Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My home town (Plus: Am I a racist for noticing this...?)

Behold, the greatest Rifftrax riff EVER. 16 seconds of pure capital-T TRUTH.

From the Urban dictionary, this definition of Dundalk:
...a rotting cesspool on the Eastern side of Baltimore County, Maryland (known to those in Dundalk as "Merr-land"). Sandwiched between a sewage treatment center aka the shit plant and a disgusting town called Highlandtown, Dundalk houses some of the most vile Maryland residents. Women there often boast between 6-12 teeth, hair that is at least 3 shades and copious amounts of 5$ tattoos. They have 6 kids each, with approximately 2-3 fathers, of which 1 is known. The species known as the Dundalk male frequently wear shorts that end only 2 inches from their white Reebok classics, with an Ecko shirt that they spent their entire paycheck on. Even though they have their hair shaved to a 1 they use a half a bottle of Dep gel and brag about the silver chain they bought at the North Point Flea Market.

Popular Dundalk hang outs are the Zu and Howards Pub, which on any given night, entertain you with some of Dundalks finest getting into brawls over mistaken facial expressions or a Dundalk whore showing up to the bar with her new babydaddy to make 3 or 4 other babydaddies jealous.

Devoid of good dental and linguistics but full of leg-spreading sluts and exciting new STD's, Dundalk is a place you never want to experience.
This is true for much of the rest of Balmer. I've never once heard a young woman refer to her husband or boyfriend; they always talk about "muh baby's daddy."
Hooked up Civics with "fart mufflers" reign supreme on the streets.

The girls are known for getting pregnant by the age of 14 and having 2 kids by age 17. Bottom line people, along with Essex it is the arm pit of BalCo.

Not only have I eaten in this restaurant, I've dined at this exact table. (But in the above video, I think the culprit was actually booze.)

Let's end this investigation of Baltimoronism by tying it into the thornier question of racial relations.

Most of the young (and not-so-young) white women in this lower-class Bawlmer suburb have babies born of an interracial union. These women may not have husbands, but they do have the babies. In this town, I have never seen a single baby or toddler born of two white parents or two black parents.

Everyone comments on this situation. It's a local joke.

For quite a while, I've been castigating myself just for noticing the local demographics. Back in CA, interracial dating never bothered me; in fact, I've gone out with a black girl myself. I've often jokingly told people that America could solve half her problems if we made interracial marriage mandatory. So why does the eastern sector of Baltimore bug me...?

Then it hit me: How would I feel if I were a young black female living in this ghastly burg? The young African American women here are never seen pushing strollers. These women can't feel very desirable or valued.

Yet most of the truly attractive females in this town tend to be black -- some of them look like fashion models. With few exceptions, the white women range from homely to, well, much-worse-than-homely. If I were younger and unattached, I know which ladies I'd be most likely to ask out.

So. Does the fact that I noticed this trend indicate some residual racism in my own soul? Or are the fathers of those children the true racists?
What percentages of the working class population of Dundalk are black, white, half-caste, or some other ethnicity?

Also, what about half-caste parents?

Or is the high level of intermixing between ethnicities just a recent thing?

Some suggestions:

1) male white youths in the town aren't as gagging for sex at a young age as many male black youths are

2) female white teenagers are more gagging for sex than female black teenagers are

3) female black teenagers don't want to have babies so young, or are more clued up about contraception

4) the religious demographics stack up markedly differently for black people and white people in the town.

The town in the Republic of Ireland that Dundalk in Maryland is presumably named after also had a terrible reputation. Advice to tourists was "avoid".

IRA gangsters used openly to carry guns in pubs etc., and sometimes mount roadblocks. Going there if you weren't from there was asking for hassle. If you were from there, you had to keep your head down.

When the troubles ended in Ireland, most of the paramilitaries started getting their money from activities related to "financial services", especially debt - and economic activities auxiliary to debt, such as house-building - and insurance (Sean Quinn).

The demand for debt among the general population was built up to such a towering level that it was easy for most big figures and even middling figures to make loads of money, in many cases without having any 'education'.

(Interestingly, the media pumped out the word "tiger", as in "Celtic tiger", to describe the economic boom. In Ireland this exact same word is also used to denote a type of bank robbery involving taking a bank official's family hostage and making him withdraw a huge amount of cash.)

Most of those who were already fairly rich (and there's little semblance of a division between criminal and lawful in Ireland) got a lot richer fast. Only a proportion of the greedy parasitic rich bastards borrowed too much themselves and got into trouble. How my heart bleeds! As for the rest of the population, they have been (and are) totally fucked.
b, the demographics in Dundalk and Essex are roughly 90 percent white, 8 percent black and the rest "other."

I'm being very honest when I say that I'm not used to living around white people. Working class neighborhoods in CA abound with Latinos, most of whom are usually pretty wonderful people.

I'll be candid. The white people here in proletarian Balmer are, quite simply, the worst human beings I have ever encountered. They're barbarians. Savages. The blacks are a bit more civilized, but not by a whole lot. As usual, the (few) Latinos are friendly and nice.

Yet one local politician actually blames this area's problems on "immigration." Talk about scapegoating!

I feel weird talking about the racial politics here, since the history is kind of disturbing. Maryland used to be a slave state -- even though it was on the side of the north!

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of black/white friction nowadays. But it is staggeringly obvious to everyone that the black men here simply don't want to sleep with black women. People joke about that situation, but they also seem to accept it.

Maybe the problem is with me, but I can't understand why ANYONE would prefer the white female residents of this place. These ladies look like -- well, do you know who Divine was? Personally, I'd need a bucket of Cialis to make a mother out of one of these women. Meanwhile, a good proportion of the African American ladies here are quite attractive. They're certainly the only females in these environs who ever display any sense of style.

I have spoken to one resident of the Essex/Dundalk area who has visited the "other" Dundalk in Ireland. The two towns apparently are much alike, except the row houses in Ireland are painted much more colorfully.

Dundalk, MD is also located halfway between the NSA and the Edgewood Arsenal (which was the home of all sorts of strange Army experiments). If you can use that factoid as the basis for a good conspiracy theory, I'd be much obliged.

Please dont use the phrase "half-caste" if you can avoid it. Mixed race is an appropriate phrase. If you wish another offensive alternative I would suggest "mulatto" or "quadroon".

Use of "Half-caste" is similar to use of the word "colored".

Those of us of mixed race can be a bit touchy about these things. Whats the point of all that hybrid vigour if you can stop people using phrases which have derogatory implications?

As for why mixed race kids have proliferated, my guess would be that a) most males (both black and white) are in hopeless situations locally. They will never have money. So marrying them is a hopeless act. However some of the males are in very good physical shape. There just happen to be more black males in very good shape. In addition, I bet if you checked, the relationships might reflect relative rates of domestic violence.

Just guessing.
My mother used to tell the following story:
A family moves into a new house. They ask their next-door-neighbor about the people there. The neighbor asks, "How were the people where you used to live?" "Terrible," comes the reply, "They were mean and ugly." "People are like that here, too," the neighbor says. Another family moves in and asks the same neighbor about the people there. Again the neighbor asks, "How were the people where you used to live?" "Wonderful, we were really sorry to leave, the people were so kind and generous," he is told. "People are just like that here," the neighbor says. Baltimore is one of the great cities of America. My son and I go to baseball all over the country. Camden Yards is one of the best. Babe Ruth's boyhood home, just a few blocks away is worth a visit. Fort McHenry is a fascinating historical site. I assume the Poe house is now open, I know there are a lot of local bookstores containing books which attempt to explain how he died, a topic which you would no doubt find interesting. Johns Hopkins is a top school which I am sure has many interesting lectures and activities. Not only that, but many Civil War battlefiels are nearby and accessible by bus or c. train. And of course Washington, D.C. is less than two hours away. And girls are girls, there must be a website called Girls of Baltimore which will contain pictures of stunning women.
Oh, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus is one of the top rated chess schools in the country.
You assume it is the black men doing the choosing. Maybe the black women don't want to have anything to do with the black men. Do they have jobs? Is the town close to another city where there might be better prospects for black women? Are you engaging in selective attention and missing the women who are not single moms, not in interracial relationships and perhaps staying home with their kids and families instead of being out on the town? Are you overly influenced by the comments and jokes you hear from others about interracial relationships -- which may well be racist? Was that guy perhaps referring to you when he commented about immigrants, since you are one in the sense that you come from somewhere else?
Anon 1:01 -- I can tell you this. It's not a matter of selective attention. I've been very self-critical and self-aware while gauging the situation, and the simple fact is this: Over the course of two years, I have seen many mothers with many young children, and not one, not one of those children had two parents of the same race. Neither have I see a single example of a child born to a black mother and a white father, which one would think would be as common as the other way 'round.
Some musical accompaniment while you consider the sociology of Dundalk. Take note about the 0:50 mark.


I wouldn't feel liberal guilt about this. Some places in the world are just really bad places ... good places to leave and never return.

I've been to Calcutta. Gruesome beyond description, and I grew up in Asia.

Once the slide downhill begins, it can take centuries to reverse. There are plenty of places in the world where it's obvious the downhill slide has been going on for a long, long time, and there's not much the political and the economic structure can do to change course. Social dynamics in down-and-out communities are surprisingly hard to change.
stickler, just remember -- I'd love to see more mixed race babies. But I would prefer it if half the mixed-race babies had white fathers and black mothers.
An update: Yesterday afternoon, I wandered into a Dundalkian dollar store and promptly encountered a white couple with a white baby in a stroller, and a black couple with a black baby in a stroller.

So I was wrong. Such groupings DO exist. But I still have yet to see a mixed-race baby with a black mother and white father. Or should I say "baby daddy"?
Oh for heavens sake, Joseph! Just come to my next neighborhood association meeting and I'll introduce you to a black wife white husband couple with a baby, who is no more or less cute than other babies. My new neighbors are a mixed couple as well, both stunning. Jamaican and Russian. The divas across the street about had a meltdown. The matron of the street, black, is intent on convincing me that blacks and clean and it's the "julios" dumping trash on the street. The city is putting a lot of effort into Patterson Park and Highlandtown. Architects live here and are on a tear. It's going to take a lot of effort, but the city will be revived. I wish you'd settled in Hampden, Joseph....you'd have had a lot of colorful people to talk about but they are arty and upbeat. My people. I should've searched there as well.
lower-case joseph, thank you for that info, especially about university of MD and the chess!! I'm making 4 chess tables for my local library community room and now I know where to go to get some chess aficionados to teach the kids the game.
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