Skip

Segregated Seattle
October 19, 2007 5:48 PM   Subscribe

Segregated Seattle: For most of its history Seattle was a segregated city, as committed to white supremacy as any location in America. Segregated Seattle is a student/community created website and digital archive sponsored by UW's Civil Rights and Labor History Project. Check out the segregation maps, the short films and slide shows, Activist Oral Histories, and a page where you can browse the site by time period or topic. And the Restrictive Covenants Database will help Seattle homeowners determine if the fine print in their deed forbids the property from being "used or occupied by any person of the Ethiopian, Malay, or any Asiatic race."
posted by LarryC (37 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
For most of its history Seattle was a segregated city

Ever been to White Center or Rainier Valley? Still is.

This is an excellent post, btw. So much for "Seattle Nice".
posted by psmealey at 6:02 PM on October 19, 2007


These look like really interesting links, LarryC, and I'm about to dive into them right now.

I must say, as a child of the south (born and raised in Alabama) I do think it's a good thing to shed light on the institutionalized racism that has existed, and in some cases still exists (in some form or other) in other parts of the country. Seattle, Boston, Chicago: bastions of racial segregation that somehow didn't get that reputation for racism that has been THE defining characteristic of the American south in the minds of so many people in America and around the world.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 PM on October 19, 2007


Fantastic site and excellent post. Thanks.
posted by Rumple at 6:33 PM on October 19, 2007


...Still is.

I would agree. This is a very liberal city politically but it has the largest white population of any American city outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul. I have friends who moved here from Washington D.C. who find the submerged racial tension here really off-putting. They tell me you can have a civil conversation on the street between the races there but not here.

There is a lot of tension. The Torchlight Parade downtown is white at the north end and black and brown at the south end. The light rail is above ground in the south end and a subway in the white north end. Racial violence at public events is not uncommon.

They are talking of removing the amusement ride section at the Seattle Center, for instance, and the great unspoken reason is the kids who come there from the Central Area. And, of course, there is a class issue at work there, too. Urban inner city teens are not the preferred demographic. The powers that be are afraid the affluent whites are being frightened away. And, because there is so little contact between the races, it is a scary place to be after dark on a warm weekend night. There's a very unpleasant unspoken vibe. I have been here for forty years now and, on the street, downtown after dark, it seems worse now then when I was younger. Maybe that's an artifact of being old but I wonder. Oh, there are exceptions and there is contact in some circles but for most people, no, not really. You can't make people who live in separate side-by-side invisible worlds talk to each other. It's a very sad situation.

I had not seen this before--thank you.
posted by y2karl at 6:41 PM on October 19, 2007


The more you know about history, the harder it is to be patriotic.
posted by mullingitover at 6:50 PM on October 19, 2007


The more you know about history, the harder it is to be patriotic.

I'm the other way about that, as the trends over time have been towards openness, equality, democracy, etc. Whitewashing of history hides the progresses that have been made in many areas.
posted by john m at 7:01 PM on October 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


What I like as much as the content of this site is the fact that much of that content seems to have been created by UW students as class projects. I want to teach this way--to create a website with a historical theme and have students add to it each semester. So much better to have them create an accessible and lasting resource than to write papers that end up graded and then put in the trash can.
posted by LarryC at 7:11 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Cool stuff. Being a Seattle resident, I can say there is a lot of segregation, but as you can see from the maps, over the years it has definitely lessened. I went to high school at Garfield, which is right the middle of the big black dot on the "Negro Population" figure, so I got a lot more exposure than, say, my cousin, who lives on Mercer Island and had 2 black guys in a 1500-person school.

I try not to give any power to any supposed "submerged racial tension" - not to say it doesn't exist, but I don't let it bug me on a day-to-day level. As for the Space Needle Fun Forest (it's still called that, right?) I would have guessed they want to shut it down because it's old, depressing, and likely a money hole. I don't know if there is more of a racial divide than in any other given city, but there certainly is one however big it is, and this post is a great way of checking it out.

And really, "Coon Chicken"? Wow.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:57 PM on October 19, 2007


I've lived in Eugene, Oregon for about 8 years. I go to Portland often, and been in Seattle a few times. And I think I've seen about 4 black people in the Northwest so far.

Which puts it waaay ahead of Salt Lake City.
posted by neuron at 8:01 PM on October 19, 2007


[this is good]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:03 PM on October 19, 2007


The irony of it is that Seattle is just an all around "nice" city. A lot of the areas that over the years became thought of as undesirable (to whites) due to segregation, were really awesome neighborhoods. tree lined streets, Big old houses, views of the lake, etc. The Housing Projects at yesler Terrace have some of the most spectacular views in the city. When I was in high school, I'd friends from the North End(mostly white neighborhoods) come to my house in Rainier Valley(mostly Black/Asian) and they'd always be kind of surprised. Like, "wow, your neighborhood is a lot nicer than mine". My friends on Queen Anne, I always went to their houses.

Back in the 90's I always found it funny when my people would complain about being unable to afford a house "in the city". There was always a good chance these people despite, living in Seattle there entire life, had only ventured to the south end of town once or twice. Of course they're figuring it out now, but I don't mind. The house I bought in the mostly Black and Asian neighborhood that I grew up in recently sold for 3 times what I paid for it 12 years ago. Hooray for gentrification!

Also: My nickname for Seattle growing up: Amish Country. It's strange that so much innovation comes from a city that is allergic to progress. They like "new stuff" but they hate progress. I love it, but can't see myself ever moving back. I currently live in Brooklyn, where I am proudly "reverse gentrifying Greenpoint"
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:56 PM on October 19, 2007


Another seattlite here.

I believe the lightrail is underground up north (living on capitol hill, my apt is just outside the demo zone for the light rail station) because it cannot climb the steep incline of the hills, so they have to cut into the hill instead. As an added benefit, the city gets to buy a big chunk of capitol hill and then sell it (in their collective mind, if the bubble holds) for a gain in the future to large property development firms, who will probably be preselling the unfinished spaces to starbucks more than vivace.

I do not deny the racist tendencies and divisions in the city, however I think in part the division is now being reinforced more from financial disparities than intended racial. More 'middle class' whites are moving down to columbia city and other south end locations, as they are the only affordable houses in the area (200-300K last I checked). A result is that they are pushing out the minorities, historically shafted in Seattle, who moved because it was affordable for them. Now they have to move further away from the city, making it even harder to get better job opportunities and continuing the cycle.

And of the course, the light rail which is the step in the right direction providing better mobility for people without a car, is increasing the housing prices in the areas that need it, because the traffic is so bad, people want to be able to commute downtown without having to take 2 buses and maybe get stuck in traffic for 2 hours.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:02 PM on October 19, 2007


I went to high school in Woodinville; one black kid and a few asians in a class of 450 in the mid-eighties. I lived in Ravenna and Fremont for 10 years, and both were pretty white-bread. Seattle, overall, is a damn white city, though.

Out here on the island, you can imagine it's pretty much the same deal. North end has a Navy base, though, which though generally a huge negative overall does bring a lot of diversity to that community.

Thanks for the interesting link.
posted by maxwelton at 9:15 PM on October 19, 2007


I definitely agree that Seattle is in serious need of race discussions. However, someone needs to start the dialogue. It's odd up here. But there are certain places where you can get a cultural cross-section. Try the downtown or central district ymca. Yes, it's segregated. But how do we fix that? I think Seattle is trying. We just need to keep talking.
posted by Bear at 9:44 PM on October 19, 2007


I was a resident of Seattle 1978 to 1980 and I thought having so many Asians was a cool novelty.

Growing up in the South I remember city streets separated, blacks on one street and the street for white were the next one over. With busing I thought it was a racial problem, but being in the military it became apparent that it was more a class issue.

Going to a school in the NE I was shocked at the Boston Southies blatant racism. Hartford & New Haven were really bad and being in the wrong section was a serious mistake.

Once while going to my black friend gandmom's house in DC for dinner, I had a wakeup. We worked together at the same duty post in the military, and we were tight. Walking over to the house we had to take a circuitous route there because he said we would be beaten to a pulp for being on someone else's turff .
posted by Rancid Badger at 9:46 PM on October 19, 2007


The racial tension in Seattle is probably exacerbated by the peculiar, cagey social dynamic known as the "Seattle Freeze". Parallel lives plus a rather well-observed taboo against talking to strangers do not a recipe for race-mingling make.
posted by shunpiker at 10:04 PM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Seattle, like lots of cities in the northern US, was a sundown town. Review of James W. Loewen's book; his site has a database of sundown towns, including Seattle.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:31 PM on October 19, 2007


I'm not native to the area, so I had expectations about the city and surrounding areas that may have been unfounded. For whatever reason, I didn't expect there to be so few black people on the Eastside, or in general. I work in Redmond, and we definitely serve a large majority of white people in our store, followed closely by Indians. Lots of Indians. Not really what I was expecting. I understand the it's the Eastside, that it's rich, snobby people, but still. I had so much hope for the area. Still not as bad as St. Louis, just... surprising.
posted by gc at 1:24 AM on October 20, 2007


Thanks for the post, LarryC.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:12 AM on October 20, 2007


I should point out that while the light rail is at ground-level through Rainier Valley (because it's a valley, right?) it is tunneling through Beacon Hill. North Beacon Hill is perhaps the most integrated neighborhood in the city -- 30% white, 30% Asian, the rest mostly Black and Hispanic. This makes the theory that Rainier Valley doesn't get a tunnel because of its minority population awfully suspect. They could have run it at ground level down Dearborn and bypassed Beacon Hill entirely.

"I've lived in Eugene, Oregon for about 8 years. I go to Portland often, and been in Seattle a few times. And I think I've seen about 4 black people in the Northwest so far."

You're just visiting the wrong parts of town, then.

"They are talking of removing the amusement ride section at the Seattle Center, for instance, and the great unspoken reason is the kids who come there from the Central Area."

I thought it was because it is run-down and the rides are too damn expensive. (When I was a kid my mom took us there all the time. Now she can't afford to take the grandkids.) Sure, there might be thuggish kids of all races hanging out there -- that's a common thing at many amusement parks, but the main problem is that Seattle Center hasn't really put any effort into keeping the area fun, interesting, safe and welcoming to everyone. They have let the area deteriorate, and it's quite sad. (They've also slowly removed more and more of the attractions that used to be there, which also makes it less of a destination. The EMP took some of the area, for example.)
posted by litlnemo at 6:41 AM on October 20, 2007


I understand the it's the Eastside, that it's rich, snobby people, but still.

Dude, get out. Save yourself. As racially tense as Seattle is in parts, the East Side is on a totally different planet than Seattle. My wife grew up out there and every time I had to venture over the 520 bridge for some family bs it was like going into the twilight zone.
posted by psmealey at 7:04 AM on October 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The light rail is above ground in the south end and a subway in the white north end.

No, the light rail is being built in the south end and will only get built if the RTID passes this time out... or when they disconnect the light rail from the road package in 2009.

North Seattle north of 85th is pretty much ignored by everyone south of the Ship Canal. Never mind that 20% of the city's population lives up here. Never mind that 98133's poverty rate of 10.7% isn't that much better than 98118's.

Bus service west of Aurora and north of 85th is a joke, too. On days when I'd ride the bus into campus, it'd take two buses and 45 minutes... if I caught the right express bus. On the way home, it was 90 minutes, because the express buses stopped running to Greenwood at 4pm. I could drive from my house to campus in 20.

I know there was a lot of controversy about not putting the light rail in a tunnel under MLK, but they're getting light rail. We're 20 years from being able to ride the train from Northgate to the airport. And that won't change, because after this election there will be ZERO city council members living north of the Canal.

I know things are poor in the Valley and the Beach, because that's where I first lived when I moved to Seattle. But they have council representation, activism, and an adoring set of white liberals waving them around as political props. And starting in two years, light rail. We have no representation, a crappy set of buses, and a general sense that no one down south gives a rat's ass. And oh, when they finally build the light rail up here, IT WILL BE ABOVE GROUND AND ELEVATED from the U District to Northgate. Just like the El. Oh, that will be so pretty.

Don't give me racism about the light rail.
posted by dw at 10:08 AM on October 20, 2007


I just came in here to answer neuron's comments about Portland because it's been bugging me all night/day, but it looks like litlnemo already did. I really love the Alberta area's strip of boutiques and restaurants being interrupted by the barbershop with pictures of Huey Newton in the window. Also, once when I had to take two buses across town, the one that went through the SE had one person who wasn't white, the driver. On my next bus, which went through the NE to the North (where I live), I was the only white person on it at times. It's definitely a segregated city, which is sad, but it also makes it much like any other American city.

So, yeah, next time you're in Portland, head north toward Rosa Parks Way on MLK (and maybe in the near future, you can travel down Cesar Chavez Blvd.).
posted by sleepy pete at 10:32 AM on October 20, 2007


And oh, when they finally build the light rail up here, IT WILL BE ABOVE GROUND AND ELEVATED from the U District to Northgate.

Which may have as much to do with running out of money as anything else. But, to tell the truth, the history of light rail here is so complicated and screwed up, I'm sorry I mentioned it. At one point, they were going to run it out to near the airport and then stop short a mile or two away. When and if ever the system is built, it is not going to be nothing like Portland's. It's going to be a mess. It's been a horror story all along. And don't get me started on the monorail--that was even a bigger mess.

As for north end vs south end in terms of social services and amenities, for years the rule here seemed to be the north end got the goodies, the south end got the shaft. But that's just my impression from living here over the years. Things have changed since then. In regards to light rail and the Center, my comment was off the cuff and instant, and cranky. A well thought out and reasoned statement it was not. I am in no mood to defend its flaws.

And as dilapidated and crappy as the Fun Forest is, I'll miss it if they take it out. Where else can you go to drive bumper cars in downtown Seattle ?

(Back when Woolworth's closed and before it was turned into Ross Dress For Less, and back before cell phones, one concept was turn it into an indoor amusement ride: Executive Bumper Cars, with each car with a car phone and latte holder in each car.)
posted by y2karl at 11:49 AM on October 20, 2007


And my apologies for the derail my ill thought out and off the cuff comment caused this otherwise fine and worthy post.
posted by y2karl at 1:12 PM on October 20, 2007


Which may have as much to do with running out of money as anything else.

It's more that it could be buried, but they're afraid that if they did, the Valley folk would storm city hall.

And yeah, you're probably looking at $300-500M or more to do a cut and cover.

But, to tell the truth, the history of light rail here is so complicated and screwed up, I'm sorry I mentioned it. At one point, they were going to run it out to near the airport and then stop short a mile or two away. When and if ever the system is built, it is not going to be nothing like Portland's. It's going to be a mess. It's been a horror story all along. And don't get me started on the monorail--that was even a bigger mess.

At least they're finally getting to the airport, even if it's six months after they plan on opening the initial line.

Portland isn't as thoughtful as you'd think. They've been through several rounds of voting where the Tri-Met area as a whole refuse to fund more light rail, so Tri-Met lines up alternative sources. I think they'll hit critical mass, eventually. I rode it to-from the Convention Center went I was at WebVisions, and it's a nice system. Just wish they'd do something about the aggressive panhandling in the cars.

As for north end vs south end in terms of social services and amenities, for years the rule here seemed to be the north end got the goodies, the south end got the shaft. But that's just my impression from living here over the years. Things have changed since then.

If you're comparing Wallingford to the CD, then I'd still agree with you. But compare the areas north of 85th -- Crown Hill, Broadview, Northgate, Bitter Lake, Lake City, etc. -- to the Valley and you'd find the city is pumping far more in down there than up here. Broadview -- and the whole NW of Seattle -- only got their first library after a lot of screaming and lawsuits. The money for the library was shunted into renovating Sick's Stadium for the Pilots. (Which was, of course, in the heart of the Valley.) Northgate only got a library with the passing of Libraries For All.

North of 85th was only annexed into the city in the 1950s. Since then, the city has done little to invest in it, other than a couple of libraries, some fire stations, and the Interurban Trail they may finish one day. Meanwhile, Nickels' strip club plan pretty much guarantees Aurora north of 90th is going to be wall-to-wall titties clear to the city limits, while only small pockets of downtown, SLU, and Capitol Hill will get their own pole dancers.

And the lack of a representation on the Council out of the north end has been a sore spot for years. Peter Steinbrueck lives in Jackson Park; IIRC he's the first council member to live north of 105th in 30+ years. And thanks to this town's unwillingness to go to geographic districts, it will probably stay that way.

But honestly y2karl, no worries. You just hit one of my buttons. I'm not denying there's still strong economic and racial segregation in this town. I'm just saying that up in the North we dream of getting half the attention the CD and Valley get.

(And fie to those who would tear down the Fun Forest. You want to fix the Center? Renovate and expand Memorial Stadium for an MLS team. Then get a workable monorail plan and make the Center the main hub out of which the trains run in and out of. And make it a living and shopping area with plenty of room for festivals and Folklife and Bumbershoot. Make it into a central piazza. It's the heart of our city.)
posted by dw at 2:27 PM on October 20, 2007


My Plan for reviving the Center ? Recreate the original 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

If we build it, He will come. /derail
posted by y2karl at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2007


I await the day that dw, y2karl, and I get together to chat about Seattle history. That should be fun. I'll wear my "Monorail: We said YES!" t-shirt...

"And as dilapidated and crappy as the Fun Forest is, I'll miss it if they take it out. Where else can you go to drive bumper cars in downtown Seattle ?"

Damn straight. I love the Fun Forest, and it breaks my heart to see so many people say they should just tear it out. I had so many great times there. It needs revitalization, not removal.

"(And fie to those who would tear down the Fun Forest. You want to fix the Center? Renovate and expand Memorial Stadium for an MLS team. Then get a workable monorail plan and make the Center the main hub out of which the trains run in and out of. And make it a living and shopping area with plenty of room for festivals and Folklife and Bumbershoot. Make it into a central piazza. It's the heart of our city.)"

Ah, a man after my own heart. When are you running for mayor? However, you have to figure out a way to include the return of the Skyride to this plan to make it perfect.

"North of 85th was only annexed into the city in the 1950s. Since then, the city has done little to invest in it, other than a couple of libraries, some fire stations, and the Interurban Trail they may finish one day. "

I grew up in Lake City. There are no sidewalks in most of that area north of 85th, with some exceptions such as 35th NE (but even Sand Point Way doesn't have sidewalks, and until recently, that was a state highway). You would think that 50 years after annexation, they might have gotten around to adding sidewalks and paving the roads properly, but no.
posted by litlnemo at 5:25 PM on October 20, 2007


Oh, and I like y2karl's plan for Seattle Center Revitalization.

Why can't we just have another World's Fair? Do they still have those things?

Of course, if we did, it would be like when they tried to put us up as an Olympics candidate -- it would be shot down in flames. The city no longer has the will to host that kind of big event.
posted by litlnemo at 5:27 PM on October 20, 2007


The Seattle Center can never generate enough income as an "amusement center" to come close to competing how much the land underneath it all is worth.

Remember the Seattle Center received a ridiculous amount of development attention in the late nineties... what with the atrocious Paul Alan personal crap collection... er... the Experience Music Project and Sci-Fi museum.. the city poured dollars in there to no avail. Real Estate was appreciating at much higher rate than festivals or roller coaster revenue could compete. So all that was for naught.

As for the current existence of Racial Segregation? Well. I'll tell you there is certainly intense and deliberate class segregation in this town. Which eventually amounts to the same thing... but I wouldn't over state contemporary racial problems. They are certainly not as bad as many, many places in this country.

In fact some times the Seattle passive-aggressive inclination to over react on issues of race has been a problem in and of itself. Anybody remember how Seattle Authorities bent over backwards to remove race from the public rhetoric about the Mardi Gras Riots in 2000? Simply because talking about young black men rioting and targeting and beating up white people was just too uncomfortable to talk about.
posted by tkchrist at 5:43 PM on October 21, 2007


Simply because talking about young black men rioting and targeting and beating up white people was just too uncomfortable to talk about.

They may not have talked about it but the a local newspaper had no problem of printing big ass pictures of a wild eyed and wild haired young black man standing with brassknuckled fists raised amidst bleeding white guys and local TV news had no problem broadcasting and re-broadcasting pictures of, among other things, other young black men punching the shit out of a five foot tall, 100 pound white girl. There was a ton of footage from all sorts of locations. That was one of your first cell phone, digicam mash up news stories. The local TV news ran everything they could get their hands on every broadcast for a couple of weeks in my recollection. The one thing that kept that story down was the Nisqually earthquake that happened the very next morning. The Mardi Gras riots certainly did not remove race from the public consciousness.
The unspoken narrative of the Mardi Gras riots is this: They started as a series of random and oafish acts of vandalism committed by drunken white buffoons. But then, as the night progressed--when gangs of young black men got involved--things got truly ugly. Scary. This was a race riot. And not a race riot in the late-20th-century sense, which is more akin to a prison riot--meaning a riot that erupts and is contained in a specific area. No, the kind of race riot Seattle produced was different, scarier in two ways: (1) blacks exploded not in their own neighborhood, but in a white, commercial district; (2) their rage was directed not at the police, but at white civilians.

The images were powerful. One in The Seattle Times showed a group of blacks kicking a huddled white man. Another in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer showed a group of blacks beating up a huddled white man, as other white males fled in fear. On NorthWest Cable News, the camera showed similar images, one of which was so disturbing (a blond woman getting her head smashed by a black male) that the feed was suddenly cut.
Does It Explode?

No one said anything about the race of the attackers or victims on the TV news but they did run with the footage.
The citizenry gets it, of course: Many saw with their own eyes groups of black youths pounding on whites; plus, the Mardi Gras riots came only six months after a series of racially charged beatings in Belltown. After Fat Tuesday, talk of racial tension ricocheted around town, in barrooms and on talk radio, yet our daily papers initially refused to acknowledge it...
Blackout

...but I wouldn't over state contemporary racial problems.

I don't think the problems were overstated, after the fact, in the case of the Mardis Gras riots. More like an official public amnesia was declared. But everyone who was here then remember those pictures and those videos now gone from the station archives. They were all over the place for a couple of weeks. The public amnesia about the elephant in the room is not necessarily the private memory.
posted by y2karl at 10:34 PM on October 21, 2007


The Seattle Center can never generate enough income as an "amusement center" to come close to competing how much the land underneath it all is worth.

It's all cyclical, though.

30 years ago, you could get a house on top of Queen Anne for under $40K. It was a lower-middle class area that still had lots of hippies and flophouses.

20 years ago, the U District had a retail core that didn't consist entirely of the U Bookstore and teriyaki. The junkies were just starting to flood into town.

10 years ago, Columbia City was still mostly boarded up shops and a handful of local boutiques and nail shops. The big new Safeway had just opened up the road -- the first major retail store in the Valley since Eagle Hardware opened on the old Sick's Stadium site. And it sure beat the Safeway on Othello -- no drug sales in the parking lot.

Now, a house on Queen Anne starts at $600K, the U District awaits the UW takeover of the Safeco Building in 2008 with the hope that all those university employees will stream out onto the Ave looking for something besides teriyaki (they're tearing out the Safeco cafeteria to ensure that happens), and Columbia City is massively gentrified.

As for the current existence of Racial Segregation? Well. I'll tell you there is certainly intense and deliberate class segregation in this town.

The truth is that the poor are being pushed out of the city limits. It's even getting expensive to live in White Center now. More and more you're seen lower classes pushed into Federal Way or up into Lynnwood -- or beyond. I know a number of people who live in Marysville because they want a yard. And they commute to Seattle every weekday.

Seattle is heading towards being a cross between Boulder and San Francisco -- full of yuppies and older folk who paid off the mortgage, loaded with young people sharing tiny condos and apartments, and the urban poor stacked like cordwood in near-tentament conditions. Here, though, I'm worried that we could be looking at a place where the only families are very poor or very rich, with middle class families driven out beyond 405. And that would spell a world of hurt in 20 years, because the rich will die and the middle class won't replace themselves... and suddenly, you're a very pretty Detroit.

They are certainly not as bad as many, many places in this country.

I grew up in a city where the railroad tracks really did separate white from black. Seattle is nowhere near that.
posted by dw at 10:48 PM on October 21, 2007


And as for racism, this town likes to think that its liberal candy coating can hide their dark hearts, but I remember the Makah whale hunt. I remember this guy, dressed like a classic Seattleite (with Birks on) talking about the "redskins." And others going on about how old treaties weren't important, and why were they too drunk to build a bingo hall like all the other tribes?

As a Native American, that really pissed me off.

The public amnesia about the elephant in the room is not necessarily the private memory.

And the private memory implicitly drives things around here. I think it's a big factor in the recent nightclub crackdowns. People are implicitly afraid what happened in Pioneer Square could happen again in Belltown. It's "noise" and "traffic" that are the public reasons, but privately it's "I don't want to be beaten on the way home."
posted by dw at 10:59 PM on October 21, 2007


And litlnemo -- not coming to the meetup at the Zoo? Then, your Seattle history geek dreams could come true....
posted by dw at 11:27 AM on October 22, 2007


Just for the record, to correct what someone posted about Seattle being the 2nd whitest city after Minneapolis/St. Paul, here are the 25 whitest big cities in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau (2004 estimates)

1 Lexington-Fayette, KY
2 Colorado Springs city, CO
3 Louisville-Jefferson County city, KY
3 Portland city, OR
5 Omaha city, NE
6 Mesa city, AZ
7 Wichita city, KS
8 Virginia Beach city, VA
9 Anchorage municipality, AK
10 Indianapolis city, IN
11 Toledo city, OH
12 Seattle city, WA
13 St. Petersburg city, FL
13 Tulsa city, OK
15 Columbus city, OH
16 Pittsburgh city, PA
16 St. Paul city, MN
18 Oklahoma City city, OK
19 Nashville-Davidson, TN
20 Minneapolis city, MN
21 Jacksonville city, FL
22 Raleigh city, NC
23 Kansas City city, MO
24 Arlington city, TX
25 Las Vegas city, NV
posted by modernist1 at 4:30 PM on October 22, 2007


So, I stand corrected. We're #12.

We're #12! We're #12!

And P-town is #3. Man, oh, man.
posted by y2karl at 6:16 PM on October 22, 2007


Heh, I haven't been to the Zoo in years. At one point I was in a band that played there sometimes. Anyway, dw, I will probably be picking someone up at the airport that night (another MeFite, in fact), so most likely I can't make that meetup. But you never know.
posted by litlnemo at 3:19 PM on October 24, 2007


« Older "Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution"   |   Bacterial marketing: the other Oskar Schindler Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post