Dallas May Have Issues with Segregation, but at Least We Don't Have Poor Doors Yet

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This really happened, right? The civil rights movement?

How can I devote so many words here to housing discrimination in Dallas and not even mention poor doors in Manhattan? I can't, even though I'm still not sure exactly what New York poor doors teach us. Maybe the lesson is just that pompous posturing assholes with thinly defended egos are not a regional phenomenon.

The New York Post reported last month that the city had approved plans for a residential tower on Manhattan's Upper West Side to include a separate "poor door" for people living in subsidized "affordable" apartments in the building, so they wouldn't be walking in and out with the rich people. The New York Times chased the story a couple days ago with a longer and more nuanced report.

Apparently poor doors have been around in New York for a while, but the building at 40 Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson River (if you're a rich tenant) happened to have the bad luck of catching some reporter's eye. In fact poor doors are not unique to New York. Some cities think they're OK, some do not. This month the plan commission in West Hollywood, California, shot down a project that was to include a separate door for poor people, because ... well, to paraphrase, they thought it was gross. Or, as one West Hollywood resident told a reporter, "Wow, New York is bad."

Before I ride around on my high horse too much, I should mention again that Dallas right now is the target of what some parties are calling the biggest racial segregation complaint in the history of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (climbing off horse as we speak). The HUD complaint against Dallas includes a charge that the Atmos project at the east end of downtown doesn't just include a poor door, it includes a separate racially and economically segregated building (shooting horse now).

So it's not like I'm here to brag. But I do have to say this in our defense as a city: at least when we segregate, we have the good sense to lie about it, indicating some small measure of shame, not to mention a vestigial sense of right and wrong.

See also: Ignore All the Smoke Around HUD's Case Against Dallas and See Something Ugly in the Mirror

In New York they tell the poor people they're lucky to have a door. The New York Observer has a piece up now arguing that doors don't make people unequal. They just are. In the Times piece, even the liberals seem to say it would be a mistake to insist on same doors for poor people because then maybe the rich people wouldn't let the poor people live indoors at all:

"There are trade-offs," said Lisa Sturtevant, vice president for research at the National Housing Conference, told the Times. And, to be fair to New York, she's in D.C.

The whole poor door issue just makes me feel stupid. I keep sitting here whacking myself in the forehead. "What? What?" Did I just imagine the civil rights movement? Am I Rip Van Winkle? Is this 1955?

Oh, man, here it is, what a relief: just before total flip-out I come across NextCity, a national website that deals with urban issues. On it, Ariella Cohen writes, "Drinking from separate water fountains was a big deal and sitting in different seats on the bus was also a pretty damn big deal."

OK, that's great. Yeah, I remember that. That really happened. We had the "Colored" door and the "Whites Only" door, and then those had to go away, because they were inhuman, demeaning and insulting to the people against whom they discriminated, and the use of them brought about depravity and moral debasement in the white people who insisted on them.

Here's how a poor door will work. Poor people get off the bus or climb out of the subway and walk to the poor door. Right next to them, some rich lades get out of a limo, and then they do this big boogie line dance with their Burberry umbrellas and their Birkin bags. "Ones, twos, threes, fours, you can't penetrate our doors."

Who needs that? Who wants it? Who could live with it? Lotta people in New York, I guess.

Do I feel superior? No, I told you I shot my high horse at the beginning of this. I think what I feel mostly is fear.


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32 comments
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley

I read three different NYT articles about and it bothers me that none of their reporters addressed what seems to be obvious to me.  The separate doors could potentially benefit all the residents.  IMO, the biggest benefit is not having to wait ridiculously long periods for elevators.  Each wing of the apartment could have dedicated elevator service but we don't know that because the reporters based their articles on zoning, developers, and tax breaks.

the_dude47
the_dude47

it never ceases to amaze me at how people can beat this dead horse over and over.... wtf "deserves" subsidized housing in the first place? and why would anyone who gets to live in a way nicer place (than they could actually afford to) have the nads to complain about it? answer- they don't complain about it, the self righteous/guilt ridden freaks who still live in the 60's are the ones who do.....and make sure they don't have to live among "them". they're the biggest f'in hypocrites ever. most rag writers know if they want to get hits to their story then they need to bring up race, guns and/ or religion. 

the rest of us are over that lameness, life isn't fair- everyone can't be an astronaut.....deal with it and stop making excuses for your own failure.  

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

I'm so confused; thought New York was the beacon of equality looking down its nose at the southern philistines 

mcdallas
mcdallas

Dallas already has poor doors.  Anyone been to a Mavs or Stars game lately?

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

Isn't economic segregation a key component of being a world class city? 


I mean we cleaned a lot of those poor people off of Ross Avenue even though they had been working in small businesses for decades.  Now we can get some shiny apartments- call them Urban and walkable and people will fawn over themselves without nary a thought of the poor that were displaced by royal decree.


The freaking Sam's at Cityplace is probably the only thing that will keep the City from yanking the DHA housing out of the neighborhood now that it is gentrifying.  

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

The Civil Rights movement was about equal opportunity.  Why do people think that translates to equal outcomes?

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Since when does someone that does not pay the same rate get to use the same facilities?  It is a private residence, not public housing.  The government mandates X places at low rates so the builder puts them in one place with specific entrance.  Otherwise the people that pay for the other amenities need a collection of pass cards for each amenity.  The people in the low rates areas (they are not subsidized, the city just says they pay below cost) do not pay for own lodgings, never mind the other areas.  They have no business using them.

markzero
markzero

What makes "poor doors" markedly different in concept from, say, the separate garages and private elevators for people with penthouse suites, that many residential and commercial buildings already have? (To those people, it could well seem that all the rest of us are already going through "poor doors.") So why is it deemed acceptable to segregate entrances and building access by floors, but not by sides of a building, for example?

Chattering_Monkey
Chattering_Monkey

But in New York, poor doors are not about racial segregation, its economic segregation.  They dont care what color you are, if you aren't a socialite or a shaker and mover, they dont want to mingle with you.  In Dallas on the other hand, oh he's black and poor, put him South of 30, but sir he isnt poor, well then he can afford to live in the burbs, we dont want him downtown

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I would (and do) go out of my way to avoid ostentatious, wealthy sorts.

It doesn't bother me too much that they feel the same.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

The poor doors in NYC aren't about lording over anyone.  They are about amenities.  The regular door has a doorman at it.  It has a part that leads to a coffee bar.  There's a gym inside that door.  There's storage rooms inside that door.


The poor door is there because it says, "the city forces us at gunpoint to include these cheap apartments.  We don't have to provide doormen, gyms, bars, and all the other things that attract tenants paying full ride."


You want to get rid of the poor doors?  Get the government out of the rent business.  Neither side wants separate doors.  The only ones who seem to want them is the big government types.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

A man's gotta know which entrance to panhandle.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Well, that answers the question: what do lizards think?

durkamcdurk
durkamcdurk

@Sotiredofitall Except for the whole 'stop and frisk' fiasco. Let's just forget about that racist technique to keep parts of the city in check.

mcdallas
mcdallas

AAC built with public funds, no?


dfw_maverick
dfw_maverick

@PlanoDave  conservative folks believe in equal opportunity, liberal folks believe in government mandated equal outcomes

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@MikeWestEast Wrong, these development are way up on the public tit, gouging for hundreds of millions in tax breaks -- a subsidy that comes straight out of the pockets of the taxpayers. Or have you got a theory how it's not a tax break if it goes to rich people? I enjoy those theories.  

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@markzero 

You nailed it.  There's nothing wrong with separate entrances. The story was just couched in phrases designed to outrage the crazies.

I'm thinking they did this to change the news cycle because something else was about to break.

the_dude47
the_dude47

@markzero one word- "doormen". they get paid to man the entrances and help the people who pay their salaries. your point is very good, this happens all over the place but whenever someone can add some sort of "racist" smear on it then it becomes a "story". 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

If there were common entrance, class would by judged based on appearance, which might exacerbate the divide and create conflict.

the_dude47
the_dude47

@JimSX a smarmier reply would have been "the fox says..." you could have tapped into a semi-current meme as well as double dipped into the fox news crowd, who i  assume chafes you to no end. i don't watch tv but most liberals seem to think fox is the cause for most of their ills. 

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@JimSX Lizard: "Where did that fly go?"

durkamcdurk
durkamcdurk

@dfw_maverick @PlanoDave Thank you for speaking about an entire group of people who have completely varying opinions on just about every topic. 


This just in, conservatives love getting it rammed up their rear-end.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@JimSX  What tax breaks - being able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes?  Same benefits available to anyone, rich or poor.  Yes, I would assume if a building costs 500 million, then associated mortgage interest and property taxes would generate millions in deductions.  It applies to everyone except the idiots that decided that the taxpayers need to own and borrow money for a 500 millions hotel.  No tax deductions there so you got your wish. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JimSX

I'm not saying that the developers aren't benefiting from this, but they also sustain the risks involved. Would there even be an issue around this if nothing got built, there?

Is the city as a whole not enjoying the business / commerce bump created by this development?

Are the subsidized people that make up the pool of potential tenants not also enjoying the benefits of that tax break?

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@JimSX Then it even makes more sense.  Don't call the second entrance the "poor door", call the main entrance the "taxpayer door".

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

Actually rich people and poor people all dress like clowns now.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@MikeWestEast @JimSX 

That's why you'll never see an international sea or air port, a skyscraper, or a nuclear power plant in a Libertarian district.

They're very complex projects - and getting borderline retards who see themselves as victims of the government to go along with them is like trying to teach chemistry to someone with Alzheimer's.


bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@PlanoDave @JimSX 

It's always weird to me when some self-righteous Plano snob says something dumb, like that - that poor people are not taxpayers, so they shouldn't get the things that taxpayers get.

You've been corrected on this a number of times, and by a variety of individuals - yet you keep repeating the same lie over and over.


TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JimSX

The wealthy try to appear bum chic, but you can always tell by the shoes.

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