Farewell to 2010 and time to burp the baby 2011! First I would like to commend Gordon for his honesty. It takes character to express your feelings and frustrations in an open forum with your true identity. Kudos. I am curious what are some ideas community members have about getting out and meeting their neighbors. The idea is to build community and minimize cultural barriers. In the Central District we are lucky to have such diversity. From the National Night Out to the Garfield Community Center activities, it appears these activities are not working in broad scope.
Maybe organizing progressive dinners, meetings at Twilight or the soon to arrive bakery on 23rd, (my favorite idea) a wine walk around your block with your neighbors. These are just some thoughts. I am very curious what you, the community would like to see.
Better yet, make it a Resolution to reach out to one neighbor every month. Have coffee in your kitchen, a cocktail in your dinning room, or a lunch in your living room. Let’s hear what you have in mind.
Yes, it takes courage to state controversial opinions while using your name. I agree. But enough with the kudos already. The opinions Mr. Curvey expressed mark him as a bigot. He tells us he’s no racist, but his rant is about how all the white people and their kids and their dogs (!) are ruining “his” neighborhood. If I were a bigot and wrote about all the black people ruining my once-white neighborhood, I wonder whether people would be commending me for my honesty or telling me to stick a sock in it.
I hear you Ben about people telling you to stick a sock in it if the roles were reversed… having any open discourse on race is very hard. Stirs up emotions and history, you know? I think what Gordon is truly lamenting is the loss of the community he knew… he just happened to grow up black a black one. Communities, black ones and white ones, are being torn apart my tons on things that have changed since the 1950’s/60’s. Hyper addictive drugs like crack and meth have become huge destroyers of our families and kids seem more apt to listen to their media devices and pop culture than their parents. So in an age of limitless potential information, people are making poorer choices.
The point? Ignorance in the enemy, not race. If you hate white people, seriously sit back and think about why. I bet you, in my white experience, that I could find a person in my life that is the exact opposite of whatever reasons you may hate. If you are scared of people with darker skin than you, I bet in my black experience I could find people that are so opposite what you think, you’d be blown away. Wisdom and ignorance… they can be found in the strangest of places. It’s not the color of your skin, it’s the decisions you make based on the situation you’re in. And I’m not saying that all things are equal, of course they’re not… Gordon can continue to hate me based on my skin, but the world is going to end up tan anyways, and who’s going to live to see that, anyhow?
Everyone get over it and find a new hobby.
Do you have any suggestions to help build bridged and understanding?
I was disappointed to see the commenting feature disabled for Gordon’s opinion piece. Not sure what the whole point was to airing a one-sided argument!
The comments were inabled for that particular post, although you’ll see in that post a link to the original post where Gordon commented. Those comments are still going strong. Check it out.
While I agree that Gordon’s comment certainly came across as racist, I think I understand a bit where he’s coming from (and I’ve seen racist comments going the other way, too). As others have said, it’s feeling a sense of loss from losing the community that you grew up in and feel attached to. It’s difficult – for any of us – to embrace change. But I think Johan’s idea of opening up to our neighbors, in any way, is a great idea. I love living in a diverse neighborhood of people whom I never would have been able to get to know if I had stayed in the type of neighborhood where I grew up. Get to know each other, talk to each other, say hi instead of glaring at the people that you don’t think belong or who are different from you, or just keeping your head down. We all have a lot more in common than you think, if you just find out a little bit about who they are.
I find it comical how upset people got about the dog comment!
Gordon’s comments didn’t “come across” as racist. They were bigoted, plain and simple. He says he hates seeing all those white people in his neighborhood. White people have overrun his community. He doesn’t like seeing all those white kids at black playgrounds. He doesn’t like seeing white people walking their dogs on black streets. While he might indeed be lamenting the loss of the community he used to know, what he said was he wishes there weren’t all these white people where they don’t belong.
You know what? When white racists say, “I don’t hate black people; I just love my white culture,” I don’t believe them. And I’ll bet you don’t either.
Ben – I agree. The Libra in me is trying to balance things out.
I’m just trying to look at things from another person’s perspective – whether I agree with it or not, it’s what they feel and think, so that alone makes it valid as a human response. Empathy is a good thing, and more likely to help someone to think about your perspective as well as theirs. Perhaps Gordon will come back and cuss us all out for trying to understand what he was saying. But at least we tried.
You know, Johan, you could have done the same!
Even if you have an established CD New identity as “Johan”, you could have put your full name in the text.
In fact, I wish everyone would! It would surely moderate much of the vituperative sniping that makes so many news sources comment sections useless (fortunately generally not the case for CD News).
How about something that helps newer residents connect to the cultural history of the neighborhood? I enjoyed watching one of the parades this summer (despite the fact that it was raining) to see those things I don’t see on the street much, that aren’t a part of the culture I grew up with — like all the drill teams.
Am I the only one who thinks that a “wine walk” wouldn’t go over well with Gordon and other long term residents? Maybe something a little less… white upper middle class? The assumption that it’s the kind of event that everyone would be interested in and feel comfortable at kind of bothers me. More than Gordon’s rant, which at least brings up race honestly.
Thank you Andrew. I am accustomed to people recognizing me because I have a fairly unique name for this country. My last name is Lysne. Johan was just easier to put.
Not trying to hide or anything. I wanted to load a picture of myself however I had some HD issues and have no photos in my computer.
Thanks for your comments.
Great points! Do you have any suggestions for small community events?
Garden Central, CDNA and other community groups applied for and received a Department of Neighborhood’s (DON) grant. We call it the CD Art Project. Our purpose was to come up with a process that would connect all neighbors in the CD both in creating art and that continues and enhances the connections after it is created. We will be having 3 design charettes in March and April. Come one, come all; get to know your neighbors and share your ideas. Watch this space and others for information on time/location of the charettes. We also have monthly Steering Committee Meetings for those who would like to volunteer to do the organizing work a process like this requires. They are the 4th Monday each month at 7pm at the Lutheran Church on 22nd and E. Union.
Bro, you need to get out more…most of the blacks I know who left the neighborhood were tired of getting broken into or getting shot at. Some never owned any property in the CD and decided they’d rather live south, or it was cheaper to buy a house south. To go around hating white people who walk their dogs, what’s up with that? I could see if they were the KKK, burning crosses in your yard, but come on… people walking their dogs…man, you really need to get out more. As for me I don’t care what color people are who walk their dogs. I rather have neighbors walking their dogs than mean mugging me, threatening me, selling drugs to my kids, gang banging-please get a life! Stop being a hater. Maybe if enough of them move in our car insurance will go down and our home values will go up and crime will go down.
I don’t have all the ideas. I thought the soup swaps announced here in the past are a great idea. I like the idea of people sharing food made with family recipes, or even giving people who don’t cook a reason to learn to make one kind of soup, at least.
Food is a big part of cultural heritage for a lot of people. Maybe we could come up with other food-related community building, both related to local businesses and home cooking. There’s a diverse range of restaurants in the CD that represent the layers of immigration to the community, from soul food brought by Southerners in the 50s and 60s to East African that came with more recent immigrant communities. It’s too bad that the Jazz age and Japanese history of the CD is all but gone now.