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Little Ohio Town Determined to Keep Out Minorities

Little Ohio Town Determined to Keep Out Minorities

Beavercreek, a predominantly white suburb of Dayton, Ohio, is willing to risk millions in federal highway funding as long as it can keep bus riders from Dayton out of their community.

Why are they doing this?

While Beavercreek is mostly white, 73% of the population of Dayton are minorities.

The showdown began in 2010 when the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority proposed adding three new bus stops in Beavercreek, about eight miles east of Dayton.

The plan made perfect sense from a transportation planning point of view.

These new stops would give Dayton bus riders access to Beavercreek’s major shopping mall, a medical clinic, and several schools and businesses. But first the plan had to be approved by the city administration and city council.

Bus Stops Subject to a Dozen Regulations

The Beavercreek City Council got to work at once to ensure the plan would never come to fruition. They came up with a dozen regulations that would have to be met, including heating and air conditioning the bus shelters; 18-inch concrete-pad platforms (larger than the most heavily used stops in the city, which are about 10-inches thick); and state-of-the-art surveillance cameras at the shelters. In other words, conditions not typical of most bus stops, either in the city or the suburbs.

To no one’s surprise, these demands couldn’t be met and the council rejected the expansion.

This is the same spirit of discrimination that brought about the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on June 25 to declare Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, thereby gutting voting protections for millions of Americans, particularly elderly, poor, female and minority voters.

That same sense, of us versus them, was also very much present when Larry Arnn, President of Michigan’s Hillsdale College, referred to any students who weren’t white like him as “dark ones.”

Yet city council members in Beavercreek maintain their decision to reject the bus stop application had nothing to do with race or denial of access to transportation.

From Eye On Ohio:

“We turned downed an application because they didn’t meet our (design) criteria,” said (council member) Scott Hadley, noting that Beavercreek shouldn’t be forced by others to do something it doesn’t want to do.

“I don’t mind stops if they’re done properly. We’re not trying to build a wall to stop people from coming into Beavercreek,” he said. “They can come in buses or carloads, I don’t care. That’s not what this is about.”

When asked what the issue is about, he said, “I don’t want to get into that.”

Public Transport a Right, Not a Privilege

A local civil rights group, Leaders for Equality in Action in Dayton (LEAD), filed a discrimination lawsuit against Beavercreek. On June 13, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWY) ruled that Beavercreek’s actions were indeed discriminatory and ordered them to work with the Dayton Regional Transit Authority to get the bus stops approved without delay.

However, as ThinkProgress puts it:

Beavercreek, though, isn’t particularly keen to do that. The city council voted most recently on Friday to put off consideration of the matter until later this month. They are weighing whether to appeal the federal ruling, or perhaps whether to just defy it altogether. Appealing the ruling could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, according to a Washington D.C. lawyer the council hired. However, non-compliance with the ruling could cost Beavercreek tens of millions of dollars in federal highway funds.

How sad to see the city council of Beaverbrook fighting so hard to keep their African-American neighbors from entering their community.

This is a particularly nasty case of discrimination, since public transport is the only transport available to many people, especially racial and ethnic minorities, as well as the disabled. In addition to being better for the environment, public transport should be considered a right, not a privilege.

Samuel Gresham, executive director of Common Cause, a citizen’s lobbying group in Columbus, puts it well:

“If I don’t have access to a job, then my ability to sustain myself and my family  are reduced,” he said. For seniors, the disabled, and low-income people, he said, lack of a car affects access to jobs, schools, doctors and voting.

Shame on you, Beavercreek.

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Photo Credit: thinkstock

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167 comments

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10:54PM PDT on Aug 29, 2013

This is outrageous

7:24PM PDT on Aug 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:23PM PDT on Aug 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:58PM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

This is a similar situation here in Chicago.

"Condo residents sue over Divvy bike station North Side couple cite safety and property value concerns

Read more at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-divvy-injunction-20130822,0,383034.story#MjuZ3cyxP8bxdgFm.99"

People fear that lower class people will bring trouble, and there are statistics to back those fears up.

4:13PM PDT on Aug 18, 2013

Evil

8:30AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

Please everyone flag this spammer!

10:39AM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

Ridiculous

8:34AM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

ROFL! This socio-economic discrimination has gone on for thousands of years and is very mammalian. It happens everywhere. Look at how we treat the homeless. They are driven out of everywhere. So until we accept the core problems and start to fix those this pushing and bullying will fail.

5:09AM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

Yes, we live in a racist world.

9:41PM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

thank you for posting.

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