• Curing Birmingham's 'Civic Anemia': Going Back In Time.

    While reading an AL.com story about concerned citizens meeting to discuss and plan Birmingham's future, I ran across this nugget that's a bit of a theme among some dissatisfied with the Magic City's current shape:

    They should talk about B'ham's past (pre 1963). A lot more pleasant.
    Be nice if they could revert back to that time. I just don't see it happening, which is why I left.

    I've never known any black person from Birmingham to talk pleasant about the city as a whole pre-1960s, unless it involved their own neighborhoods. That kinda narrows down the pool of people most likely to say the above, trolls excluded.

    The 1960s are a dividing line between the pleasant and idyllic Birmingham some whites knew and loved, and the depressed, crime-ridden shit pit they believe it turned into. You can figure out why on your own.

    This is the reason why Birmingham abdicated any chance of out-Atlanta-ing Atlanta. Because while Atlanta was willing to momentarily set aside most of its racial unpleasantries (and woo-boy, were there plenty) in the greater pursuit of Greatness™, divisive and corrosive politics put Birmingham on the same road as Detroit, in terms of urban vs. suburban strife and non-cooperation.

    Nostalgia is one thing, but pining about days gone by while ignoring opportunities to create future greatness is not only an exercise in futility, but just plain stupid, in my opinion. Instead of whining about the new CrossPlex being built in an area you're "scared" to go in, push for new events hosted at the facility and improvements made to the safety and livability of the surrounding area. In other words, stop whining over how the CrossPlex should have been built in Hoover, Vestavia or some other toney suburb with a more favorable color mixture.

    And on a conspiracy theory note, I have a strange feeling that the ultimate plan is to shift the economic and metropolitan center of influence away from Birmingham. If Tuscaloosa and Montgomery could become the new metropolitan powerhouses while Birmingham languishes Decatur-style, that would suit the T-town and Goat Hill folks just fine. After all, it's their time to shine.