Articles in the Race Relations Category
Featured, Race Relations »
One of the good things about having a blog is that you can use it as an excuse to meet people you admire. That is how I met Mansfield Frazier recently.
Mansfield is sort of a Cleveland celebrity, but unlike some of the regular suspects, he’s actually really interesting and smart. He is a regular contributor at the blog The Daily Beast, the Cleveland Free Times, the Cleveland Leader and also at Cool Cleveland. In addition, he is the tending to a new vineyard on formerly vacant land in inner-city Hough. He’s also an author and national expert on prisoner reentry. Oh, and he served five sentences in prison for counterfeiting, before turning his life around and becoming a successful entrepreneur and businessman.
Beyond all that, Mansfield Frazier is a thinking man — a thinking man who doesn’t hold his tongue. That’s a rarity in Cleveland. (Plus, we both despise the Plain Dealer’s Phillip Morris.)
Anyway, Mansfield was nice enough to let me interview him.
Race Relations, Real Estate »
It’s that time of year again, guys! That time of year where I have an uncontrolled aneurysm as the result of the stupidity of Cleveland Magazine’s anticipated “Rating the Suburbs” issue.
Every year this plastic-surgeon-supported pamphlet makes a list of the most car-centric, culturally vapid, soulless tract-housing white-people ghettos in Northeast Ohio. Whichever suburb is the whitest, with the most big-box stores, is generally the runaway favorite for top prize.
Case in point is this year’s winner: Richfield Village. Does anyone want to guess what the racial makeup of this community is? Come on, guess! At the last Census, the village of Richfield was 96% white and 2% African American. You’d be hard pressed to find a whiter place in the region.
Headline, Race Relations, Real Estate »
A reporter from a local radio station recently interviewed me for a story about “urban pioneers.”
I didn’t think much of it, until I started reading this amazing book called Missing Women, Missing News. Turns out, this term is based on some pretty suspect assumptions about cities and the people who inhabit them.
Author David Hugill points out that the term “pioneer” symbolizes a “frontier,” or sharp physical or social divide, between competing constituencies. In the case he explores in his book, the competing constituencies are the wealthy gentrifiers of Vancouver and the poor residents of the city’s Downtown Eastside neighborhood.
Featured, Race Relations »
I wrote on Twitter recently that cupcakes are a metaphor for everything that’s happening in modern cities. I was only half serious, but it still sorta worries me.
I have to admit, I love cupcakes. The cake in a cup store in Tremont is like my personal version of the siren singers. Just the same, I can’t help but feel a twinge of middle-class guilt every time I step inside.
Of course, there are many reasons to love cupcakes. They are delicious. They are sold by local small business people in walkable, urban locations. They add to vibrancy to once downtrodden neighborhoods. In that sense, these stores have a psychic significance in the community that goes beyond its (no doubt minuscule) economic impact.
Featured, Race Relations, Sprawl »
Among the myriad insights from the new Census is another blow to Milwaukee. The metro region was once again rated the most segregated in the country, beating out notoriously divided metros like Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and LA.
We’ve written before about how metro Milwaukee’s development policies encourage sprawl, isolating people of color and the poor in the city (while degrading the environment in the suburbs). In its analysis, Salon takes another tack. Anti-transit policies, like the ones endorsed by former Milwaukee County executive and current governor Scott Walker, serve to further isolate the region’s disenfranchised populations. Salon elaborates on the local atmosphere:
Headline, Race Relations »
Cleveland still operates like a body with two heads that have lived different lives.
To what extent is black culture representative of Rust Belt Chic? This is important on a number of levels, for if the grit-chic brand is (or is destined to become) heavily white and hipster—or white and Springsteen-like—or white and ethic, then what is occurring is an economic development strategy catering to part of a city’s flavor, which only serves to reinforce said segregation that so often kills any chance of building a mass of dynamic thought.
Architecture, Art, Crime, Featured, Race Relations, Real Estate, The Media, Urban Planning »
Editor’s note: Our faithful readers will note we recently featured a short post with a trailer and some information about a new documentary, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, which deals with an infamous public housing complex in St. Louis, built in the 1950s and torn down in 1972.
The film’s director, Chad Freidrichs, recently spoke with Rust Wire about this myth and the film it inspired.
Watch the trailer for the movie here. Check out its Flickr page, with great historical photos here. Read more about the complex and its history here.
Featured, Race Relations, Urban Poverty »
The Rust Belt is no stranger to America’s drug war. Nor is the story of the three decade long mobilization against illegal narcotics a new one. However in her recent book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, former Stanford Law professor, civil rights lawyer, and current Ohio State University faculty member, Michelle Alexander convincingly paints the war on drugs as far more than just a failed multi-decade policy that has resulted in America becoming the prison capital of the world. Instead, she positions the drug …
Pittsburgh’s population has shrunk over the last decade, falling by 24,000 persons between 2000 and 2008. In the 2009 Democratic primary race for mayor, Councilman Patrick Dowd even made reversing population decline a signature issue of his campaign, (as you can see in this video).
We can get by without steel mills, but new residents are sorely needed to support the legacy costs of public servants employed when Pittsburgh had double the public to serve.
While Pittsburgh’s population dips, the U.S. Hispanic demographic drives American population growth and is projected to triple by 2050. Immigration accounts for recent trends, but projections also depend on higher Hispanic birth rates.
Race Relations, Sprawl »
According to this random link on city-data, Detroit has lured nearly 21,000 white people back to the city since 2000.
I have never heard anything about this before. Does anyone a little closer to the situation in Detroit have any evidence that this is true? The information is based on the Census’ American Community Survey estimates, which are sometimes suspect.
Does anyone from Detroit have any possible explanations? Just curious. If this is true, it’s important.