history’s definition of ghetto

What makes the Central District different (special?) is that for a number of decades at least until the early 1970s it was a black ghetto, meaning most of the people who lived there were not allowed to freely live elsewhere in the city.
– Quintard Taylor

Reading the words of Quintard Taylor this morning, I am reminded that what primarily defines a ghetto is exclusion.

Ghetto is about denying people the right to move freely. It is not defined by the constitution or composition of the people living within it. Nowadays, our language and the common usage of the term suggest that the word is more about the people who live within a ghetto not the social forces denying that group of people the autonomy to move, to live, to work or to go to school beyond a confined area. Taylor’s description of Central District as a Black ghetto in Seattle mirror the ghettos trapping Jewish families and communities in Poland and Germany.

This is what history teaches us. And how casual and sloppy use of language shifts blame and blurs who has power and who does not.

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Yes, the donut Top Ten

Mike had told me of the Chinese Food + Donut shop just above the BART station. It was such a distinct storefront that I figured that it would be an easy pick-up location. Sure enough, I was a few minutes early so I picked up two donuts. There are so many flavors and are so tasty that I always buy donuts in two or more.

1. the flavors are expansive — glazed, cake glazed, cinnamon, bavarian creme, maple/chocolate, chocolate/chocolate (aka Double Trouble).
2. portability — As a small and compact single item, you can walk or run with a donut whether it is in a brown paper bag, napkin or sheet of wax paper. It won’t break or crumble. It only gives way when you bite into it.
3. they were GrandpaDick-approved — One thing that my grandpa and I could agree on was how fabulous a donut was in the morning. He ate them until he passed at 90.
4. you know how well they go with coffee?
5. cake donut density
6. supporting small business — donuts are produced and distributed by small-scale producers. There are the corporate chains owned in the northeast, owned by Carlisly Group. But most donut shops are independently owned or franchisees like Daylight Donuts (in NM and CO) and Winchells.
7. foodie is getting hip to the donut — vegan.
8. even grocery store varieties are fabulous — King Soopers and Safeway offer a delicious chocolate glazed.
9. the hole in the middle — makes for unique design, and a memorable eating experience. And everybody likes Os for their symmetry and signifying completion.
10. sweet goodness — i finish my donuts relishing the sweet sugary flavors.
Finally, I’ve got my parameters. I do not do sprinkles (and it has nothing to do with their racist histoircal name of jimmies). Nor do i do Krispy Kreme. For the record, Krispy Kreme is not a donut. It is a sugar cube since it cdissolves on your tongue. A donut requires teeth and chewing, neither of which is required for the fast food fad and stock market bubble of the late ’90s. Good riddance.

Stepping in my pet peeve.

Mariana once said that ‘stepping in dog shit is a bigger deal for you than me.’

Last night proved that right. Worst thing of all, i was scrambling to catch the bus. I had looked the time up, kudos to the new app of onebusaway.com but low and behold, there i was so quick to get on that i didn’t notice the soft squish to my shoe sole until I was forty feet back in the double-deep accordion style bus. And the coffee ice cream colored loam on my shoe from then on reached my nostrils. Fortunately, it was a sparse ridership at 6pm on a Friday night. Try as I may, I tracked that dookie far too long, and too far.

Dogshit. It’s up there with whining, arrogance and stepping in puddles with socks on. Those, are my top four pet peeves. (or at least, what i can remember this morning)

Moral of the story: get to the bus stop early enough to not have to scramble.