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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Milwaukee: The Urban Underclass and Public Policy | Main | Fast-Tracked Wisconsin "Video Competition" Bill: "Sitting on a Siding, Stinking" »

May 30, 2007


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Eisenberg is decontextualizing and doesn't seem to have a strong background in urban regeneration. He refers to jobs lost 30 years ago--but fails to account for industrial Milwuakee's de facto "last hired, first fired" personnel policies toward African-Americans. It's also still one of the most hypersegregated cities in the country.

His note that "civil rights" somehow ironically caused inner-city poverty lays the blame/responsibility at the feet of the wrong movement/institution. In Atlanta too, black business districts faltered once the right to shop at any store was won.

But it's not the lack of black role-models that created a culture of poverty. It's the lack of any role model. The hypersegregation and disinvestment continued --and that goes to how well our governing institutions and economic decision-makers addressed the problems still in place. The civil rights movement meant that AMERICA won.

But the dynamic Eisenberg identifies indicates that America's economic and governing institutions still failed to address those PLACES that required greater integration, investment, and exposure to wider set of cultural norms. The lack of exposure to knowledge networks and study skills of the classmates in the next row over was especially lacking

Eisenberg's analysis often seems to lack a full-on, in-depth recognition of the dynamic at work and the rich body of scholarship that bears on these issues. He finds a problem (McGee) or a dynamic (black homeowners buying--as any human will--in a good neighborhood) and--full-stop. Self-examination is not his fort-hey. Not a great attribute in a law professor.

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