10 May 2008

Continental divide

The city in which I live, being a medium sized Southern municipality, is hyper-segregated to the extreme. That is, for the most part, Blacks live on one side of the city (in the urban core and the older suburban zone), and Whites live on the other side (the newer suburbs).

I said "for the most part" because there are small outliers of Black residents in the White suburban area. On census maps these appear as dark patches among a sea of lightness. I find that these areas tend to be comprised of older apartment complexes (often a cluster of them) or cheap single family residences.

(Then there are the rare folks like me who are White outliers, all by ourselves, in a Black ghetto. If you want to know what that's like, move there yourself.)

Even so, the perceived and real differences, whether economic, social, or cultural, between White and Black in our city are extreme. Oh, sure, the races mingle on a daily basis, but only at a formal level - at the workplace, public places, etc. But in the domain of private life the races are quite possibly like two completely different cultures, though living directly adjacent, and mistrusting each other to the extreme.

Whites, I find, value conservative activity, individual responsibility, and restraint of behavior; while Blacks tend to value intense socialization, "hanging loose", and social/collective responsibility.

This is not a moral judgment either way. As long as you aren't committing crimes or hurting other people, folks have the right to do whatever thang they please. However, different approaches to life can engender mistrust between groups.

Let it be known that essentially everyone (excepting thugs) lives for the same purposes, or tries to. Getting out of your comfort zone (that means you, Whitey) can be a good thing once in a while, as you may come to learn that the "other" isn't so different from you after all.


Another aspect of racial apartness is the condescending attitude which corporate White Amerika treats the Black consumer. After all, Blacks require the necessities of life also - food, places of employment, consumer services that Whiteamerica takes for granted. You know, things beside nail salons, pawn shops, dollar stores, bail bond operators, rent to own appliance dealers, liquor stores, and similar shit which you find as common representatives of economic life in the ghetto.

So why, oh why, did my neighborhood video store, which as far as I know did a good business from both sides of the tracks (Black and White neighborhoods, that is), suddenly close shop, forcing me to travel three or four additional miles whenever I desire to rent a DVD? Was it 'cause we really don't need the money from those nasty Black folk - you know, blood money that comes from welfare and hustling and prostitution and all that?? Yeah, all cash in the hood is made from drug dealing. Great presumption, assholes.

Of course, it also could be that people just aren't renting many films anymore, what with YouToob to amuse folks, and the GreenspanBernankeBush depression, and the severely declining quality of the output of the Hollywood studios. So what do I know.