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View Diary: Milwaukee – A Third World City (53 comments)

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  •  Yep (11+ / 0-)

    In the early 90's, when I lived on the East Side, racism was rampant.  I couldn't believe some of the shit I was hearing in the bars.  I grew up in Racine, and racism is no stranger there either, but people my age were pretty cool.

    In Milwaukee it was a different story.  N-word this, lazy welfare queen that...  It was shocking.  I spoke my piece, every chance I got.  Eventually, people knew not to talk that way in my presence.

    One thing that I heard pretty frequently (not sure if it's true) was that we had the highest welfare payout in the country, except for Alaska.  So, according to these racist Einsteins, that's why we had so many "lazy n-words" that came to Wisconsin for the welfare.

    I would argue that no, they came for the jobs because we had such a vibrant industrial economy.  It was a place where Blacks could have a real chance at a middle class life.  Then when the industries dried up, jobs became scarce and you've got blue-collar whites looking for someone to blame...

    Basically, Milwaukee was/is full of Archie Bunker types.  the racism there is very different from the racism I saw in the south... hard to explain, especially since I'm white.  But it is just as brutal.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:20:09 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  WI racism is the type born of ignorance (7+ / 0-)

      White Wisconsinites living outside the cities, espeically Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee, simply never have any personal interaction with minorities. With no personal reference point, pretty much any racist bunk sounds plausible to these people.

      I've heard racism is "different" in the south too. I epxect it has to do much with the fact southern whites are much more likely to have personal experience interacting with PoC.

      •  Waukesha would be even... (5+ / 0-)

        More expensive without its illegal immigrant workforce.

           As i keep on saying in 20 years Waukesha will majority spa ish speaking.

      •  correct observation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        congenitalefty, Will Smith

        I grew up in the South but moved to Minnesota about 25 years ago. You are right; it is different.

        With parts of my family, all black people were n***s, unless it was someone known on a personal level. Once it was personal, they had a chance to achieve: "He's black - but he's okay." Still not what you would call enlightened, but it could be worse.

        In the homogeneously white enclaves of the Upper Midwest you may never know a non-white on a social basis, so there is not even an opportunity to evolve to the "He's okay." stage.

        Ergo, everything you know about non-whites you learn from pop culture and the media. If you grew up in an integrated setting you would not think it would be possible to be that insulated from different people but, believe me, lots of people around here live their whole lives that way.

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 11:01:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Grew up just north of Milwaukee (9+ / 0-)

      about 20 miles south of Fond du Lac. Fitzgeraldstan.

      Heard everything you said. N-word tossed about, send them all back to Africa... and don't get me started about what I heard about what we should do to gays & lesbians.

      The republicans have mastered the I'm-not-a-racist racist dogwhistle here in WI. Tommy Thompson went all around the state talking about "giving the shaft to Milwaukee" and how he didn't share "Milwaukee values". Northern white-trash-talk for "keep the n's in their place".

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