NROP: Racial segregation – a thing of the past or the future?

Going on various school trips, the cool kids would sit in the back of the bus. Those were the best seats in the house. In fact, people would arrive as early as possible just to be first in line to the bus. The closer to the front of the bus you were, the lamer you were.

I remember telling my parents for the first time that I wanted to leave the house earlier than they thought was necessary so that I could claim my spot on the bus. They did not understand why I would want to sit anywhere but upfront. After all, there is a huge windshield up front that I could look through while driving, if seated up front. Not much could be seen from the back.

Naturally, their argument did not convince me. I still did everything I could to sit in the back. Sometimes it work better than other times. The truth is that sitting anywhere could either be fun or not. It did not depend on your placement on the bus but the placement of others around you. If you sat around social rejects, chances were that you were going to have a very mediocre time, always looking back and envying the kids in the back laughing and birthing inside jokes.

You could not gossip if you sat up front, because the teachers would hear it. Aside from being obnoxious in general, our favorite past time while sitting in the back was writing weird things on pieces of paper and then putting it against the back window for other drivers to see. I am not sure why being a refugee or an orphan was so funny to us, but it was. If I recall correctly, it was not really about that, but about the potential reactions we could illicit.

“Will their jaws drop?” “Will they shed a tear?” “Will they wave back, pitying us?” “Yes! They waved back!!!” Will they overtake our bus, bring it to a stop, and “rescue” us from the hands of a child trafficking ring? Of course, my present self is embarrassed.

All in all, the seats in the rear were the most desirable. However, there were times when they were not. Back in the day, African-American people were to sit in the back of the bus, leaving the front for white people. What is more, it was illegal for an African American to sit next to a white person. Thankfully, that is now changed and you can see people of all races sitting next to one another in random parts of the bus. We are all one-big-happy-family. Right? Wrong!

It looks as if segregation is not a thing of the past but also of the future. This time, though, it is being propagated by the African-American communities. In Georgia, nineteen African-American families came together to form an exclusive community for people of their skin color.

“The Freedom Georgia Initiative was established out of an extreme sense of urgency to create a thriving safe haven for black families in the midst of racial trauma, a global pandemic, and economic instabilities across the United States of America brought on by COVID-19.”

The Freedom Georgia Initiative – Website

Are we blaming “racial trauma” on COVID-19?

That aside, let us focus on the fact that African-American people are segregating themselves away from other races. Some will say this is reverse racism. (Can’t racism go more than one way?) Some will still claim that this is what African-Americans need to do to get over the pain they have been put through in the past. I am NOT against this initiative. In fact, I think it is wonderful that they are trying to support one another. Hopefully, this will turn into a thriving community. However, can you imagine white people creating a community only for their race? What do you think would be said about that?

More than a dozen families pulled resources and bought 97 acres of land in Toomsboro, Georgia (a state in the US, not the country). A football field is said to be around an acre. So, visualize a hundred of those. That is how much land they purchased. The community hopes that one day they will be recognized as Freedom, Georgia.

Apparently, the group is already thinking about how they would make money to help their communities. The answer? Reality TV. Nothing is for certain, but some networks showed interest in filming a reality TV show in which the members of the Freedom Georgia Initiative would be featured. The leaders ask that they be owners of any footage (I do not think that is how it works…) and that they have the final say on how things are edited (fair enough). It makes me wonder who would watch that program. Is reality TV not all about juicy drama? And if this is supposed to be a serious community, I think the show might be boring. Unless it is developed as more of a documentary…

Freedom Georgia Initiative into video

I keep reading about white people only moving into good neighborhoods. Wait… what? Why would WANT TO move into a bad neighborhood? What makes a neighborhood good or bad? No, it is not the race of people who live there. But it is about crime rates and safety. After all, no one wants to be a victim of a crime and/or not feel safe in their own backyard. Right?

If I said I would not want to live in x part of town, I would be called racist. It simply is easier to label someone than to ponder the problems that certain communities are struggling with.

People are also up in arms about businesses owned by white people often staying out of African-American communities. They taught me in school to make cost efficient and profit-driven decisions in business. If you will make more money in A than B, why would you start your business in B? It just is not smart. It is not racism. It is Economics 101.

When, a couple of weeks ago, I read about African-Americans suing McDonald’s, I was intrigued. Why? To no surprise, I found out that African-American franchise ex-owners are suing due to racism. OK, but why? The question still persisted. When I found the reason, I WAS surprised. Apparently, these owners did not like owning a business in “tough, crime-ridden neighborhoods.” They did not? Why? Because they “struggled with low-volume sales and higher operating costs, such as higher security costs due to crime, higher insurance rates, and higher employee turnover, severely limiting their expansion opportunities and leading to low cash flow, decreased equity, debt and, ultimately, financial ruin.” Sounds like Economics 101, just as I mentioned in the paragraph above.

We need to stop making every white person out to be the devil and every African-American to be a lazy criminal. We need to start seeing people as PEOPLE.

  • What do you think about black people forming their own communities
  • How will that impact them (+the rest)?

Stay golden,

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35 thoughts on “NROP: Racial segregation – a thing of the past or the future?

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  1. My guess would be that they are blaming economic instability on COVID-19, but not everything in that list. America has a long history of Utopian countercultural communities, and I think Freedom Georgia fits into that group. It’s fascinating that race, not religion, is now seen as the pathway to a perfect society.

    On the McDonald’s front: did anyone force these people to buy franchises in poor neighborhoods? Don’t individual investors have some say over which franchises they buy? I don’t know anything about the process, but that seems pretty ridiculous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s easy to blame things on anything or anyone without giving it a real thought. We often take our anger out on people who have done nothing against us, just because they are in our vicinity. I feel like coronavirus will be a blanket excuse for a while.

      Precisely. That was my thought, too. However, the ex-owners claim that they were not allowed to buy locations in better locations (again, Why wouldn’t you want restaurants in your area? sarcasm) unless they also bought a place in a less-than-desirable area. And that their white counterparts were able to buy the better locations for cheaper. Whether that is true, I don’t know. But it still highlights the fact that – if African American entrepreneurs don’t want to conduct their businesses in their areas, why would white people have to?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point on COVID. Realistically no one is forcing white people to open businesses in African-American neighborhoods. That’s why we have urban food deserts. So what happens when no one wants to own a McDonald’s in the inner city? Does McDonald’s get sued for being racist by not providing it’s products to black people?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “We need to stop making every white person out to be the devil and every African-American to be a lazy criminal. We need to start seeing people as PEOPLE.”

    This is a nice thought. It is not currently feasible. It ignores too many realities, systemic inequalities, and built-in racism and bias.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not in our lifetime, I think. We do our best in our spheres, in our circles. We do our best in the people we elect, in the changes we try to see in the systems that perpetuate a rigged system. Rigged not only for colour, but for status, for privilege. There is a vast difference between our ideals and the functional status of our reality. It makes me very sad at times. I struggle to understand. I mean, I understand. I read the books about sociology and philosophy. I read articles and epistles. And still, the choice to be ugly, to be shallow, to be nasty on a consistent basis – not in the small moments that we all fall prey to – boggles my mind.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh sure. But we have built in, systemic problems. Until we figure out how to surmount that, there will always be problems. I read an article or heard a talk years ago about how the problem really is one of economics. Until there is equal distribution, access, and opportunity, problems will exist. If there was no racism, we would have to develop another system wide problem. The current construction relies on them.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the first I have heard about the Freedom, Georgia initiative. I would be interested to know what type of law enforcement (if any) they hope to institute there. Or will it become a sanctuary community where criminals can flee after committing crimes? That wouldn’t exactly be a safe community for anyone. The fact is, wherever there are humans, there will be crime– and it seems that many people see the only solution to police misconduct as defunding altogether. I do wonder if this new community will realize the necessity of having some sort of law enforcement system, even if it is different from the current one in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember reading it would be a “safe haven.” Now, that wasn’t an answer directly to law enforcement question, so it’s only my assumption – sanctuary indeed.

      You are absolutely right about humans and crime. There will be issues and disagreements there, too. Just wait…

      I’m not sure whether it was on of the founders of this initiative, or a different one, but they were saying that being pro defunding does not mean they are against the police. They just want to check and see what the money is being used for. Oh, c’mon! That’s not the way to find out, LOL. I swear, some of these explanations make absolutely no sense, yet some people buy it.

      I hope that they will surprise us and become a peaceful, thriving, quiet community. However, the other alternative to having real police is “neighborhood watch.” But that’s close to an eye for an eye…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Racism exists all over the world and even in the US there are other types of racism. I grew up near several Indian reservations. Racism and prejudice are all around. To me, Freedom Georgia sounds like they are putting themselves on a reservation, which, again to me, sounds very strange.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t deny there are racist people out there but counter-actions are hardly ever not racist themselves. I think this is where Jesus’ teaching comes into play. Instead of people trying to compensate for racism by counter-racism, they should adopt His ideology and be the example for others.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “We need to stop making every white person out to be the devil and every African-American to be a lazy criminal. We need to start seeing people as PEOPLE.” I agree whole heartedly with this statement.
    It seems like such a huge step backwards. After fighting for desegregation for so long now they want to segregate themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Insulated as I am, I’ve often wondered if I would have any concept of racism being a thing, if I didn’t hear it always talked about in the news and the like. As a child, I always thought that kind of thing was resolved a LONG time ago, and we were all better people now, with higher thoughts, and nobody cared about silly things like the color of a person’s skin.

    Now that I’m older, I wish that more people thought the way I did as a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great question. Someone once asked if a child would know how to lie/what it is if they never saw it from their parents. It’s a bit of a nature vs. nurture conversation. However, I truly believe that we are not born hating (or having stereotypes) other races. We either learn from experience, or hear about it.

      “Higher thoughts” – oh, you poor, innocent kid. I wish…

      And I totally agree that there are plenty of benefits to approaching the world with kid’s innocence and kindness.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 1) Police presence in some of these communities is relegated to the “drive through it quickly and hope you don’t see anything” method of patrolling. They don’t get to know the people in the community and the community doesn’t recognize them as PART of their community. Tada…the crime levels go up.
    2) The revenue raised in those communities is low, so they don’t pay teachers well either. Bam…the school systems aren’t as good.
    3) If you want to make big bucks, you don’t do regular business practices. You make more money selling a pound of pot than you make selling a pound of steak.
    4) In order to survive, you have to have multiple jobs that take you away from your family, drive your costs up in transportation and child care, and costs the family its “family time.” The only community activities that promote a feeling of belonging and mutual protection is the church and the gangs.

    We do not have to have our own communities, but we do. We have Polish neighborhoods, Russian, German, Irish, Italian… We celebrate their uniqueness with Kolache days, Octoberfests, Saint Patrick’s Day, and Santa Lucia day. Each of those groups started out in ghettos. Native Americans and Hispanics also have their separate communities. Because the European immigrants looked like the European settlers, it was easier to infiltrate. They had to lose the accent and dress and act like those they saw around them. POC from Mexioc, Central, and South America can speak English without an accent in less than 1 generation. They act and dress like those white people around them, but are still segregated from neighborhoods that are mostly European because of color. The Asian immigrants also lose the accent within a generation, and because the bias against Oriental people is not as profound as it was in the days of Viet Nam, Korea, and the World Wars, they find it easier to integrate with European Americans. There is still a bias against them. Middle Eastern and Indian/Pakistani immigrants lose the accent as well. They are relegated to the “Possible Terrorist or Mexican” designation because people don’t look past the hair color and skin color.

    But people who are born here, and have had relatives in this country for many generations and continue to speak like they’re from a different sector of society cannot infiltrate…their methods of communication are not the same. There is no reason to adopt a language that makes you sound uneducated or stupid or subservient. And yet, not every black person speaks like Obama. Not every black person speaks like MLK. Well-educated black people will STILL use slang reserved for the Uneducated. “He do that” “We was…” The problem is that the self isolation doesn’t promote integration into society because it propogates language that promotes the image that people who are black are subservient and not educated. And though they are NOT subservient or uneducated, European whites will treat them as if they were. The subservient and the uneducated DO NOT MATTER, regardless of the color. Because of the language this whole culture has adopted, they have to Tell people that they aren’t slaves. They have to Tell people that they’ve gone to school. They have to TELL people they matter and they shouldn’t have to.

    If you travel, you will see that Blacks speak perfect English in England, perfect German in Germany, perfect French. Why don’t they speak perfect English in the US?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1. Ehh… if they look too hard, they will see too much and that would increase the potential for “racism.” So they drive-through. They are trying not to arrest too many people so no one’s on their case about the rate of incarceration among specific populations. Plus, they don’t want to get into a situation that might put them in a more than dangerous position. Cops shouldn’t be scared, but sometimes the will to come back to their families is just stronger. “They don’t get to know people in the community.” WHAT? Is that their job? Not really. I’ve never been friends with a cop that wasn’t a part of my family/ friend circle. Not one of them tried to get to know me. And you know what? I never held it against them. They don’t need to be friends with everyone to do their jobs. In fact, it might be better if they aren’t so that they are able to be unbiased when performing their duties. Also, it goes both ways – have you seen certain communities trying to befriend cops? Are you kidding? They shun them!
      Are you saying that if a larger number of potential criminals would be acquainted with the police, they would not commit those crimes? I feel like it can be compared to a parent and child relationship. “I trust you. Don’t do this. But it’s your choice, kid.” Kid goes and does it anyway…

      2. Then find a way to raise the revenue!

      3. Absolutely. And here is where we totally agree. Make life of crime less profitable.

      4. But isn’t everyone in the same boat? And many choose church. Struggles should not be an excuse for committing crime. There are so many people who live an honest life and struggle. My heart breaks for them. It should not be this way. But to turn to life of crime? Nope.

      I feel like we’re talking apples and oranges. You talk about people of European descendants forming communities. Yes, sure. I have nothing against it. BUT – do you see any of the nationalities you mentioned complain about being segregated by others? I don’t. But I surely hear it from the African-American population. So if you want to blend in, why are you forming your own communities away from others? That’s contradictory to me.

      “They had to lose the accent and dress and act like those they saw around them.” That’s assimilation. Some people refuse it and then complain about being treated differently. Again – do you want to be different or not? You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

      The language part of your comment is very interesting. I did notice that some African-Americans speak “normal” when among people of a different race, but revert back to “their speak” when they are surrounded by their own race. Why do you think that is? They are trying to blend in with both groups. But if they know “we was” is not seen as something serious, why don’t they change that? To me, it seems like it’s a way to protest. They don’t want to “give in” to the “regime of a white man.”

      So what is your answer to that question? To me, it’s because being black does not mean “different” in other countries. They are a part of a community that is the country they live in. Not just a part of their own enclave.

      Like

  8. I think the social isolation idea of a community to escape racial tension is only good as a short-term solution. Beyond that, the whole phenomenon of ghettoization will just further build on the issues that need to be worked on. We should learn to strive together and work on changing the things that don’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. cant we all get along? Apparently not, at least not yet

    anyhoo I am curious, did a driver ever overtake your bus to stop and rescue you from being trafficked or abducted ???
    ~B

    PS I sat with the backseat crew, while we didn’t paste notes on the windows we did wave at the cars we passed, while singing and dancing and later thats where the more adventurous teens who smuggled in liquor during field trips would be at

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a very interesting idea Goldie. I understand the sentiment. When you can’t even walk down the street in your neighbourhood because a white person calls the police on an African American because they look suspicious, why would you want to stay there. If all your neighbours are African American, then you might not have the same problem. I read a book last year based on true events about an African American area of a city that was gutted and taken over to be gentrified when the people living there were doing well and thriving. Not sure what will happen here, but I will keep watching to see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

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