Cleveland is very segregated. I've heard it said that (with respect to African-Americans and Caucasians) Cleveland is one of the most segregated cities in the United States.
In our city's history, as in the history of many other American cities, the people with money and power (white almost without exception) made it this way intentionally. Of course, it was all unspoken. But it was definitely intentional.
These days, in the year 2000, a time when it seems like we should be enlightened to some degree, a white person can't drive down Woodland Avenue without getting yelled at, and a black person can't drive through Little Italy without fear of verbal or physical abuse.
This city is so segregated, and I HATE it. My wife and I live near Shaker Square, in the city of Cleveland proper. The neighborhood is pretty mixed here. It has its rough edges, but it feels natural-- like things are the way they should be. People walk, people talk to each other. So many places in the city are not like this.
Everybody's afraid. Rich people are afraid to live next to poor people, white people are afraid to live next to black people. The fearful move out to the suburbs. The fearful become agressive. It's bullshit. The best neighborhoods in the world are a mix of everything and everyone. If people would educate themselves, and graduate to the level of "human," rather than living their lives ruled by knee-jerk reactions, instincts, and stereotypes (as animals do), this world, this city, this place would be much more pleasing to inhabit.
I don't like feeling fear in anyone's neighborhood. I don't like having to be on the defensive. But I don't make it a habit of abandoning a place just because I'm afraid-- that's not a good enough reason.
You can't make this stuff up. Life is rich.
The web, it's so... self-referential. I mean, it seems that most of what people want to talk about on the web is the web. Sure, there are plenty of diverse interests expressed in the chat rooms and message boards of the world, but the people who seem to use the web the most (as evidenced by their frequent blog updates and rigorous web projects) seem to focus most of their efforts on web-related stuff. We need to remember... it's about people. It's about living. It's about the things that connect us, both physically and spiritually. The internet is useless without these events we call "real-life."