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Shavonn Smith and daughter in front of partly-built home

Shavonn Smith is a new homeonwner in Topeka, Kansas — or will be, once her house, built by Habitat for Humanity, is finished. Her family’s very first “welcome” to her new neighborhood, on August 12, was full of exactly the kind of friendliness America is famous for: Some asshole spray-painted great big racial slurs in the grass of the lot where her home was going up, at a site where Habitat was constructing three new houses.

The timing was quite possibly not altogether coincidental, as Janice Watkins, executive director for Topeka Habitat, explained in an email to the City Council and mayor Tuesday: She noted that the racial slurs were found the same day as the deadly white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Watkins explained to the Topeka Capitol-Journal that the slurs were only painted on the grass, not on any structures; at the time, there was only a partly built basement foundation on the lot. A neighbor alerted Watkins to the vandalism after he had “essentially weed-whacked it off,” which was probably meant as a loving gesture, though maybe he could have waited until the police got a look at it? Watkins also said the owner of the lots decided not to join Habitat in filing a police report because the owner feared retaliation.

Real friendly town, huh?

Smith said that after Watkins told her about the slurs, she became more angry for four of her children, ranging in age from 9 to 16 years old, who will be moving into the home with her and her husband, likely sometime during the holidays.

“My kids deserve this,” she said. “This house wasn’t given to us. They’re not just bringing random people to the neighborhood.”

There’s more to it than just the slurs. Seems as if the folks in the area are leery about these here Habitat for Humanity houses in general. Council member Tony Emerson, who represents the part of Topeka where the vandalism took place, condemned the slurs and defended the neighborhood, saying

This racial thing, that’s not what these people are about [..] The neighborhood was shocked and disgusted. They welcome all people over there. We don’t know who did that.

Oh, but did Emerson have more to say about how folks in the neighborhood felt about the new construction? He did!

Emerson did say, however, that several residents of the neighborhood expressed concerns several weeks ago that there were three foundations constructed next to each other and no identification of what kinds of homes were going to be there or who was building them.

“There were no signs, just basements,” he said. “They were concerned if these were going to be manufactured homes. People get nervous when something comes to their neighborhood and they don’t know what it is.”

“This is a great, close-knit neighborhood,” Emerson continued. “They wanted to make sure the homes will fit into the neighborhood.”

Wouldn’t want any strange goings-on at all hours by the wrong sort of people, after all. Watkins also said Habitat had encountered opposition to the three new homes being built:

“Conversations with neighborhood leaders have been filled with undertones of the impoverished bringing a ‘criminal element’ to the neighborhood and overt commentary of Habitat homes and families bringing down the overall quality and value of the neighborhood,” Watkins wrote.

Just simple small-town folk. Good people of the land. The common clay of the Midwest. You know: morons. Watkins had previously sought to address a neighborhood meeting to explain how Habitat homes are good for the community, but they said no thank you.

For the sake of trying to educate the local lumps, the paper — which helpfully provides the exact block where the new houses are going up — cited a talk Watkins had given in March about how Habitat works with families, who must complete an 11-month process before they own a Habitat house. In addition to getting financial and credit counseling, the families must put in several hundred hours of “sweat equity” on other Habitat building and renovation projects in the community; only after that minimum is met will Habitat start on the family’s new place. A September 1 Topeka Habitat Facebook post marking the installation of the house on its foundation (after it was framed and roofed offsite), noted that the Smith family had already completed 450 hours of “sweat equity,” with more to be done before they move in.

Topeka Habitat volunteers will also meet with neighbors at the construction site on September 13 to “meet neighbors, offer resources and provide information about its programs,” Watkins explained. And Shavonn Smith plans to go with the group door-to-door through the neighborhood to introduce herself and inform them about how she and the other two new neighbors in Habitat homes have to be rigorously screened.

“We hope they’ll get some education and understand it a lot more,” she said. “We just want to be part of the neighborhood.”

That’s remarkably gracious of her, although if one were a misanthropic old liberal mommyblogger, it might sound like the sort of ritual abasement no other new homeowner would need to go through, since apparently the nervous folks of that great, close-knit neighborhood need to be reassured that Smith and other Habitat homeowners aren’t a crowd of lowlife gangster thugs. We’re sorry to hear Smith feels she has to do that — she’s not the one who deserves a Shame Parade.

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[Topeka Capital-Journal via Rawstory / Image via Habitat for Humanity on Facebook]

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  • Cousin Itt un Mondialiste

    fwiw, I used to perform in the Topeka Symphony. There are a lot of nice people there. The outliers should fear the almighty wrath of Jimmy Carter.

  • mardam422

    I’m not racist, but you know what kind of people live in these Habitat for Humanity things. I just don’t know if the neighborhood will be the same, is all. You know, I hear some of the people who live in them aren’t…well, you know, good God fearing people. But I’m not racist.

    • onedollarjuana

      I ain’t a-feared of God. I’m a-feared of racist neighbors.

      • ahughes798

        I ain’t a-feared of Trump. I’m a-feared of his followers.

  • Panika MCD

    “we’re not saying that we don’t like Habitat for Humanity. we’re saying, ‘what if the paint color clashes with our brick home? what if they go for colonial and I have a Victorian? where will it stop?!'”

  • ManchuCandidate

    There’s no place like home? Only if you’re a lighter shade of pale.

    • Panika MCD

      those who don’t have 100SPF vats of sunscreen need not apply?

  • PubOption

    I seem to remember that manufactured homes don’t normally have basements, in fact a lot have wheels.

    • Cousin Itt un Mondialiste

      Frankly, in Kansas, land of freaking tornadoes, if you build a non-wheeled house, you’d best offer a basement.

    • onedollarjuana

      Out here in the NW, a mobile home has wheels. A manufactured home is set on a foundation. Many are put on basements. Also, there are many manufactured homes that are a hell of a lot nicer than the stick-built house around the corner from my house that they just tore down because it was so ugly. Not only that, because a manufactured home is built indoors in a factory, it’s likely that it’s way better-built than a house built on-site for the same cost.

      • PubOption

        OK, there seems to be a variation in use here. In the Midwest – and, I think, in parts of the South, ‘manufactured home’ is a euphemism for “mobile home’. The comments made about manufactured homes in Topeka sounded to me like the current homeowners were expecting trailer trash to move into their area.

      • meanlawyermom

        Manufactured home /= mobile home. Many manufactured homes are actually structurally superior and very pretty. Dealt with this prejudice against manufactured versus “stick-built” homes a lot after Hurricane Floyd in my neck of the woods.

        • ahughes798

          Since I live in tornado land…stick built or brick or manufactured…it better have a damn basement. A basement w/a tornado shelter in it, also…because if an F4 or F5 comes through, a plain ‘ol basement won’t even save your ass, unless you get lucky.

  • We’re sorry to hear Smith feels she has to do that — she’s not the one who deserves a Shame Parade.

    No, she doesn’t. But she’s also a mom and probably wants to make sure the heavily armed snowflakes in the neighborhood know that the black children carrying Skittles and iced tea are not dangerous hoodlums.

    • mardam422

      Are you sure they aren’t dangerous hoolums? Because…you know…(whispers)black.

    • Michael Smith

      They’ll think so anyway.

    • miss_grundy

      Even when they are wearing hoodlies in the rain.

  • memzilla Ω

    Jimmy Carter kicked cancer’s ass out the door and all the way down the block. I don’t think he’d have a problem doing the same thing to racist fucktards.

    • SDGeoff3

      Betcha he Bibletalks better than they do too.

      • miss_grundy

        He could probably unload a ton of Bible verses and shame them and the devil.

      • WomanInThePersistence

        I would love to go to his Sunday School.

        • ahughes798

          I would love to go to his Sunday School, or Stephen Colbert’s.

      • ahughes798

        And he actually walks the talk.

  • x111e7thst

    Might be some LWB (living while black) going on in those houses. That would obv depress properety values in the neighborhood

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    I’m not racist, it’s just very important to me that we maintain a cohesive architectural scheme in the neighborhood.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    Who builds houses with basements anymore?

    • WomanInThePersistence

      I would think anybody in a tornado zone.

      • Lascauxcaveman

        Who builds houses in tornado zones?

        • Panika MCD

          anyone in the plains states.

          • onedollarjuana

            If I’m to believe the tornado news reports, most people in the plains states live in mobile homes.

          • Panika MCD

            just the people who tend to lose their homes.

        • Cousin Itt un Mondialiste

          How else are you going to get to Oz?

          The 405 Freeway?

        • WomanInThePersistence

          People in the midwest.

        • BeachBum

          The ones who lived in flood plains.

          • ahughes798

            In the Midwest, if you live in a flood plain, and your house floods a lot…the gov’t buys it from you, the local fire dept. burns it down for practice, and the area is cleaned up and left as greenspace, which absorbs water like a sponge. Or, like after the ’94 flood of the Mississippi, the gov’t made at least one entire town move to higher ground.

            I think they should do the exact same thing to NOLA and Houston, or any other place that floods out during hurricanes. Nope, you can’t rebuild here. Nope, we’re not going to fix the dykes next time they leak or wash out or get over-topped. Get over yourselves and move off the flood plain, or in NOLA’s case, out of the bowl you’re sitting in, to higher ground. Think of all the lives it would save…because the hurricanes are only going to get bigger and badder, and you can’t evacuate millions of people even with a week’s notice.

            Prohibit any new building in flood plains. And force the damn industries that can’t move to do more about flood-proofing…put the damn stuff up on stilts, or move. Fine the living fuck out of those who don’t, and fine the fuck out of them again if there’s any leakage or “rapid oxidation” of chemicals. Restore the grasses and natural channels, the whole delta, and realise that the Mississippi is getting ready to move again, because that’s just something it does periodically. We will never, ever win against nature.

            My parents pissed and moaned every time they were evacuated for hurricanes. My answer was always “Then why did you retire to a place that has hurricanes?” I miss them, but I’m glad they don’t live in FL any more.

      • Panika MCD

        unless they are also too in a flood plain. but KS should have basements.

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        Also people like me who live in places where it is 240 degrees at 9 o’clock in the morning.

    • UncleTravelingMatt

      I love my basement because it’s really hard to think of an at-or-above grade area as a “lair.”

      • Lascauxcaveman

        Yeah, I’ve always loved basements, and miss them when i don’t have one (like now). I just thought they were completely out fashion these days, architecturally speaking. I’m happy folks who need them still get their tornado/bomb/race war shelters.

        • WomanInThePersistence

          Tornados are real. I don’t think mine would be terribly useful as a bomb shelter. Pity that, as I’m left coast.

          • ahughes798

            There is nothing that strikes fear in your heart like a tornado siren going off. Especially at night. It means you have anywhere from 0-20 minutes to get you and anything you may want to keep into the basement. In my case, it involves herding cats. You left coasters are lucky, you don’t get too many tornadoes. They’re only slightly more predictable than earthquakes.

    • h4rr4r

      People in any place where they can?
      I would not live in a home without one.

    • SpideySenser

      Everybody here in the Northeast USA.

    • blarg

      Houses in Tornado Alley especially need basements.

    • Everrett Fanuelli

      Not a lot of basements in California

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIy-X8-pEoU

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Where is your good Red Pill son going to live?

    • TundraGrifter

      People who live in tornado country, if they have two brain cells to rub together. They are a heck of a lot cooler in the hot Midwestern summers, and are great places to, you know, store food and stuff.

      • ahughes798

        A lot of places in tornado country can’t have basements because the soil type won’t allow a basement, or the water table is too high. Those folks usually get the waterproof, thick steel type of tornado shelter. Some of the houses on my street don’t have basements, or tornado shelters, so they’ll run to a neighbor’s house when the sirens go off.

        • TundraGrifter

          Good to know!

    • Ωbjectifier

      Not the Alamo!

    • meanlawyermom

      Anyone who wants you to put the lotion in the basket? I’m totally kidding I’m from the Midwest and basements are essential there.

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    When fascism comes to America, it will be as a Neighborhood Association.

    • laughingnome

      When it came to America…

    • ManchuCandidate

      That’s where fascists get hands on training. Never seen a bigger group of small minded petty assholes.

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        In fairness, the group in my little working-class lib neighborhood are really good folks. They’re not bad cops…they do community beautification projects, potlucks, and get-togethers where the old-timers talk about the early days of the area.

    • Jonny On Maui

      HMOs are a tool of the devil…

    • Panika MCD

      are you saying we don’t already have a NIMBY problem?

    • BeachBum

      If I never hear the words “property values” again I may not go batshitcrazy. Or I might anyway, tuff call.

  • Wolf Tracker

    660,000 people ordered to evacuate Miami Dade, highways clogged and no more gas deliveries until after the storm.

    Irma at 152 mph and will go back to cat 5 and gusts to 185 mph. 25 foot storm surge.

    If you are not on the highway close to your destination you need to be in an approved shelter or you will be trapped in your car when that storm hits.

    • Panika MCD

      somehow I doubt anyone who is on the road is on Wonkette right now. you might want to post this notice at a more appropriate venue.

      sincerely,
      people who use their brains

      • Wolf Tracker

        People here have family and friends in those areas.

        Have a great day!

        • Panika MCD

          oh, and they’re going to see your non-comment and go, “SHIT! I knew there was something I meant to do today!” ???

          you are some kind of SPECIAL! bless your itty bitty heart and your fragile little ego.

          • h4rr4r

            Give up now, she is just going to block you for daring to respond.

            I tried to explain how a lottery works. Got me blocked.

          • WomanInThePersistence

            What’s up with this one?

          • Panika MCD

            he has no eyebrows.

          • h4rr4r

            This person makes outlandish or bizarre claims and if you dare disagree they block you. It’s really odd.

            Not like offensively, just like “No really, high payouts sell more tickets than more winners when it comes to lotteries. Powerball tested it.” Then the blocking.

          • Panika MCD

            you forgot the part where he really really wants his own personal stalker.

          • Shanzgood

            Looks like they think they picked up another one!

            Someone doesn’t understand what “nasty vile little snark mob” means.

          • Panika MCD

            or that mansplaining and pants aren’t really appreciated ’round these here parts.

          • Shanzgood

            But dont you appreciate having someone around who knows everything about everything? It’s so comforting!

          • Panika MCD

            except how he is wrong about pretty much everything–especially the whole Confederate apology thing.

          • Shanzgood

            I’m ok with the wrong and/or differing opinions, it’s the butthurt whining, asshole mansplaining and arrogant condescension that annoys me.

          • WomanInThePersistence

            He accused me of that actually. I apparently was stalking him and then using my clique to attack him.

          • Panika MCD

            you’re part of the clique? so am I!

          • Shanzgood

            Hey, but I started it because I have friends! Maybe we should all change our names to Heather.

          • WomanInThePersistence

            HeatherInThePersistence. Hmmm….

          • Shanzgood

            Heatherzgood has a ring to it.

          • Panika MCD

            can I be Veronica?

          • Shanzgood

            How mean is she?

          • Panika MCD

            she was Winona Ryder’s character.

          • Shanzgood

            I guess I don’t remember the movie, if I even watched it all the way through.

          • Heather

            Beat you to it (by 40 years since it’s my real name).

          • WomanInThePersistence

            All the cool kids are!

          • Lascauxcaveman

            I was invited to join a clique once, but it just didn’t click.

          • Panika MCD

            oh, go poke Wolf Tracker a bit. you’ll be part of the clique in no time!

          • h4rr4r

            I did not know this, that is unusual.

          • WomanInThePersistence

            It seems to be true.

          • Panika MCD

            I thought I was blocked ages ago. turns out I wasn’t. and it’s a bald dude who steals beards and mustaches, but has no eyebrows.

          • h4rr4r

            The first part I understood, I think I had a stroke reading the second part.

            I guessed she, I have no idea. It’s a mommyblog.

          • Panika MCD

            it’s a man. he said he was both blonde and bald. when I asked how that could happen, he said he had “steal blonde” beard and mustache. ergo: male, no eyebrows, steals facial hair from Vikings.

          • h4rr4r

            I was not disagree, only sharing why I guessed she.

          • Panika MCD

            I know. I was explaining the other part of the sentence.

    • SnowBomber

      I just heard on MSNBC that they’re opening up the southbound highways to northbound traffic.

      • Wolf Tracker

        That is a great idea!

        Leave one lane for going in and 3 for getting out and get those cars off that highway.

      • miss_grundy

        They should have done that YESTERDAY. If you have ever driven on the Florida Turnpike or I-95, you know how clogged those roadways can get during peak traffic times. (I know I drove them years ago.)

        • SnowBomber

          Supposedly they didn’t because they needed to keep the southbound highways clear to get gas tankers, FEMA equipment and other emergency supplies through.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    Hmm…sounds a bit like projection. Wonder if any of the neighborhood folks are engaged in any sort of unsavory criminal activity?

  • memzilla Ω

    Shorter Councilman Emerson: “Not racists, but an INCREDIBLE SIMULATION.”

  • We’re all gonna die
    And die like flies

    -Nina Simone Mississippi Goddam

  • Boko999

    Shouldn’t conflate the people concerned with sub-par structures being built in the neighbourhood with the racists. There are some horrible manufactured houses.
    Lucky for them Jimmy doesn’t play that game.

    • h4rr4r

      As a homeowner, the problem with manufactured homes is that they depreciate.
      You don’t want something like that next door.

      Zoning laws is how you prevent that.

      • BeachBum

        You have to spend money to keep them live able, and even then they usually depreciate. The only way to make a decision is to figure ALL the costs while your live in one. Sometimes even the cost of hauling it to the dump when you move. Most people don’t think these things thru.

        • h4rr4r

          I more meant for the neighbors.

          The risk is that the person does not figure in the move out cost and now everyone has to live with it.

      • TundraGrifter

        All buildings depreciate. Agreed that MH may go down faster, but they all go down. When property appreciates it’s the value of the land – not the improvements.

        • h4rr4r

          No, my home has increased in value through improvements I have made. The service life of a normal home so long as it is kept up is basically forever.

          So called trailers/manufactured homes have a limited service life. They are designed with a limited lifespan.

          • TundraGrifter

            All buildings depreciate. Of course you can add value with improvements – although that’s iffy, because not everybody has the same taste and one person’s “capital improvements” are another person’s “Well, that’s butt ugly! First to go…”

            Many owners of MHC do quite well buying and refurbishing homes. Again, their depreciation is faster than conventional structures (although there are also very substantial pre-fab homes, but that’s another story).

            But all buildings are depreciating assets.

          • h4rr4r

            All people like more efficient furnaces and modern electrical.

            Who exactly would do well selling a 30 year old unit? 30 year old conventional homes sell fine.

            This is not slightly faster depreciation this is off to the dump in a human lifespan.

          • TundraGrifter

            You’re missing the point. The fact that one asset depreciates faster than the other doesn’t mean the first asset hasn’t gone down in value.

            Land appreciates in value. Buildings don’t. If they are income property they should be worth more than the cost of construction – although for many years here in the SF Bay Area commercial property appraisals didn’t include a construction value because nothing was worth the cost of building. The result? Limited new construction.

          • h4rr4r

            You are missing my point.

            Having a traditional home on a property that is in even only repairable shape. This is not the case with trailers. They depreciate so strongly that the property they are on has it’s value damaged.

            My family went through this recently. The cost of disposing of an old trailer from a deceased relative ate into any value the land may have had. A standard home in similar condition would have added value to the property.

          • TundraGrifter

            It’s a concept many people don’t get.

          • h4rr4r

            I get that any home ignored depreciates.

            However these kinds of homes do that no matter what. They end up damaging the value of the ground under them when they have to be disposed of.

          • TundraGrifter

            It’s not a question of being ignored. It’s because it is a physical structure. Why do you think the IRS permits 27/year straight line depreciation on income properties? Because they increase in value?

            I can easily see where a manufactured home makes a great deal of sense for a person or a family. It’s not for everybody – but then, other than air and water, what is?

          • h4rr4r

            Because over that time they expect you to have spent a ton keeping it up.

            Again, great for the owner, shit for the neighborhood and relatives who have to dispose of it.

    • BeachBum

      To buy a used manufactured house its Caveat Emptor times a 100.

  • WomanInThePersistence

    My mom has volunteered with habitat for decades. What these, well, not-overly-burdened-with-education neighbors don’t seem to realize is that their Habitat new folks worked their tails off, and went through one hell of a screening process.

  • DerrickWildcat

    Only wealthy people should be allowed Habitat for Humanity homes.

  • Everrett Fanuelli
  • gratuitous

    Send Jimmy Carter to Topeka to explain it to these lumpenbigots.

  • Fartknocker

    That sounds like the work of the Westboro Church Welcome Wagon.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    These are the people my coastal elitist ass is supposed to understand.

    • BigCSouthside

      I walk amongst them, and I’ve given up trying to understand

    • Ms.MLG on Maui

      Those of us who have lived among them most of our lives don’t understand any more than you do.

  • Wolf Tracker

    I have worked on several habitat and work equity homes for people in my area and I don’t give a single damn if they have criminal past because everyone needs a decent home and that is the one stabilizing thing in a family that breaks the cycle of poverty and criminal behavior.

    People that use that excuse are almost always racists and bigots and studies show people with proper housing are much less likely to be involved in crimes and more likely to have a job.

    • Chyron HR

      Woah, there. Bernie says you need to knock off the “identity politics” and start listening to the concerns of the noble white working class instead of denigrating them as “racists and bigots”.

      • Wolf Tracker

        Please stop stalking me.

  • SomeBigRedDog

    Isn’t Topeka where the “god hates fags” people live? Nice town.

    • I had to go to Topeka for a wedding about 8 years ago. I was driving through a residential neighborhood and had to stop my car in the middle of the damn street and take this pic. There’s some fucked up peeps in Topeka.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/379d377f907ebc0a39c57b64ed8849de9f5e0dac161f5fce740c457e0e7dc1d7.jpg

    • Heather

      In addition to them attending any and all large public events in Topeka and surrounding environs, I worked in Topeka one summer and I’d always see them just standing on random street corners with their signs. It was truly bizarre. Gave me a chance to practice my skills at laying on the horn with one hand and flipping them off with the other though. Fred Phelps died in 2014 though, and I haven’t seen them around in a while. I guess it’s too optimistic to hope they’ve actually gone away, though.

      • WomanInThePersistence

        Please understand that I’m not trying to be rude. And welcome! But several of us downthread were discussing changing our user names to some variation of Heather in honor of the movie . Your timing is beautiful. And seriously, it’s nice to meet you!

        • Heather

          Haven’t gotten that far in the comments yet. And my real name’s Heather. My high school chemistry lab partner was also named Heather, and many, many references to the movie were made.

          • WomanInThePersistence

            I can imagine.

  • Oh, it’s the “heartland”! Isn’t that sweet.

    • Panika MCD

      obligatory:

      bless their hearts.

    • laughingnome

      salt of the earth people

      • TundraGrifter

        Trouble is, with all that damn salt in the earth the crops fail.

    • WomanInThePersistence

      I think the weed-wacking neighbor meant well.

  • DerrickWildcat

    Poor people gotta ruin everything.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      I’d much rather have Tucker Carlson move in next door.

      • Wild Cat

        I dunno . . . his Fire Island lifestyle . . .

        • Parakeetist

          Win :)

      • SDGeoff3

        No.
        Just no.

    • UncleTravelingMatt

      Poor people are the worst. Who even wants to be poor? What’s their fucking problem?

    • Latverian Diplomat

      “What I can’t figure out is, why are there so many poor people when there’s no demand for them? Why hasn’t the free market solved this by now?”

      • little miss high and mighty

        must be that invisible hand choking pofos through the dimension membrane

    • Panika MCD

      always stealing all the matchboxes we need for our competitions!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ba1OKY7Xc

    • shastakoala
  • Jonny On Maui

    OT (Good news?): Since before the last Thanksgiving I’ve been waiting for the cable folk to run the wire and get us Wi-Fi up here. It’s finally happened.

    BTW, I feel monopolies should experience the same rapid burns those cold storage trailers experienced in Texas. Votey rapid burns…

    • OutOfOrbit

      why you savage islanders need wi fi anyway.
      porn i bet

      • Jonny On Maui

        You win!

  • Reddishrabbit

    I have a solution! It is called zoning and stricter permits. That way you know the house will be built in the same general architecture style.

    Or maybe it is not about building a postmodernism home in a Georgian neighborhood?

    • Ωbjectifier

      Only if Georgian=white and postmodern=not white.

  • miss_grundy

    I hope Habitat builds three really beautiful houses that puts the neighborhood houses to shame. You can tell the people in Topeka don’t know anything about people who are awarded these homes. They have to put in sweat equity on other projects in order to be able to get a home and put in sweat equity on their own project. The hatefulness that has come out to the forefront thanks to Trump, who has made racism and bigotry fashionable is getting tiresome.

    • SDGeoff3

      We have a group of six HH homes fairly nearby, and their existence has inspired neighbors to spiff up their homes. They are very attractive buildings.

      • Lascauxcaveman

        The ones in my town are rather plain but respectable. just like the homes that were built in those neighborhoods before. The HH owners seem to really do it up on landscaping, though. Nice work!

        • SDGeoff3

          I would not mind living in one.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    I know someone who used to do homeowner education for Habitat families. It’s quite a process. They just don’t give these things out to anyone.

  • Scooby

    Why is it that what people do is never what they are about?

    • Nockular cavity

      “[simpering] You don’t know what’s in his heart! [/simpering]”

  • I hope President Carter goes there and slaps them all senseless.

    • Shanzgood

      He’s too nice for that.

    • therblig

      don’t cross a righteous peanut farmer holding a nail gun

    • Jeffery Campbell

      The mere existence of President Carter makes we want to do better and be better.

    • Rebel Scum with permit

      He would look disappointed and give them a Sunday School lesson. They would slink away ashamed.

      • Debbie the Unpaid Protester

        I would pay to see that

      • Three Finger Salute

        No they wouldn’t. They’d rip out wood from the house and nail him to a cross.

        Smart man, he decided to build homes in Canada instead.

        • Rebel Scum with permit

          I can always count on you for a cheery response.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “I’m not a racist vandal, I was just expressing my artistic integritude!”

  • Michael Smith

    Middle class white America sits on a hairpin trigger looking for anything that might be an example of the kind of thing Fox says the liberals are doing to DESTROY THIS COUNTRY, and anything that smacks of assistance to the poor is going to be met with blind rage and hatred.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    A neighbor alerted Watkins to the vandalism after he had “essentially weed-whacked it off,” which was probably meant as a loving gesture, though maybe he could have waited until the police got a look at it?

    That probably would have been ideal, but I can’t hate the neighbor for wanting to clean up the trash before the new arrivals showed up. I’ll try to remember to preserve the evidence if this shit happens in my neighborhood, however.

    • WomanInThePersistence

      I agree. But couldn’t the neighbor have taken a few pictures first?

  • Latverian Diplomat

    As Jesus said, “Give generously to the poor, but if they move in next door, there goes the neighborhood!”

  • laughingnome

    Cut the economically anxious neighborhood some slack.

  • Crystalclear12

    Some days it doesn’t surprise me at all that they elected Brownbeck twice.

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    This:

    Oh The Humanity! (And The Habitat Thereof)

    Is a beautiful thing, btw, Dok.

  • therblig
    • Swampgas_Man

      Gawd I miss that show.

      • therblig

        ms. blig was a big Eduardo fan

  • TundraGrifter

    Topeka, KS: Site of one of the worst race riots of the 20th Century.

    “The income per capita is $24,155, which includes all adults and children. The median household income is $41,412. Average home price: $93,200 Average rent for a 2-bedroom dwelling (house or apartment): $733/month.”

    Yep, I can see how these good citizens are deeply worried about poor folk moving in! There are far too many of them already.

    Then there’s the whole Kansas economy clusterfuck, that’s to the Republican governor who thought cutting corporate taxes was the path to general prosperity. Turns out it’s the road to corporations making more profits and pocketing them, rather than wasting money hiring more employees. Why go through all that effort and take that risk when you’re just making more doin’ what ya been doin’?

  • Ms.MLG on Maui

    These are the same people who would say poor black people need to take responsibility for improving their circumstances…as long as they don’t do it near my white ass.

    • CeeQ

      Take responsibility!
      No that’s not enough!
      Go door to door so we can assess your humanity! And credit rating!!
      We’re still scared!
      Can you be *less* black??
      We’re still scared!!

      Fuck these people.

      • AngelaHMejia

        my friend’s sister makes $81 every hour on the computer . She has been without work for 7 months but last month her payment was $21281 just working on the computer for a few hours. visit this website

        http://www.jobstodayproductsplay

        ✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿::::da251..

  • Shanzgood

    There’s a reason we call it Topuka.

  • jesterpunk

    So the neighbors just have extremely high levels of economic anxiety?

  • Rebel Scum with permit

    One of the ugliest neighborhood meetings I ever ran was for a head start pre school that was to operate out of a church. The neighborhood didn’t want poor people there, not for one minute, nosiree, not even to pick up their children. There was a lot of speculation as to what said poor people MIGHT do while they were simply picking up their children

    • Shanzgood

      As a poor mom picking up pre-scool aged children after work, I can tell you I was pretty dangerous at that time of day.

      • OutOfOrbit

        you still are (ok me shut up now)

        • Shanzgood

          Only if you ask me what’s for dinner.

          • bbayliss

            Hot dish?
            I like hot dish.

          • Shanzgood

            What’s that, a casserole?

          • bbayliss

            You betcha.

          • Shanzgood

            I’m quite fond of those.

          • Arolpin

            Beef, it’s what’s for dinner, right? (You are in Kansas, so it could be pork, but ‘The Other White Meat’ didn’t work.)

          • Shanzgood

            My preferred “white meat” is currently 1000 miles away.

        • BeachBum

          Go ahead, ask her what’s for dinner !1!1

          • OutOfOrbit

            i’m not gonna ask her. you ask her

      • Rebel Scum with permit

        Oh and you reminded me- somehow poor children always behave worse than middle class children “They’ll throw rocks at my dog through the fence” as if middle class or rich kids don’t do those things.

      • BeachBum

        I think when they say “poor” they don’t mean poor, but “poor.”

        • Shanzgood

          I shouldn’t have called myself poor, though. I should have said “struggling at the time” instead. It does a disservice to people who genuinely ARE really poor to have referred to myself that way, especially to just make a joke.

          My bad.

          • BeachBum

            Shit I think we all been poor. I know I have.

          • Shanzgood

            I’ve never FELT poor, although I’m sure we were when I was a kid. I was never homeless or hungry or cold or unloved and I was happy.

        • janecita

          You are the right color, you are OK.

    • Wolf Tracker

      Not surprised and very saddened.

    • Michael Smith

      If poor people come into our neighborhood they might see how much better we have it than they do, and start to get resentful and then attack us and take our stuff!!

    • Swampgas_Man

      Yeah, when they tried to put up a home for special needs in my old neighborhood, half the letters to the editor page was outraged.

      • Rebel Scum with permit

        The State of California took that decision away from communities as long as it was 6 or fewer people. Would have been impossible otherwise

    • BeachBum

      I can believe it .

  • Crystalclear12

    The neighbor’s reaction was typical of what happens in the Midwest when confronted with racism.
    Get rid of the ‘ugly reminder’ and pretend it didn’t happen.

    • h4rr4r

      I don’t live in the midwest, but I would call the cops then chop it down. No one wants that shit around.

      • Crystalclear12

        The chopping down isn’t the issue. The pretending it never happened or saying the victim is being overly dramatic, that’s a problem.

        • Jim QuinnX

          Here in the People’s Republic of Ohio, we like to take pictures of racist stuff like this, and put it on the interwebs.

  • whitroth

    Y’know, I thought the “salt-of-the-earth” types were supposed to go to a new neighbor and welcome them, with Christian ™ charity.

    And how rude, to spray paint it in the grass. One just does *not* do things like that. On the other hand, in private, one can make all the bigoted comments you want.

    • BeachBum

      Kansas State Motto : ” Really tying like hell to make OK look good.”

      • Lascauxcaveman

        Hell doesn’t have to try, it just automatically looks better than Oklahoma.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    no identification of what kinds of homes were going to be there or who was building them

    What kind of houses do these neighbors think are being built there? Whorehouses? Crack havens?

    …oh, right. Never mind…

    • Reddishrabbit

      They thought it would be Tudors! It is a Victorian or death neighborhood!

    • jesterpunk

      They where worried they might build ranch houses.

      • redarmyzombie

        Those Alpacas are vicious, man!

  • WotsAllThisThen

    They’re just mad because Jimmy Carter has a statue and they don’t.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/55981aa5c79d2b4f9820d9b029bde65c4a4c2146912c89e0f32d6e00a6a2023a.jpg

  • Jeffery Campbell

    Decent, hard working folks. You don’t want that anywhere near you, for sure!

  • Cousin Itt un Mondialiste

    OT

    Three hurricanes, one bad Mexican earthquake, Chiefs stun the Patriots (good thing), what else could happen?

    A bigly huge solar flare and ongoing geomagnetic storm. http://spaceweather.com/

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13549458ad21be71a477e87c01aa86f53690bda3984043e9352c9dae8cb6d0a5.jpg

    • janecita

      It’s an electric eagle!

      • h4rr4r

        But is it ill or not?

      • Naytch

        Fawkes the Phoenix!

    • Wolf Tracker

      If Elvis comes back I am heading for the mountains!

      • Creepoman

        He never left.

        • Anna Rompage

          Yep, I saw him shopping at a Goodwill down in Silverton Oregon a couple years back…

          • Creepoman

            I think he’s in Oregon – a buddy in Portland gave his paper delivery guy (about the right age) a tip a few years back and he replied: “Thankyou, thankyouverymuch.”

        • NastyBossetti

          When you saw one set of footprints, Elvis was carrying you.

      • Swampgas_Man

        I’ll wait til I see him kung-fu fighting Bruce Lee. Always amazed they never got together for that.

    • BeachBum

      I, for one, hope there will be discernable less talk about the Pats Perfect Season this year. Though, prolly not.

      • Lascauxcaveman

        Last night, deep somewhere in Seahawks territory…

        My wife (annoyed): “And why are we watching this game?”

        Me: “Because we love to see the Patriots get their asses kicked.”

    • Beanz&Berryz

      The Hand of God… or His Parakeet…

    • Panika MCD
      • Beanz&Berryz

        Now THAT’s an eclectic memory… but, my bent for politico soloing is more along the lines of…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN05jVNBs64

        • Panika MCD

          but….but…the aurora looks like eagle…?

          • Beanz&Berryz

            Well, ya, but I got side-tracked, as happens… and, well, having totally forgotten about Ashcroft’s singing, that got me to thinking about singing, which got me forgetting about boreali, so I went to a really good solid stand-by…

            Will be heading a ways north in a week… This has me hoping to see some dancing lights…

          • Panika MCD

            AURORA AUSTRALIS LIBELZ!!!

          • Beanz&Berryz

            LOL!!! I go for the easy slide into base, not quite sure which one I’m headed for, but thinking that with a little confidence I can just make it work.. but Panika knows… she ALWAYS knows! :)

          • Panika MCD

            I make a mistake here and there. show’s I’m not a robot.

          • Beanz&Berryz

            That, and you swear good…

          • Panika MCD

            fuckin’ A.

          • Beanz&Berryz

            Though, for special occasions I sometimes use feckin’ as a nice tip to Vincente Fox, if I’m remembering my Fox niggling of Trump correctly.

    • Courser_Resistance

      Is it the apocalypse? Damn, I’d better go get my mexican take-out then. I’ll need something to power me through the zombies.

    • jesterpunk
    • Daniel

      All because he touched that bloody orb.

  • DerrickWildcat

    She hurt herself by stepping outside.

  • Vagenda and Pee-ara

    I can understand people not wanting cheap houses* built near their homes for the sake of property values, but how does calling someone a “nigger” fit in with that?

    *I volunteered for Habitat and the houses are cheap because they are very basic. Fun fact: very few HfH houses go in to foreclosure, because the people are happy to have them. It’s a great program for the working poor – no moochers!, just lik

    • Wolf Tracker

      I don’t support any zoning that discriminates by value of the house.

      That is used by the wealthy, racists and bigots to keep out whatever people they don’t want to live around.

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        Zoning is a pain in the ass period.

    • Debbie the Unpaid Protester

      The HH houses I’ve worked on have been “cheap” in the sense that they were inexpensive, no-frills structures, but they were built above & beyond code so that they were less likely to fall apart.
      I assumed that was standard practice with HH.

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        Oh, they’re built just fine, up to code, etc .., but if you had a McMansion, you wouldn’t want those houses near yours. I understand that part, I’m just not sure how calling someone a racial slur has anything to do with your property values. I’m puzzled, because it seems that race is the real problem here.

  • Covfefe

    Now you understand why Joel Osteen did want his precious arena stained by the perfume of the poors.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      It’s hard to wash off, dammit…

      • Anna Rompage

        The sent of stale pee, and spoiled milk…

        Wait, that’s actually Jim Baker after a 3 day Pat Robertson cock binge, never mind

        • Zombishroom

          Did you mean coke binge or did you intentionally scar our brains with that image?

  • Internet Hitler

    Another habitat sucker for conman Freddy Flapman!

    https://youtu.be/0q6HOwgFRY0

  • richardgrabman

    I can sort of understand the concern about “manufactured homes” going up in Topeka. There are huge swaths through that city where tornados have taken out entire blocks of houses.

    • Internet Hitler

      Some of those ‘manufactured’ homes are pretty damn cool.

    • Wolf Tracker

      HH homes are built on a permanent foundation and meet all storm codes for the area and in many cases are better built than McMansions.

    • LucindathePook

      I thought manufactured homes are mostly on slab, not basement foundations. Woulda been my first clue. (Disclosure: Mr. P volunteers at HfH ReStore twice a week.

    • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

      That isn’t what their concern is.

    • handyhippie65

      i live in a double wide my father and i put on a foundation in the early 90’s. they don’t hold their value like a stick built house does. they depreciate like a car, so can lower property values. that is what HOAs do. they try to keep values high. seems stupid to me. i want the value to be low when i live there for lower taxes, and only want them to go up if i want to sell.

  • MoeLarryAndJesus

    The Baby Jeezus should use his radioactive breath to evaporate all Trump voters.

  • janecita

    Habitat for Humanity doesn’t build houses in high class, ritzy neighborhoods. I doubt that any of the people in this neighborhood are very well to do.

    • BrendaKay

      When I was a kid, Habitat put in 6 or 7 cute little houses on a street we’d drive on regularly. It was a decent middle class neighborhood.

      • I’ve worked on a HH once. The owners are required to work x number of hours on the house and have a MINIMUM income level, for starters.

        It’s definitely a program for middle class people with a stable job, not poor families or students or people just starting out in life.

      • SeeTrain65

        We’ve had two Habitat for Humanity homes put up in my hometown in the last, I’d say, 20 years, both within about 500 yards of each other.

        To say the homes they replaced were run down would be an overwhelming understatement. To say the replacement homes were glamorous palaces would be a gross overstatement. They’re basic homes, affordable, clean and secure, they blend in nicely with the homes in the are and they add to the general beauty of this small town.

        Bigots will see what they see … “undesirables” getting “free stuff.” What it is, in fact, is a family working to make their dreams of home ownership a reality through dedication and hard fucking work, the very things the bigots claim they’d be OK with.

    • The Immigrants are probably slim because they tend to be more educated, but…
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf5be124deb2253db4c578f0ccf5091d8478d3dc47b8b9cf4880f4e5a04d10de.png

      Blue Collar= High School Diploma, No Inheritance

  • Rick Prose

    Okay, I’ve worked for a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Oklahoma as a home repair program manager, but also worked closely with the new home construction folks and spent plenty of time with Habitat folks from all over the middle part of the country, and, in my opinion, this is as much a case of the Topeka HfH not doing their damned jobs as it is about racist morons. The fact that neighboring homeowners in this area were not aware that Habitat owned the lots these houses were going to be built on and were not approached beforehand by Habitat people to give them a chance to understand just how HfH works and what they were planning to do is just laziness on the part of this affiliate’s ED and her staff.
    If you’ve ever been involved with HfH, you know that the two things that random people on the street “know” are: 1) Habitat “gives” houses to Black people, and; 2) Jimmy Carter invented Habitat for Humanity. Neither of these things is true – HfH partners (homeowners) not only have to complete hundreds of hours of classes and put in sweat equity hours, when they accept their new homes they have to pay a mortgage, just like everybody else. Granted, it’s an interest-free mortgage, but that’s just one of the things that makes home-ownership possible for heretofore marginalized people. Also, Jimmy Carter did not start HfH, though it was started by a guy named Millard Fuller who lived in Jimmy’s neck of the woods and he got Jimmy roped into the idea early on.
    Places like Kansas are full of racist jerks – hell, America is full of racist jerks. But a little community outreach goes a long way and it seems like none was undertaken in this case. End of rant…

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Thanks for the education… But I would have thought Millard Fillmore would have been dead by the time Jimmy Carter came along…

    • Wolf Tracker

      I have worked on several HH and work equity houses and they are required to put in so many hours on the construction because it also gives them a strong sense of ownership and they can then learn the skills to maintain the property so they don’t get run down.

      It is also an excellent way for people that don’t have a lot of building skills to get some so they can then build their own homes or do home repairs and save alot of money so if there is a project in your area go volunteer even if you have no building skills.

    • little miss high and mighty

      yup didn’t scout the turf didn’t know the territory. Found some available lots, found a homeowner wannabe then commenced hammering and intergrating and this meant a burden especially for the family. Imagine shackled for a long mortgage in a hostile neighborhood! Some better place deserves them.

  • Crystalclear12
  • Carpe Vagenda

    Do you suppose it’s occurred to any of the people in the neighborhood that there’s already at least one criminal already there?

    • Beanz&Berryz

      IOKIYAW

    • BearDeLaOursistance

      Several dozen, if you count the Phelpses!!

  • Angela Ruzzo

    I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in St. Louis for 3 years, and I can attest to the quality of their program. Yes, there occasionally were problems, but they were always related to relatives of the homeowner moving in and ruining things, and this happened in about 3% of the cases. I have white neighbors in my working-class subdivision who do much worse.

  • When I think of the “criminal element” in Topeka, Kansas?
    http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/welsh-farmer-meme.jpg

    Fair enough

    • Persistent Tennessee Rain

      Someone’s been a baaaaa-d boy

    • SeeTrain65

      A wooly situation, fer sure.

  • Robyn Ryan

    We all know White Christians would just as soon kill you as look at you. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b235e716e1a6c37b066a5d600cf8db144dc114eed64348eb2b0b53a8a173da6.jpg

    • WomanInThePersistence

      Um, no. My mom is white. And liberal Christian (yay UCC!). So just no.

      • Red Bird

        Hmmm. Isn’t UCC the church that chased it’s pastor off because he went on MTV to say he didn’t approve of the confederate worship of his ancestor, Robert E Lee?

        • WomanInThePersistence

          You might be thinking of the Church of Christ. (My Granny was a member). Super fundamentalist. The UCC has actually sued that anti gay marriage laws violates their freedom of religion. I’m not a believer, but honestly, they are good people.

          http://www.ucc.org/marriage_equality_and_lgbtq_rights

      • nightmoth

        Yeah—one of the things i like about Wonkette is that we distinguish between Christians and christianists on here. I live not far from the Christians who created and still maintain Habitat for Humanity.

        • WomanInThePersistence

          It’s too easy to assume all Christians are smug RWNJs. Because so many of them are. It’s good to see examples of people of faith actually doing good things.

  • Hanaka

    Ugh, the shame parade is killing me. You work hard, get a tiny bit of help getting a leg up on the world, and this is the welcome you get. Dammit.

  • smitallica

    Yes, we certainly wouldn’t want Topeka to lose its high-class, cosmopolitan sheen.

    • BearDeLaOursistance

      “Cosmopolitan? Oy gevalt, who told you we were here?” — Temple Beth-El-Jayhawk

    • Three Finger Salute

      I don’t think anyone considers Charlie Sheen to be high-class either. Didn’t know he lived in Topeka, though.

  • Bitter Scribe

    I’m starting to understand why they kept electing Brownback.

  • Indiepalin

    It would only be fair if Habitat constructed some Prefab meth labs in each neighbor, just to keep the natives from getting too restless.

  • Edith Prickly

    God, some people are assholes.

    • Three Finger Salute

      I’d say most. The “helpers” are outliers. Especially the higher you get up the “leadership” scale. A one-off Jimmy Carter is like getting struck by lightning a second time after winning the lottery on a February 29th when Halley’s Comet is orbiting the Earth. The majority of humans, especially in the political profession, are shit.

      • William

        amen. i get so tired of hearing how most people are good people. They aren’t. Most people are dumber than a box of hammers and hateful to boot.

      • ahughes798

        Chi-Chi Rodriguez got struck by lightning 3 times during his career. He doesn’t have any other of the qualities you list, but getting struck by lightning 3 times has to count for something.

        • SqueakyRat

          Playing golf in a thunderstorm is a good way to do it.

      • SqueakyRat

        Don’t hold your breath waiting for Halley’s or any other comet to orbit the Earth.

    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      God: Some people are assholes.
      -FTFY

  • BearDeLaOursistance

    Wait, Bear haz a confuz. Humans are supposedly a highly evolved species, yet there are humans who oppose dens?

  • YetAnotherRebecca

    God damn…I am so tired of people who have this NIMBY/”I’ve got mine, screw you” mentality when it comes to things like HfH or other types of affordable housing being in their neighborhood. I don’t know if anyone else uses the Nextdoor app/social network, but if you haven’t heard of it it’s basically a neighborhood specific message board that you have to be invited to and use a valid street address to register for so I’m fairly confident that everyone on it ARE real people who live around me. And so far, what it’s been most useful for is helping me to identify which neighbors of mine are ignorant old racists.

    I live in a solidly middle-class neighborhood that mostly contains single family homes, but there are some larger apartment complexes being planned that will have some units set aside for affordable housing. So of course, there is immediately an outpouring of anger and resentment about how “these people” are causing an increase of crime in the neighborhood and oh goodness what will that do to my nice block? When someone posted the comment “I don’t think low income housing is a good idea, yes some people are poor but good citizens, but I think that number is small it brings in low class people and thugs” I could bite my tongue no longer and mentioned how disturbing I thought shit like that was to hear!

    When we bought the house late last year, the one thing that gave me pause was that it’s a neighborhood that is/was home to A LOT of Chicago cops so I thought it might be a more right-wing than most parts of the city and it seems I was right – at least for now anyway. Hopefully most of these bastards will die or retire to somewhere in the South sooner rather than later. I know I’m personally WAY more afraid of some 60something paranoid white housewife who just got her concealed carry permit than I am a low income black or brown family that might move onto my block looking for better schools and more opportunities. The way some of these people post, they’re practically fantasizing about having the chance to shoot someone in a George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin kind of encounter and I find it absolutely disgusting.

    • harryeagar

      NextDoor (I joined because of work, back when I did work) is a message board for scared people. You can understand why: these are people who don’t have a great deal; they are comfortable but not rich, and just a little slippage will put them back among the sweaty proles. Of course they are terrified of anything that might reduce the value of their only tangible asset.

      While I understand them, I think they are mostly pricks and prickesses.

      (Big issue in my NextDoor [where I do not live] is the wandering cat affair; one guy traps cats on his property and gives them to the shelter which gases them after 5 days.)

      • BouncyFlyer

        I guess my experience with NextDoor is different, because we’re a majority-minority town here. I haven’t seen much of anything racist on the boards here, thankfully. Although I’m sure it would be different, were I to go to boards representing the lily-white areas of the metro.

        • Kooolest G

          me too, I signed up for the NextDoor and it’s pretty much all people looking for their lost dogs and cats, or people looking for a handyman. there’s also a lot of people discussing what new restaurants are opening in the neighborhood. but I guess that’s what the discussion would be like in a neighborhood full of hipsters and mexicans

          • PersianOregano

            Also free stuff left by curb, but I suspect ny neighborhood is “majority minority” as well

    • ahughes798

      You live out by Cumberland+Irving? There were lots of cops that lived there, because Cumberland was as far West as you can live and still be in the city.

      • YetAnotherRebecca

        You’re really close – I’m around Austin and Lawrence but yep, it’s definitely part of that same swath of the NW side that you’re referring to. The couple we bought the house form were actually a retired firefighter and paramedic, I believe :) I moved out this way when I shacked up with my late husband about 10 year ago, he grew up in one of those old classic bungalows and his father (whom he hated enough to ensure I never met) was a retired Chicago cop.

        Fortunately (considering it’s one of the last places in the city with good public transit AND reasonably prices homes), the area is getting a bit more diverse, hence the freaking out of all those now-retired cops and firefighters and their wives.

        • ahughes798

          I was cops, firefighters, and Italians when I lived there. There used to be an Italian deli on Irving just west of Cumberland on the south side of the street. It made the best damn cannoli I’ve ever had…and if you’re into olives, they had barrels full of them.

  • Three Finger Salute

    Jimmy Carter builds Habitat homes.

    He is consistently ranked as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

    This country is a hopeless cause.

    • Zyxomma

      Hikers like me rank him as one of the very best. He got Congress to appropriate enough money ($900 million, IIRC) to buy up the pieces of the Appalachian Trail that were then in private hands, so we have a hiking trail from Georgia to Maine in perpetuity. In Brazil, where I visited in 1984, it was front page news when he visited, because he was known throughout the country as THE human rights president. His work since leaving office speaks for itself. I hope this country is not a hopeless cause, despite what took place on 11/9.

      Speaking of which, Monday is 9/11 and the bat signal, a/k/a Towers of Light, is back in the night sky. As always, Monday I will not watch or listen to any broadcast news. I’ll call my remaining friend (the other died) whose birthday is the 11th of September to wish her a happy one.

    • William

      The country sucks. J.C. is a good guy. It is true though that he wasn’t a really effective President. He had a few wins but over all he struggled. He basically admits as much in his memoirs. I’d still take him over any rethuglican in the last 50 years though.

    • Moar Wordz

      I like Carter. Habitat homes prove that this country ISN’T hopeless.
      Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundum

  • Wilbur T

    Topeka is a shithole. They should be welcoming any new construction.

  • triad

    a letter in the local paper in my town about sums up these peoples feelings. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f0a87117ca5dccc2eb8f618784ea8418b91b560fec214154e2ef6d77dba0072.jpg

    • WomanInThePersistence

      Ugh.

    • TootsStansbury

      How can you be so mean and live with yourself? I’ll never understand this segment of American society, they’re just mean, awful, selfish assholes. Habitat does great work and they’re churchy even, how could anyone have a problem with that?

      • Moar Wordz

        Some ignorant, hateful, fool showed up late to the party.
        I bet whoever did it lives in his Mom’s basement and has no friends.

        • Unfortunately, everyone in the neighborhood knows who did it and thinks the vandal is a hero.

          Guaranteed.

          • Moar Wordz

            Is that conjecture or opinion ?

          • Supposition.

          • Moar Wordz

            Lol.

    • gingerwentworth1

      Well, when I lived in Orinda I’ll tell you what it was like. Blonde women– humorless blonde women in baseball caps and running shoes were everywhere. They’d get their kitchens redone every other year. And I marveled at all the money spent on those creepy ranch houses. I see they’re all using the word “slum.” I haven’t seen that word in many years.

      • nightmoth

        Upvote for “humorless blonde women in baseball caps.” What a great image—-I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about.

        • gingerwentworth1

          I don’t mean there was anything wrong with ranch houses. Well, let me admit that I was coming from where there were old houses that were nice– like the one we’d just left– so I felt more annoyed that, in California, everything old had vanished, everything new was ordinary, and the only people visible outdoors were Latino men in pick-up trucks, come to do the yard or install the granite. Where did the other young mothers go for fun? NORDSTROM. However, that’s just one town. Go through the tunnel and there’s Oakland, there’s Berkeley, there’s SF! Sorry to digress, but it really is a funny place.

          • nightmoth

            I need to visit. California seems like another country, and I haven’t seen it yet.

          • gingerwentworth1

            It’s so beautiful, physically, and that is an irresistible thing. Many more smiling people too. It’s just that way.
            So I hope you’ll visit.

          • H0mer0

            that Caldicott tunnel still scares me after the horrible accident inside years ago.

          • gingerwentworth1

            I moved there right after, and also right after a plane had crashed into that mall in Concord. But those things never happened again. I didn’t to that mall a second time you know, because apart from the plane thing, on the second floor gallery, the railings were exactly the right space apart for toddlers to squeeze in between them and fall through, once they’d deliberately dropped their little car. You know, you can try to always take the new tube in the tunnel where nothing bad has happened. I bet this is boring people from other regions.

    • SeeTrain65

      At least they’re concerned about what’s important … PROPERTY VALUES.

      Jesus Motherfucking Christ on a Town House Cracker, these fucking people.

    • Gascoigne

      Thanks for posting.

  • The Flaming Carrot

    Kansas. Just as big(oted) as you think.

  • How many studies, how many times, does it have to be proven to these fucks that Habitat homes INCREASE FUCKING VALUES IN A NEIGHBORHOOD.
    Seriously.

    • William

      They are stupid and facts don’t matter to them.

  • aureolaborealis

    “Can’t have blahs ruining the neighborhood. They, by virtue of their overabundance of melanin, might cause the local constabulary to increase their patrols, and that might lead to them noticing our meth labs and indoor weed farms.”

  • pgjack

    Kansas is a loser state run by a loser governor and a loser legislature. Maybe some of these HFH folks can help bring the state back into the 21st century.

    • William

      I’m not sure that it ever left the 19th century.

  • The Librarian

    I once had the privilege of working on a Habitat for Humanity house with a group from work. Hard work and plenty of sweating, indeed. Me and my fuchia pink Husky utility knife were put to good use.

  • harryeagar

    It seems a criminal element is already present.

    Topeka, Topeka . . . I’ve heard that name before, something about schools.

  • Viktor

    The local residents of Topeka were afraid the property values of their meth labs would decrease when the riff raff moves in.

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  • Tofu Killer

    It’s not the horrible racist dipshittery of sneaking onto someone’s lawn in the middle of the night to write offensive messages that pisses me off about this story. The possible suspects range from some Real American who feels he needs to put them dirty Blahs on notice to a bored teen.
    No, what pisses me off is the classic MIdwestern coping mechanism of patching over the explicit evidence of racial hostility and hoping everyone will just stop making such a big deal over it so we can go back to pretending everything is okay. That neighbor who trimmed out the message then refused to go on record is following a classic pattern of non-confrontation. This neighbor probably isn’t racist, probably hasn’t thought much about race in his life and likes to think of himself as a good person. I will even go so far as to bet good money that while he was weedwhacking that spray painted grass he was thinking of himself as a good neighbor.
    Thing is, he isn’t.
    When the Smith family finally takes possession of this home that they have worked so hard for, they will have to live surrounded by people who refused to help them in the face of an obvious wrong. That is unforgivable. That is shameful. This conspiracy of silence is why racism and a thousand other social wrongs have such deep roots in the Midwest.

  • SadDemInTex

    I met a couple (and stayed in their home). He was a retired VIP scientist who had worked for the Dept. of Agriculture (the very top of his field). He had gotten his Phd at a very important midwestern university and had immediately become a professor upon receiving his Phd. He and his wife soon discovered they could not have children of their own so they adopted…a new born African-American baby (they are white). The anonymous hate mail they received in this Midwest college town and the slurs (n-word lover, etc) was so horrible that when their son was 5 the dad got his mucky mucky job in DC and they moved to Northern Virginia where as the mom said “at least they are openly racist….you know where you stand with people”. The Midwest is perhaps one of the most bigoted places in the US…mainly because it is completely hypocritical and often anonymous. (BTWTheir son is very successful and superb in his highly educated and skilled profession …he lives in DC). Fuck the bigots

    • CovfefeOfTheThoughtlessMind

      Though it is true that the Midwest has a history of racism (the Klan owned and operated a local movie theater through the ’30s) the young generations are nowhere near as racist as their forebears.

      • SqueakyRat

        The Klan owned and operated the State of Indiana during the 20’s and 30’s.

        • CovfefeOfTheThoughtlessMind

          yup

  • Jennaratrix

    Some bitch posting in my neighborhood’s HOA discussion board said something about trying to keep the townhomes at the front of the neighborhood from going any more Section 8 housing than they already were. Because you know, if you can’t afford to buy a detached single-family, and start off small with a townhome to get your kids into a good school district, obviously you’re on fucking welfare. Oh, where am I, you ask? Just outside Kansas City, MO; it’s not just Kansas. And that isn’t even the first time I’ve heard someone sneering about the townhomes. I am still in shock at the ignorance of people, and I want to stay shocked. I don’t want to get used to it, because I want to keep calling them assholes when they say shit like this. The looks on the faces when I do are priceless; they just assume as a middle class white lady, I’m an asshole racist, too. They never like finding out they misjudged.

    My neighbors don’t like me much. I’m okay with that.

    • S’okay, I adore you!

    • CovfefeOfTheThoughtlessMind

      I now officially love you.

  • CovfefeOfTheThoughtlessMind

    Nice “saddles” riff, Dok.

  • Mike Steele

    Attn Topeka: Nothing sez rootlessness and criminality like vetted home ownership/s.

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