I am really into reading on Reddit and by really into it I mean reading posts about Phish and Milwaukee. I should really branch out into something else, but never really do. While on vacation last week I saw about post asking for people’s feedback on what they love and hate about Milwaukee.
At the time, not sure if it is still the case, several of the top rated replies mentioned segregation as one of the things about Milwaukee that people, luckily, hated.
Intentionally choosing to live in an area where the vast majority (98% or more) are a different race than I am and close to that number are in a different socio-economic class as I am makes me wonder why segregation still exists on the same level as it does here in Milwaukee. Segregation, to me, seems like a very easily solved problem. In order to create diversity in an area, you just need people that are different living in the same general location. In fact, Milwaukee could easily become totally desegregated by people choosing to move to areas where people are different than themselves.
I know this is an overly simplistic way of thinking and it is totally unreasonable to expect middle class people to purposely choose to live in an area that is considered below their “means”, but I can’t help but think that if even a small group of people decided to do so, that it would have a positive effect on our poorer neighborhoods. One thing I struggle with, among many, is really understanding the positive and negative effects of our lifestyle choice. When we first moved into the neighborhood, I had a vague sense that we were making a difference. However, that difference is impossible to really quantify. Then, I shifted my mindset to focussing on the impact the neighborhood was having on me. Unfortunately, that was even harder to quantify.
After living in the inner city for over 13 years I still don’t have an answer to the question: why do you live here? The purpose of this site is to try to figure that out. I’m not sure if that will actually happen or if it is even a valuable question to be asking myself, but hopefully the stories and strange situations our family has found ourselves in will start to lead us in some direction.