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Old 07-30-2013, 08:47 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,418,710 times
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Originally Posted by seyz View Post
I'm just wondering what the current situation of all this was. I clearly see where people are concerned, as having lived in big cities before you have a 6th sense of who to avoid and when someone is suspicious. There are definitely some individuals who give off such a vibe in Iowa City and I have heard Des Moines, Waterloo, and Davenport are particularly worse. In the last month or so I've read about a home invasion in Iowa City and two shootings in Waterloo. Again, this is probably about average for a city of these sizes, maybe a bit lower, but I expected Iowa to be a place free of urban blight and where homicides and home invasions were one in a million, though evidently I was wrong.

My question is, has the situation gotten better at all as of 2013? Also what is the situation projected for the future? Is Iowa doing something to both accommodate transplants successfully or are they increasingly designating more section 8 housing and more are coming? I am going to be here likely for two years so I guess I should be somewhat informed.
I know teachers in IC (family/friends) and stay with one of my best friends who lives in southeast Iowa City where it's "ground zero" for all this talk. She has family that lives on those streets and I was actually just staying at her place two weekends ago. Things went from zero to the talk of the town about 3-5 years ago (blurred in my mind), but I see that in the past two years or so things have really quieted down. My friend teaches in the hard up school on that end of town and sits in her condo and sees everything going on. She taught for 5 years at a TERRIBLE school in Chicago and we lived together in Logan Square for multiple years. She said it's calmed down a lot, but mostly they got rid of a few really bad seeds, and then at the same time the city has more or less just accepted that the area near where she lives is pretty rough (where it use to be fine, like everywhere in town). So it's more that people are complacent. I took my BF back with me and just like everyone else from Chicago who I've taken they all had a preconceived idea of what it would be. Everyone always keeps saying "wow, I had no idea there were so many black people in Iowa!!".

Her neighbors who just moved in next door a few weeks ago came from the south side of Chicago, and she said it took about a week before everyone else in the condo was up in arms. Loud music 24 hours a day, police called, screaming, the people actually throw all their trash (some in bags, some not) out into the yard and off their balcony so it covers the front walk. She always picks it up and puts it in front of their door (which they respond to with screaming that everyone is racist and harassing them) and they park their cars broadside in front of everyone elses garages so no one else can leave - just cause it's mildly easier than pulling into a spot. She just sighs, because it's a lot of rough people coming over from Chicago into that area of town, and while she worked in those areas of Chicago for years and knows what life can be like and how people are stuck in a rut from birth - she also can't really blame many in Iowa City for reacting with a little racism, as the problems are SO tied together. No respect/crime/offensive behavior.....recent Chicago transplant who happens to be black.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:16 AM
 
17 posts, read 87,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
I know teachers in IC (family/friends) and stay with one of my best friends who lives in southeast Iowa City where it's "ground zero" for all this talk. She has family that lives on those streets and I was actually just staying at her place two weekends ago. Things went from zero to the talk of the town about 3-5 years ago (blurred in my mind), but I see that in the past two years or so things have really quieted down. My friend teaches in the hard up school on that end of town and sits in her condo and sees everything going on. She taught for 5 years at a TERRIBLE school in Chicago and we lived together in Logan Square for multiple years. She said it's calmed down a lot, but mostly they got rid of a few really bad seeds, and then at the same time the city has more or less just accepted that the area near where she lives is pretty rough (where it use to be fine, like everywhere in town). So it's more that people are complacent. I took my BF back with me and just like everyone else from Chicago who I've taken they all had a preconceived idea of what it would be. Everyone always keeps saying "wow, I had no idea there were so many black people in Iowa!!".

Her neighbors who just moved in next door a few weeks ago came from the south side of Chicago, and she said it took about a week before everyone else in the condo was up in arms. Loud music 24 hours a day, police called, screaming, the people actually throw all their trash (some in bags, some not) out into the yard and off their balcony so it covers the front walk. She always picks it up and puts it in front of their door (which they respond to with screaming that everyone is racist and harassing them) and they park their cars broadside in front of everyone elses garages so no one else can leave - just cause it's mildly easier than pulling into a spot. She just sighs, because it's a lot of rough people coming over from Chicago into that area of town, and while she worked in those areas of Chicago for years and knows what life can be like and how people are stuck in a rut from birth - she also can't really blame many in Iowa City for reacting with a little racism, as the problems are SO tied together. No respect/crime/offensive behavior.....recent Chicago transplant who happens to be black.
Chicago, your replies are always very honest and informative and are always very good read.

From what I have seen, it does seem a lot like things have "gotten better" since about 2009, 2010 or so. But I am very curious to see if things stay like this, get better, or get worse. At least in Iowa City. I can't speak much for other parts of Iowa though and I am a bit curious about this, since I have heard Davenport, Cedar Rapids, and Waterloo to be notably worse. I've found that in Iowa City, public discussions are an interesting mix of locals describing how bad it is, people associated with the university saying how overblown it is, and black residents talking about increased police harassment. I think the reality lies somewhere in between all of them because it almost seems like (some) locals speak of that part of town as if it were south Chicago, university people almost seem to deny there is any kind of problem, and the police make there presence strongly known in public spaces and they do seem to watch blacks very carefully.

I feel that the situation you've described above can only end badly for your friend, other tenants, and the family causing the problems. It seems like only a matter of time before a serious altercation occurs. Please do correct me if I am wrong but "ground zero" or hot spot areas of discussion seem to be Broadway, and around the very SE edge around Lakeside Drive (these general vicinities). Is that so?
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:07 PM
 
78 posts, read 162,301 times
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Originally Posted by Sculptor View Post
Pretty much I would say yes, as one who grew up in New York City I can say from first-hand experience that every single time I was mugged on the streets, robbed at knife point, had my bike stolen, been threatened etc etc it was never by Caucasions, Chinese, Italians, Jews etc., it was always by inner city black, Puerto-Rican, Dominican Republic and Hispanic youth.
In fact, I remember in Brooklyn two neighborhoods as different as night and day, one street was an unofficial "dividing" line between the two, it was totally unreal! One the one side of the street the ultra orthodox jews resided, every one on the street wore the usual black clothes, even the kids, and long curls and hats, the streets and sidewalks were clean enough to eat off, shop keepers would be outside sweeping the sidewalks. No litter found anywhere, they even had neighborhood block patrols.

You cross the street to the other side and holy cow! scores of broken beer and wine bottles littered the sidewalks and streets, burned out abandoned buildings, and burned out abandoned cars setting on milk crates stripped of all the wheels and everything else on them, people hanging around on the stoops drinking, playing cards, trash and litter all over the street and sidewalks and you could feel the charged atmosphere of being a white guy riding thru that mostly black and I guess Hispanic and Puerto Rican/Dominican Republic neighborhood.
You would see home-made signs sometimes on out of the way spots designating the place inside as such and such "social club", often in the basement of an abandoned building, and the only thing "social" going on in there was hard DRUGS and more.

Get the book "Rock Solid" by Detective Bose and Barchiesi and see what the Lower East Side was like in the 80s- controlled by a major drug cartel who executed people even seen talking to a police officer.
In the later 90s the neighborhood changed and did a 180, I don't know where all those former residents went- the crowd of them on welfare who burned out their own apartments and trashed the entire neighborhood. At one point there were over 500 abandoned buildings in that one neighborhood alone, stripped and often burned out, no one cared to even maintain their own apartment building hallways and they would trash the hallways, urinate in the stairs and toss their garbage out the window into the airshaft between the buildings.

So called "Spanish Harlem" and West Harlem which was mostly black was a little better but not by much, it might have been because it seems more mature older people lived there than youths.

That was the reality of it, make of it what you wish
I have read "Rock Solid" and it is a fantastic voyage into what alphabet city used to be like. Hopefully the eastern side of IA will never become like that. Never the less, just what I've read here and saw with my own eyes last fall was enough to turn me away from going back there.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:29 PM
 
55,569 posts, read 49,489,334 times
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Reading the last three posts, I can only say this. I've dealt with racial crap living in Georgia. It doesn't shock me to see police harassment and Blacks being "watched" more closely, mainly because I live there. However, I have to say this. I would want to be treated like a suspect anywhere. I don't want to be presumed guilty until proven innocent, and that includes if I were to ever go to Iowa. From what some people have told me about Iowa, I would perceive it to be a bit better than Georgia, so it might shock me a bit if I were to experience any of that in Iowa.

In all of this discussion about "inner city Blacks", there is one thing that hasn't been thought of. Why aren't middle class Blacks moving out to Iowa in large numbers? No one is talking about that. Middle class Blacks will suffer from harassment and being treated like suspects more than anyone else, because those are the persons who aren't committing crimes. If that particular neighborhood in Brooklyn was mainly middle class Black residents instead of the underclass, perhaps things would be alot different. Those were underclass residents. Chances are, the middle class Black and Hispanic residents were probably long gone or would never choose to live there.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:13 AM
 
78 posts, read 162,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
Reading the last three posts, I can only say this. I've dealt with racial crap living in Georgia. It doesn't shock me to see police harassment and Blacks being "watched" more closely, mainly because I live there. However, I have to say this. I would want to be treated like a suspect anywhere. I don't want to be presumed guilty until proven innocent, and that includes if I were to ever go to Iowa. From what some people have told me about Iowa, I would perceive it to be a bit better than Georgia, so it might shock me a bit if I were to experience any of that in Iowa.

In all of this discussion about "inner city Blacks", there is one thing that hasn't been thought of. Why aren't middle class Blacks moving out to Iowa in large numbers? No one is talking about that. Middle class Blacks will suffer from harassment and being treated like suspects more than anyone else, because those are the persons who aren't committing crimes. If that particular neighborhood in Brooklyn was mainly middle class Black residents instead of the underclass, perhaps things would be alot different. Those were underclass residents. Chances are, the middle class Black and Hispanic residents were probably long gone or would never choose to live there.
From what I understand, the previous gov of Iowa, Villsack? Didn't court educated, middle class Blacks or Hispanics. He was after one block only; south side Chicago HUD housing residents. He had the word put out that HUD was plentiful in Iowa.

No doubt, he thought that these folks would vote for him and his cronies again and again, thus ensuring that Iowa stays blue forever more. This turning "blue" was another reason I decided against my home state. Why go all that way from one blue state only to live in another?
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:16 AM
 
4,779 posts, read 6,506,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CasketKitten View Post
From what I understand, the previous gov of Iowa, Villsack? Didn't court educated, middle class Blacks or Hispanics. He was after one block only; south side Chicago HUD housing residents. He had the word put out that HUD was plentiful in Iowa.

No doubt, he thought that these folks would vote for him and his cronies again and again, thus ensuring that Iowa stays blue forever more. This turning "blue" was another reason I decided against my home state. Why go all that way from one blue state only to live in another?


Seriously? You should have no problem posting some links to back up what you understand.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:18 PM
 
55,569 posts, read 49,489,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dport7674 View Post
Seriously? You should have no problem posting some links to back up what you understand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CasketKitten View Post
From what I understand, the previous gov of Iowa, Villsack? Didn't court educated, middle class Blacks or Hispanics. He was after one block only; south side Chicago HUD housing residents. He had the word put out that HUD was plentiful in Iowa.

No doubt, he thought that these folks would vote for him and his cronies again and again, thus ensuring that Iowa stays blue forever more. This turning "blue" was another reason I decided against my home state. Why go all that way from one blue state only to live in another?
I am asking for the same proof as well.

My question is about regular, decent Black people getting ignored in all of this.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:38 AM
 
39 posts, read 46,220 times
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Hey it's the green_mariner. What's going on?
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:50 AM
 
55,569 posts, read 49,489,334 times
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Originally Posted by kcright79 View Post
Hey it's the green_mariner. What's going on?
I'm basically wondering about Iowa at this point.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:22 PM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,418,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
I am asking for the same proof as well.

My question is about regular, decent Black people getting ignored in all of this.
Well a lot of it just revolves around the general situation which prompted all of this. Chicago went from housing 200,000 people in its housing projects to around 20,000 between 2000 and 2012. They didn't build new projects to house all those people, and instead you had tens of thousands (a few hundred thousand) of people who grew up in extreme poverty in quite violent areas with poor education who were now trying to find section 8 housing. The waits for housing in the Chicago area are FOREVER, so many people picked up and went to other cities, many sprinkled around the Midwest, to try and find a place. Iowa City has a lot of social services and options for help, and many people came from Chicago and got fairly nice and quick housing, mostly on the southeast side of town. Those families told other families and in many cases the word spread and other people followed. Unfortunately you can take a lot of people out of the Chicago ghetto, but you can't expect everyone to just wash clean their entire lives and not still behave the only way they know how.

The black population grew by around 100% from 2000 to 2010, and a fairly large majority of that growth was ages 0-19, and of course everyone knows teens in general can grab more attention and need more attention in general than if it was, say, the population ages 40-60 that saw all the growth. The school district went from almost all white back in the mid 1990's to over 1/3 minority. I'm not saying it's bad or trying to "prove something" or be racist, which unfortunately is how many people instantly react when you start talking about race on any level. I'm just putting general observations out there to explain what might be driving views from both the new residents and the old.

In a nutshell this was at least a part of what was going on in some eastern Iowa cities. It wasn't a "black" issue as much as it was a group of people on the bottom rung of society, most of whom happened to be black, who relocated to a city where the cultures were in extremes. Lots of people in Iowa City who talk about all this obviously will then refer to it as the "chicago problem" because they know that's what's driving the dynamics, not skin color. This isn't the 1950's.
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