Racist Roads?

Thank God I gave up spending my life reading news websites in favor of living to enjoy life. A few years ago I spent myriads of hours reading political BS about just about everything. All it did was to expand my vocabulary to understand what Democrats were calling me, like racist, homophobe, xenophobic.

This morning I spent driving to the north suburbs of Chicago to visit a business called Aum-Bio in Rolling Meadows. My wife believes and relies on alternative therapies for curing her ills and maintaining her health. Upon our return I decided to spend an hour reading internet news sites. The one headline that caught my attention contained the term “racist roads.” That one made me laugh out loud. Democrats are no longer satisfied with calling their opponents racists and are turning to the roads. Pretty desperate if you ask me. I had to open this article to get the details for how roads can be classified as racist. Wonder-Boy Secretary of Transportation Mayor Pete Buttigieg made the comment. He explained that he would use a large percentage of the money from the 1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure bill to address the problem of racist roads. To me that means that he will invent several new agencies staffed with high paid impossible to fire government employees to study the problem and at the end will recommend replacing the so called roads with new ones that cut right through old established neighborhoods.

Back in the nineteen fifties then mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley was responsible for getting a new super highway built to serve Chicago. Since Lake Michigan borders the east side of the city the new road had to enter the city from the south, and exit to the north. This road would be part of Interstates 90, and 94 that skirt the south end of Lake Michigan and then head back north through Chicago into Wisconsin before they again turn west at different latitudes.

The 1950’s demographic history of Chicago shows that most of the black population lived on the near south side in ghettos that came into existence after the great fire in the eighteen hundreds. I can call these ghettos because I personally witnessed the neighborhoods as I road the Red Rocket street car down Cottage Grove Avenue to 22nd street where I got off and walked to Michael Reese Hospital for physical therapy. I was shocked at the dilapidation of the buildings along the way especially those north of 55th street. It got worse and worse the further north toward the city-center. At times I was the only white boy on the car amongst blacks. Since I wore a neck brace and used crutches I was often offered a seat by a black person, usually a very tired looking lady who could hardly wait to get home. Since I was taught to respect my elders I never accepted an offer, I waited until a seat became open. I never feared for my life, no one ever tried to intimidate me we were just passengers on a public mode of transportation trying to get somewhere.

Looking at the map that decided where the Dan Ryan Expressway (1-94) was to go, it is clear to see that the black population won privy to Chicago’s prized lakefront access. It was the white who could not cross under low bridges by bus to get to the beaches, it was the blacks who had privilege to prime lakefront views and access. It was the whites who could not access Chicago’s largest parks like Washington Park, and Jackson Park. The whites the of the city are owed reparation for access to the prime lakefront properties, and access to the nicest parks in the mid-west.

Since the fifties and Interstate 94 (Dan Ryan Expressway) was completed as a necessary road, the black population has expanded twenty miles to the east and west sides of I-94 all the way into the south suburbs to east-west road Interstate 80. Chicago has had a Democrat mayor exclusively during that time. Wonder-boy Mayor Pete should have claimed this fact as well in his announcement. Instead he makes it sound like the entire population of the U.S.A. is race hating. I can say with some probability of accuracy that his home town of South Bend, Indiana of which he was mayor, has a similar historical story to tell.

I do say to Wonder-Boy Buttigieg yes, Chicago was segmented into neighborhoods, and yes, at that time whites were very prejudiced. I have a problem with that because my trips for physical therapy were the result of spending four months in a hospital being cared for by many black nurses, and therapists. I got to know these people very well and never came to a conclusion that they were anything other than people just like me. They just happened to be a different color and a different culture. Maybe Mayor Daley decided the interstate should split the blacks from the whites, but he had to make a decision on which neighborhoods to upset with this road which goes directly into the city from the south, and at the same time would destroy some very old and dangerous buildings.

As I examine the map above the split shows a that ten to twenty percent of the black population was on the white-side(west) of the highway. Since the interstate system was new in 1950 there were no laws that dictated the clearance of underpasses or overpasses. As a point of interest the Dan Ryan does not have underpasses. Every street that crosses the highway is an overpass and does not limit any bus or truck from passing over it. The laws did not dictate that there should be ample clearance for busses to carry us from the west to the east side beaches because there was no need for it. It is my guess that if Wonder-Boy Buttigieg were in a position to make that decision he would have done exactly the same, except he too would have forgotten to raise the clearances for busses. Where we do have clearance problems is when a railroad crosses a road. Many of these underpasses are so low that trucks crossing under them decapitate their roofs. Wonder Boy does not address problems caused by hundred year old railroad crossings. Were these intentionally made too low for the purpose of separating blacks from whites? I don’t think so.

There are no racist roads anywhere in the country, only racists who keep promoting that we are a racist country.

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