Show me a hero

In Light of Mr. Finks visit to our class I’d like to discuss something I feel is relevant to the topic of inequality.  Let’s take a little trip to the past. In 1987 Federal Judge Leonard Sand issued a desegregation order in Yonkers New York. He commissioned a project that required 200 housing units to be built in the west side(white) of Yonkers. Initial outcry from the public and the city council was negative and pleaded to not move forward with the plan. The fear in their minds was the cost would bankrupt the city and decrease the property value of Yonkers. In the end after much Deliberation the city complied after being fined close to one million dollars. This was due to the council not coming to a decision on the plan and the belief that every reason raised against the project was racially motivated. Even the mayor of Yonkers Nick Wasicsko ran on a platform opposing desegregation flip flopped when in the middle of the massive court fines was told it was going to happen and no action he took was going to change this. The ongoing event was adapted into a book called,”Show me  A hero,” by New York Times writer Lisa Belkin. And it was eventually adapted into an HBO mini series by The Wire and Treme creator David Simon. One interesting scene in the first part of the 6 part event was conversation between a white representative of the local NAACP and an older black member of the chapter. The white member is a young go getter and sees this project as the begginging of something bold and positive for the community. When he asks the older member why he doesn’t share in his enthusiasm he tells him “we’ve been through this game before.” That statement conveys that he has seen systematic racism for years and though it isn’t quite as prevalent as it was during his heyday he is worn out and cynical about the issue. They black community is so bitter and resentful of white people that the prospect of a unified community is laughable. The only way to ensure over arching change is to mandate it, not through a collective understanding of what’s right and wrong but through an financial imposition.

 

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