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Rated: 13+ · Editorial · Community · #1119407
A brief description of racial tensions in the Cleveland area and ways to ease them.
If Northeast Ohioans don't quickly recognize the racial tension that is so pervasive in our area, and stamp it out, our city might just go the route of Cincinnati... only worse. The unspoken conflict between blacks and whites in our neighborhoods is slowly spreading into the mainstream media, which seems to be exploiting the issue. When I hear people use phrases like, "the neighborhood's makeup has changed...", or ,"this area has become so violent and dangerous...", I can easily decipher the racial undertones involved in such talk. The phenomenon of "white flight" seems to have found a home in Northeast Ohio. Many whites now seem obligated to express some of their long-hidden racism towards blacks because blacks seem oblivious to ruining their own reputation via continued inner-city crime. First of all, everyone needs to quit dancing around the issue, and admit that Cuyahoga county is nearly an ethnic warzone(albeit a quiet one). The euphemisms and PC phrasings used by the media and law enforcement needs to stop. As long as they avoid the real issue, so will everyone else. Also, many of us must be failing to realize what breeds crime and violence... poverty. As white's flee the inner city(taking their wealth and educational standards with them), they are replaced by dirt poor blacks who find few job opportunities and are faced with a bleak educational outlook. If schools don't teach black kids that it's good to have a job(and how to keep one), they'll continue to choose to sell drugs and steal instead. The police departments are also more a part of the problem than the solution. Their lack of desire to understand or protect inner city blacks is actually quite sad. When officers are beating up blacks because of their interracial relationships, we are all being taken back 50 years. I am originally from Memphis, Tennessee. When I tell people this, they assume that I grew up in a hostile racist environment. But, actually, they are ignorant to the pervasive racism that surrounds them here in Cleveland. Memphis is a prime example of how the South has overcome the racial tensions of the past, recognizing the need to work together to make the future. It can be done here too. But it takes for everyone to "keep it real" with each other. As long as we don't trust each other, it will never work. Sacrifices will have to be made. Some of the 'haves' will have to give something to the 'have-nots', instead of constantly stripping the ghetto of anything good. If we don't ease racial tension and equalize the playing field in the areas that matter - housing, employment and most of all education -our city will continue to languish. I am a 13-year resident of the Cleveland area and I've had enough. It's time you did too.
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