East Yonkers : Residents’ Reactions
to the Desegregation Case
the rewards of drudgery
Besides neighborhood identity and home prices, people made the argument that it was not fair that minorities should just be handed a free pass into the suburbs. They questioned minorities about their views regarding hard work, and if they thought a bumpy family past earned one a plot of paradise in the suburbs. According to whites that proud heritage seemed erased from the minority applicant card and they relied on their “advance to go” cards. Mr. McLaughlin said that everyone in the suburbs worked hard for their homes. He continued,
Although trying to get his point across in an impartial way, Mr. McLaughlin still marginalized blacks as a lazy race who want to reap the benefits of suburbs while simultaneously bring their demise.
Not clouded with racial undertones, many whites tired hard to convince to minorities that it evolved around rent. The argument people brought to light said that minorities should not be allowed to live in East Yonkers rent free while we were struggling to afford rent. Yes this does seem a warranted reason to be enraged, but they must learn the struggles of minorities before they can be so quick to point the patronizing finger. Minorities have faced the worst of disparity in American’s history. After being forced in to slavery, they did not even see rights as human beings for over 200 hundred years, and even after their freedom, the rights of most Americans take for granted became earned after about 100 years of equality activism. They have been victimized in almost every aspect of live: school, work, the media, folk lore, and the standard for the worst kind of mockery, being equivalent to that of a slave. So while they may not be able to afford rent, it is not necessarily their fault. Never given adequate education to learn financial skills and not even eligible for higher education which could be used to help teach fellow minorities and change outside perspectives, minorities lived a grim reality. Not only that, but occupational opportunities that whites are inherently endowed because of the color of their skin remained unattainable. Mr. Newman argued that we should not blame Yonkers for their racist beliefs because we must remember the results of the Yonkers desegregation case did not create racism; the sentiments being expressed are really the attitudes of most suburbs that abut cities and their government. Duly noted, that does not excuse whites’ behavior, which should have been a little more conscious of their judgmental comments before they branded a racial group.
 Belkin, Show Me a Hero, 186.
 Rimer, “Yonkers Anguish: Black and White in 2 Worlds,” New York Times.