism of those aforementioned metropolitan areas. I try to tell people here that you can place the Quad Cities region into Ohio or Michigan, and it wouldn't feel strange. It is a manufacturing, low-wage, service oriented economy, and is not as educated and information technology/insurance/finance based as Des Moines, nor does it have the large university presence of an Iowa City. In fact, the Quad Cities region is finally building a 4-year public university in Moline, Illinois, and was the largest area in the United States without a 4-year public university. I have to believe that this fact dragged this community down badly, particularly during the early 1980s, when the manufacturing economy's floor dropped below us, and made it harder for us to recover. We lost 35,000 residents that decade, regained almost all of that population in the 20-plus years since the 1980s, but have remained stagnant since the 1990 Census count. But I digress.

The issues that Dubuque, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, etc. are facing racially are issues that this community faced 2 generations ago, though it had nothing to do with crime and everything to do with white racism and the social isolation that followed, through discriminatory practices in housing, employment, and education.

What's really striking is the growth in the black population in Dubuque, from 700 AAs in 2000 to roughly 3,000 today, according to the 2010 US Census figures. Dubuque is known NATIONALLY as a hostile place towards AAs, but with the tremendous growth in the black population, I have to believe there is hope for race relations there...lol. But seriously, things really are changing, and hopefully for the better.

Last edited by Squeaky2012; 08-22-2011 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:04 AM
 
89 posts, read 260,953 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky2012 View Post
Did you ever think that the Native Americans may have felt the same about the white settlers? LOL
LOL- I agree! I'm not trying to badmouth anything/anyone! Like I said- This is information I have "heard" from people. People are entitled to live wherever the hell they want to- I get that
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Midwest
77 posts, read 178,954 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest1628 View Post
LOL- I agree! I'm not trying to badmouth anything/anyone! Like I said- This is information I have "heard" from people. People are entitled to live wherever the hell they want to- I get that
No problem.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:46 AM
 
48 posts, read 102,306 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest1628 View Post
LOL- I agree! I'm not trying to badmouth anything/anyone! Like I said- This is information I have "heard" from people. People are entitled to live wherever the hell they want to- I get that
as an interesting aside, my mom worked for the bureau of indian affairs in mankato and we were tight with a LOT of tribal leaders and spritual leaders. My twin and I were actually some of the first blue eyed babies in some of their ceremonies in decades, if not a century.

Anyway, in general, they hated the term "native american" because they viewed it as an inventory term in use in the same way one would use "angus cows" or "rhode island chickens".

Amos Owen once told my mom that if she was concerned she could just call him Amos, and he wouldn't mind, or if she really wanted to, she could call him a Sioux, or even Indian was better. He thought it was ironic that you would call a group of people "native americans" rather than use their name for the land, rather than the name of an italian who had never seen the country.

I would point out that nearly everywhere else, they refer to pre-existing people as aboriginal, which makes more sense gramatically, since a "native american" is simply a person who is native to an american continent.

Im not trying to hijack this, i just figured I'd share that.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:20 PM
 
55,561 posts, read 49,483,050 times
Reputation: 17213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky2012 View Post
I live in Davenport, so I'll give you a theory. Most of "us" (AAs) are generations deep in both towns, and primarily hail from Mississippi and Arkansas, with a population ranging anywhere from 25,000-30,000. The black population has hovered in the 20,000-30,000 range for roughly 20 years, and though there are a number of AAs moving to my area (Quad Cities), since there already was an established, sizeable (relatively speaking) black community on both the Iowa and Illinois sides of the river, it just didn't make people sit up and notice. Also, unlike the Des Moines-Ames area, or the IC-CR Corridor, the Quad Cities economy just doesn't have the dynamism of those aforementioned metropolitan areas. I try to tell people here that you can place the Quad Cities region into Ohio or Michigan, and it wouldn't feel strange. It is a manufacturing, low-wage, service oriented economy, and is not as educated and information technology/insurance/finance based as Des Moines, nor does it have the large university presence of an Iowa City. In fact, the Quad Cities region is finally building a 4-year public university in Moline, Illinois, and was the largest area in the United States without a 4-year public university. I have to believe that this fact dragged this community down badly, particularly during the early 1980s, when the manufacturing economy's floor dropped below us, and made it harder for us to recover. We lost 35,000 residents that decade, regained almost all of that population in the 20-plus years since the 1980s, but have remained stagnant since the 1990 Census count. But I digress.

The issues that Dubuque, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, etc. are facing racially are issues that this community faced 2 generations ago, though it had nothing to do with crime and everything to do with white racism and the social isolation that followed, through discriminatory practices in housing, employment, and education.

What's really striking is the growth in the black population in Dubuque, from 700 AAs in 2000 to roughly 3,000 today, according to the 2010 US Census figures. Dubuque is known NATIONALLY as a hostile place towards AAs, but with the tremendous growth in the black population, I have to believe there is hope for race relations there...lol. But seriously, things really are changing, and hopefully for the better.
Things are indeed changing. As a geography major, this region is a place of study for me. I am looking at the rapid growth rate of African-Americans to places such as Iowa, Idaho, Maine, and other places where African-Americans have not previously moved to before in large numbers. I am currently doing a project and research some ideas to why this is happening in 2010 as oppose to other periods in time.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:47 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,458 times
Reputation: 22
Non-student, centrist, 20-year IC resident and parent here.

The answer is yes, it's a serious problem. While I believe there's white Chicago-orbit racism (and Chicago racism is still completely inexplicable to me in its virulence and binary nature; I'm not a midwesterner), the two big problems are:

1. There's now serious drug traffic running along the highways out of Chicago and across the upper Midwest, which means that as thugs take root in towns along the highways, serious, routine crime shows up -- stabbings, shootings, skyrocketing burglaries, random assaults, weapons offenses, mad child neglect;

2. Schools that had been shining stars for decades are suddenly on NCLB watch lists, largely because minority populations are not performing well (part of NCLB tests the progress of specific minority groups), and this wrenches the entire orientation of the schools around to boosting the kids over the tests -- it's a matter of school survival. Schools are also turning into military academies, with extremely restrictive behavioral programs applied to all the kids, in order to save singling out particular populations.

In do-good areas, governments provide a whole menu of services, and the problems outrun the govt's ability to contain them. The results in IC: More kids here in private school and homeschooling than ever before. Ten years ago it was silly to consider spending money on private-school tuition; now, not so silly. The appearance of good and bad neighborhoods with the usual disparities in housing values (bad news for anyone who bought in an area before lots of public housing went in). The usual civic agonies over ghettoization v. "scattered-site" metastasis.

Don't get me wrong; IC's still safer than most places. But it's certainly not what it was. When I walk over to get my coffee at the Java House now, I avoid taking a purse, and am greeted in the parking lot by panhandlers and, occasionally, prostitutes from the nearby projects. The nearby gas station and drugstore have both turned into liquor stores, thanks to demand, and are the site of frequent crimes and police calls. I got broken into last week for the first time in...uh, ever, here, and will finally call the alarm service for installation/monitoring next week.

It makes Iowa Citians extremely uncomfortable to say so -- nobody wants to be racist, there's a serious unfamiliarity with living with these issues, and the fact is this messed-up Chicago mentality about race lives here -- but criminal after criminal in the police blotter: black. The exceptions are mostly college kids drinking underage or holding disorderly parties.

Who's hurt worst by it? Probably the black Africans here to study or as refugees, because so many locals can't tell the difference between Sudanese and still-lives-half-in-Joliet.

As for me, I'd move if I could. I've seen this story play out in other towns and I've yet to see it end well. IC's not rich enough to support serious crime or much non-student poverty, and it doesn't know its own limits. Unfortunately, I'm stuck here till the banks loosen mortgage lending again. Though if things get bad enough I'll just rent my house out, take my family, and go.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:15 PM
 
708 posts, read 787,617 times
Reputation: 509
I wish I would have seen this thread a couple of years ago.


I think a few here have over-romanticized the Iowa City of old. Crime occurred here 20+ years ago. I can think of one assault case in the late eighties that was reported to but not investigated by the IC police. It only came to light when the same individual later assaulted someone else. Was this commonplace..who knows? It seemed local media turned a blind eye to a lot of what went on in the eighties. For all of you who said you wouldn't have locked your car...I've never had that mindset, and really didn't see IC as that sort of community then or now.


As far as the shining stars in our school system...I don't buy it. As I see it our district has a heavy dependence on what the children of university parents bring to the education of their kids. I was simply amazed to see how weak the curriculum was when my oldest child started school in this district. I think the junior highs and high schools have much more to offer. At the elementary level IC schools are no different than any other school district in the state of Iowa.

The school board in IC has mostly wanted to take credit in overall good test scores, but not want to address parental concerns. Maybe(except for the longest serving member) the current school board is better. Let me say though that past school board members and the past superintendent had lots of feedback about how poorly some schools were being run, and chose to do nothing about it.

The third high school debate has been very detrimental to the the district, imo. It has really showed what the true character is of many people that live in the area. Let's just say Johnson County isn't very tolerant at all.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Midwest US
13 posts, read 26,692 times
Reputation: 25
Unfortunately here in the Quad Cities we get hit from a lot of the bigger cities surrounding the area...Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City even Des Moines. One of the biggest problems is the PD are under staffed and a lot of them haven't had to deal with the rougher nature of this new element who have no regard for authority what so ever. You can look on the Scott County Sheriff's office nearly every day and see someone who assaulted an officer.

I think this issue speaks to all races though. The criminal element doesn't have a race boundry......or borders as it would seem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
219 posts, read 388,584 times
Reputation: 160
This is a very stupid forum and story! To say that anyone ruins a state just because they're from Chicago and black.. is a very racist statement. Might I just add that their are people who move to Iowa from other places all the time and they are not all bad people, sometimes they end up making the state and their community better, also their sometimes people who were born and natives to Iowa that end up "ruining" their own state..
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,848,988 times
Reputation: 1444
^why would Des Moines be a source for the criminal element? I understand the reason for crossing state lines due to states offering different welfare related benefits, but what would the motivation be for going from DM to QC? Just curious.
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