Town and Gown: The Eviction Parade and our own moral hypocrisy over the 47 percent | Street Jazz

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Town and Gown: The Eviction Parade and our own moral hypocrisy over the 47 percent

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I always love the whole idea of Town and Gown, when a university comes to the city it resides in and asks, “How can we help you in these difficult times? Maybe we could write a check?

Oh, wait . . .

Picking up a copy of The Arkansas Traveler yesterday , I read an excellent article by Jack Suntrup - “UA Expansion Forces Residents Out of Homes.”

I know this dance.

In 2011, the University of Arkansas bought the entire area of Brenda Drive and Court Street, and since that time, residents of the street, dwindling in number, have been signing month-to-month leases.

In total, seven people live in the area in question.

So why the big deal? Why waste Internet space on something that happens every day, and besides, the UA needs Lebensraum . . .

Well, Babbitt-like Reader (hoping you’re not), because this is something that may never touch you, but when you go out in public, you may well find yourself surrounded by those who have been summarily thrown out of their homes in the name of progress.

And those who rent on a month-to-month (or even week-to-week) basis are so often overlooked by the rest of us. It’s often an unpleasant existence, and your life is filled with economic dread.

As one woman in the article, Nancy Dreyo, noted, renting on such a basis - and then being given the notice to vacate - does not give residents the time they need to move out, especially when they are disabled.

Dreyo, who is semi-retired, was quoted in the article as saying that not only her son, but another man the reporter spoke to were on disability.

“Nobody has a great deal of money,” she said.

John Diamond, associate vice-chancellor for University Realtions, told the reporter that since the UA’s plans to demolish the homes had been no secret, the residents should be prepared to move on “short notice.”

Short notice.

We are all aware of the realities of the housing/apartment world, and the bitter truth is that some of these folks may well end up in homes worse than what they live in now, simply because they won’t be able to come up with:

First month’s rent

Last month’s rent

Security deposit

Ah, maybe the UA will spring for it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if sometime, somewhere, somebody running for office addressed the issue of people who are chucked out of their homes so that something pretty can be put up?

We have been venting our spleens aplenty the past couple of weeks over Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remark, as if somehow that makes us morally superior. But in our own communities, the poor and the disabled, members of that 47 percent, are removed from their homes all of the time to make room for expansion projects, or apartments that offer “eco-living.”

We don’t offer up a word of protest.

Our political candidates prattle on about everything they can think about, but will never, ever, broach the subject - a pox on all their houses.


Quote of the Day

“Here is a test to determine if your mission in life is completed. If you are still alive - it isn't.” - - Reminders for the Advanced Soul from Illusions - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Richard Drake

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation