AM I LIVING IN KLAN KOUNTRY…?

September 27th, 2016

the-post-newspaper-southwest-cuyahoga-county-colin-kaepernick-rodney-axson-north-royalton-160925

I don’t think so, but when you look a the above poll results (click on the image and then vote select “view results” to see the current tally) from this week’s North Royalton Post, four out of five respondents do not support professional athletes protesting the National Anthem, you get that the southwest corner of Cuyahoga County is not a liberal bastion.

(I was one of only 19 people who said: Yes. In fact, I would do the same thing.)

Full disclosure: when I talk to my eastside friends about my move to North Royalton a few years ago, I jokingly tell them that I moved to the anti-Cleveland Heights. I do see Trump signs (no Hillary signs yet) as I drive through North Royalton on my way to work in Orange. I do see Gadsen flags in front yards and pick-up trucks flying the Confederate Battle Flag, I buy my groceries in Strongsville where Tim Russo shot the McCain-Palin Mob video.

But did I move to Klan Kountry?

Mansfield B. Frazier writes:

In my sometimes-scathing style I questioned the wisdom of blacks moving into hostile territory instead of strengthen [sic. Fair is fair, Mansfield. JH] their own communities. I received this email in response:

I recently stumbled across your article pertaining to my family. I would first like to say, you made quite a few assumption that you obviously know absolutely nothing about. If you would like factual information about why I “consciously” made the decision to move my family to Brunswick I [sic] open to speak to you. For the record, I do not have ” low self esteem” nor am I trying to “outrun my blackness”. I am very proud of who I am and where I came from. What you didn’t bother to mention in your article is I’m obviously an intelligent, educated Black Woman who made a choice for her children that would not only help to mold them into well rounded individuals but would also provide them with the tools and education that they’ll need to be successful in life. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you, Danielle Axson

I responded:

Ms. Axson,

I do have to question your intelligence (at least to some extent) since you obviously didn’t factor in the racism your son could (and did) face in Brunswick. There were many other places that your family could have moved to that would have provided all of the positive things you want for your son, without the potential negatives of racial hatred.

I just can’t understand how moving into what essentially is Klan country is a good thing. The proof of that comment is this: Where are all of the supposedly “good” upstanding white citizens of Brunswick? [Well, I’m in North Royalton, but I still think that qualifies me. JH] Why are they not speaking out and saying what was done to your son should not and will not be tolerated in Brunswick? The reason is, these kids on the football team were just giving voice to what their parents feel [sic.].

You set your son up for this incident by not thinking through your decision to move into a racist environment. If you don’t understand that, I have nothing more to say to you on the matter.

Stay well and all the best to you and your family.

She responded:

And it is closed minded, individuals like yourself that help contribute to the underlying issues. I gave you an opportunity to get the whole story but I guess it makes you feel better about yourself, to form your own 1 sided opinion and question my intelligence.

You have a nice life.

I responded in turn:

I’m completely open to you explaining to me why you decided to move into Brunswick. Write it down and I’ll read it.

I’m also a radio host. You can call into my show on Sunday evening at 8:05 pm if you want to debate the issue.

In the interim I got a call from Michael Nelson, the new head of the NAACP (who has gotten involved in the case), who stated that Cleveland schools were so bad the Axson family had little choice but to move their family to a city where their child could get a better education. He then proceeded to place the blame on Frank Jackson.

I explained that I could understand their feeling—but moving to Brunswick? There are many places in between Cleveland and Klan country where a black family could have moved to.

But the larger issue is this: The reason Cleveland schools are struggling is because middle-class blacks abandoned the city for suburbs both near and far; and that began long before Frank Jackson became mayor.

I live in Hough, and am proud to say my wife and I built our home here back in 2000, when we could have built it anywhere in the county. We actually like being around our kith and kin.

No one should blame Frank Jackson (who still lives on East 39th Street, by the way) for the sad state of affairs of inner-city Cleveland neighborhoods and schools. If you want to blame anyone, blame the black folks that abandoned the city starting over 50 years ago, all in the name of integration, which has proven to be a failed notion. Some blacks, like the Axsons, are families without a community. They don’t want to live among their own, and whites really don’t want them either.

Mansfield’s explanation of why Cleveland Schools are so bad is simplistic. In 1988 I considered buying a home in Ohio City or Lakewood to be closer to my job in Middleburg Heights. I decided instead to buy a home on the north side of Monticello in Cleveland Heights. While I was not thinking of having children at the time, I have over the years talked to young couples of a variety of backgrounds who did buy homes in Cleveland who told me that they would sell those homes if they had children simply because the schools weren’t acceptable.

Eastside suburban school districts have a problem with school-age children moving in with relatives elsewhere as a way of escaping Cleveland’s school system. Black flight did not cause this problem. I would suggest a deep dive into back issues of Point Of View or Roldo Bartimole’s writings here, particularly the decades of tax diversion away from Cleveland schools, for a better understanding.

I’ve written before that Rodney Axson Sr. has much to be proud of in his son. I can now say that about Danielle Axson as well.

2 Responses to “AM I LIVING IN KLAN KOUNTRY…?”

  1. Jeff Hess says:

    So, I tried to leave this comment on Mansfield’s post this morning, but because of, I suspect, the number of links in the post, Cool Cleveland’s spam filter rejected the comment.

    Good morning Mansfield,

    I think I qualify as one of the supposedly good upstanding white citizens of Brunswick OK, technically I’m in North Royalton, but Brunswick is the suburb to my immediate southwest.

    Here’s just a small sampling of my speaking out about Rodney Axson, Colin Kaepernick and, most recently, Andrew Hawkins.

    My speaking out has also extended to The Plain Dealer and The North Royalton Post.

    Yeah, the southwest corner of Cuyahoga County has a lot in common with the southwest corner of Ohio, but this still isn’t Klan Kountry.

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write

  2. Jeff Hess says:

    Interesting.

    I left an invitation to Mansfield in a comment with no links to his Cool Cleveland post, that has been taken down.

    I guess Cool Cleveland still bears some kind of grudge 11 years later.

    : )

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