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Georgetown Professor Sheryll Cashin Tells Middle Class Blacks in Southfield, MI to Abandon Common Sense and PERISH!

Hat Tip to Booker Rising.

The AP ran an article this week about the residents of Southfield being unhappy because decreasing property values have attracted new residents from the City of Detroit and they are bringing their value systems with them.  I thought that the article had many parallels to the overall struggles of Black women and the fight to get you to recognize that you are FREE WOMEN who have a right and an obligation to act in your own self interest. 

Roll Tape!


The neighbors were not pleased.

"They don't want to live next door to ghetto folks," he says.

That his neighbors are black, like Grace, is immaterial. Many in the black middle class moved out of Detroit and settled in the northern suburbs years ago; now, due to foreclosures, it is easy to buy or rent houses on the cheap here. The result has been a new, poorer wave of arrivals from the city, and growing tensions between established residents and the newcomers. SOURCE


Well of course this doesn’t fit the typical White Flight narrative, because the people complaining about this new migration out of Detroit are Black.

Read the whole article, but these statements from Georgetown Professor Sheryll Cashin  ( A Black Woman) are the typical propaganda from the Black Elite Establishment to oppress Black people with common sense, by making us believe that having values, expectations and standards is something we should be ashamed of. 

Sheryll Cashin, who teaches constitutional law and race and American law at Georgetown University, says it would be a shame if black flight from the city set off black flight from the near suburbs.

Some blacks just don't want to live near other blacks [if this were true, then the current residents of Southfield wouldn't live in a suburb filled with OTHER BLACK PEOPLE!!], she says: "There is classism within the black community. The foreclosure crisis may be accelerating it." But she says middle-class blacks, like middle-class whites, are also put off by behavior of impoverished blacks  [Stop defaming poor people!]who "have developed their own culture, one that is very different from mainstream America."

Those who contemplate fleeing have fallen into what Cashin calls the "black middle-class dilemma."

"You have a choice of whether you are willing to be around your people or go 180 degrees in the other direction [My "people" share my values.]," she says. "To the higher income black people, if you don't want to love and help your lower-income black brethren, why would you expect white people to? If you can't do it, no one in society can do it. You can try to flee or you can be part of the solution."[in other words... sacrifice yo'self! and DIE!]

How can a woman who is a former Supreme Court Clerk and a  professor at Georgetown University let such ignorance flow from her lips? 

In otherwords, if you recognize that you are in a dire situation your should just stay there and DIE! Notice, this “stay there and DIE” mantra isn’t followed by Black Elites like Professor Cashin, who use their money, power and status to move freely through out society and make decisions that are in their own best interests. Its just we middle class Black folks who should turn ourselves into cultural cannon fodder as part of "the solution."

We have a moral obligation to help “the least of those among us.”  That’s the old, the young, widows, the hungry, the hungry, the vulnerable etc. There is, however, no obligation to subject yourself to blatant disrespect and abuse. Nor is there any obligation to allow yourself to be consumed in an effort to rescue people who don’t want to be rescued. Nor does sacrificing yourself make much sense because once you are used up, who is going to help all of these folks the good professor says we must?

What is most offensive about this article and Sheryll Cashin’s statements is the defamation of the poor Black people. As I have stated in the past, the fact that people are poor, doesn’t mean they are inherently TACKY, DISRESPECTFUL, and ANTI-SOCIAL. 


  • Russel Simmons is rich, but he’s also classless and TACKY.
  • Charlie Sheen... rich, tacky and classless,
  • Beyonce and Her drug dealing husband... rich, tacky, classless
  • Donald Trump, Christina Aguilera, The Real Houswives, the Basketball Wives, the Hip Hop Baby Mamas... all rich, tacky and low class.


Go back and dig out old photos of your parents and grandparents in the south, they were poor as church mice, and they were some of the most dignified and regal people you will ever see.  Poor people aren’t inherently predisposed to play basketball in the street and refuse to move out of the way of oncoming traffic. They aren’t inherently predisposed to throw trash on your lawn. 

What is at issue in Southfield isn’t a war between middle-class Black people and the Black poor, but a battle between people with values that include pride in homeownership and maintaining property values and a group of folks with a self destructive value system. PERIOD. There is no moral obligation to coddle, condone, enable or cave to fully grown people seeking to impose their destructive value system on you. 


Like the besieged citizens of Southfield, Black women have three choices: Flee, Fight or Perish from Indifference. 



There is no dishonor in strategic retreat. You might not have the courage or patience to stand your ground and fight.  Get out while you can, cut your losses throw up the deuce and watch the complete and utter destruction of your former home FROM AFAR.  When you leave, go and go swiftly! DOn't hang around and heckle the people that stayed behind either.  If you're talking, you're not walking... AWAY! just do is and send me a postcard from the promised land. 


Option number two is to fight. And when I say fight, fight like HEY-EL. You’re Gandolf ! Forget political correctness. Forget criticisms from black folks like Sheryll Cashin who likes to lob stones from her gated golf course community. Fight for your property values. Fight for your neighborhood. Fight for your way of life.  Its either you and your value or them and their values. You are just as entitled to win the war as they are. 

Criminalize every behavior which endangers your quality of life, draft ordinance after ordinance and demand strict enforcement.  When the Black Elites and the CRIC start whining about it, stand resolutely and do not waiver. Remind them that every community has a set of shared understandings about community standards and those who don’t comply should move or be HEAVILY FINED! Defend your home and do so proudly. Defend yourself and do so proudly.

Those who encourage you not to defend yourself and your family are mean spirited, self-serving narcissists who are toying with your life. You are not a toy. Your life has value and you are just as valuable as the folks walking around in the middle of the street talking on the cell phone LOUDLY at 3AM. 


The third and final option is to perish also known as indifference or indecision. Now this applies to the people of Southfield and Black women struggling about what to do about their less than ideal circumstances ( whatever those may be)

In the face of overt attacks on the quality of your life, many of you will do absolutely nothing. You will complain. You will point fingers. You will rip your garments and you will....stay exactly where you are and suffer. Not only will you suffer, but you will get on my last nerve with your long winded descriptions of suffering which would be totally preventable. 

You let guilt trips from Black Elites like professor Cashin paralyze you and you will perish as a result.  You will become distracted by discussions on race and poverty instead of focussing on VALUES.  You will be fooled into believing that your role in life is to serve as a sacrificial lamb for errrbody else. You don't view yourself as a free woman, but as the property of others.

If professor Cashin is so committed to helping people who have no regard for civil society, then let her move to Southfield and “save” them. These new Southfield residents aren’t children. They aren’t lost or confused. They are making a choice to destroy their homes AND YOURS.

So lessons for Black women and the people of Southfield:


  1.  You are NOT “community property.”
  2.  Just because someone is Black and poor does not mean they are tacky and classless. Stop letting them blame poverty for grown folks who act a FOOL.
  3.  Black people are not infants. They make adult decisions and can cope with adult consequences.
  4.  Your destiny is not to sacrifice YOUR life for those who don’t value you or your values.
  5.  Your life is just as valuable as anyone else's and you are ABSOLUTELY entitled to defend you quality of life.
  6. Helping others is a virtue. Volunteering to be abused, misused, and disrespected is a slap in the face to the universe that created you. 
  7. Do not cast your pearls before SWINE!

Professor Cashin, you should be ashamed of yourself. I’ve got money that says that the Harvard and Oxford-educated Professor Cashin lives in the tony suburbs of Washington, DC. Listening to Black Elites like Professor Cashin will get you killed or worse. Stop doing that please.

Resist their guilt trip and turn the tables on them, the next time someone suggests that you sacrifice your life and happiness for someone else, turn to them and say “Oh, so you want me to commit suicide?” And watch the worm squirm. 

I'm done for the week!



Reader Comments (50)

Professor Cashin is a typical elitist and a hypocrite. What about her academic version of "black flight" by choosing predominantly-white Georgetown University as her preferred institution to teach, instead of Howard University or UDC? She needs to practice what she preaches.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWanda

This was pure utter foolishness what came out of this women's mouth! How can she expect regular hard-working middle class black folks to stay among people who could care less if they live or die. And furthermore, you can help people, IF they want to be helped, from afar. You don't have to live in the same neighborhood with them. Black folks are the only people who are made to feel guilty about wanting the best out of life.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTasha212

All I can add is Amen.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

"What about her academic version of "black flight" by choosing predominantly-white Georgetown University as her preferred institution to teach, instead of Howard University or UDC?"

Good point Wanda!

Black folks are the only people who are made to feel guilty about wanting the best out of life.

Exactly and what makes Professor Cashin so vile is that her entire life is a life of privilege she would deny to other Black people. I don't have a problem with people becoming elite. Elite can be good, but don't try to stifle the progress of other people. Y'all know Professor Cashin and her family ain't living in southeast DC trying to rescue folks.

March 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

What is most offensive about this article and Sheryll Cashin’s statements is the defamation of the poor Black people. As I have stated in the past, the fact that people are poor, doesn’t mean they are inherently TACKY, DISRESPECTFUL, and ANTI-SOCIAL.

Cashin makes a generalization which is always risky because it tends to unfairly place individuals into groups they don’t belong. The key is prevalence. Pathological behavior is far more prevalent among the poor than among the non-poor AND far more prevalent among today’s poor than among yesterday’s poor. Our grandparents and great grandparents were poor mostly due to circumstances in their lives. If you take those poor blacks from the 40s and put them in today’s time, they would probably excel and scratch their heads as to why so many of today’s blacks don’t take advantage of the opportunities they have.

A poor black person’s circumstance today can commonly (not always) be traced back to their own or someone’s poor character and/or decisions. They either dropped out of school for no good reason, got addicted to drugs, got pregnant out of wedlock (often multiple times), gained a criminal record, etc. Many black men resist gaining adequate soft skills because of a warped sense of what the subculture constitutes as masculine demeanor. For this same reason, many black men resist wearing any type of professional attire. Many black women are putting their children at an early disadvantage by giving them made up ghetto names that will inevitably be viewed as a minus on a resume.

Poor people who are poor for reasons other than poor character can be separated from the others if society is allowed to, but the tendency to group large segments of people together without emphasizing individual differences prevents this from happening.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie P.

As I read your posting via Google Reader on the way to work this morning one name came to mind: Angela M. Dawson of Baltimore, MD. In the fall of 2002 a 21 year old drug dealer kicked in the door of her rowhouse, doused the floor with gas and set it afire. Why? Because Mrs. Dawson had been trying to get him to quit using her stoop as a drug selling perch. Her husband, she and five of her children died in the fire. A socially responsible property owner burned to death by a ghetto waster. People talk big but no one really wants to walk the walk they talk about. Which is why the good Professor Cashin probably does not and has not for many years lived in a predominately Black or low income area.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChele Belle

The professor is endorsing a parasitic relationship, which eventually sucks the life out of the unwilling host.

Every single American has the right to move where they can afford to. If black folks don't like their "new" neighbors they can leave like anybody else. There's so much housing available, in places like North Dakota people are paid (sorta) to relocate to their frozen tundra.

Last but not least, just because someone is black, and most likely female, she doesn't owe anybody a darn thing: not her time, her resources, her money, and especially not her life.

You said it best, we are not community property.

Great post.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Chambers

Blogmother wrote: "this “stay there and DIE” mantra isn’t followed by Black Elites like Professor Cashin, who use their money, power and status to move freely through out society and make decisions that are in their own best interests. Its just we middle class Black folks who should turn ourselves into cultural cannon fodder as part of "the solution."
Couldn't have said it better. I say we build a nive big low-income housing complex next to the good professor's home. Let them expose her children and personal safety to their unique cultre. I mean she is at an even higher economic level than I (who is one of many black homeowners in a previously middle class and largly African-America KC area suburb facing the same issue) and those in Southfield. So by her theory she has even MORE to offer the displaced city folk.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBee

No one bats an eye when decent white people don't want to live near white trash. The problem is that we have allowed our entire culture to be defined by the trashiest among us. So when any of us say I don't want to be near that it looks like we are saying we don't want to be near our people.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBee

So these black suburbs are basically the result of black middle class people moving into white suburbs, then the whites left b/c the black people moved in. So where is the black middle class going to go now? They have made living in major cities un- affordable

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

Exactly Bee. You hit it right on the nail.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie P.


Gem I'm speaking as someone who grew up poor in the ghetto and lower to middle middle class.I'm quite frankly insulted that people think poor people have no morals and that we're just made bad and with no common sense or self respect.I mean WTH

Gem people seem not to believe me when I tell them the old ghetto neighborhood I used to live in was so clean at one point that despite not living in the south I used to run around with no shoes on everyday without getting cut.My feet wouldn't even get dirty as far as having bubble gum wrappers or something like that on them just brown dirt.

They don't believe me when I say older women planted flowers in the projects and that we did not walk though people grass in the ghetto.

They don't believe me when I tell them there was no graffiti on the walls and that people did not blast loud rap music all throughout the night.

They don't believe me when I say our mothers didn't take the kids side if there was a fight and that everyone involved in the fight would get a whooping.Or that I got spanking by neighbors for being bad.

Gem I've seen first hand how the low morals of people can turn a low income ghetto into a hell hold.I've seen peace,cleanliness, and happiness in the projects.I've seen it go from being that way to being violent, filthy, and depressing.The only thing that changed was not the income of the people but the minds of some people.

Poor people are perfectly capable of being held to the same standards of decency and community guidelines as rich people.

Any you're right about the people you mentioned I'd never want to live next to Charlie Sheen or any of the rest of them.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

Let's say that I know these communities VERY well. I grew up in Detroit, but my family paid non-resident fees for me to go to recreational facilities, etc., in Southfield.

Southfield has been at least 50% black for a long time, and black middle-class residents thrived in nice homes and nice schools, and enjoyed responsive city services that they weren't getting in Detroit. I think Ebony Magazine once ranked Southfield as the city with the highest per capita household income for African-Americans in the country.

But, like everywhere else in the country, foreclosures, transformation of owned properties into rentals, etc., have led to changing demographics. And people who couldn't have afforded to live in Southfield have moved in... while there is nothing necessarily wrong with that in theory, what often happens is that people want to benefit from the decades of work that others put into maintaining a stable community, while not contributing to it themselves.

So you've got people fleeing to Southfield because Lil' Man keeps getting in trouble in Detroit schools, expecting that living in Southfield will magically make Lil' Man change his behavior. Instead, Lil' Man just brings his poor behavior TO Southfield, along with all of the "friends" supposedly left behind in Detroit, and transfers all that dysfunction to a once-stable neighborhood.

Multiply this incident by thousands, and BAM, a model black middle class enclave becomes a ghetto.

It reminds me of what someone said in the Universoul Circus post... we extend "goodwill" to the lower class so much that ghetto pathology ends up taking over the entire black community. That's exactly what's going to be the death of Southfield.

I know that most middle-class blacks in metro Detroit looking for a strong and stable, yet diverse community, are completely bypassing Southfield these days.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSS

"Professor Cashin, you should be ashamed of yourself. I’ve got money that says that the Harvard and Oxford-educated Professor Cashin lives in the tony suburbs of Washington, DC. Listening to Black Elites like Professor Cashin will get you killed or worse. Stop doing that please."

Right there with ya, Gina. Well said! Just look at what happened to Rosa Parks - she was brainwashed into believing that she should "support" just any old people just because they were Black and ended up living in a sub standard neighborhood in Detroit. And she was attacked and robbed in her own home by a drug addict at the age of 81. It's not about poverty versus middle class. It's about neighborhoods that want to maintain a better standard of living. I live around a majority of working class-to-middle class Black people and, while none of us are rich and most are probably one-paycheck-from-poverty, we all value a higher standard of living and safety for our families. My preference is to live around other Black people, but I'm not going to choose just any old body just to say I live around Black people.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

P.S.: I should note that the reason that I used Southfield's resources, etc., as a child was because one of my parents was Detroit public servant and had to abide by residency requirements that existed at the time. By visiting Southfield though, I was able to see the significant difference between their resources and Detroit's, and recognize that middle class black people could create a safe and comfortable environment and still be around "our people."

So again, I see why they're mad about these new jack folks moving in with this "take take take" mindset, but get mad when they're expected to maintain the nice environment that made it so appealing to move into.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSS

@Truth P. I too grew up in a poor working class neighborhood and can vouch for everything you've said. The lawns and gardens in that neighborhood rivaled anything you could see in House Beautiful. The folks in the projects did keep their homes nice and planted flowers. One of my friends who was from a larger city was amazed at how nice it was. He said he would've mistaken the projects for apartments in any suburb. Flash forward thirty years later and the whole thing looks like Cabrini Green. Just too depressing for words. Devolution, live and in living color.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

co-sign 100%! The "ivory tower" professors who are so disengaged from the society are not to be taken seriously. It's as if they live in a bubble.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristelyn D. Karazin

@Roslyn I'm glad someone knows this. Other people act like poor black folks in ghettos were always mostly ill mannered, dirty,and morally corrupt criminals.Uh NO!

Roslyn,Unfortunately I was still living in my neighborhood when it started taking a turn for the worse.
As a matter of fact, I can name the very first person that started selling drugs in our community.
I know his whole family.
I remember the very first 2 dope fiends in our community.

I remember he recruited like 3 other black boys to sell drugs with him and then there was like 10 neighborhood dope fiends all of a sudden.

I also remember our neighborhood community council holding a meeting to kick those boys and their mothers out but unfortunately where I lived everyone knew each other on a last name basis and were like family.
The mothers of the dope dealers were old friends who had grown up with all the members of the board.They came to the meeting crying begging to stay and promising to help get their sons behavior together and people felt bad for the mothers so they were allowed to stay.AND THINGS GOT MUCH WORSE.ALL BECAUSE PEOPLE WANTED TO SPARE THOSE WOMEN OF BEING KICKED OUT AND PUT ON THE STREET.

My father volunteered to help get the guy who was the first dope dealer in our community a job at the factory he worked at,but the guy had had a taste of the fast money and my dad's job was hard labor so he went back to dealing drugs.He had people (white folks)we didn't know coming to our small "everybody knows everybody" community buying drugs.It was a mess!

And Guess what else y'all, before dude started selling drugs in our community there were 0 police patrolling our community and 0 issues of police brutality or police using excessive force.
We NEVER saw police cars ride through our community until dude and his friends started selling drugs.
NEVER! The very first time I saw police cars riding through our community everybody came outside with the worse look on their faces ever.It was the talk of the town that the police had DRIVEN,not arrested anybody,not shot anybody,JUST DRIVEN,through our neighborhood.SMH

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

My boss, who happens to be a Black woman, tried to live in a neighborhood which went from Black middle class to Black lower class in New York. She and her husband ended up having to move out after one of the lower class/ghetto-fied neighbors stole something from her house and displayed it in his window. That was the last straw for her. They ended up living in a mostly white suburban neighborhood in Northern Virginia.

If you can afford to live in a nice, safe neighborhood, then do so. No questions asked. No explanations necessary.

Professor Sheryll is free to live anywhere she wants, but I am not risking my life just to be around "my people".

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Kayden

This article is in my wheel-house BIG TIME!!!I live in a suburb of Detroit and due to the foreclosure crisis I have experienced the phenomenon described first-hand. Houses that used to be priced out of reach of uncultured working-class people are now affordable. The irony is that the people who flee Detroit due to the crime, poor schools, etc. often bring with them some of the same ghetto behaviors that they were trying to escape. If you live in a gun-shot neighborhood in Detroit, it is considered normal to have a 200lb snarling piit bull, but when you move into the 'burbs it is not OK to have that kind of dog tied up outside of Starbucks. When residents who may be white call the police, they aren't being racist, they're just trying to maintain the level of civility and safety that attracted the Detroiter in the first-place. Halloween in my community is like Christmas. They close the school and have a parade. It is a bid deal and at dusk, children go trick-or-treating. I actually had a new neighbor who moved here from Detroit come to my door with his children and he had a HUGE white pit bull with a heavy-gauge chain around the dog's neck. Pure, unadulterated ignorance.He says "hey wassup...trick-or-treat" Um.......no.

In my neighborhood, they strictly enforce code violators and I have heard black people complain bitterly about receiving a ticket for their grass being too long, or for having commercial vehicles parked in their driveway. "Dey racist" Major side-eye!!! o-0 I think to myself, "when you thought about moving here, I'm sure you were attracted to the neat and manicured lawns, right?" It boggles my mind that blacks sometime seem unwilling to help maintain that which makes that community attractive!

I have also seen the same craziness in the school district. Parents line up in the morning curb-side to drop off their children. To get your child to school on time, you have to get in line early. If your child is late to school, he will receive a detention which means Saturday school. I have heard more black parents than I care to count complain that the school administrators are racist when their child is cited. I grew up in Detroit, and I love the riverfront and many aspects of the City, but there is a certain level of lawlessness that is tolerated and normalized and when people leave that system, they are given a rude awakening that laws and rules will be enforced. Period.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren R

@Karen R

Yeah, some Black people play the "race card" rather than simply act with class.

On a related note, there was a recent case in which a theather was accused of racism and fined. Why?
Because the manager wanted noisy people watching a Tyler Perry film to keep their voices down.

Read the final court decision here:


Considering EVERY theater tells moviegoers to not talk during a movie, I agree with the Delaware Supreme Court's decision. So, we need to call out those who scream "Racism!" when it doesn't apply.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFred

Great post and comments, all around but in Cashin's assertion that blacks should want to stay around their people as part of the solution (ostensibly, at their own peril) doesn't there coexist the option to fight as the blog author stated? Presuming you want to and that it is your option to move if you so choose, I don't see anything wrong with staying with your own people if it means you are fighting to preserve your values in the community and I don't think the "stay" option must be so absolute as to mean that perishing is a guaranteed outcome. Of course, if you don't want to stay, there is nothing wrong with wanting to flee to do what is best for you/your family.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConsider

Professor Cashin is out of her damn ever-loving mind. SMDH.

I grew up in the projects. Got teased for being "smart", not being "down", not having the trendiest clothes, not being allowed outside when the street lights came on, having strict parents/family members, etc. Heard gunshots and even witnessed a shooting. Saw & heard fights.

Once I got my college acceptance letter and signed on the dotted line, I hauled ASS outta there a few months later.

Professor Cashin can go stay in my 'hood if she wants to save people. Not me. Damn that, no sir and no ma'am. I don't look down on people; hell, I work in a helping profession. But I'm not helping anyone who doesn't want help. Hell. & No. I'm now agnostic, but I clearly remember the Bible story of Lot and his wife being told to flee Sodom & Gomorrah because none of its inhabitants wanted to be saved. You can call me Lot-ticia because I left and there's no turning back.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSpinster

"What is most offensive about this article and Sheryll Cashin’s statements is the defamation of the poor Black people. As I have stated in the past, the fact that people are poor, doesn’t mean they are inherently TACKY, DISRESPECTFUL, and ANTI-SOCIAL."

Agreed. Again, I grew up in the 'hood and neither I nor my family members were any of the above. Au contraire, that's what made us stand out (and sometimes get teased in the process). And some of the kids (and their families) I grew up with weren't like that either. Professor Cashin makes a very broad & hasty generalization when she says that. SMH.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSpinster

You can call me Lot-ticia because I left and there's no turning back.


March 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Ya'll call chicky elitist - but you should read some of ya'lls comments. Way worse and more elitist than anything the professor said.

Anyone who can even begin to compare yesterdays poor to today and suggest that yesterdays poor were somehow more "cultured" and were poor due to circumstance and suggest that today's poor (who are often descendants of yesterdays poor) are poor b/c of bad decisions and not circumstances has also bumped their heads.

Now as far as the rest - is the issue that poor people are moving in or is their an uptick in criminal folk moving in? The two are not synonymous - thought many "middle class" blacks like to make it so.

Those folk in Southfield are free to move. The market sets prices and if the market is now more affordable to a class of people you don't want to live next to - move. Whites did it with blacks - blacks are free to do so as well.

However if you can't move - then perhaps getting to know your neighbors (assuming this isn't a criminal issue and more a culture/class one) and finding some common ground seems to be a better way to deal with the situation then speaking of them with disdain and whining that your neighborhood (that you can't afford to leave) is going down.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

So did anyone actually read the article?

It's not a criminal issue. It's - like I thought - a culture/class issue - and folk whining about their loss of property values.

folk playing basketball late at night - kids walking in the street (article said their are no sidewalks) people having conversations with cars in the middle of the street, kids playing football.

Really? Those are your BIG complaints that will make you move and call your new neighbors ghetto? Really, really?

Most of that is easily addressed in a HOA meeting and some of it is snobbery at its best. The person who payed $109,000 for a house and who is a telephone company analyst isn't exactly "ghetto." No he didn't pay $222,000 that's not his issue.

Now there were some legitimate concerns there BUT there has been no indication of any new criminal element moving in - and ultimately if you want to move - move.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

"You can call me Lot-ticia because I left and there's no turning back."

That has got to be the funniest (truest) thing I've heard in a long, long time. :)

Like I've said before, I love my people and I have a long history of community organizing to prove it, but Hell to the 'nall, I'm not living around foolishness once I'm able to flee from it. That's why I had to cut my brother and some of our knucklehead cousins loose. :(

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

@JJ not a criminal issue? Loitering is a crime. Dumping trash improperly is a crime. And thought the article didn't mention it, I have spoken with several people from the area in recent days and the article failed to mention that VIOLENT CRIME has escalated in the area significantly.

The fact that you don't view the antisocial behavior and disrespect of other people's property as reason to leave an area indicates that you have absolutely no idea about civil order and decline. The "little " things add up.

I really don't see your point other than you really don't like Black people to take a stand about anything.

And again, "today's poor" aren't a monolith. YOU are the one who lumps all poor people into one group. Just because people are poor doesn't mean they don't know who to live cohesively with neighbors.

Good try on the guilt trip though.

March 4, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

JJ, in what Black community do you reside? Don't have to be specific, but curious why you feel comments reflect elitism and not common sense. And yes, you are right that Southfield residents not happy with the changing demographics of their community are free to leave -- doesn't make them elitist to exercise their options.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Kayden

@ JJ, I agree that sweeping generalizations about any group of people is unfair; not all poor/working class people act a fool, not all middle class people act "respectable", etc. Foolishness is foolishness, and if it comes to my neighborhood, I'll try to work with others to get the problem people to perhaps do better.

But if that doesn't work AND my neighbors and I get threats, etc., then I may move and/or call the poe-poe on their behinds. I make no excuses for foolishness; some people honestly may not know any better, but for those who do or should know better, I'm calling the poe-poe.

On Dr. King's birthday, Jan. 15, three teen boys were in the basement/laundry area in my apartment building smoking that -ish. AND NO, THEY DID NOT LIVE IN MY BUILDING, WE HAVE NO TEENS IN OUR BUILDING! They ran when I yelled at them to leave. I called the poe-poe, they came immediately and I described one of them to the poe-poe. Turns out he's a "regular" to the poe-poe that patrol my neighborhood. They knew he lived about four blocks away and went to his house that same evening. Poor or not, what they did was wrong, but clearly some responsible adults are missing in their lives. But in the mean time, I'm calling the poe-poe if I see them again. PERIOD! :(

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

"Anyone who can even begin to compare yesterdays poor to today and suggest that yesterdays poor were somehow more "cultured" and were poor due to circumstance and suggest that today's poor (who are often descendants of yesterdays poor) are poor b/c of bad decisions and not circumstances has also bumped their heads."

Going by what I saw firsthand most of yesterdays poor were better than most of today's poor.
Being poor is no crime but crime is a crime.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

You can call me an elitist all you want I REFUSE to live or associate with people whom I have deemed low-class, regardless of race. If you allow your children to eat chicken wings with hot sauce on the street and then drop the chicken bones in front of my house, YOU are low class. If you let your garbage pile up and never put it out until it stinks and I have to go over to your house and TELL you to put your damn garbage out so that I am not subjected to the stench and rot of your filth YOU are low-class. If you decide to play dominoes in front of your house at 11 pm Sunday night because you have no job to go to Monday morning and bang said dominoes all night long and drink and carouse, YOU are low class and I don't wish to live around you. PERIOD.

Why are Black people so adverse to having standards regarding how we should live? Are BP feral animals with no regard for other human beings or themselves? How do you thinko other communities are able to maintains and sustain its beauty and order? Becasue EVERY member of that comminity makes it a priority to maintain the beauty and order of said community. I am so tired with this pass we give to some black people who absolutely refuse to do better. My family was poor, but they had pride. Pride in the way they spoke and dressed, pride in where they lived. They took time to help and assist one another, they respected themselves and each other. The vast majority of BP today have absolutely no respect or regard for themsleves or anyone else.

These excuses about poverty and racism ring hollow. Black people can do better, but too many CHOOSE not to because it's so much easier to come outside dressed in your pajamas and bedrom slippers, it just so much easier to feed your children soda and chips 9am in the morning on the train, it's just so much easier to walk outside with your hair not combed, it's just so much easier to piss in the elevator of your building it's just so much easier to walk on the grass than on the concrete lane that was cut for you to walk on. I could go on and on.

So yes, I'm an elitist. I have an expectation of class and excelleance that I hold myslef to and I hold others to it as well. If you don't share my values then you are not "my people" regarless of your race or income bracket. Zora Neal Hurston said it best "not all skinfolk is kinfolk." Amen.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterObatalaBabay/Monique

After food, water and shelther; safety and belonging is a next priority. Some people want to be safe and comfortable in their environment. If people want to advocate for other people in poor socioecomnic elements that fine but they don't necessarily have to live among them. Also, what Prof. Cashin failed to mention is that some of these neighborhoods harbor undocument immigrants that cause terror among others, who is tracking them???

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLD

Southfield's response: http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/27084909/index.html

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJD

I read your website all the time. I learn so much from it. This is my first time posting. I teach black history and Im always conscious in my role as an educator of how I represent black experiences in our country and around the globe. Economic struggles are consistent wherever black communities exist in large number. But I don't subscribe to ideas about "cultures of poverty" (and I wish black folks would let that go). Poverty is a circumstance within which many of us are unfortunately trapped, but it should not be used to determine how we think and act. And the folks in this suburb are right to speak out against the flood of new people if they dont line up with what influences these people want around themselves and their kids--but also there may need to be some efforts to educate these new folks and see what of any community ethos exists among them before writing them off wholesale. I appreciate the points made in reponse to this issue and so many other posts on this site. I wish so many more black women read this site and realized the extent to which we bend ourselves to fit in boxes that others have made to define us, with theirs, not our interests in mind. Thanks for your consistent dedication to black women's empowerment...

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjust me

My parents arrived in California in the 1953, both were from the deep south. They have a highschool education and a willness to work hard and purchase property in a good area. They were sucessfull and their children well educated with common sense. Now it is 2011 and things has change,We have people of different ethnic groups in the neighborhood. The problem is that we have some people who should not be able to purchase property in this area. They donot maintain there residence and they park there cars on the lawn. We deal with these people by informing them this what we expected from you as a neighbor. After that all bets are off. We will call the police, buliding inspector and our council member. It is called standards.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterL.Higgins

@Tasha212 Word! I live in a neighborhood plagued by violence etc. I am active in my community but I would move out of here for greener pastures in a heartbeat! You can help from afar....

March 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwannatwinkie

I'm appalled at the internalized racism & classism disguised as "upholding good values" towards poor people. The same things you all are writing about "ghetto people" is the same thing that white people write about ALL black people irrespective of income or educational levels. I have not read the professor's article, but after I finish writing this post, I will.

I was raised in a poor sometimes working poor household. The neighborhoods I grew up in included renters on public assistance to home owners with well paying blue collar union jobs. Some of you are under the false impression that institutional racism and structural poverty doesn't exist. Yes, black people have more opportunities today than in the past, however, that doesn't change the real structural injustices that are embedded in US society.

I'm happy that so many of you have achieved a middle class lifestyle, but it is wrong for you to now deny that opportunity to others you deem unworthy or beneath you. I suspect many of you are not so secure in your middle class lifestyle or may even be lower middle class (which is just a fancy word for working poor), yet you spew such vitriol towards other Black people. SHAME ON YOU!

I am a social worker who owns a home in a neighborhood very much like the ones I grew-up in, I purposely chose to live in this neighborhood because, one it was very affordable and close to everything, and second, I wasn't interested in being one of those Black people who think success is the suburbs. I don't approve of anti-social behavior, but you guys are fooling yourselves if you think your neighborhoods are declining simply because someone with a lower income is moving in.

March 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSFG

Truth P wrote

Going by what I saw firsthand most of yesterdays poor were better than most of today's poor.
Being poor is no crime but crime is a crime.</I>

Amen to that.

My grandfather was the son of a slave and thus poor. Yet, he and his wife (my grandmother) didn't use their lack of money as an excuse to act in foolish or criminal ways.

In short, they were values rich even though they were wealth poor. That is we as a race have forgotten, which explains why too many of our neighborhoods are horrible.

Dr. King was more eloquent on this topic than me. Read on:


March 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFred

@SFG if you are a social worker I weep for the folks you assist since you don' t have rudimentary reading comprehension skills.

If you read the article and the COMMENTS, you will see people saying CLEARLY that they don't have a problem with poor people.

You on the other hand appear to believe that all people who are poor have an inability to uphold a set of standards.

And HOW did racism get introduced in a conversation about tension between two groups of Black people?

This is an issue about standards of conduct and behavior. You would LOOOVE to make this about anything else, but at the ends of the day, every community has its own standards of conduct and they are entitled to defend those standards.

March 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

I'm actually kind of offended that some people apparently think that only non-Black people can have nice things. Its actually kind of sad that people have been brainwashed to think that chaos filled neighborhoods are some type of BLack birthright.

Most readers of this blog are SO NOT AFRAID of being thought of poorly because they have standards. That's kind of the point.

March 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

This has to do with BEHAVIOR, not "class," or an attack on the "poor." I will never have as much
money as Jay Z and Beyonce, or Lil Wayne or Charlie Sheen, but if they moved next to me, the "FOR SALE" sign goes up on my front lawn with the quickness.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWanda

LD wrote

Also, what Prof. Cashin failed to mention is that some of these neighborhoods harbor undocument immigrants that cause terror among others, who is tracking them???

The sad part is that too many Black leaders from the NAACP to the CBC to the White House believe it is "racist" to expect people from Latin America to immigrate to America legally. Naturally, these same leaders are silent when illegal immigrants rob, assault, and terrorize Black people.

This sorry status quo will continue until more of us follow the lead of Black radio hosts like Joe Madison and the late Terry Anderson who call out Black leaders for their betrayal.


For those who've never heard of Anderson, read his story below:


March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFred


Any person of any race or any person from any income brackett who has no regard or respect for the community in which they live or the people with whom they live in the community is NOT MY PEOPLE! MY PEOPLE share similar values with me. You can charactierize my values as beng "middle class" or not. But we do a disservice to ourselves as Black people when we constantly and consistently turn a blind eye to the incredibly horrid behavior of other blacks. Why? Because we're afraid of being called "sell outs" or "bougie" or "elitist" or any other adjective theses knee-grows like to throw around because they don't want to be called on their deplorable behavior? Give me a break!

There is NO reason for the behavior some Black people engage in, regardless of income. It's called decency, it's called civility, it's called respect and far too many Black folk DON'T HAVE IT for themsleves or anybody else. I'd rather live in a community of like minded individuals who will respect me, my family, my property and my home than live amongst my "peeps" who wouldn't know how to conduct themselves in civil society if it came and bit them on their behinds.

Stop making excuses for Black people not doing what is in their power to do. It infantilizes them and makes it impossible for them to ENVISION a life that is better than the ones they are currently living. When you have standards it gives you a goal to meet, something to aspire to. Think about that for a minute.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterObatalaBabay/Monique

ObatalaBabay/Monique broke it all down for nothing else I can say, If some of our people wanna stay down then let stay down then-Play time is up!

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

What is at issue in Southfield isn’t a war between middle-class Black people and the Black poor, but a battle between people with values that include pride in homeownership and maintaining property values and a group of folks with a self destructive value system.

I'd just like to point out that, while the middle-class residents most likely own their homes, the poorer Blacks most likely rent their homes. In the light of the current economic realities, they, most likely, will never own a home. They, both literally and figuratively, don't have nearly as much invested in the community as the homeowners. Alternatively, if they did own their homes, they probably would invest more heavily in the community.

This presents the possibility of a fourth solution. Middle-class residents could construct the financial infrastructure needed to enable the new residents to buy their homes. If the residents formed a credit union, they could offer a simple rent-to-own style mortgage. Instead of the credit union directly loaning money to the individual to purchase the house, the bank purchases the house. The credit union then rents the house to a family. Instead of paying rent, they pay into a fund. When that fund equals the cost of the house plus interest, the credit union signs over the deed to the family. If the family leave, or are evicted, the money stays with the credit union, and another family can take up the payments.

Such a system would benefit all involved. The middle-class residents would make money. Firstly, they would make money through the actual payments. Secondly, they would make money by the increase in property value gained by having an increase in property sales in their neighborhood. Finally, they would benefit from an increase in personal investment in the community by the poorer residents. The poorer residents would also benefit. They would be able to actually invest the money that would otherwise be spent on rent. They would also benefit by having access to the financial services a credit union could provide them that usually are denied to poor Blacks. Most notably, ready access to credit resources.

There is no reason to see this as a zero-sum game. The middle-class residents would benefit from an increased investment within the community. The poorer residents would benefit from increased investment in the community. There need not be a winner and a loser in this situation.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

@ Jonathan

Let's take what you said and pretend there are no holes in it. Which I doubt, but let's pretend and say that middle class people could do that without any significant financial risk.

Do you actually believe that people without class, self-respect, intelligence, etc, etc are going to give up using drugs, selling drugs, having *** children, carrying on like depraved ****, and go get a job?

That is pie in the sky liberal stupidity that helped create this mess for working Americans both black and white.

Your beliefs are not sound. If you do this, then they will straighten up. If you do that, then they will straighten up. Nobody can fix another individual's brain.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoy

SFG it is not the people of lower income but of lower standards. Apparently they have some sort of income to be able to rent or buy these foreclosed homes. However these are people by and large from areas where ghetto behavior has become a norm. Regardless of what the median income level was where they came from this is how they acted there and they are bringing it with them. I wish we were talking about dirt poor black people pulling themselves up and appreciating what they have now come to own or rent but we aren't we are talking about a certain group of people, regardless of income, who have bought a lie that to keep it black they have to act a fool. Sorry but don't bring that to my neighborhood. We have enough young people who were already born and raised here who are trying to act thuggish even though they've never seen a street corner or a project or a real gang banger in their lives.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBee

Jonathan, even if people did what you just described, there are SOME folks who would act a thug fool anyway.

Finance, economics wise, yeah, you make some sense, but I think what some of us are saying is that some folks will and do act a fool, regardless of their income.

For example, Prince Georges's County, Maryland has some of the wealthiest African people of this country, yet they have had, in recent years, the highest rate of domestic terrorism(violence) against women, and some of the most horrific cases, i.e., one incident of the husband setting his estranged wife on fire, and then one attempt; thank God, the other woman got away.

Now this is in the 'burbs; WTH did that come from? So having a lot of money, a good government job, owning your own multi-million dollar business, etc., did not make a difference for some families. Some of the fools ran amouk anyway.

Our sister here teaches at Georgetown, naw, she don't live in Trinidad, Barry Farms, Ivy City, Anacostia, etc. More like Bethesda, Potomac, Germantown, Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase, the Gold Coast, etc. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson also teaches at Georgetown, he and his wife live close to Friendship Heights. I've been to their house, their neighborhood, it's all very beautiful there. Yes, there may be people hanging out on the corner, but they're not there acting a fool with noise and all, that's for sure. Their civic association don't play that! :)

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

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