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Letter from Cleveland
Every time I listen to your podcast I think of comments.
I have sent links to your books to two of northeast Ohio’s most popular radio talk show hosts, Mike Trivisonno and Bob Frantz.
First comment – one of your recent podcasts mentioned events that have shaped one’s views on race, and one came to mind of a family picnic back in the 70’s at a park in the eastern suburbs. At that time, Blacks were not often seen outside Cleveland city limits, but a large group of “teens” and their elders showed up at the suburban park and took over (literally) the ball field on which we were playing softball. They arrived in several cars, and just came onto the field saying something to the effect (as best I can remember) “You had this field long enough – us niggas are taking over.” I don’t remember what happened after that; there must not have been any fight – that I would remember. I think we tried to just keep playing but they spread out over the field and started playing their own game while we were still finishing.
It seemed ridiculous as I remember, but we were outnumbered. Full disclosure: we had a WORSE experience at another field in Cleveland proper, but that time it was a group of Italians (they ran that neighborhood at the time) – those guys came with 2x4s and bats and started beating a friend of my brother’s because he was half Japanese, and they claimed he was flirting with one of the Italian boy’s sister. For years afterwards we referred to that event as “Italian Baseball.”
Second comment: another thing that has affected many Clevelanders’ views on race is the loss of so many social & cultural places and events. Beginning with the closure of Euclid Beach Park in 1969 – this really turned off the generation just before me – most Whites in Cleveland blamed blacks for the closure because of the fights and crime that accompanied their presence at the free-admission park. Families stopped going because it was no longer safe; my own brother was robbed at knife point at the park by a couple “youths” when he was ten. The park subsequently shut down and now the property is mostly taken up by low cost apartments & section 8 units. The park and its downfall has a legendary status in Cleveland among whites.
Besides losing the amusement park, starting in the early 2000’s we lost The Waterloo Street Festival (S. Waterloo Road), The Old World Festival (E.185 Street), The Euclid City Summer Festival, and finally The Euclid City July 4th Fireworks. The latter event was attended by people from miles around – it was known as the BEST fireworks show within 20 miles or more. But the usual problems of uncontrollable teens causing mayhem all over the city, and especially at the city park before, during, and after the fireworks caused the city to cancel “due to financial and insurance reasons.” But ask any Euclid cop or any official under anonymity and they will tell you the same – the police could no longer keep certain people at the event and around the city in line. Of course, the fall of the city of Euclid was bad enough – at one time one of the top suburbs of Cleveland; one of the best school districts in the state of Ohio – now practically a ghetto. It’s very sad, and it makes a lot of us angry, depressed, or both.
There was another thing, but it’s slipped my mind for the moment. It’ll come to me during the next podcast.
BTW, don’t be too quick to dismiss the “White Nationalists” and segregationists. They are not all skinheads, nazis, or whackos. Do you read anything at Vdare.com
? It’s a great website. John Derbyshire is one of my favorites. Understanding these problems and their sources inexorably leads to some degree of nationalism and segregation. In small numbers, we can coexist well. But in ratios greater than say 10-15%, you and I can see it’s not working. What is the solution? Not sure, but I would say freedom of association should be an option, but that has been taken from us even though it is guaranteed by the Constitution.
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