Neighborhoods paint a defining picture

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Neighborhoods basically reflect the type of people who reside within them. Neighborhoods are good indicators of the economic stability of a city. Neighborhoods tell you the social, political and economic diversity of a city as well as a city’s downfall in practicing equality and equity to all its constituents.

We all know that one’s income and credit are controlling factors used to distribute people.

People with a considerable amount of wealth or income live in opulent influential neighborhoods, while those with noticeably less are relegated to areas of subsidized or affordable housing.

We cannot deny there are a disproportionate number of people of color forced to live in areas they find less than desirable but lack the income to live in an area more to their liking. More than likely you will find better amenities in more high scale communities, including: better schools, stores, and recreational venues. In middle and upper class neighborhoods you are apt to find sidewalks, better lightning and more police presence in monitoring the safety and protection of the residents.

In some upper middle class areas, you have gated communities with hired personal security. You have living areas where you pay homeowner’s association fees that make sure the neighborhood meets certain accepted requirements. The reality is that you get what you can afford whether right or wrong. Neighborhoods show disparities in incomes, often separating the haves and the have-nots.

Often you have local residents wondering how so many people arriving in a city such as Nashville can afford to buy and live in communities with high costing homes, condominiums, or apartments that they find totally unaffordable. It is a harsh reminder of the disparity in the distribution of wealth and the economic divide so evident between people, especially Blacks and Whites.

Many predominately Black neighborhoods are being replaced with new expensive dwellings keeping many Blacks desiring the location from staying, due to higher property taxes. Many middle class potential African American buyers or renters are finding prices in neighborhoods undergoing gentrification unaffordable. They feel priced out.

The banks may be the biggest culprits in controlling the ethnic city of a neighborhood by denying many Blacks home loans to buy in specific desired neighborhoods. It is often alleged that Whites with the same credit ratings or history as their Black counterparts are given home loans by certain banks, who turn down the Black applicants.

When you connect the dots, it is easy for one to derive that certain parties within the city’s political circle, complicit with developers, investors and banks, decide the location or relocation of a people into a certain neighborhood. It becomes plain to see why some desired exclusive opulent communities are for all practical reasons segregated with White upper class residents, while poorer neighborhoods with struggling people barely making a living wage.

Unfortunately, the economic status or ethnicity of a people often dictates how they are treated by the city as a whole. Everyone has an obligation to work to make sure their neighborhood is the best it can be cosmetically and in helping to keep it safe, but it’s apparent that some neighborhood are operating from an added advantage.

It just makes sense to me that everyone would want to live in a safe loving community in a lovely home where they feel safe and protected. Are cities doing everything possible to realize this dream?