Monday, July 21, 2008

White Flight

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Census data "suggests that white flight from large cities may have bottomed out in the 1990s," says William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
On the dead end neighborhood street where I live here in upstate NY, there are 28 homes. All are 100% white. Have been since the development was started in 1953. No black. No Latin. No Asian. Best I can tell, I'm the only homo. Most are of Irish and Italian descent and attend the local Catholic church.

So different from my experience in California where it really is a melting pot. The non-white populace in Orange County is mostly Latino and Vietnamese — a large percentage of the Vietnamese boat people were settled in Fountain Valley (along with San Jose and Plano, TX). There are large Chinese and Iranian communities as well. Not many blacks, though. Even the white folks are from foreign places — in the most recent neighborhood that I lived, we had folks from the U.K., Australia, and Texas.

I remember telling a woman that I worked with in CA back in 1985 that she was the first black person I ever knew. She couldn't believe it. Surely there were black folks where I grew up. Yes, I told her, but they were "in the city" and not in the suburbs where I lived. It's just the way things were and the way they still least here in upstate NY.

1 comment:

michael sean morris said...

People often cite Vancouver as a cultural melange as well, since people of all kinds live in the same neighbourhoods. But there's very little mixing as friends, which is where it's most important.

White people are petrified to make friends with non-whites because of the fear that if they ask the wrong question they'll be accused of racism - in itself, a racist assumption.