Online Troll Inspires an anti-Segregation Zine

The other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, idly scrolling through various headlines, when I made a grave mistake: I began to read the comments. Worse, the topic was yet more stark data outlining our fair city’s stupendous segregation and you already know what the comments were like. While I am used to seeing plenty of vitriol online, one comment in particular caught my eye and got me fired up.

But, rather than get into a pointless online shouting match, I decided to be more productive and make a zine about it! For some time, I had intended to make something regarding segregation, but to put such a vast, toxic, and unwieldy topic onto a two-sided 11×17″ piece of paper seemed impossible. This random comment gave me clarity on how to tackle this.

This comment is based on the flawed assumption that segregation is a choice, that it’s natural for people to self-select to be near those of similar backgrounds – it is a logic is parroted by many who prefer the status quo. The troll is right in only that white people, according to surveys, largely, prefer to do so and will go to extreme lengths to enforce this separation – via violence if needed, but generally via seemingly benign policies like land use, zoning, and the like. Other groups, meanwhile, largely attest to a preference for diverse neighborhoods.

We all know segregation takes an incalculable toll on minorities who are trapped in systems, policies, and place they did not design. There is no mincing words about it – segregation curtails lives, it makes people sick, it kills. In making this small handout, I hope to educate and to jolt my peers and especially other white people to action – to care more. Contact me if you’d like one!