Classroom Anecdote 1: Red-Lining

Last semester, my professor (a white liberal woman who also works as a journalist) brought up “red-lining,” mentioning that she had done stories about it in the past.  After she mentioned the phrase, she asked if we were familiar with the it.  One student piped up in the back – a black girl from the East Coast who was majoring in “black diaspora studies” (gag me).  She pointed this out as she began to describe red-lining.  Basically, she has been told by her black diaspora studies teachers that companies don’t build in black neighborhoods because “muh racism.”  Whole Foods was used as an example, probably because it is a store frequented mostly by white people.  The white liberal teacher nodded in complete agreement as the black student described how horrible white people are ignoring black neighborhoods.  She spoke about how her hometown lacks certain stores and that she was surprised at the stores that are available around campus.


Now, earlier that same class period (so basically within the hour), this same girl told us about her final paper for the class during a discussion.  She wrote about a friend of hers who was shot and killed in her hometown.  She told us he was a drug dealer but “everybody’s friend.” One day, he was shot by three people in a drive-by shooting.  It’s amazing that she is confused as to why Whole Foods isn’t rushing to build a new location in that neighborhood.  And it’s infuriating that instead of acknowledging the fact that crime may deter them from building there, she instead opted for “muh racism.”  Do they not build there because there’s black people or because these black people are driving around shooting drug dealers?

Red-lining is just another consequence of looking at a phenomenon and attributing racism to it – much like looking at prison demographics and inferring a racist criminal justice system and ignoring that blacks actually are committing the crimes that got them there.  It’s funny because they are using the same inductive style of thinking that they accuse racists of.  For example, not all blacks are bad just because you saw one on the news committing a crime.  Well, companies are not racist because they don’t benefit from setting up shop in a certain crime-ridden neighborhood ya dope.

This is what they are teaching in universities across the land, my friends: nothing is your fault if you’re black – it’s those damned white devils trying to keep you down! (Sigh)


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