City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Joe R. Hicks and David A. Lehrer
The Bus Has Left the Station « Back to Story

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Francis W. Stocker April 04, 2011 at 7:25 AM
The rejected complaint used old fashioned nomenclature. "Minority" has fallen out of favor since African Americans and Hispanics either are or soon will be more than 50 percent of the residents of California. The fashionable term is "underrepresented".
The Affirmative Action laws carefully restrict the groups to African American-meaning a person with Negro ancestry even if that component is small, Latino, American Indian, and Pacific Islanders. Asians whether South Asians, North Asians, or Southeast Asians are excluded. (The Asian groups taken globally are in fact "over represented", that is they do better than white folks.)
It is all pretty nuts since "Latino" or "Hispanic" is all about ancestral geography and specifically rejects any racial component. In fact the overwhelming number of Latinos are primarily of Native American ancestry, but there are many white folks of Latin American background who "pass" for an underrepresented minority.
It gets funnier- Brazilian ancestry is excluded.
Recall, we are a nation of laws no matter how unjust or divorced from reality.
Why is a statement of fact racist? The illegitimacy rate among African Americans is over 70%. Read articles in the liberal national media about the financial dilemmas faced by the unmarried mothers of young children in the inner cities. Its always 'the mother lost her job', 'the mother is working two jobs', the 'mother can't afford rent for a large-enough apartment for her five children', etc. And the mothers are routinely referred to as 'Ms.', and never any mention that any husband died, or divorced her. Why isn't there a husband or a father who is working and contributing more to the mother and children than an occasional six-pack of beer and a box of diapers? Mothers with children by multiple absent males is more the norm than the exception in the inner cities. And the senseless violence on the streets of the inner cities has killed more black children than any police officers. The highest rates of infection with sexually-transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea are in the inner cities. Do you think that cities like Newark and Detroit died because of bad weather?
If the White Citizens Councils and the Ku Klux Clan had ever sat down together and worked out a plan to destroy black America, they couldn't have come up with a more effective plan that what the African-American community is already doing to itself.
Self-genocide is the only way to describe what is happening. Calling all of the above 'racism' is hiding your head in the sand.
"Perhaps what’s making today’s civil rights advocates “desperate” is their vanishing relevance in a world of diminished bigotry and increasingly liberal racial attitudes"

Proven by this racist comment in your comments section?:
Howie April 02, 2011 at 2:54 AM
Ms Darensburg should ask the fathers of her three children to pitch in and buy her a car. This way she won't have to take two buses to work. racism
From your piece: "She “endures” long waits for the two buses she rides and has to walk 12 blocks from home to the nearest bus stop."

"Endures." By putting this word in quotes I suppose you're expressing some skepticism about the experience of people who depend on transit - not as a transportation choice but as their only means to access opportunity - which I find interesting. Do the authors have any experience taking transit from the communities where vast numbers of the population do ENDURE increasingly unreliable transit service, rising fares and less frequent access as result of public policies that favor some types of transit - and as a result some communities - over others? I'll look for a follow up piece by the "journalists" that write for your "magazine." Maybe you could cite some data - like the fact the current federal transportation split is 80% highway 20% transit. Or the billions raided in state transit funding to close state budget deficits because of the refusal to raise revenue. Or the fact that most of the people who rely on transit pay for it through their fares and regressive revenue measures like sales taxes.

"What the architects of the civil rights movement struggled for was equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes." Really? This is based on your extensive participation in that Movement? Or your work today? Or perhaps a better conclusion to draw is that the initial struggle was for equality of opportunity to be followed by the struggle for real change - equality of outcome. Given the list of contributors to this "magazine" I suspect your ideological allies were willing to tolerate the struggle for equality of opportunity but not as supportive about equality of outcomes (also known as justice).

The point of this "article" is to confirm your ideological/judicial philosophy. Please don't pretend to have any understanding of the politics of transportation policy and more importantly the meaning of the civil rights movement and its legacy in the struggle for a Just and Equal transportation system in the Bay Area or the nation today.

It's about time for the Black people and their money hungry parasitic lawyers to know that the "racial prejudice"scam is over!
It is good to know that the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw this frivolous case under the bus. Let us hope that this ruling is indicative of more rational decisions to come from this traditionally ultra-liberal Court.

Thank you, Mr. Hicks and Mr. Lehrer, for your clear and edifying commentary.
barry youngerman April 03, 2011 at 5:38 PM
Charges of racism are indeed misplaced here, and class action is not the preferred vehicle for genuine democratic action.

However, I believe that trains do tend to serve the middle and upper-middle class of whatever race -- certainly intercity trains do, especially high-speed rail, which is very expensive everywhere.

Buses, especially city, suburban, and rural LOCAL services, tend to serve the poor, of whatever race, and service has imploded. Lines are few, service is spotty, and prices are very high; its a genuine vicious cycle: it's so bad, nobody takes the bus.

We might get far more for the public transport buck by creatively using buses and jitneys to reach our city neighborhoods, dense suburbs, and rural villages. That would also increase ridership, if not to the point of profitability then at least close.
Perhaps "change has come" to the Ninth Circuit. But only time will tell if this is a trend or a momentary lapse into sanity.
In most American cities it's blatantly obvious that suburban riders are far more lavishly subsidized than urban riders. I don't see any racial bias - especially as the suburbs which are currently the recipient of so many new light rail systems around the country are growing ever more racially mixed. Instead, it's just a matter of density - it costs more per person to service less dense suburbs. Yet the plaintiffs could hardly have based their case around "suburban bias" - despite the fact that American land-use policy of the last 60 years has been exactly that - they would have been laughed out of court even faster.
Ms Darensburg should ask the fathers of her three children to pitch in and buy her a car. This way she won't have to take two buses to work.
The lesson here is - don't mess with light rail. Light rail now trumps black in identity politics.