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Racism in East Hillside

I am working on an investigative piece right now on racism in the East Hillside and  I want to hear peoples opinions on it. Do you think racism is an issue in Duluth’s East Hillside? Have you seen it firsthand or experienced it yourself? I recently talked to someone who had seen an act of racism on the DTA. Has anyone else witnessed racism on the DTA?

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16 Comment(s)

  1. Generally it’s a good idea when announcing you are “working on an investigative piece” to specify what news organization you are working on said piece for. (Unless you’re a cop.)

    Paul Lundgren | Apr 10, 2012 | New Comment
  2. I once got harassed for being “A white guy too cheap to give a hand” after not giving a white panhandler any money. Does that count?

    Sjixxxy | Apr 10, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Racism is everywhere, it is the stupidity that is the problem.

    Everyone is racist in one way or another. It is inherently part of our makeup to be wary of those that look, and more often, act different from us.

    A survival tactic from long ago that still haunts us to this day.

    Most people who are capable of intelligent thought are able to discern the difference between race and culture. People who hate a particular race more accurately hate some of the cultural behaviors but are so misguided that they blur the lines between the two aspects.

    I am less likely to be sociable and interact with person who embraces the thug mentality, regardless of their color. If you have to hold your junk to walk, I probably will avoid you regardless of color.

    It is sad that a larger percentage of those type of people in are area happen to be black. It certainly is not their fault.

    They have been brought up to idolize the criminal, in much the same way that religious radicals are idolized in other countries, to the point where they believe that what they are doing is righteous rather than criminal.

    Don’t fight racism. That is a losing battle.

    Fight the lack of education, the misinformation and the behaviors that support the beliefs.

    Dorkus | Apr 10, 2012 | New Comment
  4. I’m sorry I am a journalism student from UMD and I am currently working on this piece for one of my classes.

    kinle005 | Apr 10, 2012 | New Comment
  5. If you want to know about racism in Duluth, you’re not going to get anything here. This place is full of white people, for one thing. Also, a whole lot of equivocation, as above. I would start by going to the Human Rights Office in City Hall. Bob will be able to tell you about a few things, perhaps. Then go talk to the local NAACP.

    Police harassment used to be a whole lot worse in the Hillside--in 1999 there were meetings about it. In 1994 or 93, three young men were killed (one white kid, one biracial kid, and one black kid) for having sex/maybe raping a white girl. Look up that case, and see how it turned out. A lot of people said the murderer got nailed for one murder and the other two for free, because of his sentencing.

    What’s it like now? You’ll not find out by asking on a website. Get contacts from the officials (Human Rights Officer, NAACP) and spread out from there.

    hbh1 | Apr 11, 2012 | New Comment
  6. P.S. The worst case of real impactful racism in the Hillside/Lincoln Park is the reconfiguring of the school locations so that kids who most need to walk will not be able to.

    hbh1 | Apr 11, 2012 | New Comment
  7. (I’m connecting Lincoln Park and the Hillside because it’s where the most impoverished kids are.)

    hbh1 | Apr 11, 2012 | New Comment
  8. HBH1 should get some salary for schooling the kids in H’s class. Woot! | Apr 11, 2012 | New Comment
  9. Well, I had to go to the trouble of registering just to say, completely agree with hbh1. Red Plan will do nothing to address the achievement gap. kinle005, are you aware of the Unfair Campaign? Attend any of the events that are happening and you will get all the information you need. Just curious why East Hillside ?

    livesinthealley | Apr 11, 2012 | New Comment
  10. Thanks for your help guys! I will definitely go check in with the NAACP. For my class we had to pick a neighborhood to investigate for the whole semester and write stories about that neighborhood. I chose the East Hillside.

    kinle005 | Apr 11, 2012 | New Comment
  11. Talk to Elaine.

    wildgoose | Apr 11, 2012 | New Comment
  12. Great reply, HBH!

    So, is it just me, or do others here perceive that there is at least one journalism instructor at UMD who isn’t doing his or her students any favors? Whoever suggested to this student--or those writing for Lake Voice--that a social public blog like PDD is a good source for hard news research, has confused journalism with social media.

    This type of “research” just seems down right lazy to me, and more likely to give you a whole bunch of anecdotal information and no facts. I would hope that a journalism instructor would actually teach students how to research instead of relying on (most often) anonymous blog posters.

    What about contacting the neighborhood’s city council representative and asking what he or she is hearing from residents about race? Did you contact the DPD and ask about race-related crime? Did you track down residents who have lived in the Hillside for more than a few years and ask them it is any different today than when that person first moved to the neighborhood? Did any folks who moved in recently experience any race-related problems when they first arrived? Did you interview several people of color to ask if they feel the neighborhood is racist? Is there any census info on the racial make-up of the neighborhood? How do race relations in the East Hillside compare to other Duluth neighborhood?

    Tony D. | Apr 12, 2012 | New Comment
  13. Tony, I don’t think the instructor in question is telling students to conduct their research on PDD. I think the instructor uses PDD as an example from time to time about how information is shared online and, armed with that example, students choose to use it somewhat regularly to jump-start their projects.

    While this case isn’t necessarily a good example of how to use PDD to get started on a story, I think the end result is that the student is getting some direction out of it, so ultimately it’s worthwhile.

    Paul Lundgren | Apr 12, 2012 | New Comment
  14. I see your point, Paul, but if I were writing a story, I would not rely on anonymous posters for leads. Along with the suggestion to use blogs like PDD, I would hope any instructor would also warn students about the potential pitfalls of this “jump starting” method.

    Tony D. | Apr 12, 2012 | New Comment
  15. I can’t speak for the teacher involved in this particular project, but I do teach adjacent to him in the Writing Studies program, so I think I can speak to a broader issue.

    Our students, our program, is only recently beginning to understand what social media is. (Note that Lake Voice is becoming more in tune with social media this year!) For my part: students coming through the program effective this semester in their sophomore year get a month on what social media is and how it fits into public relations (not journalism, because I teach adjacent to the J-curriculum). The student whom I think posted this message took the class in an earlier semester, before I recognized the need to feed our students some of this critical nutrition earlier in their lives.

    The first rule of social media is to listen — to listen in a social media community like PDD to understand its texture, its strengths, its lacunae. You can walk up to a database and ask it a question without disrupting its programming, offending its interface, etc. And the worst thing that happens is you get no results. Our students need some guidance on the ways to participate in a social media community resource like PDD that values what it can do for them and recognizes what it cannot do for them. It can connect them to Tony D., whose historical knowledge of Duluth is vast, and to HBH1, whose community investment and knowledge are equal to any three faculty at UMD -- immense community resources.

    But these are not resources like a database; these are resources like the way my grandfather was a resource for me when I was growing up: I respected him, and he helped me become a better man. If our students respect the resources of PDD, PDD can help them become better journalists.

    It’s too late for this poor kid, who took my class last semester (but is invited, as all students are, to the social media guest lecture on April 18th at 11am in Montague 208). But hopefully, students in future semesters will remember the 10 Rules of Social Media when they approach this community and this resource in the future.

    I’ll be banging the book against my desk until they do. | Apr 12, 2012 | New Comment
  16. Maybe cut this kid a little slack. It would be perfectly appropriate for him to post this question on PDD, and then after getting some decent responses, follow up by providing those commenters with his contact information so that he could meet with them for real-life interviews.

    You don’t know that his intention was to just copy/paste anonymous blog comments into his story, or that he wasn’t making this post in addition to lots of other research.

    Barrett Chase | Apr 12, 2012 | New Comment

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