Sun-Times columnist Mitchell takes on the issue of Blacks leaving Chicago
After a lifetime of living in Chicago, my husband is seriously talking about moving away.6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer was quoted:
It’s not just one thing that is spurring him to pack up and leave, he explained; it’s a combination of things.
He cited high taxes, crime and bad politics, but he’s obviously not alone. Black people are fleeing the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods on the South and West Sides.
Meanwhile, according to recent U.S. Census data, white people are flocking to neighborhoods near Downtown.
Chicago, once a haven for the black middle class, is no longer seen as a place of economic opportunity for African Americans.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) argues that white people are moving in as black people abandon these neighborhoods.Conclusion:
“I’m in Woodlawn right now, and there are white people walking down the street, walking dogs and jogging. People don’t mess with white people. If I walked up and down the street over here, I would probably get hit in the head, and that’s an awful thing to say,” Sawyer conceded.
“But we can make it better by staying and putting in the time and work and getting involved in your neighborhood. You can’t complain about it while you are locked up in your house,” he said.
“We may lose another black alderman as some of our wards are teetering around 60 percent black. In fact, Walter Burnett’s ward is not black. We lost the second ward in the last redistricting,” Sawyer said.
Still, the alderman is wary of the Census data.
“I don’t think as many people are leaving, as they are not being counted,” he said.
This latest Census data shows black residents want the same things other people want: employment, fair government, safe neighborhoods and good schools.Employment, fair gov't, safe neighborhoods, & good schools. How do we get any of those?
Unfortunately, too few African-Americans in Chicago can say they have any of those things.