Fostoria Pierson, who has lived in the city for eight years, describes Charlotte as “one of the lands of opportunity in the south” and a great place to raise children, with an abundance of charter schools. It’s one of the few southern cities that has professional basketball and football teams, along with NASCAR.
“Charlotte is a beautiful place,” she told The Huffington Post. “Right now we’re just at a civil unrest. But, you know what, our mayor and our governor ― they will get it back to where it used to be.”
Pierson was referring to the perceived resilience of the city following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott on Sept. 20. His death sparked six consecutive nights of protests, including a stint outside of the Bank of America stadium. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) mobilized the state National Guard, putting troops in charge of helping protect buildings and bridges and highways, and also provided state troopers to help with traffic control in the city.
But the protests have highlighted a wide gap between perceptions of the Queen City that many in Charlotte have and the reality facing many of its residents. Despite the city’s anti-racism programs, Charlotte, often referred to as “The New South,” isn’t as progressive as some of its residents like to think. It has many of the same issues facing other American cities.
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