Wow, shocking news. These folks truly have their finger on the pulse.
The highlight of the article for me is:
Kelly Edmondson, 34, of Cincinnati, is a white Democrat enthusiastic about backing Obama. …She cares for her two sets of young twins during the day and teaches college at night; most of her students are black. In the survey, Edmondson said positive words such as "hardworking" and "intelligent" describe most blacks "very well." She said a few negative traits, such as "lazy" and "irresponsible," apply "somewhat well" to most blacks.Well, yes. Exactly. I wonder what percentages a different poll would come up with – a poll which asked people their opinions of what traits the general American public shares, particularly if it were one that instead focused on class. I would imagine that there would be a fair proportion of people of all races who would characterize low-income people as "lazy" and "irresponsible." (And I'm not saying that I agree with them, I'm just saying certain leading questions are going to get a pretty predictable response. And often I think that people who do not have much exposure to people of color form their opinions based on what they see in the media - wait, this is a tangent that could comprise a whole separate post, so let me get back on point.)
In a telephone interview, Edmondson said those attributes apply equally to all races. [emphasis added]
This ties in, somewhat, with what I've been experiencing in the past couple of months. In our most recent house search, we have pretty much given up on the areas in and around where we live, which is where we have been looking for the past several months. We’ve started looking in a middle- to upper-middle class predominantly African-American neighborhood, even though that would mean a longer commute for both of us, because (1) we’d be closer to certain family members and friends (including Viva’s friends) that we see a lot; (2) quite simply, you get more for your money over there; (3) it’s a nice neighborhood, quiet with lots of trees and close to a major park; and (4) with certain addresses, we can actually get Viva into a decent public school.
I am surprised by the number of people who have said, “Why do you want to move over THERE?” and yet seem to think it is perfectly reasonable to expect us to look into neighborhoods far east of us or deep in the San Fernando Valley, which not only are further away in terms of miles, but also have a very small percentage of African-American residents. I am not surprised, but disappointed, by people who ask me if I’ve considered areas I’ve never heard of and then when I ask, “But are there any black people there?” look crestfallen and say, “Oh, I didn’t even think about that. I guess not.”
The issue is that no one asks "Why do you want to move over THERE?”about any other neighborhood where we've been looking. Hmm...if it only happened once or twice, I wouldn't think anything of it. But most people seem to be surprised that we would consider moving to a mostly black area.
One of the things that attracts me to the neighborhoods where we have been looking up until now is that there is a diversity of people – black, white, Asian, Latino, South Asian, etc. These are mid-city neighborhoods, and since we both work in the mid-city area, it makes sense for us to look there. However, this has not been fruitful, so we had to expand our horizons. One of the things that is crucial for us is to get Viva into a fairly mixed school which will also give her a good education. Fortunately, there is one in the neighborhood we’re looking at that she would be eligible to go to that is pretty balanced between white and black, with both Latino and Asian thrown in for good measure, and it has decent test scores. Neither of us is crazy about sending her to a school that is predominantly anything – whether white, black, Latino, or Asian. That is a major issue for both of us, and one which we have discussed extensively.
On the housing search: we haven’t yet found a place. Yeah. We would like to move during the first weekend of October, since the baby will be here at the end of October and I can’t imagine moving after a C-section, with a newborn. Our landlord has already contacted us about moving some of his stuff into the storage area. He clearly needs to move ASAP, which isn’t helping matters. All I can say is that when we know, you’ll know. I can’t say anymore about it at this point because it just stresses me out. As my boss said, “You’re nesting! And you have nowhere to nest!”
Yeah, it’s like that. Major suckage.