Diversity without Segregation? — a departure from norm


From time to time I have written about our search for diversity while RV’ing.  And to keep that in context Peggy & I come from one the three most segregated cities in the U.S.  One of the things we have noticed (not only in this country but in other nations as well) is that people seem to like to live near other people like themselves. You witness this in macro environments and you in micro environments as small as a campground.  We don’t call it segregation when Poles settle in the same neighborhood as other Poles, or Germans live with other Germans; not until the pattern begins to manifest symptoms that the society feels are unacceptable.  And every society has a different tolerance level.  And I suspect there is a different tolerance level for each ethnic group, racial group, sexual orientation, or age, or any of the federally protected discrimination categories.  And we do have 7 distinct discrimination categories in this nation.

There is so much discussion and media hype about equal rights and equal opportunity and equal everything.  But I have often thought/wondered about why it is that humans seem to prefer living with their own ‘kind’ even when doing so may not be the safest, or most financially advantageous choice?  I can’t answer for other people.  I’m not sure I understand the answer myself.  But for one single day I’m re-posting this article about the seeming interaction between diversity and segregation as a worthwhile way to spend a few minutes.

Surely in the U.S. we have not always done a good job caring for our needy.  Or our elderly.  (Who are sometimes the same.)  We let Veterans fall between the cracks, we have a hard time educating our young and moral guidelines seem to have been thrown out the window in favor of situational morality which is another way of saying “Just leave me alone to do whatever the hell I want.”   — And that’s a comment that I’m sure has been made by almost every generation ever to live on this planet — I’m sure it always seems to the old as if the young are going to hell in a hand basket.

But I wonder whether there actually are “Solutions” to what we sometimes perceive as problems; or whether we need to look at some of our “problems” not as problems but as facts of life that need to be accepted and worked within.  Then maybe we can find better ways of coping with what people actually want to do instead of forcing them into uncomfortable behaviors.  Maybe diversity is NOT the best solution.  After all, how can you have a nation if you have welcomed so many foreigners that no one has a common language?  Or should moving to a new nation pre-suppose that the immigrants will of necessity learn a new tongue and attempt to adapt to a new way of life rather than bringing their old ways with them.

I guess this whole thought process has been triggered by the recent fuss over the Confederate flag.  Obviously “old times there are not forgotten…” and it hasn’t mattered that the War Between the States took place about 150 years ago because many wounds have never healed. I for one find slavery and racial hatred to be as offensive as others feel about pornography.  But you don’t change bigotry when one side runs out of bullets and signs a cessation of hostilities treaty.  Nor do you break the Glass Ceiling that keeps women from earning the same wages as men just by passing a law requiring equal treatment of women in the workplace.  Change happens internally or it doesn’t really happen at all.  You can cover it up, you can disguise it, but the fundamental behaviors remain in place.  And if you doubt that we are reaching the end of President Obama’s 8 years in office and there has been little of any decrease in the hatred and bigotry expressed towards the First Black President of the United States from the day of his inauguration until now.

I don’t have any answers.  But I do consider the problems.  The article which follows is meant to give us all a pause in our normal life to consider what we are creating around us.


THE MOST DIVERSE CITIES ARE OFTEN THE MOST SEGREGATED


When I was a freshman at the University of Chicago in 1996, I heard the same thing again and again: Do not leave the boundaries of Hyde Park. Do not go north of 47th Street. Do not go south of 61st Street. Do not go west of Cottage Grove Avenue. 1

These boundaries were fairly explicit, almost to the point of being an official university policy. The campus police department was not committed to protecting students beyond the area,2 and the campus safety brochure advised students not to use the “El” train stops just a couple of blocks beyond them unless “traveling in groups and during the daytime.”

What usually wasn’t said — on a campus that brags about the diversity of its urban setting but where only about 5 percent of students are black — was that the neighborhoods beyond these boundaries were overwhelmingly black and poor. The U. of C. has, for many decades, treated Hyde Park as its “fortress on the South Side,” and its legacy of trying to keep its students within the neighborhood — and the black residents of surrounding communities out — has left its mark on Chicago.

On Dustin Cable’s interactive “Dot Map” of racial residency patterns, Hyde Park appears as an island of blue and red dots — meaning, mostly white and Asian students and residents — in contrast to Chicago’s almost uniformly black South Side, designated in green dots. Washington Park, the neighborhood just to Hyde Park’s west, is 97 percent black3. Woodlawn — the neighborhood on the other side of 60th Street — is 87 percent black.

 

silver-segregation-chicago-dotChicago deserves its reputation as a segregated city. But it is also an extremely diverse city. And the difference between those terms — which are often misused and misunderstood — says a lot about how millions of American city dwellers live. It is all too common to live in a city with a wide variety of ethnic and racial groups — including Chicago, New York, and Baltimore — and yet remain isolated from those groups in a racially homogenous neighborhood.

You can see that by zooming out on Cable’s map and taking the 30,000-foot view of Chicago. Things start to look a little different: You notice the city’s diversity as much as its segregation. Citywide, Chicago’s population is almost evenly divided between non-Hispanic blacks (33 percent of its population), non-Hispanic whites (32 percent) and Hispanics (29 percent). So at a macro level, Chicago is quite diverse. At a neighborhood level, it isn’t.silver-segregation-chicago-dot

 

The contrast to Chicago is a city like Lincoln, Nebraska. By one statistical measure of racial segregation called the index of dissimilarity, Lincoln counts as being highly racially integrated — it’s more integrated than New York, according to this statistic! But what does that integration look like? Here’s Cable’s map again:silver-segregation-lincoln-dot

 

In Lincoln, this supposed integration looks awfully blue — which is to say, awfully white, since blue is Cable’s color for caucasians, who make up 83 percent of Lincoln’s population. True, Lincoln’s few nonwhite residents are fairly evenly distributed throughout the city. But while Lincoln may be integrated, it’s not very diverse.

So let’s aim to develop a slightly richer vocabulary. I’m going to describe three statistical measures of segregation and diversity. Like any statistical definitions, they are precise but limited in scope. They refer to racial diversity only and not economic diversity or diversity within racial groups. They pertain to where people live, and not where they work or go to school. In other words: They’re a starting point and not an end point. No one of them is inherently more valid than the others; it’s best if you look at them holistically.

The data we’ll use is drawn from Brown University’s American Communities Project, which is, in turn, based on the 2010 Census. Brown’s data defines five racial groups: whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and “other,” where “other” principally refers to Native Americans. The groups are exhaustive (they add up to 100 percent of the population) and mutually exclusive (they don’t overlap). 4

In this article, we’ll look at cities proper rather than metropolitan areas. Venturing beyond the city limits and into the surrounding area can sometimes lead you to different conclusions about a city’s demographic makeup, so we’ll look at those in a follow-up post. But cities themselves matter too, especially for questions of urban planning and city-administered services like schooling and policing.

In order to provoke a few questions, I’m going to list the top 10 and bottom 10 U.S. cities by each of these measures (out of the 100 most populous cities). Chicago, for example, ranks near the top of the charts by one metric, but is at the very bottom on another.

silver-feature-segregation-city

The first measure is the citywide diversity index. It’s defined as the answer to this question: For an average resident in the city, what percent of the people belong to a different racial group?5

The lowest possible citywide diversity index is 0 percent, which is what you get if everyone is the same race. The highest possible one is 80 percent. Why not 100 percent? Because the Brown data only includes five racial groups. Even if the population is divided exactly evenly between these groups, you’ll still have 20 percent of the people belong to the same race as you.

A few cities actually get pretty close to this ideal of complete diversity. Oakland, California, is not far from being evenly divided between whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians; its citywide diversity index is 75 percent. New York’s is 73 percent. And Chicago’s is 70 percent.

At the low end of the scale are extremely white cities like Lincoln and Scottsdale, Arizona. There’s also extremely black cities like Detroit, and extremely Hispanic cities like Laredo, Texas. Laredo, which is almost entirely Hispanic, has a citywide diversity index of just 8 percent.

There’s something else important here. The term “diverse” is sometimes used colloquially as a euphemism for “nonwhite.” But our statistics don’t handle whites differently than the other racial groups. One advantage of this approach is that it can account for the degree of segregation between different nonwhite groups. While blacks and Hispanics are highly segregated from one another in Chicago, for example, they’re reasonably well integrated in Phoenix.

The counterpart to the citywide diversity index is the neighborhood diversity index.6It answers basically the same question we asked above, but applied at the neighborhood level. That is: For an average resident in the city, what percent of the people in her neighborhood belong to a different racial group? (I’m using the term “neighborhood” loosely. More precisely, the index is based on census tracts, which are units of about 4,000 people.7)

The neighborhood diversity index is always equal to or lower than the citywide diversity index. In other words, if a city doesn’t have much diversity overall, it can’t have racially diverse neighborhoods.

But the reverse can be true, and often is: You can have a diverse city, but not diverse neighborhoods. Whereas Chicago’s citywide diversity index is 70 percent, seventh best out of the 100 most populous U.S. cities, its neighborhood diversity index is just 36 percent, which ranks 82nd. New York also has a big gap. Its citywide diversity index is 73 percent, fourth highest in the country, but its neighborhood diversity index is 47 percent, which ranks 49th.

To be clear, New York and Chicago are still more diverse than cities like Lincoln, even at the neighborhood level. But as the numbers show, they are segregated because they underachieve their potential to have racially diverse neighborhoods.

This is what the final metric, the integration-segregation index, gets at. It’s defined by the relationship between citywide and neighborhood diversity scores. If we graph the 100 most populous cities on a scatterplot, they look like this:

 

This chart is key to understanding our approach, so let’s take a quick tour, starting in the top-right corner of the chart and moving counterclockwise.

silver-segregation-scatter

  • The top-right quadrant contains cities like Sacramento, California, that have high neighborhood and citywide diversity scores. They’re both diverse and integrated.
  • The top-left quadrant is empty. In theory, you’d place cities here if they had high neighborhood diversity but poor citywide diversity. But as we’ve said, you can’t have diverse neighborhoods if there’s no diversity in the overall population.
  • In the bottom-left quadrant are cities like Laredo and Lincoln that score poorly on both neighborhood and citywide diversity. Because they’re so racially uniform, you can’t really define them as being either segregated or integrated.
  • The bottom-right quadrant contains highly segregated cities like Chicago, Baltimore and St. Louis. They have average-to-good citywide diversity, but poor neighborhood diversity.
  • The largest group of cities, including those like Los Angeles, are clustered just above these in the middle-right portion of the chart. They’re near the red regression line8 that indicates the typical relationship between citywide diversity and neighborhood diversity. These cities are reasonably diverse, but a very long way from being perfectly integrated. However, they’re not quite as segregated as cities like Chicago.

The integration-segregation index is determined by how far above or below a city is from the regression line. Cities below the line are especially segregated. Chicago, which has a -19 score, is the most segregated city in the country. It’s followed by Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Washington and Baltimore.

Cities above the red line have positive scores, which mean they’re comparatively well-integrated. Sacramento’s score is a +10, for instance.

But here’s the awful thing about that red line. It grades cities on a curve. It does so because there aren’t a lot of American cities that meet the ideal of being both diverse and integrated. There are more Baltimores than Sacramentos.

Furthermore, most of the exceptions are cities like Sacramento that have large Hispanic or Asian populations. Cities with substantial black populations tend to be highly segregated. Of the top 100 U.S. cities by population, 35 are at least one-quarter black, and only 6 of those cities have positive integration scores.9

So while Chicago really is something of an extraordinary case, Baltimore isn’t an outlier, exactly. Most cities east of the Rocky Mountains with substantial black populations are quite segregated. There’s not a lot to distinguish Baltimore from Cleveland, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia or St. Louis.

We’ll follow this up with an analysis of what these numbers look like when taken at the the metro rather than city level. In the meantime, you can find where your city ranks below:

CITY CITYWIDE DIVERSITY INDEX NEIGHBORHOOD DIVERSITY INDEX INTEGRATION/SEGREGATION INDEX

  1. Do not go east of Lake Shore Drive — it was sometimes added drolly — unless you like to swim. Hyde Park is bounded on the east by Lake Michigan. ^
  2. A typical sentence from the campus safety brochure while I was a student:The University Police is committed to preserving your safety, and within the bounds of the Hyde Park-South Kenwood neighborhood (the area bounded by 47th Street, 61st Street, Cottage Grove Avenue, and Lake Shore Drive) you are doubly protected by University and Chicago Police. ^
  3. As of the 2010 Census ^
  4. That means the Brown data treats Hispanics as the equivalent of a racial group, rather than an “ancestry.” (See here for more about the distinction.) ^
  5. The quickest way to calculate the citywide diversity index is to square each racial group’s share of the population, sum the result, then subtract the answer from 1. For instance, in a city that’s 70 percent white and 30 percent black, the citywide diversity index would be 1 – (.7^2 + .3^2), which is 42 percent. ^
  6. Formally, the neighborhood diversity index is calculated as 1 minus the isolation indexfor each racial group, weighted by that racial group’s share of the population in each city. ^
  7. Four thousand people take up more space in some places than others. My census tract in Manhattan is just four blocks long and two avenues wide. In Alaska or Wyoming, a tract might take up hundreds of square miles. ^
  8. Technically, it’s a regression curve rather than a regression line. It was formulated by a generalized linear model that mimics a probit regression, where the dependent variable is the ratio between a city’s neighborhood diversity index and its citywide diversity index. ^
  9. Oakland, California; Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina; Chesapeake, Virginia; Rochester, New York; and Jacksonville, Florida. ^
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9 Comments

  1. Excellent read, Peter, and very thought provoking. Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit in the turbulent 60’s, I can relate to so much of this. From my perspective, it seems to have been rooted in the Europeon immigrant neighborhoods of the large cities. If there was any ‘hate’ in my heart in my youth, it was for the injustices each group were spewing at the others. I find it all very sad. As you said, changing laws and enacting policies doesn’t change anything. It has to come from your heart….one person and one random act of kindness at a time.

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    1. Jim we are so on the same page here.

      We seem to have entered a place in time where it’s thought that more laws will fix what is broken about human nature. Two days ago we were driving down a two lane road when we were passed by a raggedy old diesel pickup truck with a 3 foot high confederate flag flying in the back of the bed from a sturdy pole. It had been there for a goodly long time — only about 2/3’s of the flag was still there — the rest had been worn off as flags are want to do after a long life.

      It got me thinking — perhaps that was even the impetus for the post — about how we regard our U.S. history and consider that because an event has ended (physically – as a point in time) that the circumstances that caused it have ended as well. But hatred and bigotry are just as prevalent today as ever — they are perhaps a little more carefully hidden, but they’re still there. And not in this country only. All we need do is look around the world at the numerous armed conflicts over what amounts to ‘ethnic cleansing’ and we see the reality.

      I don’t know that there is a solution for hatred. But we certainly aren’t moving closer just by making more laws. In fact I’m convinced that the laws only make us — as a population — less honest about how we — as a population — feel about things. And greater hypocrisy is never a good thing. It’s bad enough when we act openly on what we think — then we can be held accountable. But when we conceal our motives the solution gets harder to find.

      ah…. see, that’s the thing…. I wish there were a simple answer but there isn’t…. and it makes me crazy.

      > >

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  2. This is an interesting ponder, indeed. Coming from the west, in a very highly diverse area, I can see the positive influence of diversity, But even in those very diverse cities you find purposeful segregation by choice. Maybe perhaps it is the familiar ethnic that bonds these segregated areas. It certainly isn’t forced and is quite easy for one to move about from one integrated area into a diverse area, though not so much from one integrated area to a different integrated area; such as Vietnamese moving into black areas. Racial tensions flare up in these sections. Why? Not really sure, maybe to protect ones ethnic values at the core but more likely prejudice passed within the integrated area then acted upon without real evaluation. Like when a prejudice father passes down his thoughts to his children. Sometimes these are accepted without evaluation simply because father was an authority figure.

    Now, I am no novice at becoming a minority. I saw the area I grew up in change from a 97% white neighborhood to a thoroughly integrated neighborhood. I lived through affirmative action, immigrant farm workers and the Asian and Indian influct into the technology sectors. As an educator, my students were 15% whites, the rest were other minorities but heavier on Asian and Indian. I personally found the attitude of certain ethnic groups were quite different in the southeast than in the west, or perhaps it was more apparent because they were more highly populated and suddenly I found myself to be a minority in a much less educate (not necessarily schooled) populous. There is more of a victim mentality, a “you owe me a living” mentality. Add to that the general decline in morality of all races, it’s not my ideal living environment.

    I think this is why I enjoy blogging so much because I can connect with people who have similar values as I have, even if we disagree or hold different viewpoints on other things. I find those connections boost my interest in life where without them it is easy to slide into an apathy about where we are going on a planetary basis. Though I agree it’s bad out there I refuse to let it take my spirit…there is a lot of good out there too. I blame the media for perpetuating the bad…one aspect of technology I despise is the instant dissemination of all that is bad, wrong and evil. I am a staunch advocate of promoting good. For when you promote good you get more goodness. We have become a world that admires negativity over life. I have witnessed first hand the effects of admiration and when one admires positive things, miracles happen routinely. And, yes, it does start with the individual. I was thrilled when REI refused to participate in Black Friday over Thanksgiving and told their employees to go spend time with their families and explore the outdoors. Other stores followed suit. Take that simple decision and apply it to all aspects of living and you will see mimicry of positives in this world. And if I had one wish…it would be that the media would only be allowed to disseminate good news…that alone would improve the world faster than you can turn a page. At least, that’s my take on things! 😀

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    1. I’m trying to think whether there are any other nations that began (as nations) in the same way we did. Canada bears some similarity to the U.S. but is / was quite distinct in it’s origins from the U.S. ( at least in MY mind).

      The U.S. is fundamentally a nation of discontents. We are here because we (or our forebears) were dissatisfied with something or some place. The Canadians not quite so much as they were not so discontent as to throw off their yoke and pursue independence in the same was as we. Following our founding the tides of immigrants have reiterated the concept of discontent even while it has been often hidden by the imagination of wealth and success in a new place — which is another way of saying we never succeeded in becoming wealthy or successful where we were.

      What kind of nation do you create from a hodge-podge of discontents?

      England, Germany, India, China — they are societies primarily based upon the peoples who occupied the land from time immemorial (give or take a little migration). They have commonalities unlike those a mere 200 or 300 years can introduce. We lack that kind of common heritage, insight, consciousness. And so long as we embrace diversity I don’t think we’ll ever achieve it — not even in 1000 years.

      Diversity has many advantages; it’s primary disadvantage is that it remains a constant and continuing wedge between peoples. Germans and Poles may have their disagreements, but they share a lot more than Poles share with Asians or Germans share with S. Americans. Yet we seem determined to forge from all the diversity a unity but we want to do that without expecting the immigrant to give UP anything — or so it would seem. I for one don’t know if that is possible. I think immigrants have always had to give up part of their heritage to come to a new country but it seems that with technology and wealth it is increasingly expected that they can recapture what they left behind in their new homeland without attempting to assimilate into a new society.

      Actually — I can’t remember the last time I heard any politician use the word assimilate. That is a concept that has completely disappeared from our culture because everyone is so busy reclaiming their heritage — whether through Ancestry.com, the local ethnic dance troupe, the cuisine classes — you name it. We want to be both who we were and who we are and no one seems to be caring about who we shall become.

      When young we lived in a “Red Line” neighborhood — that is to say, a neighborhood into which banks would not write mortgages. The reason? Obviously — the blacks were moving into the white neighborhood. And it was just that simple. There was no hiding the bigotry. The banks refused because one particular ethnic group was changing the makeup of the neighborhood and they were concerned that their mortgage for $100,000 would soon only be worth $40,000 based on the deterioration of other neighborhoods. It was pretty blatant, pretty well known.

      You’re right that neighborhood change and with the change the ability to move from one neighborhood to another changes for everyone, and for specific ethnicities in particular. A dear old friend of ours in Chicago was able to sell his home to a black family and continue renting from them for 20 some years without EVER being threatened as a sole white man living in a black neighborhood. That was in the 70’s. I am sure that would not happen in the same neighborhood in Chicago today. It’s a place where violence is rampant. Homicide is common. And there is almost always a racial bias to crime. (In that neighborhood)

      I have no answers. What troubles me most is that no one is asking pertinent questions. And I mean that quite seriously.

      When I was younger I attended a lot of meetings (it seemed). My one abiding memory of all those meetings was that inevitably it would take me listening to the entire meeting’s thrust before I could fashion a question about what might have been the very first agenda item. The problem being that everyone was talking about the obvious, and no one was looking down the road to understand the implications of this action or that failure to act. And every action has its implication — it’s intended consequences and it’s un-intended consequences. We seem to live in a society that doesnt’ care a whit what the consequences might be to their actions. And as a nation we seem to see only those consequences that affect our immediate economy — and damn-it-to-hell if there are consequences that last longer than one fiscal quarter.

      I’m quite sure that finding anyone in D.C. who is willing to admit that our meddling in Middle Eastern affairs is the reason we are now so hated among Arabs, Palestinians, etc. The idea that someone might take offense to having their culture bombed back into the Third World seems impossible for politicians to grasp. And yet we are willing to fight everyone on the block at the drop of a hat — not considering that we will only make the future for our children less secure and more volatile. But then we gave no consideration to the First Nations here on our own continent — what would ever make one suspect that we might care about indigenous people in other lands on other continents. We are part of a nation that began as pillagers and looters and we have never outgrown our penchant for growing rich at someone else’s expense.

      Percentages of population do have a lot to do with prevalent attitudes. For sure. And you’re right — I believe — that there are distinct regional flavors of racism and bigotry and what people take offense at and what they are willing to live with. Too bad no one is giving lessons to other cultures about what the new kids on the block will tolerate. 🙂

      The victim mentality is one of the things that scared Republican extremists about Obama before he was elected. His was a new america that they had never wanted. His first campaign was about change, about entitlement, about too much given too freely to too many and the Republicans had a veritable aneurysm over his promises. The country they knew as they knew it would cease to exist. For them, it was time to scorch the earth and they have been doing that for 7 long years. It’s questionable whether they know how to do anything different right now.

      I wish it was possible to generate more intelligent discussion. Just because someone differs from you doesn’t mean they are the enemy — but polite discourse seems to have forgotten that.

      Oh well…. the next generation will have the real problem of fixing this all after it has blown up even worse than it is. I’m glad I’m not 30 anymore.

      And I’m glad I have friends like yourself and others that are willing to talk and consider instead of hiding their heads in the sand and saying, “What problem?”

      > >

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      1. Discontents! Yes, you nailed it on the head!

        I am so opposed to foreigners coming into our country and not learning the basics of living hear, primarily language. I am all for keeping ones native tongue but gee whiz! learn to speak and read English. I disagree with writing instructions in ten different languages…especially on voting ballots. You don’t read and write our language, you don’t get to vote, period.

        Early immigrants were happy to live hear, willing to work hard. Scots in particular were so bent out of shape about land leases with the English, they fully embraced the revolution and were some of the best soldiers.
        I have no problem with ethnic food, clothing etc. But don’t make me provide it for you as a rule and then tell me i am wrong if I don’t. We have gone so PC crazy that the customs we did have are not allowed anymore…that really angers me…especially around Christmas time.

        Wow…I’d never heard of the Redline situation and that banks would refuse. I do know that people would move out of neighborhoods where blacks would move in and I can understand that values would drop because of it…crazy though about the banks.

        I am right with you on government officials not looking at long range consequences, we see waste, criminal activity and pandering to “friends and neighbors” all the time. It’s so disappointing and it’s hard NOT to go into voter apathy over the whole subject.

        Yes…on the middle east and ravaging the true natives of this country. Good point on our turning their countries into third world countries…that was certainly the result.

        I do see the problem of extremists but I see it on both sides of the political table and neither is a viable option for our country. Though I agree that I won’t have to deal with this issue in my generation, I do feel an empathy for what my daughter and grandson will have to face in the future.

        At this point everything is so lopsided I think the only chance we have is a complete do over…follow guys like Musk and seek other alternative planets…but for gosh sakes…figure out how to look long term and how to get along…and quit meddling in affairs that do not concern you!

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      2. Once again we are pretty much on the same page.

        Well, like I said, we are short on seeing the impact of our own actions — particularly as regards social customs.

        But you know, they say that an elephant is a horse made by committee — and that being true is it any wonder that our rules and policies — made by committee — lack a certain foresight….

        Ya know — I was young when we lived in the red line district — in point of fact I was in 5th through 12th grades — but the reality surely made it’s impression known on me. I’m surprised, in a way, that my parents spoke of it openly — and it is my recollection that it was something spoken of for a while — not just a singular instance. I wish I could remember now more of the details, I think it had to do with the fact that my dad wanted to buy a different apartment building but that because the building we were in was in this neighborhood they were having a hard time getting it sold to a new buyer.

        I’m not surprised though that such things took place. Bankers only want to lend to people who can pay them back — they would be happy if they didn’t have to lend to anyone who couldn’t repay the loan the day they made it — which would sort of obviate the NEED for the loan in the first place. But that’s another bugaboo.

        Ya know, there’s an old testament verse that speaks of the weak saying they are strong and to me that is the perfect description of terrorists. Comes a place where you have nothing, where cutting off your nose to spite your face is the only way to make a point and where the point just has to be made. It’s not a matter of logic, it’s a matter of passion and pride and absolute necessity.

        I may speak of things as if I think I won’t have to deal with things — but that’s obviously not true. we are already in the throes of some kind of change. I don’t think anyone knows where that change will lead. To revolution? God I hope not. But that is possible. People laughed at me when I said the USSR would fall, but it did. The entire Eastern Bloc is gone. No one expected that either. Unintended consequences are powerful if they are ignored for too long.

        You know, it would be nice if politicians and leaders would learn and would work for the future — but you realized, don’t you, that ego and pride are what are holding us back. And, once again, you don’t have to be a religious nut to know that pride goes before a fall… and our politicians are among the most prideful and arrogant people I’ve ever known about.

        > >

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      3. It’s almost hysterical watching the current presidential race. I knew it would be a circus when the Republicans started out with so many candidates. And why so many stayed in so long after it was clear they didn’t have a chance in hell…further dividing the party. I can’t see that any of these guys is going to be able to do what needs to be done.

        The divide is deep in this country…I just don’t know where the breaking point is and as far as civil war goes…we are so intermixed geographically that I don’t see any true boundaries like in the South vs. North. I think we are headed for a long, drawn out bitter divorce. Not the recipe for a nation that needs to unify in order to counter-act the downward spiral we are in.

        Ah well, I am going to live my life for today and enjoy every minute of it. Winter has arrived…at least for the week…the sun is shining, the air brisk. There are no serious weather patterns coming my way and I am going to spend the day playing with paint! 😀 😀

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      4. Yup! Playing with paint sounds like a great idea!

        I try to stay a-political. Most of the time I avoid the TV news, I do keep up with a few national and international new sources, but the news just makes me angry and life it too short to spend it angry. So, I don’t usually get involved.

        We are in new territory when it comes to anticipating how popular opinion may flow. People are so mobile, business is so negligent in terms of ‘caring’ about employees, and so quick to transfer, fire, lay off — how the populace will react is almost anyone’s guess. But having Media sources to get upset about, and sports to keep people’s minds off more serious things all act as cold water on the simmering pot.

        I’m going back to thinking about RV’ing and whether my grand kid has been proposed to yet and what I’m going to do about all the mosquitos this summer at Highland Ridge (might have to buy a bug zapper). And when I’m not thinking maybe we’ll have a day when it’s warm enough to use the pool, or we’ll find some place to move during the winter. There are plenty of wonderful things to think about. And to do. And time’s a wasting. I got one life and IMA gonna enjoy what’s left of it. 🙂

        > >

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