Friday, January 18, 2008

Urban Reality Of America

But they'll call you a "Racist" for criticizing these knuckleheads, If
you're White. Or an "Uncle Tom" If you're Black and sick of these
clowns too. One has too wonder when the Black crime
problem will be seriously addressed. Bill Cosby tried to
address this, and was met with hostility. From
White Liberals and Black America.

A Suburb Looks Nervously at Its Urban Neighbor

Christopher Maag, New York Times, January 17, 2008

A week after six black teenagers nearly beat her husband
to death, Marybeth McDermott looked out her big living
room window at the neighborhood she loves, pursed her
lips, then looked away.

She has found great friends here in the Ludlow neighborhood,
one of the first places in suburban America where blacks and
whites came together to live as neighbors. But for the first time
in 19 years, Mrs. McDermott has thoughts of leaving.

“For now, I think we’ll stay put,” Mrs. McDermott said, just
before driving to visit her husband in the hospital. “After that,
I can’t say. We love the diversity here. But we have to weigh
that against our safety.”

Mr. McDermott was taking a walk early New Year’s Eve when
a group of young African-Americans attacked him from behind. They
slashed his face, kicked him, and mashed his leg with a lead pipe, the
police said. A neighbor banging on a window scared the teenagers away.

Six suspects, ages 14 to 19 and all Cleveland residents, are in
custody. They have been charged with felonious assault and
attempted murder. “But for the neighbor, he probably would
have been killed,” said Bill Mason, the prosecutor for Cuyahoga
County, which includes Shaker Heights and Cleveland.

Ludlow is a neighborhood of tidy Tudor and colonial homes with
small yards shaded by mature sycamore trees. Part of the neighborhood
lies in the affluent suburb of Shaker Heights and the other part lies in
Cleveland, the fourth-poorest city in the country, according to the
Census Bureau. Children on both sides of the neighborhood attend
Shaker Heights public schools. The only way to know which city you
are in is to look for the street signs, which in Cleveland are blue and
in Shaker Heights are white.

Petty thefts are rising near the edges of Shaker Heights, so two
years ago the city increased its police budget by $50,000 annually
to pay for more patrols along the border, said Mayor Earl M.
Leiken. Since the attack, unmarked police cars circle the Shaker
Heights streets of Ludlow every five minutes. There is no increased
police presence on the Cleveland side, residents say.

Since the beating, Ludlow residents say they pay more attention to
their surroundings as they walk their dogs at night. They make sure
to lock their doors, even when they are at home. Some plan to install
motion-detector lights, alarm systems and security cameras.

“So move,” Dick Feagler, a columnist for The Cleveland Plain
Dealer, wrote after the attack. “But do it like we all have—like the
whole three-county area has—don’t call it racism. Call it reality.”

Underneath this fear of urban decay lies the quiet thread of
resentment. For many years, Shaker Heights was one of the
richest cities in the United States. As presidents of Cleveland’s largest
companies, a few Shaker Heights citizens were bosses to generations
of Clevelanders. In the middle of what the Census Bureau found in
2002 to be America’s third-most-segregated urban area, Shaker
Heights flouts local racial attitudes by actively encouraging
integration. Of the town’s 27,245 residents, 61 percent are
white and 34 percent are black, according to the census.

I wonder how much ‘tolerance’ the ‘progressive,’
snooty, pseudo-intellectual limousine liberal, socialists
of Shaker Heights will show now that the thugs are in
their neighborhood too,”
a reader wrote on a Cleveland Plain
Dealer blog.


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