8 comments on “There Goes the Neighborhood…

  1. Dre, I don’t think this is just a Flint thing. Even in Atlanta, we’ve seen a pretty noticably shift in population as more minorities move in the city. But in regards to Flint specifically, I’m sure that at the heart of it all, both the residents and those outside the city want to see this restoration succeed. But I also think you may be on to something in that the folks outside the city may not be willing to tear down the class-based walls they’ve built around other pople. It’s not the rebuilding that makes a city great. It’s the ability of everybody to coexist in that city which is what makes it great.

    Nice post, dude.

  2. I’m not trying to justify “white flight” at all because it is more destructive socially it is uplifting. But if you think about it, it’s not unusal for people to set themselves apart from others. Whether it’s in deciding on a mate, or joining certain clubs and groups, or simply taking up certain hobbies, people tend to gravitate toward others who share similar interests and experiences. That’s just human nature.

    I’m glad you pointed out that white flighters are not necessarily racists. They just have a hard time adapting racially. That’s unfortunate in and of itself. But I don’t think it’s racist at all. Most cultural groups are like that. Is it a wonder that residential patterns are formed the same way? Good post.

  3. Dre, I assure you, it is not unreasonable to worry about the impact of white flight in the city of Flint. Suburbs are popping up all over the place and are mostly used to keep certain people isolated from others. It’s almost safe to assume that if lower class minorites start becoming active in the city, white folks will start taking their money else where…except for those poor and working class whites who can’t afford to leave.

    What also stands to grow in a city like Flint (if it hasn’t already) is the menacing threat of gentrification. When a city like yours starts redeveloping, it is only a matter of time that poor people start getting booted from their homes. It happened all over Detroit. Flint may be next.

    • Co-sign with Javar. Gentrification is just as damaging as white flight. I don’t claim to know a lot about Flint, but I also wonder how these changes and attractions to the downtown area will effect the living conditions of its citizens. Moving to a different on your own accord is one thing. Being forced out because of consumerism is something completely different.

  4. You know Andre, I’m amazed at some of the jibberish I read on this blog. First you say:

    “I may get annoyed when black folks gab on their cell phones during the movies, or when the bass from their car steroes shatter my eardrums, or when the police have to break up a fight involving people having dumb “n**** moments“; but that comes with embracing all types.”

    …to justify when white people would want to move to the suburbs. But if I said that SAME THING, you’d be all over it. Then you try to fix things by saying that “white flighters” are not racist. That’s like pouring a bucket of water on a forest fire, saying you’ve done your part.

  5. The downtown revitalization efforts in Flint have been minimal @ best, & w/ people like Don Williamson & Jennifer Granholm having been in positions to pull the strings (or not pull them, in Don’s case), those efforts have been marred up in just about every feasible way. In any regard, I don’t know that this is as simple as you’re letting it on to be. For one, most of the white flight occurred a looooooong time ago. If you look @ population statistics (or know people in Flint, as I know you do), EVERYBODY is getting the hell out of dodge, black/white/orange/red. And it’s not just Flint…More young people leave Michigan than any other state, & as of last year when I was researching this, Michigan was the only non-Katrina-affected state to see a overall population decline. Now, w/ even more police/fire cuts (~250 police officers for a city w/ a population of over 100k that is known worldwide for it’s violence!), I am no longer surprised when I find the streets deserted after 5pm as I head to one of the pubs in Buckham Alley. Flint needs a shell of an economy @ the very least, & until that happens, those long waits @ Blackstones will only last so long.

    -n

  6. Hey Dre,
    I think you are making a classic Liberal mistake. (Even though I don’t consider you a Liberal). You seem to believe that we will have finally arrived at racial harmony when everywhere you look you see white people, black people, and brown people all intermingled. That defies human nature. People tend to associate with people who have shared experiences, shared interests, and unfortunately, shared appearance. Most of the time that means good-looking people hang together, sporty people hang together, geeky people hang together and yes, white people hanging together as well as blacks. Then you factor in family and culture. What that means is, people will always separate themselves to people they are the most comfortable with. I think we will have arrived when we exclude less and tolerate more. It isn’t that there won’t still be “black” bars or “white” resturants, it will be when I, or you, feel comfortable going in one. I look forward to the day when I can walk into a bar at 1:00am on the north end of Flint and feel comfortable. But it doesn’t have to be because there’s the right quota of whites. Maybe I’ll just want to experience a different culture for that night. Like going out for Chinese or eating Italian.

  7. By the way, I occassionally have lunch downtown with a black friend of mine. Maybe you know him?

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