We are delighted to see the Providence House expanding its impact and valuable community services to the east side. (“Providence House hopes to revitalize Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood,” cjn.org)
However, we are utterly disgusted by the racially insensitive and historically tone deaf way that this story was presented in the Cleveland Jewish News. To start, it’s rare that one institution can “revitalize” a neighborhood like Buckeye-Shaker, with its challenging and storied history. Additionally, the idea that “now there’s nothing there” as Providence House board member Adam Jacobs said in his quote is infuriating.
There is a robust Black community growing in Buckeye-Shaker and to discount the businesses and families in that neighborhood smacks of ignorance about the history of Cleveland’s neighborhoods and our redlining past. To reduce the neighborhood to “abandoned houses, abandoned storefronts, extreme poverty, crime,” as Jacobs said, is simply a racist trope.
We expect a higher level of journalistic integrity from the CJN. We highly recommend that the CJN editorial team attend racial equity institute training at Third Space Action Lab and commit to reporting on racial topics with greater nuance and care in the future. Further, we invite your readers to get to know the Buckeye neighborhood in person, learn about its Jewish roots and work in partnership with Jews and Blacks alike to overcome the systemic racism that plagues our community.