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Old Posted Feb 20, 2019, 2:20 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
The City
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago region
Posts: 19,617
Originally Posted by Halsted & Villagio View Post
Various forum members appear to be taking way too much joy in this decision for my liking. The bottom line is putting up roadblocks to one of the most important developments to ever occur on the Southside is asinine. As long as the Southside is the way that it is, dare I say, this city will NEVER be all that it can be. We have already lost Amazon because of the "perceived" crime problem (that issue being chief among others of course), and there is no telling how many countless old/new residents and old/new businesses that we are losing because of the "crime" problem that dogs Chicago vis-a-vis the Southside.

New York did not become the NY that we now know it to be today until it cleaned up/lowered crime in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Harlem. The Southside is that area for us today. Los Angeles did not become the LA we know it to be today, until it cleaned up South Central. Hell, Paris would not be Paris if it had a whole section of its city with a major crime problem. These are just random examples but you get my point. Recognize that any joy you are feeling right now comes across as extremely short sighted and yes, partisan and is likely rooted in the "us" versus "them" mentality that is at the very heart of the problem with Chicago today. That "us" versus "them" mentality is deeply rooted within Chicago/rooted in racism (for some)... that mentality has led to racial redlining, disinvestment and the ridiculous segregation we still see today... and it is that very mentality that has stoked fires/raised resentment and hostilities, and yes, spurred violence.

This is just not some city... any city... this is Chicago! A place with IT ALL. We have EVERYTHING here to maintain and grow our status as a player on the world stage. The only thing holding us back is us. Period. The choice -- keep an old run down park that is rarely used by Whites... a park that has already been changed and modified many times over... out of some archaic notion of preserving that which is already UNpreserved. Or give the Obama's.... and yes, the dreaded Oprah (I noticed how someone here very neatly dropped Oprah into this discussion to further division)... give them that which they want and at least give the library a chance of spurring turnaround on the Southside. Which choice has the better chance of changing fortunes on the Southside? Of course you know which one does. To be sure, the Obama Library is no magic elixir or cure-all for what ails the Southside, but it is damn sure better than the nothing we are getting right now. It at least offers hope. And hope my friends, is a dynamic that pays incalculable dividends.

That said, I am still confident that this happens…. in Jackson Park. I think "reason" prevails in the end. But of course I could be wrong. Time will tell.
Nobody disputes that, but the Obama Museum is not what will change this.

Immigration to these areas will. We need more people of various backgrounds making these areas their home, and that doesn’t have to mean gentrification (although property values rising from $25k for a home is a good thing)
Don’t let irrational fear and anecdotes take us back to the Dark Ages. Data and facts need to guide public policy.
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