LA freeways contributed to racism and segregation!

Discussion in 'MKJ Off-Topic' started by reTiredEngr, Jun 25, 2020.

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  2. August West

    August West Points Member


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    #2
    I don’t get the Slimes.... can you CnP the article please?
     
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  3. reTiredEngr

    reTiredEngr Junior Member


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    L.A. Times
    Opinion: Want to tear down insidious monuments to racism and segregation? Bulldoze L.A. freeways
    [​IMG]
    (Los Angeles Times)
    By Matthew Fleischer Senior Digital Editor
    June 24, 2020
    11:54 AM

    Across the country, Confederate monuments are tumbling. Museums are stripping effigies of racist presidents past. Here in Los Angeles, indigenous activists toppled a statue of Junipero Serra, a canonized saint who founded the mission system that enslaved and brutalized generations of California Indians into abandoning their traditions.

    The aftermath of George Floyd’s death while in police custody has created a moment for radical truth-telling. So here’s some ugly truth about the city of Los Angeles: Our freeway system is one of the most noxious monuments to racism and segregation in the country.

    Most Angelenos don’t think about it as we spew carbon monoxide across the city on our way from Point A to Point B, but our toxic exhaust fumes feed into a pot of racism that’s been stewing for nearly a century. To understand exactly how that works, you have to know what things were like here before freeways came to dominate L.A.’s landscape.

    Los Angeles was never a paradise of racial acceptance, but in 1910 some 36% of L.A.’s African Americans were homeowners (compared with 2.4% in New York City) — tops in the nation. L.A.’s comprehensive Red Car transit system, which offered easy, unsegregated access to the region’s growing economic opportunities, was fundamental to this success. Integrated, racially diverse neighborhoods like Watts and Boyle Heights emerged and thrived along these transit corridors.

    But as L.A.’s population surged from 320,000 in 1910 to more than 1.2 million in 1930 — including tens of thousands of African Americans from the Deep South — white Los Angeles decided it was time to ramp up its own brand of Jim Crow segregation.

    These efforts took many forms — most famously racially restrictive covenants, which barred African Americans and other ethnic minorities by deed from living in houses and neighborhoods deemed “white.” Where covenants failed to keep the races separate and unequal, rising Ku Klux Klan violence targeted African American families who attempted to integrate. Bombings, cross burnings and even drive-by shootings were largely successful in keeping people of color out of “white” communities like Eagle Rock in northeast Los Angeles. Then there was Manhattan Beach, which seized the homes of every African American property owner in town by eminent domain and razed them. The city then turned the land into a whites-only park.

    But neither the Klan nor legally dubious covenants nor flagrantly unconstitutional land grabs were arguably as effective as the automobile and its attendant infrastructure at turning Los Angeles into an intentionally segregated city.
     
  4. reTiredEngr

    reTiredEngr Junior Member


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    (continued)

    When the 1944 Federal-Aid Highway Act allocated funds for 1,938 miles of freeways in California, planners used the opportunity, with full federal support, to obliterate as much as possible the casual mingling of the races.

    Local officials rerouted the elaborate designs of freeway engineers — often at considerable expense — to destroy thousands of homes in racially diverse communities. As detailed by Gilbert Estrada in “If You Build It, They Will Move,” mixed-race Boyle Heights was gutted by freeways. Despite a mandate to avoid parks at all costs, planners put lanes through the middle of Hollenbeck Park while spending millions to reroute around a park in the white suburb of San Dimas. Dozens of Boyle Heights homes were destroyed just to give white suburban shoppers easier freeway access to a Sears department store.

    Officials justified these actions as “slum clearance”— intended to upgrade the city’s supposedly crumbling housing stock. But their racially malign intent was obvious, laid bare when officials moved the Santa Monica Freeway so that it ran directly through the stately African American middle class neighborhood of Sugar Hill — anything but a slum — wiping it off the map.

    When L.A. communities of color rose up in protest at the destruction of these neighborhoods, they were ignored. White areas like Beverly Hills and South Pasadena, meanwhile, successfully fought off freeways planned through their neighborhoods. As noted by Estrada, only 61% of L.A.’s planned freeway network was built as a consequence. This created immediate traffic bottlenecks in the system, which have lingered to this day.

    Much of this freeway construction was in service of a suburban housing boom that was explicitly segregationist.

    As freeways enabled L.A.’s car-dependent suburbs to expand outward, they did so under the guidance of federal and local policies explicitly designed to keep those neighborhoods white-only. As historian Richard Rothstein detailed in his book “Color of Law,” developers who secured generous federal financial assistance were barred from building racially integrated housing by the Jim Crow federal lending policies of the day. Of the 125,000 Federal Housing Authority units built in Los Angeles County between 1950 and 1954, less than 3% of those were open to people of color.

    Freeways created physical barriers that made any non-white presence on the “white” side of the road conspicuous — and thus easier to target by law enforcement. One 1943 freeway marketing pamphlet, designed to win over reluctant white communities, boasted of the freeway’s fortress-like impermeability and ability to preserve “neighborhood character.”

    As Rothstein told NPR in 2017: “The ‘Underwriting Manual’ of the Federal Housing Administration recommended that highways be a good way to separate African American from white neighborhoods. This ... was a matter of government regulation.”

    Blocked from moving to L.A.’s pristine new suburbs, non-white freeway evictees and newly arrived Black migrants from the Jim Crow South were forced to find housing in the already overcrowded, segregated areas of South and East Los Angeles, away from established and emerging job centers — and in the middle of freeway pollution corridors.

    Those segregated housing patterns have largely persisted to this day.

    By the mid-1950s, freeway traffic was already generating unhealthy smog that began to choke the city. Facing public outrage, L.A. transit planners drew up designs for a high-speed monorail system to ease congestion along the city’s busiest corridors, including areas that would have served African American communities in South Los Angeles.

    Even greater public outrage ensued. The plan never got off the ground.

    Decades later, the effects of these decisions are not felt equally. Poor communities of color continue to suffer most from the legacy of segregation and racially motivated freeway construction through their neighborhoods. The health outcomes in these areas are bleak. Pollution kills. Children directly exposed to freeway pollution have higher rates of asthma and unnatural cognitive decline. Segregation endures.

    Los Angeles is not unique in this regard. Cities across the country made similar choices. And yet nowhere have the consequences been felt more profoundly.

    Decades of activism still haven’t overwhelmingly convinced white Americans that monuments to the Confederacy are intolerably racist. Remedying the enduring effects of white supremacy will be far more challenging — in progressive Los Angeles as much as in Alabama or Mississippi. And it will be impossible if we aren’t honest about the history that made things the way they are —and the massive undertaking it will require to remedy them.

    Something to think about the next time you’re complaining about traffic on the 10.
     
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  5. August West

    August West Points Member


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    #5
    Thank you very much for posting that.

    Sadly....I feel dumber after reading that.

    sigh
     
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  6. 901 Club

    901 Club Junior Member

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    #6
    I gave up on the LA Times some years ago, and whenever I see a story like this my decision is reinforced.

    In its defense, such as it is, it's not just the Times.

    To adapt the phrase made famous by John Milner, "The newspaper business has been going downhill since Jim Murray died."
     
  7. Troianus Acies

    Troianus Acies Junior Member


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    #7
    This is 2020.

    The civil rights historical legislation was in the mid and late 1960's.

    The incidents described occurred, for the greater part, over 60 years ago.

    The article shows what happens when a large influx of people from another area with different values comes into an area doing just fine and screws everything up with the views they brought with them that were prevalent where they came from. The article is an eye opener for many about the things that should never have been allowed to happen to folks of color.

    Over 60 years ago this behavior was placed under the microscope and largely condemned by the majority of all American Citizens with legislation in all areas of segregation, laws against educational segregation, and opportunity via changes in labor laws, minority business loans, minority preferences in the E.E.O.C. and other legislation made during and after the mid 1960's. Since then the subject of discrimination against anyone of color has been front stage politically and strongly rallied against by the vast majority of American citizens who have continually voted against anything resembling discrimination against people of color.

    This article is a historical chain of events that helped changed the way things were being handled in various states and communities in our country when it came to people of color. Simply put ... If we are not to learn from history we are doomed to repeat the same errors over again. Therefore, destroying history (as in the recent riots) is counter productive to anything and any cause.

    Further, enormous strides have been made in America and could be seen by all with the total acceptance of interracial mixing in all aspects of society. Then came the 2020 pre Wu Han virus epidemic followed by a horrible unlawful force incident with Minneapolis Police and a person of color that ended in the persons death. Again, simply stated; no matter how hard a society tries to stamp out every last trace of criminality, hate, corruption, murder, rape, robbery, racism, or any other ism...there will always be a few that will never adhere to that societies goals and laws. That is the nature of the human being...period.

    My central point in making this post is to put all on notice who wish to guilt shame the current American citizen for historical bad deeds committed in the past is pure horseshit. All those who want to label the current American citizen as racist or part of the proven non existent "systemic racism crowd" can kiss my behind. All those who wish to destroy the history of the United States, the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law in favor of some new form of socialism is an enemy of the state, a traitor,and a treasonous rat that needs to be eradicated.

    Learn the truth of history, then embrace what it shows were the errors of the past, as well as, the accomplishments and major contributions of the past that have made the United States the number one country in the world that every race, creed, color, nationality, religion, government preference and economic choice are fleeing to in droves while a minority Neo-Socialist anarchistic group of ignorant new generation American idiots are hell bent on destruction of a nation they historically know absolutely nothing about.

    "A little more to think about the next time you’re complaining about traffic on the 10."
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  8. reTiredEngr

    reTiredEngr Junior Member


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    AND they want our country to be like nations/systems they know absolutely nothing about. I wish there was a way to send these people to other countries like NK, China, Russia, Africa, Saudi Arabia and the likes to live for a few years so they can see how lucky they are to be able to live here.
     
  9. Troianus Acies

    Troianus Acies Junior Member


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    #9
    In Total Agreement with you...money would be well spent.

    How about forgiving the student debt of an individual who agrees to go to one of those "designated" countries (like Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Syria, China, North Korea) and lives there for at least 1.5 unbroken years ?...If they manage to stay alive in those countries for that long!
     
  10. 901 Club

    901 Club Junior Member

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    I have been considering the effects on various song lyrics to adapt to 2020. How will future generations ever understand freeways and all they meant if there aren't any?

    Driving down your freeways
    Midnight alleys roam
    Cops in cars, the topless bars
    Never saw a woman so alone
     
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  11. August West

    August West Points Member


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    That’s the kicker.....those pining for Socialism have never lived in a Socialist society.
    They have no idea how shitty it is.
     
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  12. AMLTrojan

    AMLTrojan Junior Member


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    #12
    I learned about this 20 years ago as an undergrad. Problem for this theory is, somehow, blacks found a way to slip past those freeway barriers. For instance, blacks aren't just in Compton and Gardena, large numbers of them also managed to find their way into Carson, Torrance, Wilmington, and Long Beach (on both sides of the 710 and 405 freeways). Also, isn't it too bad we killed off the light rail out to Moreno Valley and Palmdale -- now the poor blacks are stuck out there as well!

    Bottom line: Yes, there was horrendous racism behind a lot of public policy in the 1950s, but by the 1970s, the vast majority of that sting was fading, and by 2000, was completely irrelevant. By 2020, virtually no black homeowners who were redlined in the 1950s are even alive today.
     
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  13. TheRealAirbns

    TheRealAirbns Junior Member


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    #13
    Yup, tear 'em all down. 'Cause, like, that'll totally help. /s

    Oooo, even better, let's all act like it wasn't 60-75 years ago, and belabor the point until everyone who never even thought about it, before, has fresh wounds they can feel righteous indignation over. Yeah, that'll totally help, too. /s

    There's nothing better than a newspaper publishing this kind of stuff within a couple of weeks of race riots. Way to go, LA Times. That's totally acting like responsible members of the community. /s
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  14. SoCalN8tiv

    SoCalN8tiv Junior Member


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    #14
    Just a few thoughts...

    LA's version of "....from the other side of the tracks"?

    Same argument for there are no blacks alive connected to slavery?

    Explanation for the symbolic takeover of freeways when blacks protest against "systemic racism"?

    Very interesting article. Much I've heard and read about at USC in Kevin Starr's Planning and Urban Development Class.
     
  15. USCTFL

    USCTFL Junior Member


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    #15
    L.A Freeway
    Jerry Jeff Walker

    If I can just get off of that L.A. freeway without getting killed or caught
    Down the road in a cloud of smoke
    For some land that I ain't bought
    If I just get off of that L.A. freeway without getting killed or caught
     

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