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Onyte9

Projects....

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It seems like so many housing projects are built in such prime location. I cant help but wonder what was tore down to make way for these terrible buildings. Edgefield and Germantown are so close to projects that you know parts of these beautiful neighborhoods were demolished to make way for them. I'm not real big on government housing becuase 80% of the people on the program are just too lazy to work. Which makes it that much worse that these things are even built. I know its not realistic but I think it would be great if somone were able to buy out a whole project housing complex thats really close to downtown, demolish it and build a nice neighborhood on it. Not condos, single family homes. I know it would never happen but its just a thought.

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There's light at the end of this tunnel...perhaps not sun-like, but things are happening. For example, the projects adjacent to Ellington Parkway were all recently demolished and in their place is now a neighborhood of really pretty houses, all in complementary colors. It looks really, really nice. The HOPE grants, for which Nashville is lucky to have, have really changed the landscape of some of these urban "mistakes." The next one to go I believe in off Buchanon Street off Charlotte.

I was taking a short cut yesterday through the projects off Shelby Avenue yersterday and two things struck me. They weren't as bad as I'd always envisioned (but, of course it was daylight) and the other was the beautiful hillside locations and huge trees that, as you said, would make incredible urban neighborhoods. These were built in the late 40s or early 50s I think.

Time will tell what will ultimately become of these places. It seems much of the inner city is re-evaluating the land and looking at plans to reclaim much of this area. The dilemma that follows is where these low income people will go. It appears there's a major shift to areas in South Nashville around Antioch. From my perspective, that's fine with me. Besides, more amenities and more space is available to them out there. I do hope we continue to provide truly affordable housing to those of lesser means, but the projects themselves are certainly not healthy environments.

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If you want to die of a crime, live in the projects. If you want your daughter raped, live in the projects. If you want to see drug dealing, live in the projects. There is no self esteem in the projects. And although I am a liberal, I am 100 percent against the projects. Jesus said to keep your cloak clean and get in the well to heal yourself. Buddah talked about enlightenment, and many other religious icons mentioned self reliance and self preservation as glory to God. America has done a disservice by allowing projects to exist. It is one way to keep blacks out of the ecomomic feast we call America. Projects go back to Jim Crow and other racist policies of this country.

Nashville can take the lead and eliminate projects. It is unfortunate that some will become homeless, but that is the only way they will learn. :thumbsup:

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When people say low income people at first sound it makes you think of someone whos a hard working man struggling to pay the bills and raise a family, but most of the times thats not the case. It makes me sick thinking I support a life of drugs and crime for someone who thinks they have to go out and rob and steal just to put food in their kids mouths. I'm not against helping people but many many of these people could get a job just and support a family just as easy as me. Welfare was created with good intentions but once everyone figured out how to work the system it was completely ruined. I dont understand how a perfectly healthy man can stay at home, do drugs, get food stamps, get a welfare check, and get assisted living for his whole life. Now I'm in no way upper class I'm towards the middle now but I was raised by a single disabled mother(blind) with two children so we had it bad growing up. Just wanted to throw that in so no one thought I was some rich guy bashing poor people. But most of the people in those projects have the exact same shot I had growing up. I grew up a few blocks from the Preston Taylor projects and almost everyone of the friends I had growing up from there are either dead or in jail probably 85% at least. It just eats me up in more ways than one. I just dont understand how the government can let a prime breeding ground for drugs, prostitution, and crime just stand for 50 years pretty much untouched. I'm with you guys I hope we can take the lead and eliminate projects. I wont feel sorry for anyone that gets put out because a Mcdonalds salary is enough to pay for a decent place to live if you dont blow all your money on drugs and car rims. Besides if we did eliminate these urban mistakes and the program was no longer available in our city they would just move to Atl or Memphis. I had it rough growing up and I did great for myself so I believe I have every right not to feel sorry for people that are too lazy to get a job. Also the projects off of Shelby arent that bad.. go through Jo Johnston, Dodge City, or University Court. They are much better examples wasted lives and breeding grounds for killers, drug dealers, and drug users. This is a subjects that has been eating at me for a good while and with all the thinking Ive done I find no justification for the government to continue to let places like this exist. I will never in my life support helping people that dont need it or taking prime peices of land and destroying it for crime infested tax dollar pits.

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I'm not against helping people but many many of these people could get a job just and support a family just as easy as me.  Welfare was created with good intentions but once everyone figured out how to work the system it was completely ruined.  I dont understand how a perfectly healthy man can stay at home, do drugs, get food stamps, get a welfare check, and get assisted living for his whole life.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There's never been a welfare program in the United States that has given a check to an adult unless that adult is disabled--and then it's a social security disability check.

The majority of people on both food stamps and medicaid are employed. Those programs function as direct taxpayer subsidies to the payroll departments of WalMart, McDonald's, etc.

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I don't know if any of you realize this, but housing projects were much more working-class from the 60s and below then they are in decades after. Take New Orleans for example, we have some of the worst projects in the country: Magnolia, Melphomine, Calliope, St. Bernard, Florida & Desire. The Florida and Desire projects got knocked down because they had excessive violence & poverty. St. Thomas got demolished because it was right at the lower end of the Garden District. Think about it, a housing project right in a good area. Now Wal-Mart and mixed income residence occupy the former St. Thomas development.

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I'm not real big on government housing becuase 80% of the people on the program are just too lazy to work.

I'm not real big on folks throwing around authoritative sounding statistics with nothing other than anecdotal stories and bombast to back them up. Where does your 80% figure come from? Whether I agree or not, I'll respect any opinion that is reasoned and supported.

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I'm not real big on folks throwing around authoritative sounding statistics with nothing other than anecdotal stories and bombast to back them up. Where does your 80% figure come from? Whether I agree or not, I'll respect any opinion that is reasoned and supported.

I agree, the other 20% make life choices that prevent them from working. i.e. having five illegitimate children.

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My aunt was in college in Atlanta when Techwood Homes (est. 1936 as our nations first public housing project) was still being utilized for its original purpose. At that time, "the projects" helped many poor, White families (the actual target demographic) live a bit easier as they furthered their education and technical training. When they got their degrees and/or finished their training, they left the projects.

It is no mystery that the projects, as we use the moniker today, brings to mind images of poor, uneducated Black people living a lazy life surrounded by illegitimate children, drugs and crime.

Some time ago, a foreign-raised friend of mine astutely remarked that White Americans have an uncanny, iron-clad ability to not notice their own privilege--at whatever point along the socioeconomic scale. I believe, beyond a shadow of doubt, that many of you have very little notion of (and certainly, no experience in being Black and) what it means to live in the projects. For those of you who missed the obvious, it just so happens that the projects don't constitute any source of social ailment. Rather, what you really need to understand is that they are an overt symptom of ongoing social inequity in America. Judging by many of your comments, you don't seem genuinely concerned with the clear and present reasons why people have become trapped in public housing projects.

As a result, I urge you to keep quiet before you've been better informed and have exercized a great deal more intelligence to ponder the subject. Otherwise, you are constituting yet another symptom of an illness that plagues our culture.

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the projects don't constitute any source of social ailment. Rather, what you really need to understand is that they are an overt symptom of ongoing social inequity in America.

Or rather an overt symptom of not taking personal responsibility for one's own life and the hand one is dealt.

People in this country choose the life they live regardless of the circumstances they grew up with. There are white people that grew up with every advantage available and choose to throw it all away. There are successful black entreprenuers who came from the projects.

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Or rather an overt symptom of not taking personal responsibility for one's own life and the hand one is dealt.

People in this country choose the life they live regardless of the circumstances they grew up with. There are white people that grew up with every advantage available and choose to throw it all away. There are successful black entreprenuers who came from the projects.

I'm with you NashScan. Some people would call us insensitive, but the truth is that everyone in America has an opportunity to be successful. If they're lazy, or too busy blaming others or the "system" for their problems, they will not succeed. It's definitely harder for people from the projects or other low income areas to succeed, that's a fact. Life is inherently NOT fair. Therefore, those of us that weren't dealt the best situation in life must try harder than anyone else to get ahead, and we as a society should revere and praise those that do succeed in making it. It should be "cool" to study hard and to try to better yourself in life. Instead, the exact opposite is the case. It is very "uncool" to be doing that and what is "cool" is exactly the opposite of what the people in the projects should be doing to get ahead.

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I repeat:

I urge you to keep quiet before you've been better informed and have exercized a great deal more intelligence to ponder the subject. Otherwise, you are constituting yet another symptom of an illness that plagues our culture.

You must be very embarassed.

I am unnerved that you have not yet evolved, as beings capable of higher order thinking, to be more empathetic. Your comments project little more than a convenient fantasy. It is convenient because it allows you to utterly divorce yourself from them (need I specify the implications of this term as you may construe it?) who apparently refuse to take personal responsibility for their own lives and the hand which they are dealt in life. This way, you do not have to accept any personal responsibility for your role in society. You do realize that "the hand dealt" in life tends to opress some and exalt others, don't you?

It is fantasy simply because you omit the key element of reality:

1.) Choice = a privileged White American who "throws away" their advantages

2.) Miracle = a successful Black American entrepreneur who came from the projects

I do not believe that you have experienced life as a Black American who, born and raised in the projects, has overcome innumerable obstacles (including mass dissillusionment) that were present long before your birth and has fully realize the the American dream.

In short, you should be ashamed.

In addition, you disturb me.

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It seems like so many housing projects are built in such prime location. I cant help but wonder what was tore down to make way for these terrible buildings. Edgefield and Germantown are so close to projects that you know parts of these beautiful neighborhoods were demolished to make way for them. I'm not real big on government housing becuase 80% of the people on the program are just too lazy to work. Which makes it that much worse that these things are even built. I know its not realistic but I think it would be great if somone were able to buy out a whole project housing complex thats really close to downtown, demolish it and build a nice neighborhood on it. Not condos, single family homes. I know it would never happen but its just a thought.

I can already tell that this thread is going to get ugly. :(

By the way, where did you get that 80% figure from?

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I repeat:

You must be very embarassed.

I am unnerved that you have not yet evolved, as beings capable of higher order thinking, to be more empathetic.

In addition, you disturb me.

You hurl personal insults to make your case and say I'm not evolved. Oh the irony, lol.

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This thread has really piqued my interests. I've debated not responding but I feel like my perspective may be fresh and could add something positive to the discussion.

I see both sides of the fence here. Clearly, people need to take responsibility for their own poor choices and prepare for their futures. I think we all realize that life isn't close to fair and those with the misfortune of being born into public housing have some of the most difficult paths to success in this country. But, in regards to public housing and the related blight of low-income of Black Americans, one cannot just sit around and assert that success (I assume we're talking financial success here) is left squarely up to the individual and his work ethic. We MUST acknowledge that there are systemic problems that continuously frustrate low-income individuals (especially poorer people of color) at almost every turn, admit our own continuous failures at providing adequate resources to these communities, and develop consistent plans at all levels of government to help.

It's easy for most of us to sit hear and complain about that public housing is an eye sore and how the individuals who inhabit projects need to get out and achieve the mininum standards we expect of capable people - basically, being self-sufficient. It's easy to complain about public housing's drain on resources. But let's at least admit that the help and resources we offer these individuals are absolutely crapty. Let's admit that the individuals who need a quality education the most are often subjected to the worst schooling with the worst teachers and, not suprisingly, lack the skills necessary for career success. Let's admit that we offered demoralizing, concrete cesspools as housing segregated, left alone, and away from daily images of obtainable success and then we just EXPECTED these individuals to figure out how to "make it."

Race has come up a bit in this thread and, instead of shying away from involving it in this discussion, I'm going to offer my perspectives as a Black male who grew up in Nashville and was very much touched personally by those in Metro's public housing. My mother's side of the family was forced into public housing when their home was torn down in South Nashville to make way for the interstate. To replace the family house, my grandmother was offered housing in Cumberland View (a.k.a "Dodge City"). My grandmother had 13 children and the older children, including my mother, had to work at a young age to provide for the entire family even with the support of public housing. My mother, grandmother, aunts, and uncles were no strangers to hard work. Yet most managed to fall to the wayside because of crime or drugs. I was fortunate enough that my mother was one of two children out of the 13 that got into college and obtained a degree.

I was also fortunate that I spent a great deal of time around my extended family in public housing growing up. My mother and father worked long hours so I spent a great deal of time with my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Cumberland View. Yes, I consider this a blessing. At the very least, it provided me with a perspective on urban blight that can only be had by spending a large amount of time in a place like "Dodge City." From a young age, I was keenly aware that I was lucky that I had a mother who "made it" and that I was infinitely better off than my cousins close to my age. They were aware too and vocalized it by resentment disguised as taunts. I was also aware that my cousins were creative, passionate individuals who simply lacked the support network, educational opportunities, and resources that I had. More importantly, they had almost nil in the way of positive role models who could show them step by step how to become successful.

Few will admit it, but one of the underlying feelings that pervades this sort of debate is an assumption that a lot of poorer people of color are lazy. These people are not all lazy. Many just genuinely believe that, even if they work hard, they are incapable of achieving the type of success they see on television, which is pretty much the only images of success available daily in the housing projects. Some believe they have already failed by the time they have reached adolescence and, in a sense, they are pretty much right. They can't see the white light at the end of the tunnel because no one is showing them the right directions and the tools. Instead, they are taking notes on success from the neighborhood thugs, drug dealers, and those stars who visibly "made it" in spite of urban blight like musical artists, pro athletes i.e. a level of success the vast majority of people are incapable of obtaining.

I can go on about this all day but my main point is simply to urge everyone to try to understand all sides of this problem if we are going to talk about solutions. Part of understanding the problem is admitting that it's not just in the hand of the individual and that we, as a nation, must be pro-active about fixing our systemic problems that further steer people in the wrong direction.

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I thank you for your all-too-ready advice.

I offer you some advice in return:

You should endeavour to become more educated and informed.

You should easily recognize that ariesjow, in his personal testimony of experiences, simply reiterated what I had already mentioned.

You should quickly recognize, accept, and address the fact that you are not as open-minded and progressive as you may very well want to believe.

Keep in mind that my posts have been responses to comments made by other forumers. I base my posts on the content and tone of those comments to which I am responding; therefore, my word choice and tone reflects a similar level of intensity. I did not think it necessary to respond as I would if I were communicating with my elementary school students. My words in this thread are meant for mature minds--capable of fully comprehending the meaning and further assessing the implications of what I say.

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Ariesjow, I could not agree with you more. I am new here and based on what I have been reading on these boards, most of the people here seem to not really know much about the lower income areas of nashville except for what they see in passing or on the news. I am glad that you posted what I was thinking when I saw this thread starting to take a turn. Also, I am glad that you kept it civil.

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This thread is going to be locked now. I know many folks would like to discuss a topic like this in a civil and in-depth manner, but we all know that such topics rarely can stay civil, as indicated here.

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