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A Balanced Approach

Hour 2: How much do the communities we live in create or deny opportunities? And how much are we at the mercy of our local government? We’ll find out this hour with Rutgers University law professor David Dante Troutt, author of The Price of Paradise: The Costs of Inequality and a Vision for a More Equitable America (NYU Press).

  • Tammy Johnston

    This had to be one of the more enlightening, thoughtful conversations/discussions I’ve heard regarding income inequality, community/government/individual responsibility and the price EVERYONE pays for maintaining/tolerating poverty in this country. Thank you PBS/KERA for providing the venue to have such poignant discussions – and THANK YOU David Dante for being brave enough to provide REAL data and solutions around this issue.

  • armstronglance .

    I heard this broadcast and enjoyed listening to it, but I thought one point was left out. It might be covered in David’s book. He mentioned African Americans moving into neighborhoods caused white flight based on race, when >50%. There’s much more to it than skin color. It’s more due to significant lifestyle changes. .

    So that you know where I’m coming from, in my early years I was taken care of/raised by a black woman (from 10mos old to 7.5yr) . My father was an AF test pilot who was killed in 1954 in an F86 with untested wing surfaces. (check the WPAFB museum web site) My Mom was given $7K from the military and basically told…see ya. Well she moved to Calif and had to get a job. In those days there was no such thing as child support, so Mom found a black woman to take care of us each day while she worked long hours for a contractor. So when I see a black person, or if you prefer African/American, I think of happy May Dunlap who took care of us. The sweetest woman in the world. She stayed happy no matter what the cruel world delt her. (and the state of Ok did just that to her…later)

    Now then, to David’s comments about blacks moving into areas and then whites leaving. In my experience it has nothing to do with race, but more to do with lifestyles that don’t coexist very well. (loud music, loud talking, teenagers with scary facial expressions…in my experience that’s only on the surface, not whats really going on inside) I’ve spent a lot of time between Dallas and Atlanta. The difference between blacks and whites in Dallas is night and day compared to Atlanta. Atlanta scares me sometimes. Whites and Blacks don’t assimilate well in Atlanta, while they do here in Texas. In Atlanta dress and language really separates the races. In Texas, whites and blacks will both wear a cowboy hat and boots. Out in the country I can find black ranchers. North of Atlanta its hard to find a African/American.

    So where I’m going with all this is I see a problem with assimulation. At my work, Raytheon, our production lab was predominantly black and Mexican, with a few Caucasians. We were extremely diversified. We worked so long together that we absolutely forgot what race or sex we were. The black women on our test floor talked like Ester from Sanford and Son. They were hilarious. And I came to love them. They refused to take handouts and a lot of them worked 2 jobs to make ends meet. You couldn’t help but love them.

    Now then, in my neighborhood, for some years we’ve had houses sell to African/americans and Asians. We notice our neighborhood diversifying, but we’re all professionals basically, have similar life styles, and live perfectly in peace. (no negative hip hop music blasting thru the neighborhood with every other word the F or S or P word. Don’t misunderstand that last statement. I attended a local HipHop station DJ’s birthday party where we were entertained by non-negative very accomplished HipHop artists. One group took TV themes and hiphop comedied them. Some made fun of whites, but in a hilarious manner. Loved it).

    There was a Texas official, thankfully he’s now gone, who was determined to move section 8 housing into any income level neighborhood, even the $300K to 500K and up developments. Typically those were African/Americans or Latinos. The problem with that was those foks did not have the income level to maintain the property value of the house they rented, which was subsidized by the state. Then when higher income homeowners went to sell their house, prospective buyers were driven way by those section 8 un-kept section 8 houses

    I kind of rambled here. But basically I’m saying when you said after the 50% neighborhood diversity was reached and continued to grow non white, ” the perception is more of an unwanted lifestyle change than it is of an ethic makeup change” . And I see this more with with non-Texas natives. At my work, there weree some African/Americans who wouldn’t go to lunch with European/Americans, and vice-versa. Then there’s most of us who could care less about our ethnicity, we (me included) go to lunch with anybody. My immediate group worked so many years together we became family regardless of our differences, which we don’t even notice anymore. We can joke about our differences and we are not offended because we have a great respect for one another.

    David, if you haven’t already, do another book on Islam in America, the folks who refuse to assimilate. (I lived in Libya for one year, July 69-June71…never ever want to go back)

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