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'The South Side Exists' Tumblr Is Here To Brilliantly Shame North Side Bias

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 27, 2016 6:18PM

Flickr / Photo: Sean Biehle

Chicago—especially the South Side—was not impressed by ESPN’s and CBS This Morning’s recent sins of baseball omission, in which they just up-and-forgot about that White Sox won a World Series title in 2005. But that was just the most visible of countless examples in which the media—both national and local—seems to think the city stops at Roosevelt.

Daniel Kay Hertz apparently had enough of the rampant and highly problematic habit and recently created a brilliant new Tumblr, The South Side Exists, to remind everyone, yes, it’s true and empirically proven, the South Side is a real thing. The result is a funny, but pointed compendium of North-ist list-shaming and celebrations of the South Side.

The seed was planted by reporter Sam Stecklow, who Tweeted on Friday some of those aforementioned South-blind lists. Hertz, a Senior Fellow at City Observatory and noted urban-policy figure in Chicago, took the concept and ran.

“I'm actually a born-and-raised North Sider! But I think in some ways that's part of what makes me personally angry about it, because I hear people stigmatize or ignore the South Side so often,” Hertz told Chicagoist via email. “I've tried to add some South Side voices to the tumblr by linking to South Side Weekly and a great post by (Chicago-based journalist) Evan Moore about this exact issue.”

When asked if such ignorance and/or bias is emblematic of other, larger acts of disregard toward the South Side, Hertz replied that the habit is “really baked into the culture of segregation in Chicago.”

“It's something that people pick up without even thinking about it. But it's also not just Chicago. People across the country, even nationwide, know that they're supposed to put down the South Side, or Detroit, or whatever. And of course it's not a coincidence that these famous stigmatized places are disproportionately black. Racism isn't very far below the surface.”