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Tag Archives: Oak Park
On the one hand, we must feel their pain.
More staff at Oak Park Elementary District 97 received bad news this week when they found themselves on a list of cuts if the April tax referendum fails.
On the other, this is standard procedure/announcement prior to a school referendum. Can’t tell you how anxious I became to hear many years ago that the Beye principal would lose her job if the referendum did not pass.
Crystal Lake too. Now we’re talkin’.
Wed. Journal reported a drop in OP’s black population, and readers weighed in. Is there a more vocal village in the world?
Violet Aura starts it off, mildly enough:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 05:23 PM: Hmm…I don’t know what to make of these numbers. I look around and see (what appears to be) higher numbers of Black students at OPRF [high school than] when I attended. Likewise, just walking down the street I see many Blacks in Downtown OP. It could be that some of them don’t actually reside in OP; I don’t know. But census numbers may not count those who are living with relatives.
Tom Scharre takes a certain amount of issue with her, also mildly enough, if not crystal clearly:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 05:40 PM: I am old enough to have often heard -and occasionally used- the socially acceptable default disclaimer:”I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow or green…” But, forgive me Lord, I am beginning to be the teensiest bit concerned if you’re “violet.”
OPer then takes the gloves off, finding his inner fascist along the way:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 05:42 PM: Violet, racists such as yourself are not only always seeing scary Blacks everywhere they go, but typically cannot distinguish between self-reported anecdote and actual evidence. Please, WJ, again would you consider limiting the participation of racists like VA? They only pollute the discussion, and make OP appear more racist than it truly is. [Italics mine]
Benita from Oak Park expands on the theme, with a right, then a left, then a blow to the midsection:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 05:49 PM: So “Violet Aura”, could it be that black people who don’t actually live in OP could still work, shop, dine, visit and park here (and thank you to them – we need the business and parking revenue!) which could be why you see so many more in downtown OP? And just how long ago were you attending OPRF [High]? And by not counting residents who are “living with relatives”? My husband and I live in our Oak Park home with our kids. We’re all related, a.k.a “relatives.” Is that what you mean?!
Long-time Oak Park Resident from Oak Park IL brings in neighboring, affluent River Forest and Trader Joe’s (!):
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 05:49 PM: Violet, perhaps you only NOTICE the blacks (for whatever reason). Having read many of your postings [which I have not, btw], you seem to have a distinct fascination with blacks. Looking around downtown Oak Park would not be the most credible way to refute the census facts. Dare I say some River Foresters might happen over to our downtown area, or residents of many other neighboring villages might stumble to our Trader Joe’s or Lake Theatre? What isn’t surprising is that you were the first to comment. [Will have to
read Violet more often.]
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:01 PM: Violet, my g/f and I moved to Oak Park and purchased a home because of the diversity and open- mindedness of the Oak Park community. My g/f is from NYC and did not like Chicago because people are so racist, closed minded, ect. Oak Park is one of the few communities around that supports diversity. I am proud to live here, how about you? Furthermore, lifes too short to hate anyone. Hatred for others is hatred for yourself. [Good
Tom Scharre again, again mildly, tho cherishing animus twd Violet:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:06 PM: @OPer: freedom of speech for everyone – even the violet among us.
Violet (finally) begins her rebuttal:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:08 PM: Wow! Thank you all for such reactionary posts. Everyone just tripping over each other to call me names, eh? Reread my post. I am simply stating my observations versus what the report states. Not once did I express dismay at seeming to see more Blacks in the area; YOU added your subjective conditioned Pavlovian response to my post! Without going into specifics, I am of mixed ethnicity. The ONLY PLACE where I was ever called a slur was in my lovely hometown of Oak Park! I look ETHNIC, not White! [Bravo!]
Mustaine has the answer:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:10 PM: Who cares what Violet thinks?????????
Violet, in no way to be shushed, doubles down:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:11 PM: As to my looks, I actually recently had an Oak Parker ask me where I was “from.” When I said OP, he said “No, originally.” I asked him if I had an accent because I was baffled by such a question (I was born in Chicago and grew up in OP.). He stated that someone as “exotic-looking” as I must have been born somewhere else! I guess only blonde-haired, blue-eyed people are native to USA! I don’t think like this. I happen to be interested [in] sociology and race issues. YOU all need to check yourselves!
kathryn jonas from oak park has a question that ranges beyond Violet:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:11 PM: Has it occurred to the Wednesday Journal that African Americans may move out of Oak Park for reasons other than “affordability”? Such as the fact that Oak Park may not be as welcoming as the official PR would suggest? The lack of black representation on the Village Board, citizens commissions, school boards, park board and township board should raise questions about the lack of diversity in these areas. I know many white people who have moved out of Oak Park because it is not affordable.
More from Violet, who clearly is having a good time with it all:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:15 PM: And one more thing–all this PC crap hasn’t changed a damn thing. Ever see online comments and all the racism? You cannot legislate racial tolerance. The only way to change hearts and minds is to have people live next to one another and see how similar they are. But freaking out because I notice people’s race/ethnicity is self-deluding. You [notice], too. You just think it’s taboo to admit it. It’s hardwired into us to look at people’s appearances. The real test is not to treat people differently.
Puzzled from Oak Park has a curve ball:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:23 PM: Why can the black population be made public but the black criminals can not be made public? [Uh-oh]
Daniel Lauber has “the actual figures” that supply the compared-to-what? info missing from the story:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:29 PM:The proportion of whites in Oak Park fell from 71.9% in 2000 to 70.2% in 2010 and blacks from 23.5% to 22.5%. Meanwhile Asians increased from 0.01% to 5% and Hispanics from 4% to 6.8%.
He raises another point, about income as determinant:
The real question is what the proportions would be in a free housing market where income determines where you live — something we can’t calculate until household income by race figures are released in 2012.
Violet picks up on this new train, ruminating on changes yet to come:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:40 PM: The thing that I wonder about, regarding OP’s demographics, is what is going to happen three, five years down the line when you have these outrageously high tax rates and devalued houses? Isn’t the tax rate supposed to mirror the property’s value? How can social workers and teachers afford to live in OP with such ridiculous charges? So I am thinking that we will see more and more people moving in who may not share the values and perspective of the middle-class. . . . .
J.G. Morales LOL@ Violet, having heard “the exotic thing” all his life:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:40 PM: . . . and so has anyone else who looks “exotic”. White, black, latino, asian, middle eastern have all asked where we’re from. I find it very ironic that you mention having these problems in Oak Park. I’ve stayed here because these things happen FAR LESS often in Oak Park. Never once a racial slur. As far as they know, the only “race” my children have is “American” and it’s a beautiful thing! Only in Oak Park.:-) [Go,
Edye from River Forest picks up on the black-perp question asked 35 minutes earlier:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:58 PM: Puzzled from Oak Park: You asked an interesting question: “Why can the black population be made public but the black criminals can not be made public?” Why not say the same for the white criminals? [Huh?] Not that I care, but there is such a thing. My family is one of quite a few black families who moved out of Oak Park – not because of “affordability” But because we found homes better suited for us in… River Forest. [Ha!]
Violet on slurs in ’80s:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 06:58 PM: Well, I just have my own experiences to go by. And the slur was directed at me by guys that I probably went to school with. This is not recent at all. This occurred in the mid-’80s. So I suspect that times have changed quite a bit. OP is full of educated people and that is what helps things. Actually, a lot of the clashing that people have is more based upon socioeconomic class (or perceptions of such) than actual race/ethnicity.
Violet on River Forest as “status thing”:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 07:28 PM: @Edye: Just curious: what is so special about the housing stock in RF that you could not find in OP? Please tell me that this is not a status thing! I can’t stand when I tell people where I live (RF) and they start oohing and ahhing and I’m like “Um, no. I rent an apt.” The whole snobbery angle is so tired for me. I am not accusing you of such, however, but you seemed to imply that you could not find anything suitable in OP and that is hard to believe.
J.G. Morales back at her on slur business etc.:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 08:27 PM: IDK [I don't know?], Violet. You’re mentioning the evil racist deeds of Oak Parkers as some slam on OP? I don’t really get it. I do agree, however, that socio-economic background seems to be more important than race. Also, I find this article interesting because I too have noticed more blacks in the neighborhood. From 2 to 6 families on my block. Same for Latinos. Yet, I don’t really understand why this is news.
And a few minutes later, J.G. Morales again, with what were closing remarks when I closed down last night:
Posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 08:34 PM: Race seems to be such a confusing issue in this country. We talk about equality and diversity and equal opportunity all while keeping tabs and differentiating. I don’t think we’re going to get rid of racial problems by making a huge deal about race.
These three white guys walked into this 7-11 in Oak Park and . . .
. . . approached the clerk. One of the men pointed a black handgun at the clerk, another said give him the money or he will shoot you, according to police reports. The clerk triggered the silent alarm and fled to the back of the store.
While leaving the store, the three men saw a man servicing an ATM and demanded that he open it and retrieve money. When the service man said he could not open the machine, one of the robbers hit him in the back of the head with an unknown object, causing a laceration. The man was transported to the hospital.
But the whole thing worked out badly for them:
The three men left empty-handed and were not found when police arrived.
So they had to go by the clerk’s and ATM service man’s description, which was not bad as those things go. The gun was black, as above, where what one of them said is also narrated, and were “in their late-teens” and “wearing hats, black jackets and blue jeans.” Hmm, black gun and jackets, blue jeans.
But neither witness noticed if they were black, white, or other! Or they noticed but preferred not to say. Or they told the reporter and swore him to secrecy.
Anyhow, I assume they were white, because there are more white people in Oak Park than any other. It stands to reason.
Black and white together not working out, says this Lancaster PA principal.
Bill Jimenez said the school noticed that black students were not performing as well as other students, and that research had shown that same-race classes with strong same-race role models led to better academic results.
Mr Jimenez admitted that no other students were divided by race at the school, but he added that academic data dictated the school take a different approach with its black students.
This is old research too. Shelby Steele‘s identical-twin brother Claude at U. of Mich. had results years ago showing that being with whites in class, that is, competing with them, threw black students off their feed. It’s here, I think, in a 1992 Atlantic article.
Or so I understood it at the time. Claude Steele chalks it up to stereotypes that are internalized by black students. A fair translation of that is their fear of competing because they don’t think they can succeed. Better that they be by themselves, at least some of the time, so they can relax and gain confidence.
Same argument goes for same-sex schools, though it’s hotly debated, of course.
The Sean Connery movie about the reclusive white writer who goads a young black kid to write well applies here. The Connery character pushed the kid, stood for no nonsense, and in the end stood up for him vs. white teachers. Standard white teachers, I may add, but the point is still a good one. Everyone has his demons, why not black kids?
The Lancaster principal is calling for a mere six minutes a day, 20 minutes twice a month, by the way. It’s not a full-scale preferential-treatment program in which one thing after another is tried, frantically by school administrators, teachers etc.
“Opponents repeatedly riffed on the project for containing only people who earn less than $26,300, rather than a mix of wage earners,” Wed. Journal says, in coverage of a public hearing at OP village hall about proposed conversion of an office building for low-income housing.
The writer wants to say that many made the same argument, but this is “riff” as “comment,” which is many steps removed from what the musician does with a series of chords. He plays it again and again — which makes “repeatedly” redundant, by the way — to the presumed enjoyment of listeners.
On another point, the article gives a location as the 1100 block of Ridgeland. South or North?
By Jim Bowman | |
Here’s a new blog — Climate of Hate — dedicated to the proposition that hate lives! in political discourse in the U.S., especially on the left.
Clever indeed, and a blog whose time has come.
Seeing it, I am reminded of what I heard at a meeting of Oak Park leftists at the library in September of 2009, on the day after Obama had said, “The time for games [had] passed” in the matter of health care legislation in a speech to Congress.
“He gave us permission to hate the insurance industry,” said a Democratic Socialist, former Beye School parent (when my wife & I were Beye parents), former neighbor (a block over), who was busy at the time trying (without success) to get the village to enforce a “living wage” for its employees and employees of all who do business with or have received a subsidy from the village.
I’d been writing for the Wed. Journal of OP&RF, and his wife, also there to plan events etc., asked if I would be writing it in the Journal. (I wouldn’t, having resigned as columnist.) She clearly did not relish the idea, but he just wanted to be sure he meant health and not auto, etc. insurance. In fact, he was looking pretty pleased with having said it in my hearing.
And nobody else at the meeting (of 10 or so) seemed to object to his saying that, though not all would have said it. A fellow Dem Socialist (of America) seemed equally pleased, however.
Permission to hate, given by the president. What do you know about that?