Archive for the ‘red-lining’ Tag

WANT TO KNOW WHAT RED LINING FEELS LIKE? TRY MONOPOLY   2 comments

My son and I spent a wonderful week recently on the shores of Lake Superior. Relaxing, doing some exploring, reading, removing some computer glitches (mostly me), doing jigsaw puzzles (only Doug) occasionally watching a movie, and playing games. I even beat him a couple of times at Chinese Checkers and Scrabble. But I want to talk about Monopoly.

On each of the first two times around, the roll of the dice landed Doug on two valuable properties. Of course he paid for the deeds and even mortgaged one to pay for another on his third time around. In the meantime, I consistently landed on “Chance” or “Community Chest.” No option to buy anything, except I did pick up two of the railroads. “You’ve won the game,” I said as I sipped my hot tea and traveled around “Go” again to collect my additional $200.00. Doug even landed in jail at one point, but chose to take his chances on a potential double roll of the dice to get out without paying. Why get out? All he had to do was watch me go around and, at least occasionally, land on one of his properties. It wasn’t long before his own trips around “Go” made it possible to free the mortgaged deed. And it wasn’t long before my hopes, along with my enthusiasm, were pretty much shattered. What was there to strive for, really? All the complete blocks were taken. He even owned the other two railroads, so my two weren’t worth much.

In the meantime, I saved a lot of money and collected more each time I passed “Go,” accumulating a goodly stash of $100 bills, so much so that the bank had to ask me to turn some of it into $500.00 bills.  OK, you see where this is going, I’m sure. I mean, I had lots of cash, but basically no property. I was rich. Until Doug built houses and then a hotel on one of his blocks. All I had to do was land on a hotel once and my cash was gone. I had no property to mortgage with hopes of staying in the game. Maybe it looked like I was rich, but I wasn’t. Game over. Doug was loaded with wealth – i.e. property. I couldn’t survive just one big hit. (Maybe it wasn’t a hotel. Maybe it was a hospital I had landed on)

So, what’s that got to do with red-lining? Simple. Imagine that, as the game got under way, you learned that, no matter where you landed, the only properties you were allowed to buy were Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues. That’s red linng. ‘Nuff said?

MY WHITE MA DEGREE — 1952   8 comments

I received my MA in Psychology in 1952. It was an especially large class – 45 as I remember it – because the GI bill had made it possible for veterans to go on to advanced education. This, of course, was a clear opportunity to proceed to professional, better paying, positions.

Including me there were 45 white students. I don’t remember even noticing the pale color of the class. I know now that blacks (Negroes at that time) were in many ways excluded from the benefits other veterans received. I don’t feel guilty for not being aware. Guilt is not a productive emotion. I do, though, feel impelled to support anything that can be done in the present to bring to awareness that injustice still affecting blacks today. What a majorly unfair way to prevent them from building wealth for themselves and their family’s future!

Add to that red-lining and all the other methods used to prevent blacks from financial success  — even destroying successful communities — and all I can say is, I’d be pretty darn pissed, and that’s putting it mildly, if that were part of my famiy’s history. And I should feel guilty if I don’t now learn all I can and advocate however I can for correction, reparations, and restitution.

 

 

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