Before state intervention overturning the right for people to have freedom of association, Butler-Tarkington was a community with high social capital. [Butler Tarkington: A diverse, divide, IndianapolisNewsBeat.com, May 27, 2014]:
Considering its history, Butler Tarkington has grown to be racially diverse.
The neighborhood used to house mostly white, middle-class residents in the early to mid-1900s, according to The Polis Center’s website.
But after various civil rights movements, the African-American population increased tenfold. This change was due to the opening of neighborhoods to different races.Now... the consequences of the civil rights movement have come home to Butler-Tarkington to roost. [Neighbors hold safety walk through streets of Butler-Tarkington community, Fox59.com, 10-21-15]:
Neighbors, police officers and community leaders hit the streets in the Butler-Tarkington area for a safety walk.
“We are walking the neighborhood. We care about our neighborhood and peace in our neighborhood,” said Gregory Wilson, who lives in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood.
Since late August, four people have been gunned down in the area. The latest murder was last week. A 19-year-old was killed in an alley, an area where the group on the safety walk felt like there should be street lights installed.
“This is part of the problem: you can tell there isn’t much lighting in this alley so people can be in the dark and selling drugs. The problem is someone could be waiting for you too, so that’s the danger of it too,” said Rev. Charles Harrison with Ten Point Coalition.
The group covered 16 blocks in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. They found at least 14 street lights not working and 22 abandoned homes that needed attention.
“This is something we need to do and keep the momentum going,” said Ted Feeney, president of the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association.
Since the spike in crime, IMPD officers have spent nearly 650 hours of overtime patrolling the area.
“Somebody’s got to do something. You cannot sit in the back and peep out the window and think well they’ll do it. No, we need more than that,” said Marva Buckner, who lives in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood.
Next Monday, there will be another neighborhood meeting at the MLK Center at 6:30 p.m. This will be the third week in a row there has been a neighborhood meeting focused on safety.Somebody long ago did something: and what they did became a legal concept known as restrictive covenants.
Somebody long ago did something: individual white people collectively realized they had interests worth protecting and participating in residential segregation.
It was called freedom of association.
Long ago, people wanted peace in their neighborhoods, so they constructed legal mechanisms to offer protection from the very elements sowing the seeds for disharmony.
Butler-Tarkington in 2015 is living proof of the wisdom of our elders.