My first thought upon hearing this passive-aggressive rant was, You, sir, are a goddamn idiot.
I've heard this opinion voiced a thousand times, and usually more explicitly than the anonymous Buffalo resident articulated. There's far more "damn niggers" in the complaints I hear, almost daily, from aging drunk white men in the southern suburbs of Syracuse, lamenting how their neighborhoods have been overrun and recounting their imagined halcyon days of quaint restaurants, honest dealings, and murder-free walks along Salt City streets.
But, to play Devil's Advocate, are they right? The answer is, like many race-related issues... complicated.
How did the HOLC manage to rate every major metropolitan area in just one year? They had your average real-estate guy survey the neighborhoods and answer the following questions:
- Is the area new or recently-built?
- Is there an infiltration of a lower-grade population? (including Negroes, Jews, and foreign-born whites?)
If you live in Syracuse, like I do, this will seem like common knowledge. But keep in mind, these designations were made in 1937, halfway between the Civil War and now. Nedrow, the South Salina corridor, the quadrants created by the intersection of 81 and 690... these are the Red Zones. Anything along a railroad or bordering a factory is at risk. Downtown is No Man's Land.
(Thanks to Kristen R. for the video submission.)