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Davidpalmer

Race Relations in Columbia

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I don't necessarily see it as substantially any better or worse than any other metro of similar size (or even larger) in the South. As with many places today, the dividing line is increasingly becoming one of class instead of race (although there is significant overlap between the two).

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David,

I have been trying to send you a PM with some information but I get a message that you have it blocked or your message board is full. If you'd like some answers unblock your PM or clear your message board.

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I think the city of Columbia is fairly well-integrated and diverse. We probably enjoy better race relations than other cities of similar size in the Southeast. But there are problems that may become evident if you look below the surface. I think there are deeply ingrained prejudices about a great many things (race is just one of them) with individuals that belong to legacy families from the area. I have not studied the pathology of it all, but I believe this is due to an system of misguided beliefs and patterns of behavior that have been passed down from one generation to the next -- as crazy as this may sound to those living in more progressive areas of the country, a lot of this can be traced back to the bitterness that emerged during the Civil War. I realize this is a cultural phenomenon fairly common in the American South, and that racism lurks under the surface in all areas of the world... but I think Columbia's situation is at least somewhat unique due to the occupation and widespread destruction that the area was subjected to in this period. That said, I believe these issues are minor enough that they manifest themselves in relatively inconsequential ways and that they are only apparent to life-long residents that have observed the place for decades. And I believe the problem will be completely overcome in a generation.

Columbia is a friendly to people of all races. Hate groups are as despised here as they are anywhere else. If you have heard otherwise, don't believe the hype. I am not a minority, but I care very much about racial unity and I've found that much of the stuff that people say about the South when it comes to race is BS. It is not a utopia in this regard and I imagine that there are places where race is less of an issue... but you will find pockets of hate in rural South Carolina just as much as you'll find them in other places that have been subjected to prolonged substandard living conditions... inner city Los Angeles, for example. That's a fact but it doesn't make it any less unfortunate.

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David,

I have been trying to send you a PM with some information but I get a message that you have it blocked or your message board is full. If you'd like some answers unblock your PM or clear your message board.

don't worry about it, because I only joined up to get certain info about Columbia, Richmond, and Charlotte and that was it. So since my threads asking the questions I wanted answered were deleted this place is no use for me. Im trying to help my decision-making process easier by coming to people who live in those cities. I know I want to live in that part of the country, but I wanted to see the pros/cons of each also, especially race relations because Im from San Antonio, were I don't have to worry about the KKK/Neo-Nazis, but from what I hear about VA,NC, SC, I wouldn't be safe, especially alone.

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Oh gosh, if the KKK and neo-Nazis are what concerns you, then I don't think you'll have anything to worry about. The most symbolism you'll get from these cities is Confederate memorials.

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I tend to agree with Krazeeboi here in that Columbia is pretty much no different than any other SE city as far as race relations goes. I wont blow smoke up your ass and pretend that it's an interracial utopian society that holds the upmost respect of its fellow man that some places do, but it aint bad. It's not a KKK or neo-nazi stronghold as may be believed by where your from (when was the last time you heard about a racial injustice commited in the state of SC, at least in Columbia anyway). Many are confused about the confederate flag at the statehouse grounds but that is actually an issue that has to do with the state of SC since the statehouse isn't considered grounds of the city of Columbia. The city of Columbia has actually fought to remove the flag from the statehouse but since many of the "fine" people in the state of SC support the politicians who support the flag there isn't much the municipality of Columbia can do about it (but that's awhole different ball of wax there). In the "urban south" just as in many urban cities in the US outward predjudices have been watered down. Sure there are some nimrods out there who still believe "that the south will rise again" but sometimes, "you gotta let a ho be a ho", for lack of a better phrase. I grew up in Columbia so I can say first hand that the whole interracial thing (black/white dating, interaction, etc.) there isn't uncommon. In fact one of my favorite clubs I go to back home has a very mixed comfortable crowd "Rio Nightlife". You may get afew "looks or stares" (In the city/area), but if your skin is that thin then you may want to think about moving to Canada, Switzerland, or some other semi "utopian country" cause that just aint the U.S. The area of Columbia I grew up in (St. Andrews) was very intergrated. So we interacted with people of different races quite often. Richland Co. as long as I've been alive has voted Democrat, the area is highly educated (45th in the USA to be exact) and educated individuals usually have a more open minded view of the world. The best way to sum up Columbia is it has a very live and let live vibe but that's typical in a college community.

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Sonof is right, Columbia is a very diverse city and many areas are highly integrated. I'm not sure about Richmond, but Columbia is a much more progressive city than Charlotte.

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It's true that in outlying areas - South Congaree comes to mind - there are active racial hate groups. Though it seems recently I haven't heard of much.

Within Columbia proper I feel we're pretty progressive. Especially because of the Fort Jackson community, which has a good number of interracial marriages. And having the university in the city helps too.

The flag thing seems to be mostly ho-hum to long-time residents, a non-issue usually. Except it may still deter some businesses from locating here. One day it will be removed to a museum...

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I was wondering how are race relations in Columbia. Is it a city segregated or does everyone tend to mingle with others of differing ethnicities/race?

Columbia actually has a history of being progressive in race relations, to the extent that the United States does. It's not that uncommon in this city to see interracial couples walking down the street holding hands. In neighboring Lexington County one does not get the same vibe, but it's about 90 percent white in most of that county.

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...., but I wanted to see the pros/cons of each also, especially race relations because Im from San Antonio, were I don't have to worry about the KKK/Neo-Nazis, but from what I hear about VA,NC, SC, I wouldn't be safe, especially alone.

Responses such as this are the reason that we have the rules that we have at UrbanPlanet. We have many many good members here and we do not want their time wasted by ingrates who can't bother to use the search features here to search the extensive info that we have online. Computers and the internet are supposed to make it easy to find information yet we still get people here who are too lazy to do their own homework and instead spam the forum with posts that do nothing but impose on the others. They get quite indignant as the comment above shows when we remind them they are not the center of the universe.

I left the thread here and the one in Richmond open yet despite that, and the good intentions of the people here trying to help, we get the idiotic response that characterizes the entire states of VA, NC and SC as unsafe havens for the KKK. David Palmer I hope you stay in whatever hole you are are living in and don't bother us here again. We are building an online community to better the lives of people. Maybe you will learn the importance of this one day. It's not all about you.

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don't worry about it, because I only joined up to get certain info about Columbia, Richmond, and Charlotte and that was it. So since my threads asking the questions I wanted answered were deleted this place is no use for me. Im trying to help my decision-making process easier by coming to people who live in those cities. I know I want to live in that part of the country, but I wanted to see the pros/cons of each also, especially race relations because Im from San Antonio, were I don't have to worry about the KKK/Neo-Nazis, but from what I hear about VA,NC, SC, I wouldn't be safe, especially alone.

David, I agree with monsoon that you might want to be a bit more tempered about your comments about the Southeast. Yes there is a legacy of racism of the South, but in many ways it has improved beyond even what may pass as "progressive" in the North or out west. Columbia is actually one of the least segregated metropolitan areas in the country. In fact, when measured by "integrated blocks" (at least 20% black and at least 20% white), the Columbia metro area is #2 in the country, behind #1 Norfolk/Virginia Beach, *Virginia*, and just ahead of Charleston, *South Carolina*. The military is a heavy influence in terms of racial diversity and integration in Columbia and many of these other cities. Being from San Antonio you should already know this (I know of the several Air Force base there like Kelly, Lackland, Randolph, etc.) In Columbia we also have the university and state government employees as a progressive influence. No, we are not Berkeley or Boston or Austin in terms of "liberal" politics, but we are actually far more diverse and integrated than those cities in reality (I personally can get grated by lily-white liberalism in places like Boulder, Colorado as much as lily-white conservatism).

You might also want to be open-minded about the reality of the Southeast in terms of the wide range of rural, suburban, and urban landscapes. Even a relatively "conservative" business-oriented city like Charlotte, NC is pretty progressive (Mecklenburg County voted Democratic in the last presidential election). And minorities (of course African Americans but also increasingly Asians and Hispanics) have rapidly found the Southeast to be a hospitable, friendly, and comfortable place to live, work, do business, and have fun, in the post-Civil Rights era. Go to some suburbs of Atlanta, like Doraville, Chamblee, and Norcross, and you'll see a virtual United Nations of ethnic business. Even our Decker Boulevard corridor in Columbia is a mini-version of that. And Northern Virginia has more in common with Northern New Jersey than the rest of Virginia.

As others have mentioned, it's not all hunky-dory. Some old-line southern cities that haven't quite made it to the "New South" (Richmond and Birmingham come to mind) still have lingering, open racial wounds. But it is no worse that you truly would find in other parts of the country. The flip side of having a long memory of racial issues in the South, is that people still have an expectation that minorities will be around nearby, even if their views aren't 100% aligned with enlightened thought (unlike other parts of the country where otherwise "progressive" people thought they were escaping "urban problems" 20 years ago and then complain today that they now have the "third world" at their doorstep - you can't stay isolated in this country that long).

As a note of reference, I live in a new suburban area in Northeast Richland County (probably considered the most progressive suburban area near Columbia), on a *gasp* cul-de-sac with two other houses completed. My wife and I are Asian Indian. The other houses have another Asian Indian family and an African-American couple. If this doesn't convince you that we aren't infested with the KKK, then nothing will.

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Here's a good site showing segregation charts and tables for Columbia metro and other ones...

Here's SC city segregation indices between blacks and whites in our cities...They also have it for other races...

http://www.censusscope.org/us/s45/rank_dis...hite_black.html

Here's the rest of the site

http://www.censusscope.org/segregation.html

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There is nothing in the South that compares to the segregation that one will find in modern day Detroit. It's a myth the South is worse than the rest of the country.

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Yes, Detroit is highly polarized in terms of race. Not a slam on the city, but it's one of those things they have to work to overcome.

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