Friday, September 23, 2016

Freeway fires: A lesson in Charlotte for Little Rock

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 10:39 AM

click to enlarge SYMBOLIC: A fiery standoff in Charlotte happened to occur on one of the divisive, segregating freeways that shaped the nature of the city today. - THINK PROGRESS
  • Think Progress
  • SYMBOLIC: A fiery standoff in Charlotte happened to occur on one of the divisive, segregating freeways that shaped the nature of the city today.

Here's a deep essay from Think Progress
on how freeways and suburbanization segregated Charlotte neighborhoods and helped create the social and racial divide that exploded in that city this week.

Yes, of course, I'm thinking about a parallel with the push by the white business establishment in Little Rock to not only continue this destructive pattern but to expand it into a huge concrete gulch though downtown. Bigger and more prosperous cities all over the country and world are finding different approaches.

I don't expect better from the state highway department on dealing with Interstate 30 and its 30 Crossing plan. The state has been a promoter of regressive policies generally and segregation specifically  since before Orval Faubus. The legislature continues on that path today with education, tax and other policies.

But, damn, you'd expect more out of the people we elect to serve the city of Little Rock as directors and mayor. Too many of them think the suburbs and private schools are more important than our city and our public schools. And they defend and even subsidize that feeling with free commuting privileges on the police force, where the overwhelming residency choice of white officers is anyplace but Little Rock. 

Nobody is really surprised at the resentment and disenfranchisement felt by many in Charlotte. Little Rock is no different. Don't believe it? Venture outside your neighborhood now and then.

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