The racial comments are usually insinuated, but they are there—none the less.
There’s a community of people in our region who accuse Birmingham of failing and blame African-Americans for it.
The purpose of this blog is to create a discussion on better government for our region, but quite frankly, I’m struggling to get everyone’s attention.
Improving our metro government structure is critical because we are losing our children and grandchildren to cities where they have greater opportunities and we’re losing our largest companies which contribute to our community and create good jobs.
The headline above is a Hail Mary attempt to get our negative friends’ attention.
Our Birmingham population loss used to be “white flight;” now it’s “black” flight.
Statistics shows African Americans are escaping the city of Birmingham in record numbers. Why are they leaving? Well, for the same reasons as many of the whites: Better schools, safer neighborhoods and a solid retail and shopping base.
The truth is, despite our differences, we’re all pretty much the same. While flight is a personal choice, it’s also a migration pattern that destroys regions from the inside out. The region cannot survive without a strong central city – that is a statistical fact.
But that’s not what’s bringing us down. It’s not just our fears of each other that are eating us up, but our refusal to work together, to share resources, to learn from each other. Remember, we don’t own racism. Racism is universal.
What we do own is a divisive government that drives us apart. In the end, it’s not the anti-Birmingham sentiment that’s killing our community. It’s the anti-“us.”
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David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).