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Segregation in Downstate Illinois

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019

* Governing Magazine conducted a six-month investigation into segregation in Downstate Illinois. From their findings

What emerged was a picture of the way segregation continues to shape and reshape metropolitan areas in Illinois and, indeed, throughout many parts of the country. In these cities, segregation means not just a physical divide, but a huge disparity in resources. White areas of town benefit from more development, better infrastructure and more accommodating government policies.

What’s more, we found local governments bear much of the responsibility for creating and maintaining segregated communities. Mayors and other city officials are often focused on immediate concerns, such as balancing tight budgets or attracting economic development. While those are legitimate, pressing issues, the resulting policies can often reinforce segregation. Through unspoken traditions and ingrained attitudes, as well as explicit government actions, city officials are in many ways responsible for maintaining a system that still divides whites and blacks.

When it comes to land use — what gets built where — governments use zoning restrictions to keep out rental housing, which attracts blacks and other minorities, from predominantly white areas. They approve new residential subdivisions with strict deed restrictions that make large swaths of communities unaffordable to low-income residents and often explicitly bar any use other than single-family homes. As they restrict where apartments can be built, local governments also play a big role in deciding where public housing and other taxpayer-supported affordable housing projects are located. That often leads to concentrated areas of low-income housing in black neighborhoods. Those changes almost inevitably become permanent, because the income restrictions and other rules that come with public subsidies last for decades.

Public schools are a key factor as well. While segregation in schools is often viewed as a product of the neighborhoods the schools are located in, the truth is much more complicated because schools shape the neighborhoods they serve. In many cases, in fact, they exacerbate segregation by driving white flight to suburban areas. That is especially true in Illinois, because of its proliferation of small school districts. As cities such as Peoria and Springfield stretch beyond their original district borders, white residents flock to the suburban-style schools on their peripheries. Farther-out villages have transformed themselves from farm towns to bedroom communities by luring white families with new subdivisions and the promise of better schools in stand-alone school districts. The net result is that predominantly white suburban districts are flourishing, while urban districts have become increasingly black and suffer from declining tax bases.

Finally, residents in predominantly black neighborhoods routinely face more scrutiny from police and other government agencies, which reinforces the patterns of segregation that have already emerged. Government actions such as increased code enforcement, zero tolerance policies for drugs in public housing and disproportionately targeting black neighborhoods for traffic stops result in black residents facing more municipal fines or other minor punishments. Though seemingly small, those infractions, combined with the fact that blacks are far more likely to be arrested and imprisoned than whites, can make it harder for residents to clear their name and qualify for good-paying jobs that require criminal background checks. That barrier to jobs is significant for downstate communities: The Peoria, Decatur, Rockford and Carbondale metropolitan areas were all ranked among the top 10 for highest black unemployment rates in the country in 2017.

* From their findings

High Residential Segregation: The Peoria area had the sixth-highest level of segregation measured between blacks and whites of any metro area in the country, while the Danville area ranked 12th nationally. Kankakee, Rockford and Springfield were similarly among the top third most segregated metro areas between black and whites.

Lack of Progress: Levels of segregation within the Champaign-Urbana, Danville and Peoria areas have remained essentially unchanged since 1980, counter to prevailing national downward trends.

White Flight: Many areas of Illinois have experienced significant white flight over the past several decades. This pattern has continued in recent years in some urban neighborhoods. (View map)

Extremely Segregated Schools: Our analysis of federal data found the Peoria metro area had the most segregated schools between black and white students of any area nationally, regardless of size. The problem is prevalent throughout the state, with black-white school segregation in eight of 10 Illinois metro areas in the top third in the U.S. Only Bloomington-Normal and Carbondale recorded lower levels of segregation.

School District Segregation: Segregation within individual school districts is much less severe than in entire metro areas, suggesting school district boundaries contribute to segregation.

Shifting School Demographics: Over the past 15 years, nearly all large urban downstate Illinois school districts lost at least a third of white student enrollment. Suburban school districts haven’t experienced nearly the same declines.

Black Incomes Lag Far Behind: Racial disparities in household incomes are severe throughout Illinois. In Springfield, differences between median black and white incomes were greater than any other metro area nationally. They were also among the top 10 percent in the Bloomington-Normal, Decatur, Kankakee and Peoria metro areas.

Elevated Black Poverty Rates: The latest Census estimates suggest Peoria has the highest black poverty rate of any larger metro area. Several other Illinois metro areas similarly recorded among the steepest black poverty rates nationally.

* Their stories…

* Houses Divided: How States and Cities Reinforce Segregation in America: It didn’t take Silas Johnson long after he moved to Springfield, Ill., to identify the border that separates the black section of the city from the white one. Growing up in Mississippi as the civil rights movement swept through the South, Johnson knew about dividing lines. In the town of Macon, blacks knew to stay on their side of the railroad tracks. “It wasn’t something that was taught,” he says. “It was just something that was known.”

* Still Separate After All These Years: How Schools Fuel White Flight: The city of Peoria has its own school district, a chronically troubled system with a declining enrollment that serves mostly black students. About 70 percent are low-income. White families have been avoiding the troubles of the inner-city school district by moving to the northern part of town, where they can send their kids to Dunlap instead. As a result, Dunlap’s school system is booming.

* Broken Homes: How Housing Policies Keep White Neighborhoods So White (and Black Neighborhoods So Black): The fact that Hightower finds herself renting an apartment on the East Side of Springfield is no accident. A whole web of federal, state, local and even private regulations over housing and land use ensure that low-income residents live far away from wealthier ones; that apartment buildings are rarely situated next to single family housing; and, as a result, that black residents and white residents largely live in different neighborhoods.

* Black, White and Blue: How Police and Anti-Crime Measures Reinforce Segregation: Our review found many practices that placed greater burdens on black residents than white residents because of where they lived. These practices were used not just by police, but by non- law enforcement agencies like the Rockford Housing Authority. They included increased surveillance, frequent ID checks and rigorously enforced nuisance ordinances.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

48 Comments
  1. - Deadbeat Conservative - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    =city officials are in many ways responsible for maintaining a system that still divides whites and blacks.=

    Segregation may be one reason Springfield chose to close its Lake Springfield Beach. The beach was always a good low cost/ no cost form of recreation for low & middle income families. After Springfield built a $ 1/2 billion dollar merchant power plant and lobbies for a costly 2nd Lake, they close the public beach ostensibly to save money.
    It’s more likely they want to keep inner city people out where high dollar residences are being built.


  2. - low level - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    Shocking that downstate Illinois would have such issues.

    Given various comments over the years, I thought it was only that supposed big bad city to the north w anything like this? Amazing


  3. - Terry Salad - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Just don’t suggest there are any “White Supremacist policies” anywhere in IL.


  4. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    A side benefit is urban sprawl that allows cities to pay oodles for cops, streets, sewers, water as flight expands. They call it smart growth


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    A big fan of Daniel Vock. That alone gets me to read, let alone a 6-month study.

    Extremely comprehensive, a must-read.

    The way Illinois has herself in pockets of population(s), it’s important to look at things in a context that is far bigger than reporting the simplicity of fact(s).

    Heading over to read again. Lots to absorb, great work.


  6. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    Downstate is a Chicago media creation to define anything that is not “Chicagoland,” which is another media creation.

    For example, you will find Chicago stories referring to downstate Rockford.

    Peoria, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, etc have always been downstate in this context. Chicago area (see Chicagoland) high school sports teams have always competed to go “downstate” and win a state championship.


  7. - Jibba - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    Many interesting things in the article. One thing to note, for Low Level, is that the most segregated city in Illinois by far is Chicago (see their bar graph), followed by Peoria and Danville. Most other downstate cities are near the national average, and Bloomington and Champaign are actually below the national average. Just some needed context. Not that the observations made by the authors regarding downstate cities are untrue, especially about white flight to the suburbs and outer towns.


  8. - Perrid - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    @Downstate, really? This is still the hill you’re going to die on? Anything that is not Cook or the suburbs is “downstate” to the vast majority of Illinoisans. You can argue and whine about that, whatever, but the word means “Not in the Greater Chicago area”, which is a legitimate way of looking at the state. Unless you’re going to argue that Peoria is more similar to Aurora than, say, Carbondale. Which if you are, good luck to you.


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    –Extremely Segregated Schools: Our analysis of federal data found the Peoria metro area had the most segregated schools between black and white students of any area nationally, regardless of size.–

    Did not know that.

    One article found on the google states that, until recently, Peoria had 50 years of busing for racial integration.

    I take it that the segregation is a result the composition of city schools and those in neighboring districts in the metro?

    https://www.pjstar.com/news/20160807/peoria-public-schools-agrees-to-bus-kindergartners-from-riverwest-to-roosevelt-magnet


  10. - VerySmallRocks - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Among a lot of other measures, this makes creation of a more equitable funding formula for schools more impirtant by shifting revenue reliance from localized property taxes to a statewide formula funded by a progressive income tax. Not a panacea, but one way to slow segregation.


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    People, stay on topic. This isn’t about silly semantics, it’s about the very serious issue of segregation.


  12. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    This is a great report, much needed and long overdue. I grew up in Kankakee and watched this happen. Certain policies, like how school districts are drawn, can help. But it’s way more complicated than that. For example, how can we stop white flight? To me, that’s always going to be the primary cause of segregated cities and it’s almost impossible to legislate a solution.


  13. - NoGifts - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    The other primary cause of segregation is income. You live with your family in the best location you can afford. I think it’s likely that the higher income black population has also flown.


  14. - illini - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    This was a lengthy but very interesting read. In some ways it confirms what some of us have suspected for many years, but does so with statistics and hard facts that should be carefully considered.

    Anecdotally, while this study concentrated on larger cities downstate, I am fairly certain that many of the same conclusions could be applicable to smaller municipalities with measurable minority populations.


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    While racism is clearly a factor, the authors don’t address class/economics at all, which is also a large part of the discussion. Having lived in poorer (black) neighborhoods as well as in (white) student rental neighborhoods, both have their drawbacks. Renters generally have no incentive to maintain a property nor get along with their neighbors, unlike in owner-occupied neighborhoods. Many landlords in all neighborhoods profit by skimping on maintenance and packing their properties with renters, thus increasing noise and congestion.

    While I am white, my neighboring homeowner is African American. He is a great guy who is better educated and gets paid more than me, and I couldn’t be happier. Across the street is a rental that is currently occupied by a quiet young African American couple, and I far prefer them to the previous tenants, who were low income white folks who did little but sit on the porch and watch my house. Would I prefer that there be no rentals in my neighborhood at all? Absolutely (but that AA young couple would be great homeowner neighbors).

    Rentals are like a grab bag…you never know what you are going to get in the next tenant, and it can really affect your quality of life (barking dogs, loud trucks, parties, etc.). I understand why new developments maintain rules of ordinances that prevent multifamily housing because it protects quality of life and the investments made by the homeowners.

    I also see the point of the authors, that this may also act as a type of informal redlining. However, it is best to see all sides of the issue before thinking of solutions.


  16. - dbk - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:36 am:

    Many many thanks for posting, I scanned and will print/study later.

    The section on Peoria is quite solid, from what I’ve witnessed first-hand. Plenty of anecdotal evidence if anybody’s interested (my family lived in one of the neighborhoods where an attempt to re-locate the Taft Homes was made); it’s on the boundary line separating IL-17 from IL-18. Home owners formed a neighborhood association to oppose it.

    Two data points not included (or perhaps missed):

    1) Peoria was the subject of a US Civil Rights Commission Study on its school desegregation program, which failed for pretty much all the reasons cited in the piece
    https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED145053

    2) Peoria is the 5th-worst city for blacks in the U.S. according to wallst.com, which has been doing this study for years. It’s actually improved, because in the past several years it was ranked no. 1 or 2.
    https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/11/09/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-4/4/


  17. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    People separate themselves by quality of life, which is driven by income. Racial disparity in income (poverty) leads to segregation. Solve the income and poverty gap, segregation becomes less pronounced. Obviously, the income and poverty gap is driven by history, but that is going to take generations to overcome. Good Government (Universal Base Income) can help, but it can’t do it all.

    Still, even without poverty, there will be homogeneous minority communities (i.e. Homewood). These are communities that choose to live in a place with those they share a culture with. So long as poverty isn’t the driving force, that should not be frowned upon.


  18. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    . –Racial disparity in income (poverty) leads to segregation.–

    You are choosing to ignore a very long and well-documented history where black people were denied housing in certain areas solely based on the color of their skin. Income had nothing to do with it.


  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    ===You are choosing to ignore===

    Yep.


  20. - Merica - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    This type of study should also look at diversity in government hiring. Springfield is 20% African American, and I know that the City police department, fire department, Sheriffs department, and CWLP, do not reflect that level of diversity.

    Springfield is a great example of when “white-flight” goes wrong. Due to white flight, the city stopped building public pools, so now there is an inadequate number of public and private pools (it’s sad when Lincoln Illinois has a nicer swimming pool than any public or private pool in Springfield). Sherman, Rochester, and Chatham grew as a result, and their new school buildings are “nice,” but those school districts barely have better test scores than Springfield’s 186, and they all test below the state-wide average. Educational resources are wasted, some family and friends get jobs, the kids suffer.

    There is a lot of ground to cover, and hopefully a new generation will allow facilitate a more just society.


  21. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    A good point was made about Chicago, traditionally called the most segregated big city in the country. I recently visited Wildwood Elementary School on the far north side of the City, and the students were almost all white. Suburban schools in NW Cook have far more diversity.


  22. - jimbo26 - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    It is important to look at Regional Planning Commissions proposed road projects to see how white flight is promoted. Often there is little investment in the inner core of cities. In Springfield, there is a plan to extend MacArthur Blvd to Woodside Road which will make it easier to leave Springfield and live in Chatham.


  23. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    Racial segregation for racial reasons, not merely economic, has a long tradition in the Land of Lincoln. Professor James W. Loewen, who grew up in Decatur, documented that history in SUNDOWN TOWNS: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism (The New Press, 2005).

    A sundown town is one where blacks were forbidden from staying, much less living, after sundown. At times the rule was in law, while other times it was enforced less formally by police who harassed any blacks who violated the rule.

    In 1970, there were 671 municipalities in Illinois, and more than seven out of ten (475) were all white, according to census after census. Loewen asserts that most were sundown towns. In far southern Illinois, there’s a saying that the town of Anna stands for “Ain’t No N- words Allowed.” Anna and neighboring Jonesboro had signs on Hwy 127 as recently as the 1970s warning blacks to be out of town by sunset.

    It’s not just downstate. North suburban Kenilworth had racially restrictive covenants that also kept out Jews. Loewen provides ample evidence that racial segregation has not occurred “naturally” in this country, but is in large part the result of deliberate government policies.


  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    == we found local governments bear much of the responsibility for creating and maintaining segregated communities== Historians would, in an understatement, call this pattern a continuity.


  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 12:29 pm:

    The book is 34 years old, but anyone looking for historical context on this issue should read Kenneth T. Jackson’s Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. One of the most illuminating American history books ever written.


  26. - Nickster - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    Does anyone ever think that maybe races naturally gravitate to one another? And that maybe trying to interfere in human nature will just cause more problems, confusion and awkwardness which then gets misinterpreted as “hate”? That by trying to play god and interfere based on convenient assumptions, JUST MAYBE you are compounding problems? Yes? No races are precluded from living anywhere they please…but races *choose* to congregate together. Not just blacks, but *every* race does this in general.

    Maybe it’s time to just live your life, let others live theirs and stop trying to control? Maybe? Worth a try?

    If you absolutely must wring your hands about something, that’s cool, just keep it to and about yourself? Yeah?


  27. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    === races “choose” to congregate together ===

    Then why were restrictive racial covenants common? Why were there laws or unofficial policies prohibiting blacks from living in sundown towns? Why were FHA and VA loans after WWII available only to whites? It’s a myth that segregation to the degree it exists in Illinois is simply a matter of free choice. It’s on purpose.


  28. - dbk - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 1:20 pm:

    @ 12:51 pm:

    Suggestion: Read Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law (2017) and get back to us on that one.

    https://www.epi.org/publication/the-color-of-law-a-forgotten-history-of-how-our-government-segregated-america/


  29. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 1:20 pm:

    One thing that helps fight white flight is residency requirements for municipal employees. Yet you hear police and fire unions constantly complaining about this.


  30. - Nickster - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    And move on and not dwell? Yes? Worth a try? Especially with social things that may have happened half a century or more?

    Try it. You’ll be a happier person. We need more of those. If you’re married, think about trying it there as well?


  31. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Worldslinger and Rich,

    I can live in Homewood, or I can live in Naperville. I choose (using my own free will) to live in Homewood because I enjoy the people and the culture there, because it is the same as which I grew up in.. Do you have an algorithm to mine my brain about what reasoning goes into that? Has history somehow directed me to choose Homewood? String theory of history of racism and segregation is somehow, unconsciously, driving this thought process? And it’s up to you to make this determination as to my thought process?


  32. - OldIllini - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    I hope future installments cover other factors, e.g.: effect of shootings, gangs, and Hispanic populations on segregation. And vice versa.


  33. - Ole General - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    I enjoy stories like these because it’s a different byline, different towns, different official names, different buzzwords, but nothing will change because of this article or a million more like it. Why? Because people have free will. People with more money and resources, have more options and tend to relate to those with equal means. That’s how you get a Naperville or a Dunlap. My family has been in the Peoria area for over a century. Know who has bad schools where wealthy people don’t move to? Pekin. Do you want to know the percentile of white people in Pekin? It’s about 99%. Is there racial segregation, red-lining and unequal access to capital past and present? Yes. Will that change? No.

    Here’s what happened to Peoria. I forget the exact year, but Woodruff high school was closed and that led to many urban blacks/working-class whites being transferred throughout District 150. That created a ripple effect which led many people to leave Richwoods - a very respected, Peoria public school - for Dunlap and the surrounding towns. Richwoods academic and athletic achievement collapsed and now Dunlap is one of the best schools in Illinois and the country writ large. How do you stop that? You can’t unless you force people to buy in certain areas or somehow convince people that Woodruff closing wasn’t a bad thing. That failed and now Dunlap is thriving along with Metamora and Washington, while District 150 falls apart.

    Another under reported aspect within the larger story is the current fiscal problems in Peoria related to falling population and costly pension payments. That has led to Peoria cutting back services, firing police/fire personal and raising taxes. Peoria - along with a majority of Illinois small cities/towns - are merely trying to hang on right now.

    It’s a good effort and I applaud the author. Even if you had the magic pill, there is no money to buy it. Round and round we go.

    Ole General


  34. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    I plan to go home and read the linked report, but the excerpts above do not touch on the issues of environmental racism/environmental justice. ER/EJ are another disturbing aspect of segregation and inequality that I have observed across the state.


  35. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    What is so maddening about articles like these is no one practices what they preach.


  36. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 2:34 pm:

    From what I have observed in Springfield, it is more along socio-economic lines than racial per se.

    As to the District 186 schools, again more economic. The perceived white flight looked at from today’s perspective is, I think, more a result of an old, old decision by 186 to not serve kids in rural areas outside the city. Didn’t want the ling bud routes, etc. involved with rural students. So the small towns did, and as Springfield grew, and people doing well moved out to build new homes, those towns got the school kids. So was it white flight from the schools, or was it just the result of that old decision? Again, to me it shows more an economic divide that then resulted in the school effect.

    I’m not saying there aren’t racial issues in Springfield also, but I think that is secondary to the economic divide.


  37. - lost in the weeds - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    =Does anyone ever think that maybe races naturally gravitate to one another?=

    Let me explain why they have in the past. In the late 1970s I was on a fishing trip to Branson, MO on Lake Taneycomo, before Branson became what it is today. I believe there is a large hotel on the site of the motel we stayed at. As we were preparing charcoal on a grill in a park’s picnic area this white drifter comes up- young kid- wants to cook a can of beans or soup on the grill. We let him. Not long after a police car pulls up. Asks about the drifter. He then or had already advised the drifter to leave town by sundown-the police man’s words. Subsequently one of my fishing buddies asks the officer “much trouble with people stealing stuff off boats since there is a lot of docks along the shore with fishing poles etc. on them”. Officer replies no problems. The fishing buddy asks any trouble with African Americans. The officer says “what African Americans there are none here.” Fishing buddy asks what happens if they move here? Police officer says, they get burned out. Fishing buddy says what about the law? Police Officer says what law? Police officer stated his previous job was working as an officer in Du Page County, Illinois.


  38. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    ===People, stay on topic. This isn’t about silly semantics, it’s about the very serious issue of segregation.===

    Rich, thank you very much for sharing and covering this topic. I think it is easy for some folks to overlook the complicated history Illinois has with race that have been pervasive throughout the state.

    ===From what I have observed in Springfield, it is more along socio-economic lines than racial per se.===

    You should spend more time on foot down town and pay attention to those monuments about the lynch mob that lead to the founding of the NAACP.

    And then maybe ask yourself with the city has done in the last century to undo the impact of intentionally enacted racism.


  39. - Jibba - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 4:08 pm:

    Name/Nickname/Anon…glad you have resources and a choice of where to live. But this isn’t specifically about you. The point was that past racist decisions to redline minorities then subsequently fail to invest in their neighborhoods or communities led to poverty and damage that lasted for generations, through today. Failure to fund schools properly engenders uneducated people who cannot gain wealth and move out, cementing the segregated housing patterns. Maybe some succeed, like you, and are free now to live wherever, but many cannot and will not, so the problem is not “over” because discrimination is now illegal.


  40. - Oldtimer - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    Springfield District 186 missed a golden opportunity 20 years ago when the state school construction fund was flush with cash. Had they tried for a major building referendum, they could have received a state grant of up to 75% of the cost. Referendum success rates skyrocketed after the state assistance was offered. One of 186’s biggest drawbacks is its facilities. The newest high school is 50 years old, and Lindsay Elementary is the only major addition I am aware of in the last 20 years. Never could figure out why they didn’t try to improve their facilities as it would have benefited the current students and might have been a draw for people moving into the area.


  41. - redleg - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 5:37 pm:

    For the most part I agree with the opinion of RNUG and as someone like myself who has lived and experienced much more than most here have, I have found that most of the problems that has been pointed out are the same economic problems that I faced as a young person. Attitude, social attitude and personal accountability count for most of life. I could have easily went started to point the finger at everybody but myself at a young age but I made a decision to to do better at a young age. Not a soul who looked like me offered me a hand out.
    As to zoning, well, everyone who wants a apartment building, regardless of who is occupying it or how or who pays the rent, raise your hand in joy when you see the tax assessor tell you that your home is still taxed the same as other homes far away from the complex but the real market says otherwise.
    I thought so.


  42. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 5:50 pm:

    Redlining was outlawed 50 years ago. Public schools were desegregated 50 years ago. It is not official policy by any government to disciminate based on race.

    We discriminate, based on income, education, employment, and class. We discriminate based on the color of your hat, the number of tattoos, your politics and your ideology. We discriminate based on brands, political contributions, churches and size of families.

    We discriminate because we are human.


  43. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 5:57 pm:

    ==Redlining was outlawed 50 years ago. Public schools were desegregated 50 years ago. It is not official policy by any government to disciminate based on race.==

    And yet, such discrimination clearly persists.

    ==We discriminate because we are human.==

    Because we are human, we can choose not to discriminate. We can choose to be aware of our flaws, examine their causes, and work to remedy them. Or, we can throw up our hands and walk away.


  44. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 6:07 pm:

    From the article:

    “Through unspoken traditions and ingrained attitudes, as well as explicit government actions, city officials are in many ways responsible for maintaining a system that still divides whites and blacks.

    “When it comes to land use — what gets built where — governments use zoning restrictions to keep out rental housing, which attracts blacks and other minorities, from predominantly white areas.”

    What is not covered in the series, although it should be, is the impact of this embedded racism on the health of those living in minority enclaves. While government actions restrict where certain types of housing are built, they encourage the construction of industrial facilities that pollute in minority neighborhoods. It would be informative if their reporting extended the series to investigate the impacts of this reality.


  45. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 7:46 pm:

    I think an interesting point in the article is the number of governments in Illinois and how that affected the segregation. If there was a
    Sangamon County school district, depending on the number of schools, the boundaries of those districts, etc. that could eliminate a lot of the incentive to spread out Springfield, and yet be in the Chatham, New Berlin, Pleasant Plains, Rochester, etc. districts. For example, all those Rochester kids living in Springfield could end up going to the same high school as kids going to Springfield Southeast, which is the high school that takes in the east side of Springfield.


  46. - Penny - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 7:46 pm:

    Rental units near single family homes raise several issues quite unrelated to race. Young single men (or girls) rooming together having parties, wild living next door. Single men being possible dangers to children. Living near shack up situations with abuse, drugs or alcohol. This affects sadly low income people of all races. We were not happy being near apts in DC Metro for those reasons especially once we had children.


  47. - lost in the weeds - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 8:27 pm:

    Folks move away from certain residential areas as others with lower incomes move in. Home purchase decisions are based on the quality of neighborhood and schools in that area and expected changes. There is a racial element to this, as well as a income wealth element. It is happening in the Springfield area. One of the things that happened in Ferguson is that it was an area that received white flight and then it became an area of white flight from that area (Normandy where Michael Brown went to school). People were making decisions about where to live based on racial issues and the condition of the schools.

    St Louis tried a voluntary desegregation plan after a 1983 court decision- one of the last school systems to integrate. Propublica described what happened. https://www.propublica.org/article/ferguson-school-segregation


  48. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 24, 19 @ 9:39 pm:

    ==I can live in Homewood, or I can live in Naperville. I choose (using my own free will) to live in Homewood because I enjoy the people and the culture there, because it is the same as which I grew up in.. Do you have an algorithm to mine my brain about what reasoning goes into that?–

    No, but I do have a Dunkin Donuts app on my phone.

    So I have that going for me. Which is nice.

    Your Bot bit is weak, dude.

    Maybe denying that racial discrimination exists in housing ain’t a winner.


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