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A delicate balance ...this is a long time coming...


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As Nashville continues to grow, one must look at the balance of nature and the built environment. Most Nashvillians probably do not even know that Virdian and Suntrust are being built, but they do anticipate the next retailer coming to a suburban shopping mall.

As being stewards of the earth as dictated in every religious text from a multitude of religious philosphy and practice, we must realize that suburban sprawl is not only detrimental to the natural world, but greatly affects and effects the the spiritual world. Yes, the spiritual psyche of the person. The rural area was designed as a refuge from the city hustle and bustle of daily life. We migrated into the city to work and "hunt and gather" what we needed to survive. We then retired to our tents and dreams in the suburbs and rural landscpaes to be with our families and loved ones.

Today's suburbanite fears the city. They fear any contact with people of color and culture. The "white flight" of the 60's and 70's entombed many African Americans in projects and dilapidated cities. The white race has left destruction where ever we have been. Just look at how we left Europe in WW2, and specifically Dresden Germany in the 1940's. We use something and then we trash it. As a woman from Switzerland told my wife, "Americans are so wasteful..." The plight of the suburrbs is indicative of that philosophy. Instead of refurbashing cities, we take more land in the rural areas for Walmarts and tin can gas stations. We have abandon buildings in the urban core for shopping malls in the suburbs because many white people are still afraid of black people. Many of Brentwood housewives visiting the hotel have asked me "where are the safe places downtown so I don't run into any urban black people..."

Racism, politics and spiritual corruption are some of the reasons our cities have dilapidated to the point of ruin like Syracuse NY.

A city cannot have a new vibrant urban core without addressing the natural environment. We cannot have a unified city to enjoy places like Schermerhorn and the Sound Baseball Park if the true reasons for urban flight are not addressed.

Now, wealthy white people are moving back into the cities and reclaiming the urban neighborhoods they once left. Where are lower class and middle class blacks and hispanics to go? Are they going to be welcome in new "new suburbia?" Where are the middle class hard working whites, blacks, and hispanics to go? Are people of color and modest means going to be shuffled again?

Our new urbanism is squeezing out the poor, disinfranchised, blue collar, and middle class working person.

Although I love the "new urbanism" like many on this forum, as a society we need to look at the total human cost of reshuffeling our demographics again. The next Walmart built in Davidson County could be built in the Gulch, but suburban white America may not show up because a person of color living in the city may also shop there.

Yes, I live in a suburb. I moved out to west Davidson County to be a part of the natural environment I love so much. Sometimes I have trouble balancing trees and skyscrapers, but I do not shop or eat in Bellevue. I leave the sterile white Bellevue landscape for the vibrance and cultural diversity of the city.

As a spiritual person, I believe that a balance is needed for the survival of our species. Humanity must have balance for our humanity to survive. White America can no longer keep Black America in prison in the projects. White America needs to see its real motives for "new urbanism." It should not be for dominance and "taking over" the city again, but it should be for embracing the urban culture it suppressed for so long.

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The Poet makes some good points. As we travel around looking at all the postive things that are making OUR lives special, we have to remember it's not all about us. It's about people who make up our community. Many are being transplanted because of urban revitalization, but as the city dresses herself up, and as she continues to grow, don't forget to look around the corner and see who needs us. Sometimes just a simple act of kindness goes a long way into making our city a better place. It's also something we can do for ourselves to remember how lucky we are and how blessed we've been. Here are some of my new friends. I wish I had a picture of their faces as ol' Dave drove up in his little black convertible, top down, wearing a Santa hat, delivering some hot coffee to these guys. We chatted for a while and as I left, they wished ME a Merry Christmas. I've never felt so humbled. So when you're out looking around to see just how slick we can become, try to offer something, no matter how simple, to those who need us. These guys were behind the Roundabout area.



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White America can no longer keep Black America in prison in the projects. ......

While I do agree that many of the problems in cities today are due to issues between the races I would never suggest it was due to the actions of just one race. Too many times it is due to the actions and lack of responsibility of individuals of all races who are all too willing to blaim their failings on race, racism, etc. Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated time after time that people are unable to discuss it in a manner that is consistant with the rules here.

While you are entitled to your opinion, but I am not willing for another slugfest to take place on UrbanPlanet because you chose to make a statement such as this so I am closing this thread. It's exactly how you don't want to start a discussion such as this.

Sorry Rural King for butting in.

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