Being a landlord in the ghetto is a quick education.
When I first bought rental property in East Cleveland, I was a typical suburban kid. I mostly believed what I had been told about race in college: that black underperformance was due to racism, whatever that was. At the time of my purchase in 1981, East Cleveland was still a partly white suburb with good schools, public services, and the other amenities that make suburban life comfortable. It was just two miles east of bustling University Circle, Cleveland’s cultural center. It had hospitals, factories, and businesses, and was once the home of John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in the world. Had I been more astute—or, I should say, more racially aware—I could have foreseen the disaster that East Cleveland was to become. There were still a few whites left, but I didn’t realize they were moving out so quickly.
My youthful enthusiasm was soon tempered by the reality of black behavior. After I started renting, I commented to one tenant that another tenant seemed to have a lot of visitors, including people rolling up in wheelchairs. He replied, “Don’t you know? She’s a hooker. She’s turning tricks in there!” My enlightenment continued when a tenant’s boyfriend came out with a butcher knife in his hand to ask me to repair a pipe in her unit. He had no shirt on, his pants were dangling, and I don’t think he had just been helping his girlfriend chop meat. It dawned on me that things were different here than in white suburbia.......To Read More.....
Post a Comment