Everything in the United States is about MONEY, CLASS and RACE (which can include ethnicity or religion). If you look at other countries--it's the same story. MONEY, CLASS and RACE are attempts to limit competition for goods and services, and to give a particular group the advantage in acquiring them.
RACE is a hot topic that is generally not understood/misunderstood by most of us. Many White people who unknowingly have special advantages look back to the Civil War and say to African Americans, "Slavery ended almost 150 years ago. Get over it!" That would be easy if that were TRULY the end of the African Americans' problems. What came after slavery was a systematic policy, both written and unwritten, to eliminate the competition of a whole group of people--African descendants (remember, if you had "one drop" of Black blood" you were considered to be BLACK). Today, many of mixed heritage “I get to choose”. There was NO CHOICE before 1990.
I recently spoke with a White male about the issue of racism; he happens to be married to a Latina. He hadn't understood what she had been saying to him for 15+ years about the "uneven playing field in the US", and how she felt hurt, frustrated and angry about the outright and subtle discrimination she faced daily. BUT, he FINALLY got it--when they went on vacation in Mexico and he was charged 3x more for a beverage than a local. He was incensed about the unfairness and felt helpless, since there was nothing he could LISTENING and HEARING what his wife had been trying to explain for many years.
The situation on Williams Avenue, and in Albina's troubled past, is but an extension of this. And like the #5 post says, "they (African Americans) don't have the benefit of "white privilege" and never have, even though everyone assumes they do." When we all start LISTENING and HEARING what is truly at the root of society's issues, then we can work on moving ahead.
By the way, all of the controversy is just what the 1% wants. While middle/working/poor class Whites continue to be inflamed about issues of RACE and RELIGION, they, the 1%, keep counting their money and making deals with other 1%ers from here and other countries--NO MATTER what RACE or RELIGION to which the foreigners belong. Understand: the Power Class, 1%, doesn't want middle/working/poor White people living next door to them anymore than they want me (I failed to mention I'm African American). Bottom-line: the only thing the White 1% has in common with the White 99% is your Whiteness.
All of the little fish at the bottom of the barrel can continue to fight each other or we can fight the real issues. You decide what the REAL issues are; but we are the ones who suffer for our choices, if they are foolish.
So how REALLY IMPORTANT is this Williams Avenue Bike Lane in the scheme of things??? Not very. But remember: society is always changing--those on the bottom can end up on the top generations down the road. FACT: By the year 2040, there will be more People of Color in the United States and the WORLD than Whites. Don't dig a hole for your descendants to live in.
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