Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Paradise Lost.Virginia Beach Virginia.
I moved to the State of Virginia in 1991 from New York.When I moved here New York was exploding in racial tension.Rev Al Sharpton was on the streets protesting police brutality and racism in the Italian American section of western Brooklyn call Bensenhurst.I was young and impressionable at the time.Racial polarization was sharp back then.Then two months later the Rodney King incidence happened.HBO ran a documentary that year on the skinheads in Alabama.All around the country it looked like a race war was brewing.So when my family moved here we did not know what to expect.The pay here was very bad compared to New York and we all suffered because of the recession.I first got a job in the state at a gas station.It was owned by a White man who had kids my age.A southern man he was the first White Southerner I met.I was surprised how tolerant they were.In fact I found the South was nothing like I expected.I saw Blacks and Whites living and working together.Surprisingly I found Whites knew more about our condition and sympathetic than I thought.I believe racism is what America is bred on and in the South everyone knew their role.Whites knew they were in charge and Blacks knew they needed Whites and both needed each other.Many Whites here lived overseas and were more cultured and educated than I believed.I grew up watching the Dukes of Hazzard and my view of White Southerners were they were racist or simpletons.Recalling the movie "In the Heat of the Night" or To Kill a Mockingbird novel.I started my own events and vending business.At a young age I was making so much money.This was a new frontier.New housing developments brought Blacks,Asians,Latinos and Whites together as neighbors.I saw White kids and Blacks playing sports together riding bikes together ect.Something rare in New York.Black professionals and police were equal parts of the community and White kids saw authority figures of different races.Out of this came a harmony and produced one of the top cities in the nation.
Ten years later Sept 11 happened.
When Sept 11 happened the same year earlier the Navy announced it was moving 20,000 servicemen to the area.Most of them coming from the deep south,mid west,north west,and even New England.These new residence were mostly White and were coming from predominately White regions.The multi racial safe haven of Virginia Beach was about to change.Another factor adding to this was the influx of gangs and rift rafts moving in from poorer surrounding cities now changed the viewpoint of the Whites in this city.Before this no one looked at race and crime together.Now along with the new residence they did.Now Whites are very much the effective majority backed by the influx of Whites into the region,they no longer have to cater to minorities.Over the last 10 years the number of Blacks killed by police is up.We Blacks in this city who bought into the racial harmony and inclusion feel duped.Now we feel alienated in a city we help build and made it what it is.Now with the gang problem we have now no Black organization to address this, and Black on black crime middle class African Americans once immune to are now seeing bodies pill up.What to do?Most blacks and whites get along so how do we address our issues in a city that prides itself on racial harmony?We have no identity,no one wants to be seen as a troublemaker,or angry.This is Paradise Lost.