For a while, the town’s fortunes seemed to improve, especially after a large Viking Range manufacturing facility opened there in 1990. But Viking was sold in 2012 and the new owners laid off a large part of the local workforce. Today, the town is two-thirds black and, in important ways, still deeply segregated. Most of the white students go to private academies while black students attend public schools, and its residential areas are divided between two extremes: the leafy boulevards of the affluent white section and the historically poor, black Baptist Town, which is so little changed that it stood in for a 1960s Jackson neighborhood in the movie The Help. [my underlines]
It underwent a brief renaissance in 1995 after its former resident Morgan Freeman opened an upscale restaurant and the Ground Zero Blues Club next to Clarksdale’s storied blues museum. But the restaurant has since closed and entire blocks of the downtown area currently stand abandoned. [My underlines]Now pay attention:
As for Tchula, it’s currently listed as the fifth-poorest town in the nation with a population of more than 1,000. Its last two industries—a sawmill and an apparel factory—closed long ago, and more than 15 percent of its residents are unemployed. Carthan said he has sought help from foundations and state and federal agencies, but his proposals for economic development projects have all been rejected. “Businesses don’t want to come to a town like Tchula,” observed Anthony Mansoor, who owns a hardware store downtown. “That bothers me. The people in this town worked so hard to get to where we are today, and in a lot of ways, things are better. But the town is broke. That’s the bottom line.” [my underlines]Long ago we presented The Sequental Equation:
+I;S;E;P;M He called this the sequential equation and it reads as such: the positive intellectual transformation of society (+I) stands firmly behind the social trasnformation of society (+S). All social problems are economic (+E) and all economic problems are political (+P) and military aims presuppose politial objectives (+M)The problem, as usual for those who are more worried about social acceptance than of self-sufficiency is that the political was put before the economic. So now the black folks are left with the political apparatus in Miss. but lack the economic power (+E) to actually be effective. Check and mate.
The situation is impossible to ignore: Among the key towns of the civil-rights era, those with the largest black majorities are frequently in the most economic trouble. [My underlines]Why are they in economic trouble (-e)?
For the most part, black residents were left to grapple with an economic system that had been designed specifically to keep them in low-wage agricultural jobs.And how was that done?
blacks who took part in the voter registration drives were often fired from their jobs or denied credit at stores and banks.Those who controlled the money kept it from those who didn't. -E in effect.
Carthan and the board of aldermen set about getting federal grants to make much-needed improvements: “Put in a sewer system, one of the first day-care centers in the state, paved streets, built houses and a free clinic, started a transportation system and a feeding program for the elderly.” These changes were a boon to Tchula’s poorer residents, but they produced few jobs. For the most part, black residents were left to grapple with an economic system that had been designed specifically to keep them in low-wage agricultural jobs. [My underlines]Imagine that. I wonder WHO put in the sewer system. I wonder WHO paved the streets. I wonder WHO built the houses. Were the black residents the ones who built it with skills they could monetize? If not those grants were basically a jobs program or a money transfer from the fed to the white residents. Happens all the time. I see construction work in black communities with the sole black employee holding a flag waving at traffic.
Today, Carthan’s vision for Tchula has partially come to pass. The town of about 2,000 residents is governed entirely by black elected officials, and every house has running water. No one in Tchula gets fired from their jobs or is denied credit for upsetting the status quo, as happened frequently during the civil-rights era. The problem is, few people have jobs. Where local workers once harvested cotton or drove tractors on white-owned plantations, or toiled in the local sawmill or coat factory, there is today no visible means of economic support. Dwindling government grants and long commutes to jobs elsewhere are all that’s left.And when automation of manual labour is complete Tchula will be done. But Tchula is a prime example of the FAILURE to follow the Sequential Equation and the long term consequences of failing to follow Garveyite type ideologies. +E before +P. Now lets look at there other example town: Philadelphia.
But after decades of public notoriety and internal strife, Philadelphia has become one of the most successful towns in the region. The economy is diverse, drawing on a mix of farming, manufacturing, forestry, and service industries, with the added boon of a nearby Choctaw Indian casino. The county has also set up an enterprise incubator to provide office, manufacturing, and warehouse space to startup businesses.Given the "performance" of the black folks in Tchula, let us ask a pertinent question: How much of the difference in Philadelphia is due to the black population alone? On cue with the answer:
James Young, the town’s black mayor, says this economic expansion was possible only because white residents faced the shame of their past. “People didn’t turn away,” Young said. “They didn’t move away.”In other words, Philadelphia would be a Tchula IF the white population left. In other words, the black mayor has admitted, on record, that it is the white population that is responsible for the maintenance of that town. Does he realize exactly what he is saying? Let me say it: "This economic expansion was possible ONLY because the white residents." Whether they "faced the shame" or not. For all this mayor knows, the white residents couldn't really give two cents about the past. It could be the case that they decided that LIKED being in Philadelphia and wanted to stay.
When federal court-ordered school integration came during the 1969–70 school year, Philadelphia chose not to establish all-white private academies as other nearby towns and cities had done. “I think the people had examined their souls, really, and the decision was made to keep the schools integrated,” Molpus said. Louisville, 30 miles down the road, was culturally and economically similar to Philadelphia, but its white residents decided to send their children to private academies, Molpus said. Today, Louisville is economically depressed.A couple of things on this: 1) The part about the integrated schools only underscores the black dependency angle. It is not that the white students are doing poorly without black students. It is that the black students apparently suffer in the absence of white students. That's pretty shameful to say. I don't believe for one minute that any group of people requires people of another group to be present for them to do well academically. To believe otherwise is to believe that black people are inherently inferior to other groups. Of course if you are reading this Atlantic piece carefully, that is exactly what they are saying. 2)I took the liberty to look at the demographics for both Philadelphia and Louisville. Lets look at the media income for each: Louisville:
Estimated median household income in 2012: $23,531 (it was $27,485 in 2000) Philadelphia:
Estimated median household income in 2012: $32,353 (it was $26,438 in 2000) So we see that Philadelphia has a growing median household income vs. Louisville that has a declining median household income. Molpus asserts that it is due to Louisville not integrating it's schools. I call bullshit. We already know from the Tchula example that the black population is NOT the source of job creation in these towns (don't hate me hate the report). So it stands to figure that something else is largely responsible for the difference in median income. Returning to the demographics lets look at the populations: Louisville:
Black alone - 4,078 (61.5%)
White alone - 2,410 (36.3%) Philadelphia:
Black alone - 3,693 (49.4%)
White alone - 3,524 (47.1%) So we see that Philadelphia has 10% more people described as "white alone" than Louisville. Philadelphia also has 12% less black people than Louisville. I think that the difference in the populations explains much more of the differences in median income than "integrated schools". And incidentally it costs more to live in Louisville and the costs of property are higher. This generally implies that there are some relatively wealthy people there and the lows are dragging down the median income numbers.
According to Patterson, such grants are few and far between. Asked what the town needs most, she replied, “What do we need? We need everything. But now we need police cars foremost. Our streets need to be redone. We need to try to find somebody to open some businesses. Nobody is really coming in until we get our infrastructure improved.”What about NAN? What about the Urban League? How about all those millionaire ball players? Entertainers? I dunno, anybody other than the same folks and the government? After all, if we cannot or are unwilling to build among and with our own, why should anybody else do it?