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Fuel

Andrew / February 22, 2005 10:40 AM

I lived in Rogers Park for four years now, in two locations, and it's probably the most integrated neighborhood in the city. Whites of various ethnicities (we even have an old Bavarian guy two doors down) mingle with Indo-Paks, Chinese, Africans, blacks and Hispanics of all flavors.

Well, maybe mingle isn't the best word, but we do live next to each other and most people seem pretty friendly.

I think integration in other neighborhoods could be helped along by encouraging new development in less-diverse areas, perhaps giving a tax incentive to home buyers (*not* the developers) who move into these areas. Unfortunately, that relies on the new and old residents actually interacting, which seems not to happen most of the time. Instead, a sort of socio-economic version of White Flight seems to happen, with the former, usually poor residents of the neighborhood leaving as the wave of new people move in. So maybe a limit on the pace of new development should be included in the plan, too, so that the change happens more slowly.

Joe / February 22, 2005 10:55 AM

I live on the Evanston side of Howard near Rogers Park. Andrew is correct...it is one of the most diverse areas I've ever seen.

The major problem with integration comes from commercial issues: land prices, retail types, food tastes, etc.

I think what's necessary is for people to reach out into more interesting communities. I grew up in the 'burbs, and I know there's just this default level of abject fear about being in certain areas. One of the coolest things I've noticed about my area is how friendly everyone is on the street. The rep Howard had in the 80's was that it was Hell...that you dodged gunfire down there. Well, in the year and a half I've lived there, I've talked to more of my neighbors and gotten 'hello's' on the street more than 10 years of living in the 'burbs.

The other thing I've tried to do is support the local businesses rather than live there and commute to the big box retail stores. If your local restaurants and grocery stores survive, then it helps EVERYONE in the neighborhood, rather than have the people with cars and the money to park them take their business down to Lincoln Park or up to north Evanston.

As far as real estate costs fueling gentrification...I have *no* idea how to cope with that problem.

Leah / February 22, 2005 11:31 AM

I live in Ravenswood on the brown line. I think of it as a pretty non-integrated neighborhood. But then I stop and think about the businesses and there are only 2-3 of the 12-15 on my street that are white-owned.

Then I think about my customers and I have customers from every walk of life, every race, many languages, and most customers live within walking distances. So Ravenswood is more integrated than I think. But as the courtyard buildings get rehabbed into condos, more and more long-term residents are being forced out.

A side note--one of the best sketches I ever saw at Second City was a musical number. The song was "White people, brown line." The chorus was "White people, brown line. Work out at L-PAC, feelin' fine. White people, brown line."

I always thought that sketch said a lot about chicago.

lakeline / February 22, 2005 11:55 AM

I live in Bridgeport. It still has a lot of that stereotypical old-school Irish/Italian-ness to it, but I would say it's getting both less white and more affluent at the same time. There are plenty of white people moving in (especially in the crazy development of homes on Bubbly Creek that are going for over a million), but there are also a lot of Asians who relocated from Chinatown and various other ethnicities who are moving in due to little crime and better housing prices than the north side. I wouldn't say it's anywhere near as diverse as Rogers Park or Uptown, but it's definitely got a lot going for it. It's no longer the place where you're likely to get in trouble if you're the wrong color.

Tim / February 22, 2005 12:07 PM

"What could the city do to help eliminate segregation?" Think about this question. I think the term "Big Brother" comes to mind. In what culture has the governing body ever successfully 'made' citizens open-minded or racially sensitive? Why not ask, 'What can the city do to end corruption?', it is just as siily a question.

Andrew / February 22, 2005 12:25 PM

Tim, I'm proposing that the city is the only entity that can effect change, or that it has to force that change on anyone, but it certainly can help create the conditions under which such change can occur. That's not Orwellian.

Andrew / February 22, 2005 12:26 PM

...I'm proposing that the city...

NOT proposing, that is.

e_five / February 22, 2005 12:32 PM

I'll agree to an extent with Tim. Is it any better that our neighborhoods (and suburbs) are segregated economically rather than ethnically? At least with a segregated ethnic community you have more in common with your neighbor than a tax bracket.

Maggie / February 22, 2005 12:43 PM

Oak Park has done it. Their model of stopping white flight and creating a diverse town has been studied and won awards. It's not perfect, and it may be in danger because of skyrocketing property taxes, but it's still a fascinating town.

Craig / February 22, 2005 12:45 PM

e_five - very true.

Although the term "segregation" gets a bad rap in today's world, the truth is that ethnic segregation is what has defined the majority of Chicago's neighborhoods in the past. (Now they're lovingly referred to as "ethnic enclaves") Is it a bad thing that people with similar interests and backgrounds tend to group together? I don't think so-- I think it's a natural human desire to be surrounded by those that share a common thread.

I would say the beauty of Chicago is that even if you feel your neighborhood lacks "diversity" all you need to do is take the train a few miles and you can be in a culture foreign to your own.

w / February 22, 2005 12:49 PM

Maggie - Note on the Oak Park model: it has worked great, and has managed to keep the city integrated, fairly priced, generally safe for all its residence, however, there have been some legality questions raised about what is basically racial profiling and quotas, which in the real estate world is illegal....technically. No one has moved toward any legal actions yet, though..I don't think anyway.

I live in DC which is 85% African American. I have brought ethnic diversity into my neighborhood by moving into it!

wackpuma / February 22, 2005 12:54 PM

I live in Oak Park and think that it is very diverse in terms of white and black , but not as much in terms of other minorities. I think that it is common for the individual neighborhoods in Oak Park to be mixed and not just the town as a whole. Also, I see to see alot more interracial couples than in other suburbs or Chicago.

Shasta MacNasty / February 22, 2005 12:54 PM

There's nothing wrong with wanting to be in a neighborhood with people that you share commonality with. The problem because when you try to keep others that may not share your background, philosophies, skin color with from moving in. Not just getting on the train to pass through.

Tim / February 22, 2005 1:20 PM

Me again. I live in the Bronzeville/Kenwood/Gap/Grand Boulevard area just North of Hyde Park. I have never lived in a more community focused part of Chicago, and I have lived in the city my entire life (with the exception of University time). Sure we have problems, all neighborhoods do, but my Beat and the Beat to east of us had two of lowest crime rates in the city, as of the latest released statistics. I am white, most of my neighbors are black. It really makes no difference because we are all good NEIGHBORS. In this part of the city being involved: CAPS meetings, Court Advocacy, going to ward meetings all make a huge impact on the community. The city is never going to eliminate segregation, but they can do a lot to help building a sense and reality of community.

Mark / February 22, 2005 1:30 PM

WE are the city. It is not some cabal in a secret underground bunker under Michigan Avenue.

Overwrought Mind / February 22, 2005 1:50 PM

I live in East Village and to be honest, I don't notice what the ethnic make up of it is, except for the Hispanic community.

I don't believe it's the city's job to do something about segregation.

I'm fairly certain it's the whole "birds of a feather". No one group is necessarily forcing another group to live amongst one another and have businesses in the same area.

I think the real problem is across incomes (which could be a race issue) and the rising cost of living in the city. At the rate we're going with gentrification, etc., only a select few are going to be able to live here, let alone own a piece of property. The city hasn't done much in terms of controlling who buys what and at what price. If we tear down businesses in favor or real estate, where will people get their goods and services?

Anyway, I'm going on a tangent. Wicker Park/Bucktown/East Village feels fairly diverse, but it's only because hipsters/transplants (like me) come in all colors.

Vinny / February 22, 2005 1:59 PM

Ah yes, HP-Kenwood. Someone once described it as
"The white middle class and the black middle class arm in arm against the poor."
True!

Emerson Dameron / February 22, 2005 2:04 PM

I live in Pilsen, which is still overwhelmingly Hispanic, despite the pods and the long-anticipated cloudburst of gentrification. Chicago is the most racially divided place I've ever seen (and I'm from rural North Carolina), and I don't think "the City" has anything to do with it one way or another. People cleave to their own kind, whether it's defined by race, age, musical tastes or what have you.

Emerson Dameron / February 22, 2005 2:07 PM

"Pods": Podmajersky developments, well worth Googling if gentrification interests you.

Tim / February 22, 2005 3:00 PM

Vinny you and "someone" are deluded if you think there is anything remotely "middle class" about Kenwood and Hyde Park. Many of the city's remaining historic mansions (that are still single family homes) are situated there and most of the rest of the homes are priced well above the means of "middle class". I thinnk you are thinking of Oak Park, of which Ernest Hemmingway said, "the lawns are broad and the minds are narrow " and they look down thier noses at Berwyn.

brian / February 22, 2005 3:13 PM

One of the reasons I picked Albany Park as my neighborhood was the diversity. Lawerence Avenue is a vector of different cultures and instead of looking at like it's pretty, I actually go to the places in my area for food, shopping, etc.

One theory I've heard is that the actual geography of Chicago defines some of the segregation - the railroad viaducts and rivers and highways tend to prevent one area from effectively mingling with another, creating tribal boundaries. Dunno if it's true, but it's an interesting theory.

Craig / February 22, 2005 4:00 PM

Brian-

The physical barrier observation is very astute-- Jane Jacobs talk a lot about this in her landmark manifesto of new urbanism, "The Life and Death of the Great American City". A must read for anyone into the concept of urban space...

Emerson Dameron / February 22, 2005 4:07 PM

Hyde Park, I believe, is the third richest 'hood in the city, behind Lincoln Park and Gold Coast. Walk your dog one block too far and you're in deep shit, but stay in HP and you've got little to fear but falling in love with someone from above your station.

Maggie / February 22, 2005 4:26 PM

Be fair - Hemingway said that about Oak Park 100 years ago.

Leelah / February 22, 2005 5:33 PM

I live in Morgan Park. My neighborhood is almost entirely black, and I am white. Across 111th Street, in Beverly, most everyone is white. Why am I here? I wanted a house, and this was the only place I could afford one, thanks to my teacher's salary!

ljdae / February 22, 2005 7:05 PM

Shasta wrote earlier: "There's nothing wrong with wanting to be in a neighborhood with people that you share commonality with."

I agree with that. The underlying assumption to the subject question here is that mixed neighborhoods are better. Everyone loves the Harlems, the Chinatowns, etc. of the world, but when a White neighborhood has pride and wants to keep its identity, it's racist?

White People (European-Americans) have been given a guilt trip for tooooooooo long in the USA. We should be proud of our neighborhoods, our culture, and history that have contributed to making the USA the place it is today.

We have a right to seek to preserve our neighborhoods, culture and people, WITHOUT A GUILT TRIP.



Shasta MacNasty / February 22, 2005 8:54 PM

Ljdae: Historically, when white people sought to "preserve" their neighborhoods, it meant to the exclusion of people of color. This I don't agree with. I disapprove of any ethnic/color group that would seek to exclude others from their neighborhoods based on color/ethnicity. Neighborhoods such as harlem, chinatown, etc. were created because they weren't allowed anywhere else.

Since when is base ignorance and hate something to be proud of?

Jen / February 23, 2005 8:42 AM

I live in Oak Park, and while it is pretty well integrated for a suburb it could always do better. I agree with the observation that there are quite a few black people, but there could be more minorities there. Some people are snobby to Berwyn.....depends on where you live in OP. I live on the south side of Oak Park and go there often [I have no problem with Berwyn, Berwyn has no problem with me]; yet lots of people on the north side of OP have never been there and simply hear things and spew crap about a place they have never been to.

Paul / February 23, 2005 9:10 AM

Heck, Jen, I'm snobby to Berwyn because that's where I grew up. ;) Nah, I have nothing real against it but I just like OP better. The integration in OP is probably the best I've seen in a suburb I've lived in (given I've lived in three, ever) and the overall feel is pretty solid. Not perfect, but what community is?

Mike / February 23, 2005 9:10 AM

Ha, only Chicagoans (and Mississippians) would still be arguing over the merits of racial integration. Whoo, I tell ya', that is terrible and hilarious at the same time.

Anyhoo, I live in Logan Square, and the neighborhood is so big that it really depends where you are. Over near Kimball, where I live, it's still Little Puerto Rico (no offense Humboldt Park). My liquor dealer is still very worried about the "yuppies"* moving in from the east side of the neighborhood.

*Yuppies seems to be his working codeword for any white person. Even if they're living in a studio apartment with a room-mate and living off Ramen and Saltines, if they're white, they're "yuppies".

e_five / February 23, 2005 11:22 AM

"Ha, only Chicagoans (and Mississippians) would still be arguing over the merits of racial integration. Whoo, I tell ya', that is terrible and hilarious at the same time."

The man who spoke at Bob Jones University (which at the time banned interracial dating) and who proposed a remedy to replace affirmative action that relied heavily on segregated schools won the most recent presidential election by carrying every former slave state, Ohio and the Great Plains. I reject the insinuation that Chicago is any more racist than any other part of the country.

Please tell me how economic segregation is any better than ethnic segregation? Do you believe that the laws of capitalism are as immutable as the laws of physics? We will truly have a wonderful city when we're walled off from the poor in a gated community with a private security force.

ljdae / February 23, 2005 12:11 PM

02.22.05, 08:54 PM — Shasta MacNasty said (reread)--

See there? Typical hateful response. White people are not bigots because they want to live in white neighborhoods, and raise their kids in their own culture. It's no different than Puerto Ricans worrying about the yuppie invasion, and it's why they congregated together in the first place. They are thinking about their families and their culture.

Whites have the right to desire to live in white neighborhoods next to families they share culture with, as others do in their neighborhoods, why is this such a difficult concept for Shasta? She hates Whites, it's clear. I have no idea why, mabe she should tell us.

Shasta should lead the charge to get the Puerto Rican flag over Division St. removed as it is a bigoted thing. It seems that every group can identify with themselves: Puerto Ricans (Division flag), Mexican (Little Village), the North Halsted markers, Chinatown gates, Bronzeville (47th st district markers), but when European-Americans (white) might possibly think the same way, we get the typical Shasta hateful response.

Savant / February 23, 2005 12:33 PM


Who are these people that insist Chicago is the most segregated city in America? I've lived all over the East Coast, and I can honestly say you are all full of shit. Speaking from personal experience, I think Chicago may be less segregated than New York, or Baltimore, or Pittsburgh, or Boston.

It may be true that the south side is predominently black, but the city's north side is much more diverse than anyone cares to admit. Perhaps you all need to take off your blinders and have a look around. The city does not end at Fullerton Avenue. Wake up!

When critics charge the city with racial segregation, they are usually criticizing the white neighborhoods for being exclusive. I wonder, if the city did invest heavily and develop the south side, would white people move there? And would we celebrate the newfound diversity, or would we charge the city with gentrification?

Maggie / February 23, 2005 12:38 PM

European-Americans do have their own enclaves - Little Italy, the Polish neighborhodds on the Northwest side, the Ukrainian Village, Lincoln Square is historically German, Andersonville is historically Swedish. Personally, I don't identify myself as having European lineage - I specify that I'm Italian, German and Polish. I don't think I'm going out on a limb by saying that most white Chicagoans do the same. Out of curiosity - what kind of marker would ljdae want?

margot / February 23, 2005 12:39 PM

"but when European-Americans (white) might possibly think the same way, we get the typical Shasta hateful response."

What sort of flag are you suggesting you be able to fly....the confederate one? And yes, bigotry does apply to those whose mindset dictates that they live in an all-white neighborhood and raise their children in an all-white environment. It might not be hateful, but it is bigotry and ignorance nonetheless.

miss ellen / February 23, 2005 12:50 PM

let's just stop the personal bashing. really, what does it achieve?

i personally know shasta & feel sickened by the response by ljdae. grow up.

come on down to beverly for the annual south side irish parade & witness a celebration of a culture where all our welcome. you don't have to be irish to enjoy a good time. i now live in logan square & enjoy the diversity, but i also love going home & seeing my big ol' irish family. we don't exclude, but at the same time, it's predominantly white mostly due to economic factors.

i knew this topic would get people fired up, just wish it wouldn't get so personal.

Sarah / February 23, 2005 1:11 PM

Brian,

I think you're absolutely right. I have always thought that one of the reasons that Chicago is so segregated is because the city is so big, and the neighborhoods so spread out. I used to live in New York, and there's honestly no room there to live in a segretated neighborhood. No matter where you live there, you're going to be living, commuting (no one has cars there, so everyone takes public transit), working, sharing the same smelly air, as people from different countries, people of different ages, races, sexes, persuasions. And probably a few crazy people, to boot. You go on a twenty minute walk there and you pass through three distinct neighborhoods.

*

Hyde Park was the first neighborhood I lived in when I moved to Chicago, and I was shocked at how segregated it was, even if it is in fact more racially diverse than other areas of the city. I think that people really need to take personal responsibility for this problem. I was at the U of C, having previously studied at NYU, where we were encouraged to do a lot of community service particularly at community centers and settlement houses, and to consider the people communities surrounding our university our neighbors. We had a huge work study program at school which put university students in public school classrooms as reading and math tutors. I am infuriated that many in the U of C community continues to turn its back to the problems that are going on in the neighborhoods surrounding it, intellectually and practically. An interesting tidbit, which may or may not be annecdotal: I went on a tour of historic Bronzeville once for a class and our tour guide told us that during the 60s (?) the University bought a lot of property in Woodlawn, evicting tentants without notice, and contributing to the neighborhood's economic downfall. The guy had grown up in the area and said that it used to be home to a huge shopping district, movie theaters, and clubs before things kind of went to crap.

ljdae / February 23, 2005 1:18 PM

margot wrote: "And yes, bigotry does apply to those whose mindset dictates that they live in an all-white(black or jewish) neighborhood and raise their children in an all-white(black or jewish) environment."

That is simply NOT TRUE. You have to apply your statement to others too, to be fair. According to this theory, then all blacks that live together are bigots, and all Jews that move to Buffalo Grove to be together are bigots, etc. etc. When does it end?

If white people want to raise familes around others with like minded culture, it's not bigotry-- it's community pride, cultural pride. Period.

And if someone is part Polish, Italian, and German.....you are "European-American". Take a cue from the current EU. Divisions are no longer smart to make, they don't help us. European-Americans, all of us (Whites), should start organizing politically along these lines, taking a cue from other special interest ethnic groups that fight for their (bigoted?) rights as an identifiable group. Whites will be a minority in 2050, I guess only minorities get to organize along racial lines without recrimination.

The problem lies in that racial ideaology is accepted and even celebrated when it's non-whites, when a white person wants to do something similar or have pride--look out! But it's the same thing. It's a double standard.

Joe / February 23, 2005 1:45 PM

ljdae wrote: "European-Americans, all of us (Whites), should start organizing politically along these lines, taking a cue from other special interest ethnic groups that fight for their (bigoted?) rights as an identifiable group. Whites will be a minority in 2050, I guess only minorities get to organize along racial lines without recrimination."

Are you so ignorant of the history of this nation to make such a preposterous assertion?

The sole reason "non-white" ethnic groups organized politically was to oppose organized whites who discriminated against them. If they had not done such they would have not accomplished half the civil rights they have today.

And no ljdae my slack-witted friend whites will not be a minority by 2050 that is a highly skewed vision that white supremacists(cowards) tout for their fears.

Cinnamon / February 23, 2005 1:57 PM

I think there is a difference between wanting to live in a neighborhood near people you identify with and wanting to live in a neighborhood where you exclude people you don't identify with. It's the difference between living someplace where you can shop at stores that cater to your interests and beating up people who cross some dividing line.

Shasta MacNasty / February 23, 2005 2:07 PM

I live in a nice neighborhood in Evanston. It's mixed with black, white, hispanic, and asian. We really do have everyone here. :) We all have the same values. We want a safe place to live, a place to plant our flowers and jalapenos (mom loves those), a place to raise our kids, a place we're proud to have people over to share good times ("Come on over! We have PARKING!") I feel a cultural bond with my neighborhood. We all worked hard to get our homes. We all continue to work hard to pay the got-damn property taxes. We all share the same values of common human decency. Wish everyone could say the same.

Emerson Dameron / February 23, 2005 2:09 PM

If anyone would care to back up conjecture with fact, this should help:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/maps/chi2000.html

Mike / February 23, 2005 2:10 PM

e_five

The man who spoke at Bob Jones University (which at the time banned interracial dating) and who proposed a remedy to replace affirmative action that relied heavily on segregated schools won the most recent presidential election by carrying every former slave state, Ohio and the Great Plains.

That's a non sequitur. Might as well say because W. drive a pickup truck, all these places have pickup trucks so they voted for him too.

Please tell me how economic segregation is any better than ethnic segregation?

Point out where I said that. I think that in a lot of ways, economic segregation has replaced racial divides in the city (and country). However, racial problems still exist. The question isn't "is intergration necessary?", the question is "Do you want an open, democratic society?" If you do, then there is no choice, intergration (both racial and economic) is a must.

OT:

White People (European-Americans) have been given a guilt trip for tooooooooo long in the USA. We should be proud of our neighborhoods, our culture, and history that have contributed to making the USA the place it is today.

This is the f@cking stupidest thing I've heard all day. I'm sorry if that's harsh, but it's not exactly like we were alone (or would've survived if we were) when we got here is it? And it's not exactly like we built the place with our own two white hands now did we? You sound like an Apartheid apologist, cut it out.

Joe / February 23, 2005 2:13 PM

To answer the original question: I think there is only one way to eliminate segregation and thats to provide adequate education and living standards for all Chicago residents. Let it not be said that Chicago isn't trying, we may be failing but are trying.

John / February 23, 2005 2:20 PM

Miss Ellen, you've got to be kidding when you say all are welcome at the South Side Irish Parade. There are very few blacks there, and for a good reason. Any blacks who accidentally find themselves on the parade route get harassed -- I've personally witnessed this -- by drunken white punks who find bravery in numbers. That parade encapsulates everything that is distasteful about white ethnic pride -- I won't even call it Irish, because ancestry has nothing to do with it.

miss ellen / February 23, 2005 2:51 PM

Yep, there *are* bad people everywhere. John, I understand your opinion, but don't come down on me for some little punk ass kids. Some of family were involved as founders of the parade (back when it was around the block, then up to Kennedy Park, then an actual parade on Western Ave), and the intention is there.

If it ain't your scene, that's fine by me, it's crowded enough as it is.

But don't bash the people with good intentions for celebrating something they are proud of. It's a tradtion to see family, friends, drink a Guinness at 9 am (if you wish), and eat some corned beef....I am proud to be Irish, and I've never once gone to downtown parade, cuz that ain't my scene.

Thurston / February 23, 2005 3:24 PM

So much acrimony on here... and we wonder why segregation persists!

Leelah / February 23, 2005 4:27 PM

I also get the hell away from the south side when the parade rolls around. I'm sure there are some people there with good intentions, and I'll bet that the people who started it with their kids probably didn't intend for it to be the hideous nightmare that it is today. I've unfortunately only ever seen the racist, drunk asshole side of the Southside Irish parade.

John / February 23, 2005 6:00 PM

I'm neither coming down on you nor bashing anyone with good intentions, but simply disagreeing with your original statement, that all are welcome at the South Side Irish Parade.

What you refer to as some little punk ass kids is in reality an aggressive phalanx of drunken goons lining Western Avenue. The parade has a deserved bad reputation for ugly behavior. Period. It wasn't an attack on you, so no need to assert your Wee Folks lineage.

miss ellen / February 23, 2005 6:03 PM

Got it, that's cool. Thanks.

I guess you learn to put on rose-colored glasses with something you have such connections to; I know people that have moved out of the neighborhood strictly because of that event.

ljdae / February 23, 2005 6:48 PM

Hey Joe,

can we leave out the slurs? like "dim-witted" "supremicist" and the like? Everyone knows that it is a weak minded individual that resorts to using slurs. And that goes for all those ranting about the SSI parade. There are alot of families at that parade. Sit on the east side of Western, if you want to avoid the parties.

Joe wrote: "The sole reason "non-white" ethnic groups organized politically was to oppose organized whites who discriminated against them. If they had not done such they would have not accomplished half the civil rights they have today."

The civil rights acts are already over 40 years old. So why then do these "racist" minority political groups still exist?

Are there any orgainized white "racist" groups lobbying on capitol hill? similar to these others? Not quite.

And I'll say it again:

White People (European-Americans) have been given a guilt trip for tooooooooo long in the USA. We should be proud of our neighborhoods, our culture, and history that have contributed to making the USA the place it is today.

This says "contributed", which means does not mean nobody else has contributed also. Nobody is taking 100% credit for anything, so please calm down and enough with the profanity.

But the fact is....no matter what anyone else tries to tell you, White people have contributed to making the USA a great nation. Period. Fact. Nobody who isn't White seems to ever give credit where it is due. Let's see what develops from this, whether there is someone who can do so.

We should be proud of our White values, culture, and our contribution to the USA and Western Civilization. We should never feel guilty about wanting to promote our own healthy communities, culture, and traditions. Everyone else is allowed to, so should we.

And you'll won't hear me denigrate others' communities, customs and values, so don't criticize mine.


w / February 23, 2005 10:32 PM

Ljdea, I think the problem some people are having with your "proud to be white" idea is that "white" is not an ethnicity or a culture. Polish, Irish, French, Czech, Serbian, etc. however, are. They have neighborhoods becauase of their backgrounds, not skin color. I am sure you have heard of the book "How the Irish Became white"?

What exactly are white values and culture to you? You can't group white skinned people part of one white "race" just because African Americans are identified as "Black"- if they knew what country they originally came from, they would identify as that, the way "white" people do. When you say you are proud to be white, it means you're happy with your skin color - it says nothing of your ethnicity. And all that really means is you're glad your skin color isn't something else.

And besides, "white" people don't have a good track record of being proud of their culture without destroying what's around them......people are a little wary of that kind of speech simply because of what usually follows it.

Shasta MacNasty / February 24, 2005 8:49 AM

W--I JUST finished that book. Excellent read.

ljdae / February 24, 2005 11:38 AM

Oh brother. Unbelievable. Sad. The Irish have always been white, they're Celtic. Leave it to a non-white author to try convince someone with functioning brains, the exact opposite. Puh-lease. Wow.

You could read more about the author: noel ignatiev. He's a racist and he hates the white race, for chrissakes. NO WONDER, Shasta, you have such views. That book has been roundly criticized. You are reading racist books!

KNOW ABOUT THE AUTHOR (please feel free to comfirm on your own, don't take my word on it):


Now comes Harvard educated Noel Ignatiev, an academic at Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African-American Research. Dr. Ignatiev is the founder of a journal, Race Traitor, which has as its motto, “treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.”

The journal’s purpose is “to abolish the white race.”

At the least, Dr. Ignatiev intends cultural and psychological genocide for whites. It is unclear whether physical extermination is part of the program. A statement by the editors on the web site says that the new abolitionists

“do not limit themselves to socially acceptable means of protest, but reject in advance no means of attaining their goal.”

Dr. Ignatiev does not believe his agenda is controversial. He writes:

“The goal of abolishing the white race is on its face so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed white supremacists.” Thus does he put whites on notice. If they oppose their abolition, they are “white supremacists.”

According to Dr. Ignatiev,

“The key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race.”

“Make no mistake about it,” he says,

“we intend to keep bashing the dead white males, and the live ones, and the females too, until the social construct known as ‘the white race’ is destroyed--not ‘deconstructed’ but destroyed.”

What “social construct” will be left? A black one? An Hispanic one? Muslim? Asian? What about Jewish?

The Washington Times reports that Dr. Ignatiev is himself Jewish. If Jewish intellectuals and Israeli political leaders can be believed, Jews have a cultural and racial consciousness. Israel is the Jewish homeland, and Israelis seem determined to keep it that way. Can anyone imagine a gentile at an Israeli university founding a magazine devoted to abolishing the Jewish race?

Yet, Dr. Ignatiev believes that it is self-evident that whites in their homelands should be abolished.

ljdae / February 24, 2005 11:43 AM

1) http://www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/0902135.html

2) http://reason.com/0003/fe.ak.thought.shtml

NOEL IGNATIEV: a racist, hater's website

3) http://racetraitor.org/

w / February 24, 2005 12:41 PM

Maybe he decided he didn't like the "white" people AFTER doing all kinds of research and study.

Again, my point was not the book, but that there is no white race to associate yourself with, only ethnicities that happen to have white skin.

Read the book, it's good!

kraker / February 24, 2005 1:25 PM

ljdae said: "The Irish have always been white, they're Celtic."

huh? What does that mean? Are you saying that the Irish were never oppressed or discriminated against in America?

What is "white"? Is it English? German? French?

ljdae / February 24, 2005 3:36 PM

Leave it to you guys......and a racist prof to boot, Noel Ignatiev, to attempt to convince people that Irish/Celtic people are not White.

Get real. Seriously. Celtic people are White by DEFINITION. Are Celtic people black? Asian? hispanic? Of course not. Ignatiev can try all he wants, it's amazing some people buy it. Have they no eyes? Look, seriously, I know my own people, and Irish are White, as are all Europeans. Period.

Please take cues from the EU itself, today in 2005, not Noel Ignatiev who is an admitted racist. Europeans are united because of common history, traditions, culture, goals, and future.

Only those with reasons to promote divisions among White people are doing so.

Lastly, all White people are descendants of European nations. European-Americans ought to take a cue from the EU, and forget past divisions. They don't help us going forward. Plus, almost every White-American (like an earlier poster: italian, polish, german) is of mixed European background, so European-American is truly the best name for the majority of us Whites. It is what we are, and where we came from. We can be proud of our culture, history and communites, just like any other group is entitled to.

Irish are White. Use your own eyes, not Noel Ignatiev's.

Shasta MacNasty / February 24, 2005 4:10 PM

First of, apologies to Andrew for the downward spiral of this "discussion." Second, apologies for my upcoming contribtion to it.

Third, for ljdae: There's something you have to know. I'm sorry it's been kept a secret from you for so long, but I just found out (at the age of 14) myself. Well...there really is no such thing as "race." Seriously. When people say race or "white" or "black" is a social construct, it simply means that it was an invention for political/ethical gain by certain groups. "Race" has nothing to do with biology, and everything to do with social fabrication. Another thing, and..you're sitting down right? When the whole "race invention" thing first happened, it had NOTHING to do with color. It had everything to do with class and religion though (mainly the protestant). If it were true that "white was right" way back in the day, then why were the Irish treated so disgustingly poorly when they came to this country? Anyway. I invite you to read "Invention of the White Race" by Theodore Allen. You can find a review of it here: http://eserver.org/clogic/1-2/allen.html. However something tells me that you desparately need to hold on to the myth. Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.

And another thing: aren't Jews white? Aren't there Jews in Europe that have been there for hundreds of years? Don't they share the same history, culture, values of their neighbors? Can't an Irish person become Jewish? Can't a citizen of Isael become an Irish citizen...therfore...become Irish?

Nevermind. I already know what you're going to say. :) Have a good night buttercup.

ljdae / February 24, 2005 4:51 PM

Yes, I can tell nothing we say to each other will matter, it seems your opinions are as set in stone as you think mine are.

1) If there's no race, why all this talk about segregation in the first place? Why didn't this question just die off from laughter? or lack of interest?

2) Jews themselves say they aren't White. They are semitic people, from the Holy Land, right? you know, "we get Israel, it's our home" Or don't you believe that? Jewish people in the USA do call themselves White sometimes, but then other times they identify as a minority. You'd have to ask them. I dunno what they really think, it seems to depend on the circumstance.

I do know that I am White, European-American (4 different nationalities-cool!), and that's it. No big deal. I appreciate my the uniqueness of my people, my background, my traditions, my culture, I love Europe (not more than the USA though!), and I love our White history, and what's wrong with that?

Jewish people are proud of their uniqueness. They celebrate it, and work to preserve it. Are they the same as everyone else? Are they "fooling" themselves? Go tell them what you are telling me, see what response you get.

Proud to be White!!


Geenius at Wrok / March 20, 2005 4:51 PM

LJ, you may be unaware of it, but there was a time in Chicago when government-conducted surveys of residents specified "Irish" and "Italian" as separate racial categories from "white."

These ethnic groups are white by your definition, but they have not always been white by the definitions of different eras.

And that is as far into the Crazy as I'm willing to stick my hand.

Guest / April 25, 2005 1:06 AM

I was born and raised in Rogers Park, recently there has been this huge wave of "condos", if that what you want to call small apartments with a huge proce tag, popping up everywhere you look, its amazing how fast they are coming, my neighborhood is going through so much change you barely have time to breathe, all the old faces gone, replaced by new ones always wary about the neighborhood, nobody wants to help the people who have spent years here, but the want all the yuppis in, you know what screw the yuppies stay in your burbs, this is my home, our neighborhood, and there should be no reason for this gentrification process which I hope falls flast on the face of the city when they look around and see all the ethnic neighborhood destroyed and replaced by bars.....STOP GENTRIFICATION

Lily / May 2, 2005 7:49 PM

hey..im new to this chat but i found it while i was researchin for a school paper on racial segregation in chicago neighborhoods. If any of you guys can recommend a site of facts or more books than the ones mentioned already, it would be great. thanx

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