Sunday, November 13, 2005

Black middle class and section 8 side by side...

Mary Mitchell had a column in the Chicago Sun-Times about a middle class community on the south side of Chicago. She tells the story of a couple in their fifties. A man who is a funeral home owner found out that his wife was assaulted by some thugs after she requested that they move on. Here's a quote...

Last Friday evening, Danita Carter was inside the couple's home in the Ashburn neighborhood when she noticed the family's dog was barking loudly. When she went outside, she saw two teens "play-fighting" in the bushes, her husband told me.

"Would you guys please stop that because you are tearing up my bushes,"
Danita Carter said.

Rather than reply "Yes, Ma'am" like many of us were taught to do when we were growing up, the teens told her that they lived there. That, of course, was a lie.

"My wife said: 'This is my home.' One of them stood up real quick and with blinding speed punched her in the left side of her face," Harry Carter told me. "He fractured her jaw in three places, knocked her molars loose and knocked out two front teeth. The doctors had to wire her mouth shut."

Oh my. So they got belliegerent with her quick. There have always been complaints that the police aren't very helpful in the black community. That they're not actively protecting the black neighborhoods as the should. Combine this with the idea that charges of police brutality will be thrown around.

Also Mr. Carter has been frustrated there have been no arrests made and he had to do some of his own detective work. In addition to that the assault was listed as a simple battery, but it was corrected to aggrevated battery. So this story may indicate that the police aren't taking this crime very seriously.

I want to touch upon a few points that I found from this article. First off if you're black and middle class in Chicago and I got this from the Tribune a few years ago, you just might not be too far away from high crime areas. This may not exactly compute in this situation Ashburn may not be considered high crime and there may not be much crime in the surrounding areas so what gives.

Well, the people who may have attacked Danita Carter his wife were "section 8". People who left the projects in Chicago as they were being torn down. Even I have had an experience with section 8 people. This group who lived next door to us were pretty horrible. A tree fell into our yard and they took their time in trying to despose of it. We (my mother and I) had to threaten to contact their landlord to get that tree out of our yard. And they went ahead and took care of it.

Well another case occured when they did finally move out. We were finally able to get rid of the roaches in our home but the roaches just so happen to return. What gives? Well it didn't help that they had kids around everywhere who'll throw trash behind bushes. We toured the house they lived in next door after they had left, it was squalor they had lived in. And there were plenty of artifacts left over such as dolls as well as dead roaches. It was horrible. There are other issues. Well in this story, these kids went so far as to engage in an assault.

This leads to another point. Mr. Carter says...
"Up until about 18 months ago, it was real, real quiet," he said. "Then we started getting a speckle here and a speckle there of Section 8 homes. These people move in and they have no information on how to act normal."
Essentially and Mitchell picks up on it. Every neighborhood has an established code of conduct...

Residents clash when newcomers aren't willing to adopt that code. For instance, in some neighborhoods, teens are allowed to hang out on corners, play basketball late into the night, and sit in parked cars blasting profane music. In other black neighborhoods, this kind of behavior is considered unacceptably "ghetto."

Basically in Chicago the most grassroots form of government are either neighborhood or city block level in at least most residential neighborhoods. They try to acclimate everyone into the new neighborhood. And I suppose it can only take if the neighborhood make a concerted effort to reach out to their neighbors or if the new residents have no intention of really cooperating with the code. Either way it may be that these kids were looking for trouble and perhaps they were used to people just not bothering them. It's as if they never left the projects. Of course I want to take care and not portray all people from the projects as trouble.

Since we're on the black middle class trip I want to mention another article but I won't add my two cents until tommorrow. Would you believe that black families with homes in black communities will get a lot less for selling their homes than an individual in a predominantly white neighborhood with a much high incidents of crime. Well I presen this Sun-Times article to you and I'll have more to say. Real estate has been an interest of mine as of late.

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