Monthly Archives: June 2014

Work

7 days and an average of 10 hours a day. I guess I can be accused of much, but it will never be for not working hard and trying my best to move forward. I can feel it in my bones that I will make it. My “make it” is no longer a house and a few nice cars. My make it now consists of things that people like me are not allowed to fathom. For those who hate me, you will hate me more, to those who love me, please keep me in your prayers. I will make it up to you. Sorry I am not there but I must do this.

 

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Motoo

You are a reminder of how the best things in life I lost chasing the one’s that gave up on me. It is hard to imagine the foolishness I have showed in my decisions, now that I can actually see. Your presence was soothing and your love for me is the only thing that can override my worst fears. 

I hope that all is not lost, for if it is, so is my hope of ever truly smiling again. I know you do not wish to speak to me, but if you would, all I would ever say is that I am sorry and that now more than ever I need you to look at the good in me, because I need you to tell me that I am heading in the right direction.

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3 days

I have not slept more than 2 hours in succession at a time for last 3 days. Trying with all my might to make it happen for everyone,  but I must do it alone. Sometimes it feels as if God is no longer interested in allowing me to redeem myself.  My drive further suffers when I feel so horrible, feeling I won’t be able to make it up to some people.  I even prayed for enough success to just repay my debts.
I now fully understand what hanging by skin of your teeth means.

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One breath

” The best and the worst thing, in the same breath”

Sammy

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I am sorry

image

What I learned a very hard way. I promised myself that I will apply my beliefs to my actions.  I went the wrong way and it took some major pain to me and others for me to learn this. I am sorry for what I did.

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Cannot share good or bad with anyone who will believe either fully. I think that realization defines alone. My life possibly changed tonight and I stared at my phone for 30 minutes not knowing who to call. So here I am. I don’t lack company or human contact, I lack the sparkle in someone’s eyes when I tell them I have done something good. 

Being alone, is and always has been my norm. It is what I fear the most and yet find myself most comfortable in. It is what I know, but I never liked it. It is the reason why I make decisions that solely rely on me. People say I pressure myself too much or carry the load of 20 others. It is the only way I know how to live. 

I make mistakes that even shock me, things that I do at times are beyond words. I either panic in fear of making the same old mistakes or I become this animal that must survive. 

If I am to die alone, I wish to die debt free. Please God grant me this one last thing.

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June 20, 2014 · 11:47 am

Why Austin felt familiar..

More than Savannah, Athens, Atlanta, or New Orleans, Austin has earned a reputation as the only salvaged city in the South. That’s the memo delivered to Northern creative types: Skip the stifling humidity of Houston and the oil-money skyscrapers of Dallas, and only drive to San Antonio if you want to watch basketball games—Austin has the bands, the interior Mexican food, the international music and film festival, and it’s bursting at the seams with starry-eyed newcomers hoping to make their way. I was looking forward to all this when I landed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport four years ago. I was belatedly off to college, and Austin had always seemed pretty cool from afar. The promises were simple: a growing city with a fertile scene. Austin never lied about those, but it became clear after a while that I wasn’t asking the right questions.

One look at the census tracts makes it clear, as does I-35, the grey line splitting the uber-wealthy west side from the impoverished east side. According to the Atlantic, Austin stands as the tenth-most income segregated metro area in the entire country. For all of its desire to be removed from the rest of Texas, Austin is in familiar company here. (Some of the other cities in the top ten are San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas.)

I remember exactly when I first noticed it: my first year in town, wandering around the heart of the city, unwittingly crossing through Red River and Sixth Street. It was an immediate shift. Property value sank, and the sidewalks were now populated entirely with black and brown faces. Casting my gaze back west and seeing all that pallid skin bumbling around in merry debauchery, participating in all those Austin promises, made me feel a little guilty. At that moment it was clear that Austin had some unfortunate secrets, because no matter how liberal or progressive your reputation might be, a history of income segregation will always rear its ugly head.

“The first city plan that Austin leaders came up with was designed to be segregated, but they couldn’t legally write that into effect,” says Andrew Busch, a visiting assistant professor at Miami University who wrote his dissertation on the history of segregation in Austin. “The city was built to be separate but equal under Jim Crow. Parks were built for African Americans, and parks for whites and Latino schools were placed in very specific parts of the city. In 1930 you’d see African Americans scattered all over the city, but ten years later they were all on the east side. Then, in the early 60s, the city built I-35 right through the divided area.”

The highway still stands. Jutting across the edge of downtown, a manmade dividing line establishes where “Austin” ends and Austin starts. The city didn’t just refuse to integrate; it built a massive concrete barrier to remind minorities where they belong.

“Austin is one of the only cities I know that has a higher population of African Americans in the suburbs than in the city,” continues Busch. “The racial and economic geography is inverted. In most cities, you have a downtown with a lot of money, and then some areas around that that are bad, and surrounding that are the suburbs that are wealthier and whiter. It’s the total opposite in Austin.”

Right now, Austin stands as the only fast-growing city in the country that’s actually losing people of color. The schools remain segregated by the same designer gerrymandering that split Austin apart at its inception. It’s night and day. West Austin and East Austin. “People are interested in conversations about testing, they’re interested in conversations about accountability, but as soon as you bring up the idea of white kids, brown kids, black kids, and kids of different background going to school together, you’re going to hear crickets in the room,” said University of Texas education professor Julian Vasquez Heilig, who completed a study showing that Jim Crow–era segregation persists in Texas.

Every conversation I’ve had about Austin with outsiders has been punctuated with positivity. We are the ideal. Everyone has heard cool things. Everyone is planning a trip to SXSW next year. The culture has done an excellent job of propping up the mirage. Your first trip through “Austin” will take you through about 40 streets. You’ll see exciting people in action and freshly painted concept restaurants on every corner. You’ll see a parade of tattoos and $12 sandwiches. If you’re lucky, you might even get to visit the gentrified parts of the east side, dine in WuWu Sushi, or buy beer from the Quickie Pickie. You’ll see the new condos molded in young concrete and stand in the shadow they cast over El Taquito on Riverside. You may not see a single one of the Latinos that reside within its borders, although they make up 35 percent of the population. Austin will do anything to make you believe in its promise, even if it must feast on its own.

But how can we posture ourselves as an exception when we know what’s happening outside our windows? There seems to be a perception in the Austin community that because we have rock clubs we’re immune from societal ills. In the face of the numbers, Austin falls right back in line: a rich Texas town that holds on to its whiteness for dear life.

Austin incentivizes the rebranding of its slums, pushing people farther out into hill country to make room for incoming tech companies. We all know this; it’s an open secret. But rent is cheap, and the vibes are chill. It’s hard to feel like a bad guy when you’re just looking out for yourself. Gentrification tastes good. It’s certainly not unique to Austin, either—plenty of cities have done their best to keep the races separate, but there’s only one whose cultural motto is a demand to keep the city weird.

“Keep Austin Weird.” That’s the ever-present, often parodied motto. You’ll find some version of those words in every yuppie café within the borders: “Keep Austin Local,” “Keep Austin Wired,” “Don’t Dallas My Austin.” It’s tongue-in-cheek, but it says something about the way we perceive ourselves.

There’s a belief among Austinites that our city needs to resist outside pressure, and that we’re the ideal. Nothing needs fixing beyond the traffic on MoPac.

The pride of that mindset is poisonous. Someday, Austin will need to realize that not everything is OK

 

By: Luke Winkie

Jun 16 2014Tags: AustinTexassegregationracismracistjim crowjim crow lawsaustin texasliving in austinaustin racism,city planningsegregated cities

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