|Birmingham under Black-control (since 1979) is an example of "reverse colonialism"|
It is on p.238 of There's Hope for the World that Arrington writes these words:
"In the chamber of the Birmingham City Council, on one of its walls, is the following slogan: "Cities Are What People Make Them."Recall that 76 percent Black Birmingham's City Council recently passed an ordinance banning the building of new payday or Title Loan stores. Cities truly are what people make them.
In 2007, The Birmingham News published a ground-breaking series that, for all intents and purposes, was a penetrating look at the legacy of the city since the Civil Rights victory and the consequences of Black-rule for Birmingham [Which Way Forward?, by Jeff Hansen, 3-11-2007]:
In the 80 years from 1890 to 1970,the city of Birmingham had a mix of people that was about 40 percent black and 60 percent white, with most black residents segregated into areas with poorer housing close to industrial sites. Beginning about 1970, the mix began to change as whites left the city. By 2005, Birmingham’s population had flipped — 76 percent black and 22 percent white.Some of Birmingham’s aging neighborhoods have become islands of the poor. A recent Brookings Institution study found that 28.9 percent of residents within the city limits live in poverty — the eighth highest percentage among America’s 100 largest cities.
What can we call this? White people abandoned Birmingham to Black majority rule, so perhaps we can call this "reverse colonialism".
It is this article from the "Which Way Forward?" series that showcases the frightening consequences (especially the financial consequences) of what the deeming of "Restrictive Covenants" as Unconstitutional meant for the long-term viability of neighborhoods that go majority Black [Blight: "It was a real nice neighborhood", Birmingham News, Thomas Spencer, 3-11-2007]:
In 1965, Virgia Wallace’s parents paid $10,000 for their piece of the American dream, a two-story, fourbedroom house in then-predominantly white Fountain Heights. Perched on the hill just north of downtown, the Wallace home had a view of the city skyline and beyond to Red Mountain. Wallace remembers her father walking to work at Loveman’s department store. “It was a real nice neighborhood,” Wallace said.
But the retail jobs left downtown, nearby industries shut down and the drain left holes in the community.
As years passed, Wallace, now 66 and an English teacher at Huffman High, watched families move away. Between 1980 and 2000, the census tract that includes her home lost 39 percent of its population. Paint peeled on the abandoned houses. Windows were broken. Porches slumped. The house across the street burned and wasn’t rebuilt, leaving a vacant lot of scraggly privet and tall winter-brown grass littered with wind blown paper and plastic bags.
An apartment complex up the street began renting to “a different kind of people,” Wallace said. They weren’t invested in the community. They sold drugs. The neighborhood became plagued with burglaries and violence.The older generation that stayed kept their houses neat, their yards trimmed, beds planted with flowers. But they also ornamented their windows and doors with burglar bars. In the early 1990s, Wallace fled the crime and blight that became the standard in neighborhoods across the inner city. She bought a house in Roebuck. After she left, the old home was broken into several times. Windows were broken, replaced with plywood. There didn’t seem any sense trying to sell it. “There wasn’t anyone interested in buying it,”she said.
Today, Wallace still owns the home. It has an assessed value of $11,300, just $1,300 above the price her parents paid 42 years ago.Retail jobs left downtown Birmingham because the capital, white people, left the city. Since the remaining Black population had no purchasing power - or credit (thus the need and reliance for payday and Title Loan stores now instead of banks) - the commercial viability of the new, shiny, post-civil rights Black-run Birmingham was incapable of zilch.
Most shocking though is this: the author didn't take into account inflation. Since the majority-white Fountain Heights went all-Black, we are told the house only appreciated in value by $1,300. Because most journalist have no financial acumen, they can be forgiven for this transgression against the monetary literate among us.
According to "The Inflation Calculator":
What cost $10000 in 1965 would cost $65085.24 in 2007.
That same house would cost $65,000 today. You are looking at an 83 percent drop in value from the days when Birmingham was still under white control, as compared to the value of the home post-civil rights era and the institution of Black-control in The Magic City.
Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2007 and 1965,
they would cost you $10000 and $1553.07 respectively.
Factor that out across the whole neighborhood, and you begin to realize the enormity of the financial impact that Black people have had on property value. Now, think of areas of the city that once maintained high property values (when whites resided in the subdivisions) and that were capable of both appreciating on a yearly basis and generating tax-revenue for the city to grow.
Do you now understand the concept of "reverse colonialism?"
The true costs of the turning of Birmingham over to Black-rule are... demoralizing. [Can these neighborhoods be saved/The blight in our midst, Birmingham News, by Thomas Spencer, 8-19-2007]:
79 percent of the 20,997 homes in Jefferson County that are considered less than 50 percent good by the county Board of Equalization. Sixty percent of them lie within the city of Birmingham, where 1 in 5 homes is in poor condition.
79 percent of the 8,595 properties in Jefferson County that have been in the hands of the state — many of them essentially abandoned by owners with property taxes unpaid — since at least 2005. Sixty-eight percent are in Birmingham.
The exodus created a broken real estate market in depressed neighborhoods where sellers outnumber buyers — and a city where thousands of houses and apartments were left to decay. What’s more, the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham predicts urban blight will continue to swell.
The commission projects that by 2030 the number of households will decrease by 17 percent in East Lake and Woodlawn, 22 percent in the neighborhoods around the airport, 27 percent in North Birmingham, 13 percent in Pratt City and Ensley, and 17 percent in West End. Since 1990, the city of Birmingham has demolished 7,948 single-family houses. This year, the city plans to spend $750,000 tearing down 423 more. Even at that pace, a backlog of more than 200 homes will remain. And the list keeps growing.
Wealth has evaporated in Birmingham faster than a spilled glass of water in the hot Southern summer sun since the take-over of the city Black-political control.This is the legacy of what the civil right movements has done to one American city.
This is "reverse colonialism."
Factor that 83 percent depreciation in property value from the home highlighted in the story above across the whole city (Blight caused by the new Black majority) and you realize the importance of restrictive covenants in maintaining not just the financial integrity of a community, but actually maintaining a community with any social capital as well.
Cities are what people make of them...