Thursday, June 24, 2010

Distinct Realities

Hi fellow bloggers and followers I have been rather MIA in the past few weeks. I have been busy with finishing up at my job and training a fellow worker but I just stepped down from work and I should have more free time to blog when the ideas come to me, however I am back on the digital horse.

Have you ever strolled down 170 Street and Grand Concourse in the Bronx or have you ever taken a trip to the Riverdale section of the Bronx and spent a day there? Ok well let me pose another scenario have you ever taken the 6 train and got off at 86 and Lexington or taken it to 103 and Lexington. The irony of these two separate situations is that in each situation the two areas are close in vicinity but worlds apart. Walking by the East side of Manhattan below 96th street and above 96th Street is like night and day, there is an ostensible difference.

I dont get it, its mind boggling! The missing piece to the puzzle is found in the clear distinction that represents an economic disparity. The areas where 170 Grand Concourse and 103rd and Lexington are located are under resourced, underserved, and disadvantaged. On the other hand, 86th and Lexington and Riverdale are located in areas that are well kempt, privileged, and excessively resourced. I think I have reached an epiphany!!!!! The Upper East side along with Riverdale are overwhelmingly more affluent than the the areas in the South Bronx and Spanish Harlem. This means that there is a significantly lower crime rate, better quality of education, and more funding for the community in general. Higher property tax in richer areas allows you to keep your neighborhood safe and clean, as well as provide funding for better schools. Now if you examine the demographics in each area they are also very different. In Riverdale and the Upp. East Side there seems to be a majority of whites in the upper-echelon and in the South Bronx and Spanish Harlem the population is predominantly Black and Latino from a lower socio-economic status.

The class distinction is astonishing when you juxtapose the South Bronx/Riverdale or Spanish Harlem/Upper East side. During the Jim Crow Era, segregation was more apparent because it was driven by race. The dynamic has changed and a new age of segregation has emerged, and its called classism! I define classism as a distinction of different neighborhoods based on socio economic status. While the dictionary defines it as "a biased or discriminatory attitude based on distinctions made between social or economic classes." Next time you are in a "nicer" neighborhood take a closer look and scrutinize the population; you will be surprised at what you discover!!!!!!!

Until next Blog, see ya :)


  1. I think this piece is full of depth and common-knowledge brilliance. Ironically, someone like myself doesn't see this as an epiphany. It depends on one's exposure and upbringing I guess. Everything you describe here is quite traditional for many. This is the REALTY of most post-imperialism nations. I actually grew up in a household where "Classism" was celebrated. It went along with etiquette, basic protocal, and education. It's a sad reality, but that dynamic is what governs the suburbs, and all these other "elite" areas.

  2. Unfortunately this is the stark reality of the world we live in. Humans always find a way to divide themselves or maybe the power that be and the bureaucratic structures partition us to benefit a "greater cause" or to keep certain populations in check! We will never know! Yes while I do think this is the dynamic that governs the suburbs it is also prevalent in the metropolitan areas like New York City. These issues must be brought to the forefront. We should have both suburban and urban populations realize these distinctions or maybe we should to organize some sort of public discourse and expose each other to these parallel yet schizophrenic realms!