Where the Sidewalk Ends

The Visible Black Hand of Economics

It’s well documented that once black people took over political control of Atlanta, white people evacuated the city (well, and the fact they had a healthy and correct view of black crime) and created thriving suburbs; then, black people followed the prosperity whites had created in the suburban counties, eventually importing the very black lifestyle (crime, mayhem, misery, and their children, who bring down the quality of the pupils at public schools) that whites had tried to flee.

Take for instance this story from south Atlanta (an area that is overwhelmingly black), which illustrates why white people are suspicious of black neighbors [2-year-old killed, 1-year-old shot in south Atlanta, Atlanta Journal Constitution, by Greg Bluestein and Christopher Seward, 11-3-2012]:

Atlanta police were investigating a double-shooting early Saturday that left a 2-year-old dead and her infant brother hospitalized.

The shooting took place around 1:40 a.m. when someone fired at least two bullets through the bottom of the door of a red-brick house in south Atlanta, authorities said.
The bullets struck Ty-Teyanna Motley and her one-year-old brother, Isaiah, who were sleeping with their grandmother in a sofa bed behind the door, said Charlie Howard, the victims’ uncle.

Ty-Teyanna was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The boy was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Police said he was stable but in critical condition. His uncle said he suffered a bullet wound near his spine.

“We never had any problems with anybody,” Howard said. “Whoever did that was a coward. My niece was only 2 years old. If they had a problem, they should just tell us.”

Howard was in the basement of the home sleeping with his family when the bullets shattered the silence. He rushed upstairs and found his nephew screaming and soaked in blood. His niece was unresponsive.

Police said they had no leads but said the incident did not appear to be the result of a drive-by shooting. They asked the community for tips, but many of the neighbors who gathered around the house Saturday morning could offer little help.

The tragic shooting death of two-year-old Ty-Teyanna in south Atlanta (south Fulton County, an almost entirely black area) is a reminder of the reason property values – and a lack of commercial investment – in the area is so low [Housing still a crisis in southwest Atlanta/Residents hope for a rebound, but public and private efforts remain stymied, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 10-28-2012]:

The breadth of Atlanta’s epic housing collapse unfolds block by block in the cluster of historic neighborhoods just west of Turner Field.

In some areas, it’s possible to walk down entire blocks and see nothing but boarded up or fenced off properties, the owners having long since abandoned them to weeds — and thieves. Many of the properties, rehabbed before the housing market’s collapse in 2007, have been plundered for plumbing fixtures, wiring, doors and windows.

Atlanta code enforcement officers do almost daily battle with squatters occupying properties illegally, or attempting, often futilely, to convince occupants to clean trash collecting in yards.

The joys of an all-black community, where social trust/capital are but a dream. The free market has accurately captured the value of property in an all-black area, and it isn’t pretty [Unsafe streets stifle housing rebound in southwest Atlanta/Residents contend with vagrants, dealers and prostitutes. Police crack down but owners of vacant homes hard to find, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 10-29-12]:

LaShawn Hoffman’s nonprofit in southwest Atlanta can renovate a vacant home for a new buyer in a couple of months. Vandals and thieves can strip out anything of value and render the house uninhabitable in just a couple of hours.

Neighborhoods across metro Atlanta are struggling to rebound from the real estate crisis. But few face the hurdles found in the working class communities south and west of downtown.

Atlanta code enforcement officers regularly respond to complaints of squatters occupying properties illegally, or attempt, often futilely, to convince occupants to clean trash collecting in yards.

Vacant and abandoned properties have attracted drug dealers, prostitutes and squatters. Those renovated for new buyers are often plundered before they can go on the market.

The general lawlessness is a major reason some in-town neighborhoods have failed to rebound from the housing market’s collapse despite their proximity to downtown, the Atlanta Beltline and neighborhood parks. It’s also a daily affront to the residents who’ve decided to tough it out or can’t leave.

“Having children walking by vacant and abandoned houses that are open and [they can] witness any kind of illicit activity that might be going on is a huge concern,” said Hoffman, CEO of the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association.

Hoffman’s group has been attempting to rehabilitate vacant houses in Pittsburgh, where as many as 45 percent of the community’s 1,800 residences are vacant.

But some days, Hoffman feels the effort moves one step forward for every two steps back.

In 2009, the Coalition for the Preservation of Pittsburgh (PCIA) bought a two-story home with a double front porch on Humphries Street. Although the group secured the property with steel shields over the windows and doors, one door, on a second story porch, was left unprotected.

Last winter vandals pried open the porch door, and ripped out appliances and copper pipes. Wood floors were splintered as though an explosion had torn through the vacant home. Fragments of dry wall littered the rooms.

“This was going to cost me about $70,000 to renovate,” said Hoffman. “Now this will cost me $20,000 more.”

Since 2009, violent and property crimes have hit residents of neighborhoods like Pittsburgh, West End and Adair Park about two to three times more frequently than the city overall, according Atlanta police statistics. Pittsburgh’s hollowed-out streets have seen nearly four times more burglaries and aggravated assaults as the city overall.

 Adair Park and West End were once nice, white working class communities; that changed with white flight in 1950s, as the neighborhoods devolved into representing the character of the its majority occupants (blacks). Property value plummeted with the change to a majority black community. Pittsburgh was founded as a black working class suburb, but overtime became just another reminder of what black people can collectively create: low property value and blight.

When black people had the ability to move into white neighborhoods (in the 1950s, when the first black family moved into Adair Park, the white exodus began), an immediate drop in property value began. More importantly, with white flight went the job creators.

In the book Atlanta Paradox , edited by David. L. Sjoquist, we learn on p. 5 we learn:

Ronald H. Bayor notes that blacks had historically been confined to a small geographic area. With the end of legal housing segregation, the black population began to decentralize. While blacks increased throughout the MSA, the growth was concentrated largely in areas adjacent to existing concentrations of blacks, namely, south DeKalb county and south Fulton County, just beyond the city of Atlanta. As blacks moved into these area, white fled. The result of these dynamics is that better than 65 percent of the jobs are located in the northern half of the region, while more than 71 percent of the blacks are located in the southern half of the region. Furthermore, the poor are housed in the city (71 percent of the area’s poor are there). 

Evidence suggest a spatial mismatch between the residential locations of poor blacks and the locations of available jobs, and the large number of female-headed households residing within the city suggests a significant welfare-dependent population that may be untouched by the economic growth in the region.

Ah, sociology jargon from the entrenched Disingenuous White Liberal (DWL) caste in academia. Basically, what the attempted creation of a “spatial mismatch” theory illustrates is the Visible Black Hand of Economics; white people create jobs in areas where it is conducive to creating a thriving business (white areas).

As south Fulton went exclusively black, businesses closed up shop leaving a commercial void that the new majority couldn’t fill; a void that they never filled (south Fulton is located in what is known as Inside the Perimeter — ITP; much of north Fulton is located Outside the Perimeter — OTP). The Midas Touch followed whites were ever they went, with Kevin M. Kruse’s White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America) reminding us (p. 243-245):

Between 1963 and 1972, for instance, Atlanta’s share of retail sales in the metropolitan area fell from 66 to 44 percent, with the share of the once-booming central business district (CBD) bottoming out at just 7 percent. Jobs followed the general pattern… If old-guard members of the business elite, such as Coca-Cola and Georgia Power, had not remained fiercely loyal to downtown Atlanta, the decline would have been even more pronounced.  

With the Perimeter region emerging as a new economic hub, Atlanta’s businesses abandoned downtown. Back in 1960, central Atlanta had contained roughly 90 percent of the region’s office space; by 1980, it held only 42 percent; by 1999, just 13 percent. 

Gentrification is the only hope for south Fulton, with the removal of black population from Adair Park, West End, and Pittsburgh communities the only hope for property value growth. With a white population, crime levels would drop to the levels found in north Fulton. More importantly, businesses would immediately flock to the area, knowing that their investment wouldn’t require 24/7 armed guards and bars on the windows/doors.

It’s really that simple. 

Black dysfunction must no longer be tolerated. 
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