Glad They're Not Like Us

A study sponsored by the Cincinnatus Association has good news about racial integration in Greater Cincinnati, showing 14 communities have been integrated for more than 20 years. A monthly newsle

Sean Hughes

Nathan Singer sang, "If God is on our side, then God is wrong" at Sidewinders in Northside.

A study sponsored by the Cincinnatus Association has good news about racial integration in Greater Cincinnati, showing 14 communities have been integrated for more than 20 years. A monthly newsletter from Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) — a non-profit agency that helps people who have experienced illegal housing discrimination — reports the study and says diversity should be celebrated. But HOME also points out that integration sometimes is less than it appears.

"Some communities look integrated based on data from one census," the newsletter says. "However, many are in transition — older suburbs changing from white to black or inner city neighborhoods being gentrified and changing from black to white. The goal is to stabilize these neighborhoods as integrated and mixed income."

The 14 communities identified as integrated for more than 20 years are Central Business District/Riverfront, College Hill, Corryville, East Walnut Hills, Fairview/Clifton Heights, Forest Park, Kennedy Heights, Madisonville, Mount Airy, North Avondale/Paddock Hills, Northside, Pleasant Ridge, University Heights and Spring Grove Village.

Diversity isn't always celebrated, however, especially when it comes in the form of newcomers. Throughout U.S. history, immigrants have been perceived as a threat — and not just by the uneducated or the politically conservative. The Cincinnati Post recently carried an ugly letter to the editor from Tim Mara, a Cincinnati attorney and former Democratic political candidate.

The letter blasts a guest column that suggested immigrants deserve support, not scorn. Undocumented immigrants deserve their suffering, according to Mara.

"The writer praised the illegals for sharing cramped apartments," he wrote. "I say such conditions are the inevitable result of running from the law, and I have no more sympathy for them than I do for those whose pictures are on display at the post office."

Resistance Takes Many Forms
A progressive person embedded in Northern Kentucky says civil disobedience is taking its toll on an orange gridded plastic fence along the earthen floodwall in Dayton. The fence aims to keep people from a construction area along the Ohio River. But it has apparently evoked resentment from people who don't want to be separated even visually from their beloved riverfront.

"Starting the very first night after the fence was erected, it's been cut and/or trampled down in dozens of places nearly every morning," says our anonymous correspondent. "Work crews mend it with plastic ties, and the next night it gets cut again. By now nearly every panel of the fence hangs from just one or two feeble plastic ties."

One person's vandal is another person's freedom fighter.

A standing-room-only crowd turned up July 7 at Sidewinders Coffee and Tea in Northside to hear poets fire verse and singers wage song against war. The occasion was the release party for Country At War: Reflections on the War in Iraq, a collection of commentary and art by Greater Cincinnati writers and artists. Copies of the book, available at Sidewinder, Shake It Records and InkTank, are $8. All proceeds go to the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust.

For more news about people creatively sticking it to The Man, visit CityBeat's Porkopolis blog at

Porkopolis TIP LINES: 513-665-4700 (ext. 138) or pork(at)

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