Don’t slam the door, leave the lights on

Sun-Times front-pager, dominating it, is about former heavyweight champ Ernie Terrell bailing out of Roseland.

“You can’t live here and be safe anymore,” Terrell said. “Me and my wife, I guess we gotta get outta here.”


Ernie Terrell

Case of black flight succeeding the much more publicized white variety of 40 years ago.  Leave it to the writer, who in his lede says:

Do you know who lives on this block? Ernie Terrell. The heavyweight champion. Right there in that bungalow.

That’s the pitch a Roseland Realtor would give house hunters checking out the 11100 block of Parnell in the early ’70s — back when white people couldn’t flee to the suburbs fast enough. [italics added]

White people fleeing, we know about that, having heard it often enough.  But blacks were moving into Roseland then, en masse

The Terrells

were the first black family on the block. In just a few years, the entire neighborhood went from an enclave of Dutch and Italian families to 99 percent black folks.

Whites flee, blacks “move in.”  Whoa.  Blacks were fleeing too, as Terrell is fleeing now.  Thus it has ever been.

How newspapers do so well

Opened my Chi Trib on this Sunday morning, feast of Christ the King, being the last Sunday in October (apparently no more: bishops’s site calls it only “Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time in ordinary time,” making it prosaic as all get-out), and found another sad, sad story about people for whom THINGS ARE NOT WORKING OUT. 

Trib offers such on a regular basis and has been doing so for a long time.  Editors have a penchant for such things.  Their idea of a grabber headline is a sad, sad story.  Why is this?

A safe home. A good job. Stability for their children after years on the run from death threats and the mayhem of war — that is what the Iraqi refugees envisioned when told they were coming to America.

Instead, one family is assigned an apartment on Chicago’s North Side so full of cockroaches and filth they couldn’t stay the night.

A veterinarian from southern Iraq relies on relatives in Karbala to pay his rent in Chicago, upending the traditional immigrant experience.

An Iraqi mother of three, unable to pay her rent with her husband still in the Middle East, finds little help warding off the predatory advances of male acquaintances offering assistance.

Iraqi mother of three:

Iraqi mother

Stop, stop, enough already!  On to the sports page!  Those who enjoy beating themselves up, keep reading!


Reader D: Take heart, JB — the Feast of Christ the King will be celebrated Nov. 22, 2009. Apparently something was revised in 1969 and the last Sunday in October is not the feast day any more. Gershwin abides even today: “No, no, they can’t take that away from me.”

Reader B:  the iraqi story leaves me somewhat spechless.  don’t know what to make of it. so many aspects..  am sharing it with others however. –b

Ed.: If the careful reader does not know what to make of it, it’s a busted story (as a play is busted on the f-ball field).  Focus, people!