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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 29 2012

Battle: Los Angeles (Divide and Conquer)

Please read the following article about the fires of racial tensions being rekindled due to a lack of thoughtfulness and financial equality around revised public transit plans.

Aren’t we in 2012? Why do forced relocation, crowding out, and disregard for minority, low-income communities remain issues in this enlightened age? Yet, pundits question why poverty still exists? Let me put it this way, if I wanted to screw a community over, I would do the following:

1. Build a mass transit through the middle of their neighborhood

2. Neglect to build a station for nearby access to the downtown culture and economy.

3. Take years to build said route while starving small businesses of their customers due to their being cut off!

Say what? You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! For a self-proclaimed “city of angels,” there seems to be a lot of devilish activity taking place.

The story of major transit projects in the 20th century here was the story of black neighborhoods carved into pieces. One freeway after another forced families from their homes in South Los Angeles, the core of the region’s black community. Walls of concrete were erected through their neighborhoods, which they said cut them off from wealthier parts of the city.

The Crenshaw rail line was supposed to be different. The line, a crucial link in a planned rail network that will span Los Angeles County, promised to right that historical wrong by connecting South Los Angeles to the city’s business hubs: downtown, the airport and Hollywood.

Instead, the Crenshaw line threatens to become yet another insult to South Los Angeles and a burden for businesses, some residents and community activists have said.

The Leimert Park neighborhood, the heart of black culture here, may be left without a stop on the rail line, a victim of limited money. And the train will run at street level through part of the area, which business owners fear will cut them off from their customers during years of construction.

Residential segregation is a MAJOR driver of opportunity gaps in the United States. We can’t possibly hope to fix achievement disparities while such nefarious planning continues to thrive in parts of our great nation.

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