Featured, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

The Distraction Of Racism And The Bipartisan Roots Of Chicago’s Black Suffering

There’s a Toni Morrison quote I used to bristle at:

The function of racism is distraction.”

I had never read the full context of this quote and initially, I thought this was another attempt to dismiss racism as a primary societal ill deserving of discussion, while prompting us to start paying attention to the “real” issue ie;- classism. This is an idea that’s frequently purported by clueless celebrities, people who just finished reading Rich Dad/Poor Dad, and that Black Capitalism group whose posts your cousin shares on your Facebook news feed. However, as the years passed, and current events and subsequent commentary rolled by, I finally understood what she meant. This is especially true today, in what many call ‘Trump’s America.” Even typing the aforementioned phrase I am physically struggling to keep my eyes from rolling so far back into my head that I pass out.

We know Trump’s mentioning of the gun violence in Chicago, and poverty in the inner city is the obligatory conservative dog whistle, not genuine concern. We know his sensationalist rhetoric is meant to reassert Black urban dwellers as either impoverished, uneducated, unemployed hapless citizens or barbaric and morally depraved “top gang thugs.” Because of this, I understand the pushback of such a narrative. I understand rebutting his egg avi jargon when he asserts that we are collectively poor and struggling, unemployed, immersed in misery and violence, largely in part due to Obama’s leadership and our own moral depravity. When he reprimanded John Lewis for presiding over a ‘poor and struggling’ Atlanta district it’s highly unlikely he knew anything about said district, other than it’s a metro area largely populated by Black people.

However, while we’re pushing back via Twitter RT’s with personal anecdotes passionately proclaiming to be magically Blackity Black, passport wielding, Obama-era loving successful negroes — ones who don’t live in the inner cities and/or are not greeted with bullets as soon as we open our doors — we become preoccupied. The truth is that a lot of Black people are in fact impoverished, are in fact living in areas rife with violence, and are in fact unemployed and suffering. The past eight years have not been kind to them and the compulsion to tout Obama’s job creation record in defense against Trump’s bloated rants obscures the truth that this arguable ‘growth’ did not reach the most vulnerable and disenfranchised of this country’s Black populations.

This reality was reiterated when U.S Rep Danny Davis released a data report this past February, revealing the unemployment rate for African American male residents in Chicago is currently three times the national average at 21%  (14% higher than unemployment for white men in the city). 52% of African American men in Chicago are not in the labor force. According to 2013 census reports, 25% of Chicago’s Black residents are jobless and yes, this did happen under the watch of a city boasting largely Democratic and liberal leadership. Of the 5000 jobs cut since 2009, 40% of those belonged to workers whose zip codes denote residence in predominantly Black neighborhoods. Even while Rahm Emanuel rode to mayoral victory with 59% of the city’s Black vote, he continues the tradition of focusing job creation in downtown and affluent neighborhoods to the exclusion of black communities. According to a 2013 report from The Grassroots Collaborative, only 27% of the 50,000 jobs created downtown actually went to Chicago residents (one can only imagine how little of these went to Black folks). Around 10% of Chicago residents are living in deep poverty ($5,885 a year for an individual or less than $12,125 for a family of four), and seven predominately Black communities account for that population. African American children accounted for 83.7% of  homeless students identified by CPS according to the Chicago Coalition For The Homeless. All of these are grave statistics that correlate with the gun and gang violence concentrated in Black areas around the city, among other factors. Sure they are not headline grabbers; like Trump calling for federal intervention, but these are matters that are imperative to the conversations that more importantly we must have among ourselves.

While Chicago is emblematic of some of this country’s worst socioeconomic segregation and racial wealth gaps, it is not at all an anomaly. Sure Trump is a malignant racist demagogue, but Atlanta’s income inequality gap is 3rd in the nation. That is something that actually does deserve our examination. There are a lot of dangerous things about the current president, but among them is the ease at which he has become the sole symbol and catalyst for America’s racial and economic strife. The problem with calling it ‘Trump’s America’ is the implication that these issues are newly formed, or just recently exacerbated, that this country is a product of his policy when in fact this country’s policy produced and enables him. His presidency is yet another optical aberration allowing us to avoid taking a clear and honest look at our current condition, we did not arrive here overnight on the SS. Orange Mess Express. Chicago’s suffering at least, is a result of bipartisan state level neglect, as well as local Democratic incompetence and malfeasance.

Toni was right, racism is a distraction, and while it is absolutely understandable to be contemptuous of our current administration, we can also stand to stop being guard dogs in defense of figures and affiliations who have failed a lot of us. We can stand to spend less time barking at the Orange Obfuscation and more time noticing the apathetic silence of those in our communities, who can’t tell the difference between the present — what many argue is the impending apocalypse — and January 20, 2009.

Danielle Butler

Danielle Butler is a 30-ish yr old LA/Chicago hybrid whose mutant powers include shit talking, procrastinating, and relating any topic to food. Her favorite pastimes include watching Spongebob with her son, yelling at her cat, and lying about working on her book of short stories.

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    Plenty of the Star of David folks in post WWI Germany ( and Russia) had dollars, their own language and culture, unity, education and nominal political rights.

    We know how that story ends.

    It’s not a question of politics or economics – it’s one of actual power.

    Also, I believe that 45 sincerely believes what he’s saying. He believes what his friend Giuliani told him about stop and frisk in NYC. 45 just happens to be wrong on the issue, like he always is.

    45 is evil in his own unique way, not just a repeat of Bush and Reagan.

    • Kat

      45 has never lived in the real world

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        Perhaps, but it’s a mistake to analyze what is happening in his administration as bidness as usual. This ain’t them being them, like Moonlight and Lemonade

        Bannon is not Cheney.

        Cheney was Darth Vader.
        Bannon is Ras Al Ghul.

        One wanted control, the other wants destruction so that a new order can arise.

        • Furious Styles
        • Ess Tee

          I mean, I don’t know who Ras Al Ghul is, but I do believe that Bannon wants complete destruction of these public institutions. It’s why you put people in charge who have no clue about its inner workings so that you can say, “See, there’s no reason why this thing needs to exist.”

          • batman villian, superior intellect/combat skills. usually goes for ‘world destruction to bring about new world order”. has “lazarus pits” which keep him almost immortal

            • Ess Tee

              Thanks! I thought it was a Game of Thrones reference lol

              • Kylroy

                Yeah, bit strange to have a guy with an Arabic name listed next to the Riddler and Penguin.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            The republicans have been weakening the state since Reagan. And they’ve been pumping up the defense budget. Both of those moves enrich their constituents

            Why does 45 want to limit immigration?

            Why does he not want to make himself richer with more outsourcing?

            What’s up with the weird stance in Israel but not the biggest Israel supporters?

            Why infrastructure projects?

            I think folks need to understand why 45/Bannon are so different.

        • Epsilonicus

          Perfect description, especially when after the election Bannon publicly stated he wanted Trump to destroy the administrative state

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Yet the press and Democratic establishment is still on this Russia thing.

            Vlad could just chill at this point and let the establishment republicans and democrats fall apart, and Bannon actually starts a new world order

            • Ms.Moon

              The press and the Russia thing are important because there are a great deal of things that go back to Russia all involving money. Trump is tied up financially with Russia and many, many, many of his people are involved with Russian business interests. There are things like the pipeline that are now going to be done with Russian companies after 45 promised American steel companies work, there are thing like toll roads being looked after by Russian companies. We have to be interested because as taxpaying citizens out money will be going to Russia and Russian companies and it is concerning because Russia is no friend to the United States.

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                I’m not falling for it. Just like the tweets, it’s distraction. Nobody truly cares about financial corruption. If they did, they would have done something about the world financial crisis.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      True, but as NYC people will tell you, lots of star of David people live in poverty too. Granted they take care of their own pretty well, but lots of them are still poor. Public finance and changes in the economy still matter, and regardless of how much people argue over capitalism and socialism, if you ain’t got the dough, it doesn’t matter, people are gonna suffer.

      Chicago is in a terrible place, most of what people are talking about with Chicago, including 45 are just addressing symptoms and wedge issues about how to deal with a declining economy. While they fight yell, and look for data to back up their ideological arguments…the economy is still sinking like the titanic.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        Specifically the root causes that lead to the symptom of violence (which isn’t really new per se it has just gotten more visibility) have never actually been addressed. Off the top of my head (lack of educational and economical resources, home environment and racial/class related laws/sanctions. When you bring things like this up it falls on a lot of deaf ears. Until people admit to these causes, support/create solution’s to address them, realize that it will take the work of all of us i don’t see it getting better.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          If you gave all them boys in the Southside jobs today, you don’t think Smoky is gonna let J slide on the murder of Peanut?

          $25 an hour manufacturing job is gonna make bygones be bygones?

          That has not been my experience. Violence among young men is tangentially related to finances.

          • HouseOfBonnets

            I’m not saying it will stop violence 100 percent (that is unfortunately unrealistic) but it would be a great start. While things like pride and respect play a role in gang life…..fiances is another leading factor (at least from what i’ve seen)

          • Kylroy

            It’s not about what happens today – it’s that if Smoky, J, and Peanut had all had decent work, there wouldn’t have been a shooting.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              You got a time machine, cause I can go back to 1491 and fix the entire issue.

              Most of the issues with these young men can be traced back to their parents and grandparents

              • Kylroy

                HeII, I can go back 70,000 years and solve even more problems…

                And yeah, fixing and maintaining are different problems, but we dam well can’t fix it it without having the system to maintain it.

              • DarkSkint Dostoevsky

                You are bizarrely committed to pathologizing black ppl as inherently morally deprave and dysfunctional

                • Brooklyn_Bruin

                  I’m not at all. Most of the hoods are boring, I live in one. 95% of these boys are going to bad schools, to bad jobs, and ultimately to end up at the low end of the finances – but they *aren’t* criminals. They’re just poor law abiding people.

                  I can point out some boys who spend most of their time in the house on my block. They aren’t nerds, jocks or hoods. Just regular unappreciated black kids, who are neither “good” nor “bad” enough to garner sympathy or concern.

                  What i see in Chicago is the same anti-social behavior in other communities. In the middle East, these same boys get involved in bad organizations, caught up in bad ideology.

                  It is not just one thing, but the idea that jobs/finance – pouring money on it – is bad policy.

                  We need to stop thinking that money is the answer.

                  Who here knows a neighborhood peacekeeper? You think he breaks out a $50 every time these kids/young men have beef?

                  Lemme ask again, where are my criminal justice peeps?

                  • DarkSkint Dostoevsky

                    #1 – You don’t sound like you know much about Chicago, and I’m sorry you talk like you feds.
                    #2 – Chicago has a long history of socioeconomic segregation, the unemployment #’s have not budged much since the 60’s
                    #3 – Ending said socioeconomic segregation is not ‘pouring money’ into anything. It’s about equity and improving overall quality of life.
                    Your understanding of the mental and physical effects of poverty seem to be shaky at best. However regardless of your ignorance about Chicago and its neighborhoods and its people, its not radical or unheard of in saying that access to resources curbs violence.

                    • Brooklyn_Bruin

                      Sure

                    • Blueberry01

                      So, school us, BB. How did you make it out of BK, where a significant portion of the population lives at or below the poverty line.

                      Were you one of the “lucky” ones?

                    • Brooklyn_Bruin

                      I see you tryna derail my argument.

                      Racism is not a distraction.

                      Racism, slavery and colonialism determined the economic conditions of the Caribbean. That lead to emigration.

                      In NYC, where I was born and bred, I was lucky to have very aware parents watching how the city devours children.

                      When stuff got real, we was out.

                      My childhood friends – if they’re in the middle class now, it’s because their parents moved them out of all the carnage.

                      The ones that stayed?
                      1) dress end blue collar jobs
                      2) military
                      3) the streets

                      Had they went to middle and high school outside of the grinder, they’d be better off economically.

                      Yet the specter of racism hangs over the heads of all of us, regardless of bank statement.

                      Which is why I bring up Rosewood and Tulsa and what lead to the formation of Israel.

                      But y’all keep thinking like Toni. Money didn’t help Skip Gates.

                    • Ms.Moon

                      Involved parents are the key. I read The Other Wes Moore and it opened my eyes. The successful Wes Moore; his mom was aware of what to look for when he started acting out, his grandparents and mom were able to swing it financially for him to go to military school and they got him out of the hood and he changed his hood mentality. The Wes Moore that ended up in prison did so because him mom had no other resources and had to make a choice the kid who is acting up or her other kids and she gave up on him. He had no other recourse he embraced the hood lifestyle and he paid for it.

                    • Brooklyn_Bruin

                      Lemme politely ask you to extrapolate your “solution” to every child in Chicago. Walk me through that.

                    • Ms.Moon

                      I don’t think that military school is a solution for every child in Chicago. Parents, however, do make the difference and not every parent has the resources to do what the non incarcerated Wes Moore’s mom did. Some parents are just straight up rachet and cannot get their stuff together. Some parents are overwhelmed and when they have kids act up they cannot focus on just that kid, they have work, other kids etc. There is also the “hood” mentality and friends and even “smart” kids can get caught up in the life. They want to hang out they’re acting up in school they’re running the streets. There is no one solution since every kid is different and a threat that might work on one kid will not work on another.

                    • Blueberry01

                      So, you’re saying that your parents were gainfully employed enough to support you AND move out of the city to better living conditions?

                      Don’t you think people in Chicago would do the same IF they had the same level of financial capability? ? Or, do you believe that they all want to stay poor and disenfranchised?

                      As per Black Wall Street and Rosewood, notice that once we started creating viable Black communities, the white people seemed to “derail” our livelihoods. (I’m not sure what the connection is to Israel, as Israel was “formed” before the 20s.)

                      As per Skip, he was able to make it out of that misunderstanding unscathed – just like your parents did out of NY.

                  • Alessandro De Medici

                    True.

                    I’ve always believed the idea that crime and poverty have a causal relationship, always shows a blindside to the majority of people in poor communities who don’t engage in crime at all and are usually the primary victims of it.

          • DarkSkint Dostoevsky

            I’m sorry I’m not sure if names like ‘Smoky J’ and “Peanut’ is meant to make this satirical?
            #1 Chicago is more than the southside, areas like K-town out west are suffering as well, while the southside is way more economically diverse.
            #2 A lot of the violence is coming from youth, youth who are unemployed and excluded from most opportunities. More significantly many of them are homeless. Living on the street, idleness, and poverty are usually significant factors for violence.
            I have no idea what you mean by $25 manufacturing jobs that’s just bizarre hyperbole that not a single soul has suggested.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              There are plenty of unemployed people – with guns – and no hope. Most of them voted for 45.

              Those ingredients aren’t special. These boys in DC, LA,, NYC, are shooting each other for incomprehensible reasons. When you talk to these cats, when you read the police reports, watch the interrogation/confession tapes – the story is rarely about drugs. It’s usually about respect and get back.

              Smart, dumb, reasoned, poor impulse control, “word on the street”, a culture of “respect” – that’s not solved with jobs.

              Chief Keef paid out the wazoo, yet he stay in trouble with the law.

              Money doesn’t socialize, make someone change their behavior to work with society.

              See 45

              • DarkSkint Dostoevsky

                This would be factually incorrect as well, since the average Trump voter had a salary of over 60K. No one said the ‘ingredients were special’ in fact I wrote the exact opposite in saying Chicago was not an anomaly.
                In fact your rhetoric is not far removed from Trumps and the GOP dog whistle. And that’s the point, people like yourself who shun proven and rational socioeconomic factors in favor of purporting black people are uniquely deprave, people like you are the distractions.

                And then you mention Cheif Keef? A kid who grew up with nothing and around violence as an example ? Are you sure you’re not an Alt-Right troll posing as a black man?

              • Val

                So you think it more to do with some sort of Black pathology?

                • Kylroy

                  I think he’s less invested in Black pathology than just general cultural pathology – he’s no less forgiving of rural Whites or Middle Eastern Arabs with recurring violent and criminal issues.

                • Brooklyn_Bruin

                  Stop using their narratives. They will have you believe that black children don’t get disciplined, dad ain’t in they life, single mother households…

                  I’ve expressed this before, but BOYS at that age are on something else. From about puberty to early adulthood that testosterone is raging.

                  And a certain small # of the kids are at the extremes for the population.

                  You can look at the stats, at the biochemistry, brain chemistry, brain development…

                  Add in concentration, poverty, poor diets, poor healthcare and random chance – you get an L.A., east N.Y., Southside of Houston.

                  And when you look into the country – you see the same self destructive/ anti social behavior, just it plays out differently.

                  In the rich white burbs, it’s drug and alcohol use. But them boys will scrap with each other. Cops don’t get called though.

                  Go out to the sticks, whisky, oxy, teen pregnancy. Cops know em, long as it don’t get too serious…And even then, the judges are statistically lighter on punishing white folks.

                  Concentrated white poverty like Boston, cities in the Midwest – same thing like the hood. I remember being in Ohio just amazed that these “salt of the earth” types were living in low rise complexes that could be dropped into Baltimore.

                  concentration -> leads to confrontation

                  They couldn’t reduce tensions living next to each other like that -Cletus would have issues with Jim Bob. And they might have been there for years. That’s the basic story of the a Hatfield’s and McCoy’s.

                  • Val

                    I wasn’t using their narrative. I was trying to understand what you were saying. You make some good points.

                    But when you say: “Money doesn’t socialize, make someone change their behavior to work with society.”

                    That seems at least very near to projecting a pathology on them. Lack of money creates a different set of rules. It creates a desperate environment. So saying that adding money to the equation won;t change anything then that implies they suffer for a pathology unlike other folks.

                • Alessandro De Medici

                  I think it has less to do with pathology and more to do with failed expectations.

                  If you grow up in a village and have to fetch water after a mile walk everyday in order to eat and shower, you’re poor, but you never had expectations that you’d be rich, living like that day-by-day. You live within your means and have limited wants. However, when you have high expectations, and find that there are barriers to you attaining them, you increasingly begin to despise society for lying to you. Add advertising, media, hollywood etc, and you’re just pouring gasoline on the fire.

                  This happened a lot with the white immigrants when they first arrived at the U.S. thinking that they had arrived at Canaan, where the roads were paved with gold, only to find out it was filled with white protestants who hated them, their religious beliefs and the fact that they weren’t anglo-saxon enough. They too resolved to lives of crime: the difference between blacks and them, is that they initially had white doors open to them and became white, black people have had the door slightly open, and even after you get in, you still a ninja.

                  • Val

                    Okay but I never said it was a pathology. In fact in my main comment I said the opposite, that it has nothing to do with a Black pathology.

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      I never said you did, I agree with you. I was just explaining why I don’t think it could be pathology.

                    • Val

                      Gotcha.

                  • Hugh Akston

                    You ever heard of the term paki? Do you know paki gangs in the us?

          • BT

            I agree. As I don’t believe a well paying job will stop the violence for those already about that life.

            I don’t like to speak on cities that I don’t readily frequent, but the culture seems to be one of “turning up” for your dead relative/homie. Not avenging that murder makes one seem soft and weak. Two labels Black males -regardless of lifestyle- tend to have an aversion to.

            A nice paying job doesn’t negate or erase lives being taken. And the effect that has on ones psyche.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              That’s part of it, but a lot of violence happens spur of the moment. Potna might be strapped when something pops off, and he just reacts.

              Sometimes something happens, and there is peer pressure to respond now. Get caught up that way

              It could be over money, or over a girl.

              Anger management
              Conflict resolution
              Idle hands/jobs
              Lack of informal cultural institutions and outlets

              It’s a whole lot of things. I don’t think our institutions are up to the task to be honest.

          • Would it fix things instantly? No. Smokey is probably going to wet up J. What will happen is that Smokey’s lil’ cousin will spend his time working and maybe smoking some weed as opposed to trying to become the next Smokey. Also, that lil cousin will go to a better school, and have that more of a chance to become something. And he might hang around the girl he gets pregnant because he can support her and their kids while not just being a mouth that girl has to feed.

          • Probably not. Not every Black young man or boy has 50 bodies attributed to them and aren’t 3 generations deep into gangs. Not everyone is going to make it out that doesn’t mean you don’t try to pull people up.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              The theme of this piece is that racism is a distraction.
              My point is that Toni Morrison is WRONG.

              Racism is why Chicago is the way it is.
              It should be our focus.

              Economics, finances – a lot of people think this will help the community whether the storm.
              As we’ve seen time and time again, for us and for others – when it comes to these “good white folks” – they don’t care how much cash you have, how well you speak, your education, your assimiliation

              That’s what happened in Germany. And that was a well integrated, wealthy, educated minority of citizens.

              That’s what happened in Rosewood, in Tulsa, to Skip Gates, ad infinitum.
              OJ Simpson might be only time wealth was able to defeat the mighty power of YT.
              And they still got him in the end.

              Trayvon got shot in a gated community by a neighbor of his father.
              Zimmerman ain’t even “white white”.

              From the article

              – “The truth is that a lot of Black people are in fact impoverished, are in
              fact living in areas rife with violence, and are in fact unemployed and
              suffering. ”

              – “52% of African American men in Chicago are not in the labor force.”
              – “Around 10% of Chicago residents are living in deep poverty”
              – ” Atlanta’s income inequality gap is 3rd in the nation.”

              She’s making an economic argument.

              But when I say look at situations where the minority is no longer impoverished, but still under the eye of the oppressor – folks want to start moving goal posts, changing the subject.

              They don’t want to deal with a far more ugly reality.
              They want to ignore current events.
              Ignore history.
              We hold on to this narrative that only serves THEIR interests.

              There’s two thoughts going on in this discussion

              1) Money would make our situation better – it won’t. We know that from history. We know that from current events.

              2) The violence between young men in our community is related to money – it rarely is.

              Between teenagers and young adults – there are lots of reasons why they beef. That’s what males that age do. It’s a small # of folks considering the population that go to that sort of response for disrespect, for women, over debts, etc.

              Yet 95%+ kids are not out there shooting up the place. Just regular teenagers.

              We’ve tried the various avenues
              – Black mayor
              – Black governor
              – Black prosecutors, judges
              – Detroit has a black police chief and majority black cops – 63% – still issues
              – black congress people
              – black senators
              – Black congress person
              – black president

              I’m not saying it’s time to pack up and head to Wakanda, but folks need to think about what paths we’ve been down. Analyze what went wrong. Then decide whether or not try them again.

              Instead – we get the same tired narrative that has essentially rejected all the evidence to the contrary.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          True, but here’s the million dollar question, how do you address that with a decreasing tax base, and an economy is in decline, without any large industrial force that could get the economy out of it’s rut. In order to create jobs, you need people or even institutions that are willing to invest capital into a city (with the expectation they will get a return), Chicago’s bonds right now are flirting with near-junk status.

          So, how does one who legitimately cares and wants to do good, do it, operating under the restraints and problems that currently exist.

          • HouseOfBonnets

            Unfortunately that is a question I cannot answer mainly because I don’t have the knowledge or resources to create said solution in the current environment . If anything I can be a voice for the most affected areas given that I am a former product of it.

            • Alessandro De Medici

              I understand, but when people wonder why a lot of times we don’t get the solutions we want, it’s because the problems are indeed complex and do require deep levels of thinking. We sometimes make these things so easy by creating simple narratives of oppression, when that might make sense in terms of pointing out causes, does nothing for arriving at solutions.

              • HouseOfBonnets

                While I will conceded to part of your statement I will say that I believe Chicago is an exception to that rule especially given their history. As a resident more than a few of these issues could be fixed/could have been avoided in addition the after affects of certain events have had negative implications on black/brown communities.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        I know borough park. I’ve seen orthodox economic dysfunction with my own two. They’re still relatively safe from agents of the state patrolling their neighborhoods looking for something to get into.

        For now.

        The thesis of the article is that racism is a distraction to finance.

        But no.
        We have nothing because of racism.
        Racism still deeply affects those of us who have.

        And if we were to get to model minority status – the tide can turn and find ourselves in internment camps stripped of our property. The Japanese and the chosen got caught up even when they played by the rules.

        That’s why the “buy black” responses to political oppression/racism are so backward in 2017. They don’t actually strike at the racist power base.

        McDonald’s barely notices if someone goes to the fish fry spot. The cops don’t care. The school board doesn’t care. Etc

        • Alessandro De Medici

          I agree.

          Possession is 9/10ths of the law as the saying goes.

          The more you own, the more of your fate you control.

          ***The Group economics birade, doesn’t know jack about economics, or trade, or even consumer behavior if we’re being honest. It’s just another form of value signaling.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Politics has been defined as who gets to decide how to distribute scarce goods. Economics can be described as the study of distribution of scarce goods. Understanding the different ideas of both helps to look at the issue.

            Where we have nominal political power, there is rarely corresponding economic power (Detroit).

            Where there is both, political and economic, agents of the state line their pockets (see Gambia’s last election)

            The things going on in Chicago aren’t new to us. They were saying the same thing about Harlem back in the day.

            • Alessandro De Medici

              Distribution ? Production.

              Wealth has to be produced before it is distributed. If you have declining industries, regardless of if you have the power or not, you’re talking about doing something with less. Russia has to deal with low oil prices, in an economy that is heavily dependent on high oil prices. Regardless of what Putin chooses to do, he’s still in power and distributing it accordingly, but with less wealth being generated in the economy. You can add all the political stuff, but that is secondary.

              People lament capitalism and the never-ending problems they often associate with it, but it is mostly a modern creation. Human beings have always engaged in politics, and always will, it is a constant in human affairs. Wealth, economic growth and financial security are not. Marx understood that you that you couldn’t just overlook production and the role it plays in both economics and politics, but it seems many people simply overlook it or take it as guaranteed. Too much of the 20th century has shown us that this is not the case.

            • Epsilonicus

              “Where we have nominal political power, there is rarely corresponding economic power (Detroit).”

              Baltimore. White real estate developers run the city on the not so low

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                Said this in a different thread, but once they build out all the vacants, the blue collar work is greatly reduced, and banks and landlords make their money via rents and mortgages. Even I been poking my nose into property values around the Amtrak station.

                Where are the jobs though?
                Where is the industry?

                Everyone can’t drive uber and work fast food, especially when they’re trying to automate both

        • DarkSkint Dostoevsky

          No, the thesis of that article is that racism is an exhaustive distraction from critical politcal assessment. Not finance.

        • Blueberry01

          You can still support black businesses and get a 6-piece when you want.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Every beef patty and Easter bun that i buy sends the children of the owner to college.

            What about the children of the workers? Lot of these West Indian bakers pay undocumented Latin immigrants under the table because it’s cheaper than employing Caribbeans.

            Or am I getting to practical?

            • Blueberry01

              No, you’re getting nonsensical.

              Perhaps, you can tell Delroy to pay his workers over the table and stop trying to employ Trump University tactics.

              But the bottomline is that your money is being recycled within the black community and is going to the betterment of our people.

              (BB, one day I’m going to have to meet you so I can give you a hug. Why are angry?)

  • Charles Johnson

    1. So “all politics is local” kind of thing.

    2. These areas will soon be gentrified. White Hipsters will be the vanguard, the young white collared workers are the cavalry.
    3. Any party at the local (esp. city) level is not beholden to the electorate but to the real shareholders, which is the private sector. This is the type of neoliberalism that continues to ensure a permanent black underclass in the name of free market capitalism with a progressive mask. I don’t trust any person who identifies with a D or liberal or progressive. At least I know R’s and conservatives don’t trust me.

    • RaeNBow

      part 3. first sentence. #whew I wish more folk understood this so that we could change it.

      But the last 2 sentences? come on nih… are they rich enough to identify otherwise?

    • Alessandro De Medici

      Chicago, as a city is in pretty bad financial shape.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/chicago-bonds-idUSL1N1F91JT

      • HouseOfBonnets

        This is true despite the tax revenue. We have some of the highest sales tax in the country for example.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Chicago’s also been undergoing a severe population decline, usually of it’s middle class whites. Taxation + population decline = everyone getting phucked.

          • HouseOfBonnets

            This is also true people have been leaving for a few years for various reasons (Cost of living, poor schools, goverment,taxes, lack of positions depending on sector)

          • Val

            Middle class Blacks are leaving in droves too.

        • Too many want to believe if you continue to cut taxes for the rich, eventually more jobs will appear. Turns out it has never worked. It is as much a dream as communism.

          • HouseOfBonnets

            In this case I’m not saying the taxes should be lowered but for the amount coming in yet we are constantly in deficits/shortfalls the money isn’t going towards what is needed (see cps)

          • HouseOfBonnets

            I’m all for paying my fair share but with things like this it’s clear much isn’t being accounted for.

            • I don’t mind paying my taxes. I mind the President being proud that he isn’t paying his.

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            The secret is they don’t believe it either, it’s just the smokescreen to justify cutting taxes.

            I stole this from somewhere on the internet (excuse the paraphrasing):

            America believes if you give poor people too much, they won’t work and if you don’t give rich people enough they won’t work either.

          • Diego Duarte

            Damnit cogito! I was going to like your comment until that last sentence!

            • Kylroy

              Truth hurts.

              • Diego Duarte

                Gay space communism will be a reality someday, I assure you.

                • Val

                  What is that?

                  • Diego Duarte

                    Allegedly it’s the type of society that is going on in the Star Trek universe. Never watched the series, but the concept of no private property and real inclusion between all races seems nice.

                • Kylroy

                  Funny you should throw “gay” in there when Trek’s record on LGBT stuff is…uneven.

                  • Diego Duarte

                    Admittedly the series has been going on for decades, so the values reflected by the writers could have changed. Though I wouldn’t know, I haven’t watched it. I’ve heard that phrase thrown around a lot.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      It depends on the show. The original never mentioned it. TNG had Riled fall in love with a non-binary alien

                • Robot communism might work until the robots rise up.

          • Val

            Trickle down economics has always been a scam.

            • Cheech

              Stockman (I think) admitted they knew it was a lie and it was cover for rate reduction.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            See Kansas where Republicans are raising taxes because trickle down failed do terribly

            • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

              I think it would have failed miserably regardless. But exempting every business from taxes was a recipe for disaster.

            • They are still trying it like it’s magically going to start before the state goes bankrupt.

            • Epsilonicus

              Louisiana under Bobby Jindal. Bruh screwed that state

            • Yahmo Bethere

              Brownbackistan? They had nowhere to go but up.

        • HouseSublime

          Revenue isn’t our problem it’s spending. We’re beholden to pensions from decades back and the city just doesn’t have the money to cover them.

          • HouseOfBonnets

            I alluded to this below in the conversation :)

      • Charles Johnson

        we’d tax the shyt out of air if we could.

    • thasamiam

      The first two points I wholehertedly agree with. Part three – while I agree with the spirit of it, and particularly the final sentence – I find very problematic. “Neoliberal” has become the most perverted and overused word in politics because it’s been weaponized by the alt-left to describe the interests and pressing concerns of Black folks, other persons of color, women, the LGBT community and those politicians and groups who engage with and consider them. You’re actually using the term pretty accurately, but it has also been used to excuse the racism and bigotry of the white working class which they repeatedly prioritize over their money and well being. “Progressive” is also become overused thanks to the alt-left who have corrupted it. There are a lot of valid complaints me and other Black folks have with the Democrats, but at the end of the day, it’s a two-party system and no 3rd party is going to magically arise to save us. We should recognize that there are Black folks (especially women) who are working very hard to change from within. Protesters need policy folks and vice versa.

      • Charles Johnson

        I literally wrote a 4 paragraph thing about the nuance of shyt and we most likely agreed upon. Alas Disqus crashed on me. So without getting into all the shyt i wrote (and a negro took his time too!)
        1. Recognizing those AA who attempt change the system from within should go recognized without question
        2. While voting for dem in the presidential is moot at best (it’s practically voting dem), deciding whether to vote Dem in a two-party system at the “major city” level is an exercise in futility because they’re overwhelming Dem. IOW, it’s not a fight R v D but becomes a fight from WITHIN the D, albeit a silent war (Django succeeded) There is no longer a recalcitrant party Dems have to fight against, it’s really within themselves. The Dems ARE the political machine that has not been effectively serving us (fvck saving!). Am I saying AA should vote republican? no. but AAs need to recognize it is the political institutions themselves and not the letter behind a politician’s name that needs changing.
        3. Regarding protestors, hopefully it’ll cause greater turnout in the off year elections. And in 2020, WE CAN FINALLY GET KANYE FOR PREZ!!

        • Reese Money

          FACTS. The Democratic Party has divested from the black community for centuries, it’s time black voters do the same in regards to voting Democrat ad-nuasiam based on tradition, futility and fear.

    • Why do Black people think all poor Black neighborhoods will eventually be gentrified? That isn’t true at all. Simply having cheap housing isn’t going to make white people run to the area. There has to actually be some things there. An actual framework.

      • Val

        Of course not all poor Black neighborhoods will be gentrified. Some are too far gone infrastructure wise or too far from the economic centers of the city.

        • Absolutely, I was talking about this with my mom and cousin a little while back in regards to Long Beach (yours not mine). There’s absolutely nothing there.

          • Val

            Long Beach near LA? If so there’s quite a bit there. And it is undergoing gentrification as we speak.

            @Kas I’m sure you are familiar with what’s going on in Long Beach.

      • Charles Johnson

        I see your point put FAM i am witnessing it in chicago. I was seeing it happening in the party of philly where i went to school.

        • I haven’t been to Philly in a minute but last I remember really being there and around the city one half of it is just pretty much entirely colleges/universities and hospitals (before you get to the outskirts with the houses). It’s definitely a city divided.

        • ElusiveCupcake

          In Chicago, the fastest rate of gentrification is nearest the northern half of the Red Line, and the parts of the Green Line closest to the Loop.

      • Blueberry01

        Says the dude from Uptown…

        • ¿queens?

          • Blueberry01

            Mind blown.

            I thought you were from (or are currently in) Harlem.

      • Epsilonicus

        Here is a study of gentrification in Chicago that sorta gets to your point. Its results mirror what see in Baltimore

        http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/08/a-new-view-of-gentrification/

  • HouseOfBonnets

    Been saying this forever but unfortunately we now live in a world where opinion/assumption/ignorance outweighs facts and actual research because bizzarro world.

    • Janelle Doe

      Have no fear HOB alt facts can’t defy gravity (among other realities)
      Unfotunately the only constant is POC suffering
      *sigh

    • Ille Jay

      Because having a research tool at your bekk and call at moment’s notice has kept us somewhat “dull” in our approach to gathering of information AND because the Internet is glutted by lots of clikkbait to lure folks in, that is easy as scrolling down THIS page here…rather than doing a couple proper searches.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        It’s quite sad to witness in real time.

    • Mary Burrell

      An you are a brilliant resillant you overcame.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        I more so chalk it up to good luck and being in the right place at the right time. It’s one of the reasons I get so passionate about not only this city but the people here and in similar cities. I just want to pass on what was given to me to others in a similar boat.

  • Ille Jay

    Disenfranchisement, Displacement…this is all being streamlined in many large city communities, and being targeted at people of color. Gentrification…long names with long-term consequences in my city and elsewhere.

  • HouseOfBonnets

    also the history of Chicago politics is a perfect example of both parties being full of bs in local form.

    • Kat

      Add Detroit to that

      • MsCee

        Detroit is another great example. I went to college with a girl from the D and man her drive to get those grades and do whatever to succeed was on a whole different level. She told me about her background, about how she watched pretty much her whole family live, struggle and eventually die in Detroit. Proud to say that isn’t her story.

  • Janelle Doe

    Excellent article!

  • Val

    I’ve said before here that gangs and illegal economies exist where there is no viable legal economy. The reason politicians never push for real living wage jobs in communities like the South Side of Chicago is because they like to push the Black pathology angle.

    And unfortunately a significant amount of Black folks have bought into the Black pathology thing too.

    That of course means it’s all out fault and there’s nothing left to do but lock everyone up and allow the citizens to live under police occupation

    All anyone needs to do is go back to a time when Black folks on Chicago’s South Side had living wage jobs and hope of landing living wage jobs. Gangs were on the periphery and not a major problem.

    The solution is within reach. Free trade zones. Tax relief for businesses that pay a living wage and who will locate there. The key is to end America’s pastime of Blaming poor Black folks for their own ills.

    Great post.

    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

      What are “free trade zones”?

    • Diego Duarte

      Establishing free trade zones is not a solution, it merely displaces the problem elsewhere. That’s how the industry left Chicago for “greener pastures”. I’d say make outsourcing completely unviable, or tax the fuck out of it. Or better yet, abolish capitalism altogether.

      • Val

        Free trade zones can be apart of the solution. Not the entire solution. Chicago has one of the busiest international airports in the country. It’s perfect for a free trade zone.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          The airline industry has low margins, so even though a lot of money flows through it, you can’t get much tax revenue out of the industry, without crippling it.

          • Val

            A free trade zone at ORD would bring in new revenue. And the passenger part of the industry is different from the cargo part.

            • Alessandro De Medici

              That’s the nature of the entire industry nationwide, not just chicago. When you add up all the airlines in the United States, profits are usually about 1% of total revenue. Airlines make about $0.35 per passenger, per flight. So would a free trade zone help, yeah, I guess, but how much, I don’t see it being a big jump.

              • Val

                Okay but that’s apples to oranges. Like I said, the cargo end is different from the passenger end. And free trade would only apply to the cargo end.

                I don’t know how much it would help. I’m just throwing possible solutions out there.

                • Alessandro De Medici

                  Oh ok. I understand.

              • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                At some point the country/world will have to deal with the fact that some level of wealth redistribution is required. Whether it will be voluntary (combination of higher taxes and wages) or French Revolution style is the question.

                • Kylroy
                • Alessandro De Medici

                  Wealth redistribution already happens, what else is taxation. The issue is how much of it can you do without it having a drastic effect and harmful effect on the economy? Piketty in his book suggested a global tax not on income but on wealth itself (they already have something like this in France) but he also accepted the fact that such a policy would greatly slow economic growth globally.

                  The world’s problems and the pains of economics and finance do not merely go away when wealth is redistributed. There’s always a secondary consequence to messing with trade: it was the case before capitalism, and it will still be the case after it is long gone. You can’t evade or ignore the issue, because it explicitly forces you to accept that human beings and their behavior, rich or poor, are not as malleable and easily reduced to data or convenient theories, as such policies by their nature, assume by default.

                  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                    Greater wealth distribution than what currently exists. It’s not sustainable to have a large percentage of the population living in abject poverty while a minority capture an ever increasing part of the economic pie.

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      I’d agree, but as I said before: what’s the number?

                      Gotta have skin in the game, if you really want to be on the side of the solution via Nassim Taleb. As long as you ignore the possibility that things might go contrary to your expectations or desired results, your perspectives and views of ideas and solutions, will always be severely limited.

                      Furthermore, one of the things that has greatly led to income inequality is the inflation of asset values. The rich are getting richer because they are holding assets, or going from one to another, thus capital isn’t flowing downstream to the main economy, when it does flow, as it is doing right now, it’s concentrated in the financial sector. Much of that has been driven by The Central Banks, both domestically and internationally, which is usually done to prop things up.

                      I’m not that well versed in globalization and finance, but I think this is why Piketty said that there should be a global tax on wealth, as opposed to mere income. I don’t know what the consequences of such a thing would be, especially in an environment where asset prices are being propped up. But what can happen, both good and bad, is the responsibility of people who come up with the answers to.

                    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                      High enough that everyone has a safe clean place to sleep and sufficient food to eat.

                    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                      Asset managers seem to have no problem charging a fee for assets under management. The means for measuring is already in place. Real estate taxes are based on estimates of value.

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      Nah, we’re talking about two different things.

                    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                      My point was taxing wealth is not impossible and wouldn’t require reinventing the wheel. Likelihood of that happening though , absolutely zero. The truth is there is no easy answer/solution to the original question you raised. However it doesn’t take a quant to see the path we are on isn’t sustainable.

                  • Diego Duarte

                    Except taxation is at an all time low thanks to the many ways around it, from incentives to tax havens and free trade agreements. Until those are taken care of we cannot talk about there being “taxation”. Perhaps for the working class, but not for the corporations and their shareholders.

                    • The thing is everyone pays a lot less in taxes these days. Contrary to popular belief, the poor and working class pay a lot less taxes as a percentage of income than they used to.

                    • Diego Duarte

                      Because they no longer fit into the tax brackets they used to on account of the recession and not making enough income. However they still bear the full brunt of sales taxes, combined with their payroll tax.

                    • I forgot the graph, but sales taxes and payroll taxes are often canceled out by things like EITC and child care tax credits. It’s striking how total taxes paid per income decile have gone down.

                    • Diego Duarte

                      Could be. We rarely deal with personal taxation at the firm where I work, but I can tell you corporations frigging get away with murder.

                      Last firm where I worked we had a client who would routinely externalize his costs by discounting his employees for all the thefts which occurred in his department stores. Thing is, he knew it was shoplifters, but still blamed his employees as a way to externalize that cost.

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      This isn’t entirely true.

                      So would you be in support of getting rid of these tax incentives, including subsidies to corporations like Tesla and Exxon for instance?

                    • Diego Duarte

                      Uhm, did you miss the Panama Papers? Tax evasion and tax elusion have become an epidemic as of late with corporations and their shareholders.

                      Also, I would keep incentives for companies like Tesla, to promote green energy. Exxon needs to be done away with.

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      Much of the Panama Papers didn’t differentiate between legal or illegal tax evasion, which in and of itself isn’t illegal. I did read it though, but the big issue with it was primarily the numbers, the content itself wasn’t that much to write home about. But I’ll give that to you.

                      I figured that you’d be for Tesla, but that idea of using taxation, not just to help the poor but also to manage the economy, which is the secondary purpose that always ends up with taxation, is the fatal flaw in your strategy. Exxon is 10X the size of Tesla in terms of its size and contribution to the economy, if it disappears, in order to keep the economy going and funding all the government programs to take care of the poor ( and the working class people who will be unemployed due to the ending of Exxon), you have to come up with that wealth somewhere. What’s gonna make up for that?

                    • Diego Duarte

                      I’m an attorney, I know the difference between evasion and avoidance. However, the reason why avoidance is so common is precisely because of free trade agreements and loopholes which allow corporations to take advantage of that. Rather, these loopholes were intentionally designed so that they could be legally exploited to that effect.

                      Also, keep in mind that fossil fuel companies receive billions in subsidies. Likewise, just as much as they “contribute” to the economy they also produce hazards and costs to the environment and the communities affected by the hazards they produce. If we were to put a price tag on the costs of climate change, how much would it amount to?

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      I agree, but it wasn’t merely passed just for corporations, it was also widely being exploited by politicians too, Putin and a couple ones from all over the globe. The reason I pinpoint that out is to show it’s not merely a business problem. As a kid who grew up with a front row seat to negotiations between corporations and politicians, a lot of times it’s the Fortune 500 CEO on his knees begging for the deal.

                      As for fossil companies, I get your point, but just like you believe that a company like Tesla which on it’s own can’t survive, but requires funding from the government to operate, there are other people in other states and countries, whose entire economies are dependent on oil, without it, they’re fucked. Look at what a decline in oil prices (we’re not even talking a decline in the entire industry). They fall apart. You can’t simply ignore or take for granted that that’s a whole that you have fill and deal with, if you don’t want chaos to ensue and whatever plans you have for society or the economy to fall apart in the process.

                • esa

                  French Revolution against this military ?

                  • That’s assuming the military cares to intervene. The problem is that the police will and they’re heavy militarized.

                    • esa

                      i’m not making a distinction between the police and the military any longer, outside of the territories they occupy.

                      that said, i’ve seen the way they government is quick to call in the National Guard when they feel threatened by the people.

                  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                    I stand by, behind, and in front of my comment. Last time I checked military enlisted are not paid well.

                • Blueberry01

                  Thank you!

            • #facts That’s a big reason why ATL has a decent economy. Their airport not only creates jobs on its own, but creates a reason for businesses to set up shop there as opposed to New Orleans or Charlotte.

          • You could if the pay wasn’t so top-heavy.

        • HouseSublime

          The issue now is that businesses won’t go to the west/south sides until it’s cleaned crime wise. It’s chicken and egg. Businesses won’t go there becuase its so violent/dangerous and it’s so violent/dangerous because businesses have up and left.

          • Val

            You’re right, that is a problem. One way to overcome that is to create a mass effort. One in which the community is flooded with new businesses all at once. Get huge numbers of folks working quickly and that may cut off the need for folks to engage in crime to make money.

          • Furious Styles

            Or after a critical mass of individual gentrifiers in larval form arrive (stage 1). In the second stage the businesses come along with the real estate speculators.

      • Alessandro De Medici

        Um, yeah…

      • SoonToBeMrs

        Capitalism abolished on this here earth?!

        • Diego Duarte

          We’re gonna have to sooner or later, right? Either that or continue to destroy the environment until the Earth can produce no more, and go extinct as a species.

          • SoonToBeMrs

            The latter is going to happen. Destruction.

          • esa

            it’s also possible they’ll use capitalism until they are able to execute their plan to colonize other planets as they’re well aware they’re going to use this one up, what with climate change and overpopulation hitting the tipping point in 2050. in the interim Jeff Bezos is making rockets for personal travel. they’ve been working out ways to live in the biosphere, in the event they need to move to Mars.

            • Val

              That Bezos guy is bad news.

              • esa

                highly suspect, playing liberals for suckas and they eat it up.

            • Diego Duarte

              Except private initiative in space exploration is overblown. Private investments, as shown by continuous studies, are usually short term. And then the “long term investments” average out to 5 years of usefullness. Whereas government investments in technology last for around 20 or sometimes more (internet anyone?).

              Which is why you keep on hearing that tired line of capitalism driving the space exploration and their inevitable chartered trips to the moon (been hearing that since the nineties) yet it doesn’t happen. Not enough return for their investment in the short term. As a matter of fact, didn’t that rocket NASA commission the private industry to build, fall apart and blow up on launch? (talking about 2-3 years ago).

              • esa

                i’m not up on the economics of the industry so i cant comment on that. i’m taking the long view of white pathology to gauge their goals.

                i cant know if they will achieve it or not, but the writing is on the wall. we’re 50 years into the Anthropocene Era, and environmental changes are moving at an exponential pace.

              • Wizznilliam

                Actually SpaceX has built rockets that has launched several things into space. Their “thing” to make it cheaper is that they can land the initial booster and reuse it. Some of those have blown up though.

                But yea… Your analysis of public versus private funding is mostly correct. Just that most of the unknowns of near earth space travel and orbits has already been determined by public funds. So private industry will definitely take over that. Already have actually.. Something like going to Mars is a completely different story. Even just going, let alone setting up a colony is almost beyond comprehension at this point. I would be shocked if a private corporation actually even tried to do it alone.

          • Wizznilliam

            Abolish Capitalism??? In this country that is equivalent to saying Kill Jesus Christ.

            • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

              Actually worse regardless of what lip service Christianity is paid.

            • Diego Duarte

              Why not both?

              • Wizznilliam

                Good luck with that…. Lol. Lots of people have literally been killed advocating for much less.

      • Hugh Akston

        you can’t go on the extreme on either end

        yet you can’t show your cards either

    • The thing I find striking is that as manufacturing jobs are deserting the White working class, the White working class is acting a lot like the ghetto did in the 70s and 80s. Also, while this doesn’t directly effect you, there’s the fact that as poor and working class men lose employment due to decreases in manufacturing, marriage rates go down and single parenthood goes up. Shocking, Black Pathology is looking mighty skin bleaches these days.

      • Val

        Yeah, they have backed themselves into a rhetoric corner. Lol It’s going to be fun to see them contort trying to explain how they are so different from us.

        • They’re the same deplorables that voted for him too. I find that right here at work, his cheer squad is getting smaller and smaller.

        • I got a story about my connects on the street who are now going to rural White America for “work” and are making major money. It’s going to be an issue by the next presidential election once the word gets out.

          • Blueberry01

            Yup. They’ve always hit up “working” suburban areas. NY has had pipelines up and down the East Coast for ever.

            I guess now the rural areas are now like lamdmines.

          • Catfish Jenkins

            Ice Cube – My Summer Vacation

            “They trying to stop it
            So what the fu ck can I do to make a profit?
            Catch a flight to (EDIT – any poor white suburb in America, heck in Canada too) St. Louis
            That’s cool, cuz nobody knew us…”

          • Yahmo Bethere

            Chapo’s consolidation is the reason for Chiraq’s uptick and the Rust Belt heroin epidemic.

            He controls the pricing now. Not the “free market”.

        • David Williams

          They’re already trying. Lil Caleb and Becca are out here ODing in the grocery store and street with the kids in tow. We need to have compassion for this opioid epidemic sweeping (white) America. We need to have addiction programs to help them get clean. We need drug and prison reform.

          Funny. When it was Felicia and Lamont all we heard was “Just Say NO!” while the government was snatching their kids left and right while tossing them in prison. I’m going to give all my dollars to the first black director to film ‘Losing Brayleigh’ to show us the plight of the poor white meth head who has her crackbaby, er…child born exhibiting neonatal abstinence syndrome taken away and adopted by a loving black couple named Keisha and Jamal.

          • The crack baby phenomenon isn’t a game, and I am not exactly proud to watch the sequel.

            • David Williams

              They’ll get all the care. The best care. There will be schools and studies and funding. Watch.

          • Mary Burrell

            Black folks being destroyed by drugs but when it affects the whites in the suburbsit’s now an epidemic. If it doesn’t affect whites then they turn a blind eye and deaf ear but soon as it arrives at their door it’s a problem.

            • David Williams

              Crackhouses become cocaine apartments and the story is it’s sad that a hardworking woman who was just trying to unwind lost her life.

          • Val

            True. There are entire policy shifts going on now all over the country with regard to treatment over jail. And it’s so incredibly transparent that the only difference is the race of the offenders/ addicts.

            • Alessandro De Medici

              it’s one of the great, yet sad ironies of the thing.

              Most of the treatment isn’t working and the clinics are usually overwhelmed.

              Had they built the infrastructure in the 80’s, they’d be more prepared to deal with the onslaught today.

              • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                What goes around….

                • Blueberry01

                  …comes around and creates white compassion?

                  • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                    Yuuup.

                  • Andrea

                    I’m not sure about the compassion part.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Apparently since “they” receive all of the empathy for their accidental drug overdoses. ?

                      (Exactly how does someone accidentally do that? It wasn’t like you were accidentally taking the drugs or were accidentally looking to get high. ?)

              • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

                Bain Capital is already busy locking up market share in methadone clinics.

          • Overtymem Usicradio

            Losing Brayleigh….A Spike Lee Daniels Perry joint.

            • Blueberry01

              Get Out II, staring Brayleigh Armitage

          • D-Nice

            I’d double upvote this if I could. This enrages me so much, this idea that white addiction and all of its attendant consequences (violence, health problems, broken homes, abuse, etc.) is the result of real distress and frustration and deserves our compassion, understanding, and resources; while black addiction is completely and solely due to personal pathology, the fact that blacks are ostensibly horrible people who deserve harsh minimum sentences and no chance at rehabilitation. Either they both deserve compassion, understanding and resources, or neither do.

            I simply cannot believe all the stories, think pieces, commentary on this “New White Drug Epidemic” that recognizes that these white people are human and many became addicts because of their lack of opportunities, the destruction of their previous labor markets, the hollowing out of their communities and the never ending cycle of social ills that come from that. The black drug scourge was never seen that way. Again, it was “blacks are evil animals.”

            And, none of this is to excuse the most perverse of unlawful behavior that results from drug use You can have compassion and understanding for drug addicts and understand their desperation, but still lock them up for armed robbery or murder or aggravated battery. Just do it equally. And, in those situations where some major crime hasn’t been committed, policies regarding rehabilitation vs. jail, resources for, education job training and life skills, etc. should be applied equally.

          • Beauty In Truth

            Yasss bish yaassss, yes bish yaassss! Truth all day dam long!

        • Wizznilliam

          They already are kicking themselves over Affirmative Action.. Asians are dominating college enrollment now.

        • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/12/beattyville-kentucky-and-americas-poorest-towns

          Great article in the Guardian about the poorest white community in the US. It is part of a series that looks then at the poorest Black, Hispanic and Native American communities in the US. The Drug Epidemic and Living Off Welfare sections are particularly interesting.

        • Yahmo Bethere

          Google the Kevin Williamson article from the National review. Came out last Summer. He was dragged by the RW for calling them out.

      • Blueberry01

        ….heroin and other opoid overdoses go up as well.

      • Duff Soviet Union

        What happens to Black people happens to everyone else eventually. You’d think white people could treat Blacks with compassion and respect if for no other reason than that, but nope.

        • Beauty In Truth

          You funny.

        • panamajackson

          [IMG]http://s32.postimg.org/4fu0fkoed/2_species.jpg[/IMG]

        • panamajackson

          [img]http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m50t2aVFJb1rr9gmio1_500.gif[/img]

        • panamajackson

          [img]http://lithobolos.net/system/files/styles/node_gallery_display/private/node_gallery/blacks-without-whites-vice-versa.jpg?itok=vycVqA58[/img]

        • panamajackson

          [IMG]http://academic.udayton.edu/race/01race/Lootie/looter_to_man.jpg[/IMG]

    • Question

      Free trade zone? What does that mean in the context of an American city?

      • Val

        Do you mean specifically where they can exist? If so, airports, rail, ports.

        • Question

          I wasn’t sure what you meant, hence the broad question. Now I understand what you’re thinking…

    • Mary Burrell

      Did you study politcal science and economics in college?

      • Val

        Hiya, Mary. Nope. I have an interest in history. Most social or economic issues can be solved by looking to the past for answers.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          This. History and International Relations here. . .

          History is not dead nor is it the past.

        • Red October

          As a history major I concur. The answers to the questions that exists in the present lies within the lessons of the past.

    • Mary Burrell

      How do i unblock Cheech i accidently blocked him trying to block the troll

      • Val

        Go to this page linked below and scroll down to “Manage Your Block List” Then click on “blocking”. That will take you to the list of people you’ve blocked and by Cheech’s name just click unblock.

        https://help.disqus.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2460515-user-blocking

        • Cheech

          Also, leave brownies or something.

          • Val

            Lol

          • Mary Burrell

            Hey Cheec??

        • Mary Burrell

          I got him back

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Exactly. They make it like it so hard. The problem is, Chicago makes them more money (and pays in other intangible dividends) like it is than if the real problem were to be fixed.

    • Blueberry01

      “All anyone needs to do is go back to a time when Black folks on Chicago’s South Side had living wage jobs and hope of landing living wage jobs.”

      This is true for ANY impoverished city (around the US); but, it’s only our fault when it occurs in predominantly AA ones.

      Crime is highly correlated with poverty – NOT race.

    • Nik White

      So when are you doing a post?

    • PaulaGreen11

      <- Stay at home mom Kelly Richards from New York after resigning from her full time job managed to average from $6000-$8000 a month from freelancing at home… This is how she done itIts Not a Scam ….Just Check This. ??????http:://TrumpNewsSpecialJob/SpecialOffer………..

    • Beauty In Truth

      There’s more to it than this. The facts are evident and true. However, people do in fact have to hold themselves account table for violence.

      Firstly. Whites are going to always have their best interests in mind so we should do the same for ourselves and STOP begging for them to care. They don’t.

      Secondly, you can’t cry out for help and assert your humanity all while allowing nonsense to overtake your communities day in and out. No one will take you seriously. If you have lived in a “hood” or never been to an inner city school you won’t understand.

      The jealous kids who stay wanting to fight the kids trying to make it, get teased bullied (or even killed, like the girl in Connecticut) for “acting white.”

      The lack of desire for education because it being educated is to be white. The lack of respect to keep our communities clean , the puzzy ahse adults who stand there and watch when kids fight in schools. The bs teachers who don’t even believe it that they could have students in their own class capable of turning in quality work. “You didn’t write this.” The black people who get jobs and act all bougie or act like covert detectives on us like they forgot where they came from or will lose their job if they don’t play nger checker.

      All due respect but, Gtfohwtbs. The problem starts and ends with us. That’s how we got out of slavery, that’s how we got civil rights, and that’s how it’s going to have to be if we want our communities back. Us and Us alone.

    • Juxtapose

      You should all go back to Africa. You’ll be like royalty.

  • Kat

    Chicago is the new “Welfare Queen”

    • Diego Duarte

      Also note how impoverished white communities in the Bible Belt are seen as deserving of compassion or “honest folk who have fallen behind on tough times”, rather than the obnoxious, fanatical, ignorant, anti-intellectual, welfare-collecting, KKK-abiding, trailer-park racists they are.

      • Kylroy

        And those communities have declined in almost exactly the same way that urban minority communities did, with drug use and crime ramping up as decent employment options become more and more scarce.

        • Diego Duarte

          Except when you point out drug use and crime in black communities that’s just the “truth”, because you don’t do “political correctness”, but when you point out these problems in these communities it’s “STOP BEING DIVISIVE!! THIS IS WHY TRUMP WON!! STOP HURTING MY FEELINGS, YOU SNOWFLAKE!”

          • Kylroy

            Yeah. Until half our political system isn’t dedicated to denying that truth, I don’t see how we can address it. The rural problem is especially bleak because, unless you’re employed in some sort of resource extraction (including agriculture), there really is no reason for businesses to go where the people *aren’t*.

          • esa

            only amongst non white folks, when they need to float the narrative of so-called “superiority” for whatever agenda they are playing.

            behind closed doors and among their own, they are quick to distance themselves from the poor and play the blame the victim card. they named their own people “trash” as a way to make sure it is know they consider such people disgusting and disposable.

            • Duff Soviet Union

              Yep. White supremacy basically demands that poor whites don’t exist.

              The lie of white supremacy is that Whites are more successful than Blacks because they’re just innately better. Poor whites shoot a hole in this theory, so whites just demean them as a way of disassociating themselves from them.

              Along those lines, when Black communities are struggling it’s because of their pathology but when it happens to white communities there must obviously be structural issues because white struggle just isn’t right.

              • jigg_uppa

                You’re right, but the lie of white supremacy is that “White” exists.

        • Ess Tee

          They have declined in much the same way, but I think that Diego is also pointing how the narrative regarding those communities’ degradation differs wildly from when certain folks just say “Chicago.”

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Funny how that happens. In the hillbilly areas, there is also a huge culture of honour that also results on violence

          • Kylroy

            When you get right down to it, Hatfields vs. McCoys was just the country’s longest gang war.

          • There was a conservative Black writer who tried to make a connection between gang warfare between Blacks and hillbilly culture, with the argument that we picked it up from hillbillies. I want to say Thomas Sowell, but I’m not sure. Looking at how things are going, he might have been onto something.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              Gladwell talked about honor color, but didn’t make the link. I forgot who talked about Albanian blood feuds between families being the primary issue the kept the entire country from moving forward.

              Folks should be intersectional with and multidisciplinary with their analysis if we are to ever generate new ideas to try

            • NomadaNare

              Absolutely no way Sowell made this point

              Stop lying :P

              • It definitely was a Black Conservative writer. I’ll have to do some research and get back to you. I remember it because it was one of those stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day things.

        • I have been thinking the same thing. And wait until those hillbillies start moving weight and getting into distribution…

          • `Abdu’l-Karim Ewing-Boyd

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-18/vast-stretches-impoverished-appalachia-look-they-have-been-through-war

            “Most of those that live in the heart of Appalachia are really good “salt of the earth” people that just want to work hard and do what is right for their families. But after decades of increasing poverty, the entire region has been transformed into an economic nightmare that never seems to end.”

          • Yahmo Bethere

            Consider that Pike County, Ohio family (two houses) that was slaughtered a year or two ago. I think they already tried it.

      • Blueberry01

        …and TV shows like Teen Mom to parade their sexual irresponsibility…

  • Alessandro De Medici
    • This is why communities need to make sure they either pick an industry that can’t be easily mechanized or that they diversify their economies.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        I wish a community would…

      • Hugh Akston

        Can you think of an industry that can’t be mechanized?

      • When I hear orange fauxtus talk about how bad a community/city/state ot country is, and stresses it over and over- I can’t help but think he wants to just bulldoze it all down and strip mine all the properties and resources. (Not necessarily fix it)… It just seems to be a constant ulterior motive.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Trump made his money because of the bankruptcy of New York. His real estate empire is rooted on pimping eminent domain, poor people and government money. So yeah, no surprises there.

        • Val

          The ulterior motive is to lock Black folks up. I mean, what else could he mean when he talks about sending the “feds” in? This is nothing new. It’s the typical law and order rhetoric of Republicans going nationally all the way back to Nixon.

          And most prisons are located near White communities. Prison for us, jobs for them.

          • …and he and his rich ilk soak up all the profits and spoils

          • esa

            private prison stock soared the day after the election. 13th Amendment is their bread and butter.

          • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

            This. This is why his language is particularly harmful and needs to moved on even while we keep our eye on the failures that are and have been plaguing Chicago

    • Well said. Chicago, much like Atlanta, was built around be The City in the hinterlands. As those industries shrink and evolve to do more processing close to the farms, Chicago itself doesn’t have much relevance.

  • RaeNBow

    great to see this topic on VSB. I hope there is a follow-up (or 2 or 3) with examples of solutions to the problem. *two thumbs up*

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