T Nation

Accidental Segregation

I’m looking through a bunch of Myspace profiles today, and I’m coming across quite a few that are from the South where people have as many black friends on there as they do white.

It reminds me of last year, when I went to a Cracker Barrel in Maryland or Virginia, and something just felt very different there. What was different from Jersey? There were as many black patrons there as there were white. This does not happen up here.

This is leading me to believe that somewhere along the line, the North has somehow become involuntarily and unwittingly more segregated than the South is, and there isn’t, from what I can see, any exceptions.

When the blacks move into parts of Clifton, the whites move out. Same goes for Paterson, Newark, and now places like West Orange (those of you from Jersey know what I’m talking about). There is so little integration that I’m amazed.

How did this happen?

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I’m looking through a bunch of Myspace profiles today, and I’m coming across quite a few that are from the South where people have as many black friends on there as they do white.

It reminds me of last year, when I went to a Cracker Barrel in Maryland or Virginia, and something just felt very different there. What was different from Jersey? There were as many black patrons there as there were white. This does not happen up here.

This is leading me to believe that somewhere along the line, the North has somehow become involuntarily and unwittingly more segregated than the South is, and there isn’t, from what I can see, any exceptions.

When the blacks move into parts of Clifton, the whites move out. Same goes for Paterson, Newark, and now places like West Orange (those of you from Jersey know what I’m talking about). There is so little integration that I’m amazed.

How did this happen? [/quote]

You are dead on. Whites, especially in the northeast are - for lack of a better term - ‘afraid’ of blacks, especially those that endeavor to live in their neighborhoods.

I have lived in a few cities across the US and have found the southern cities (Richmond, Charlotte, Fairfax), contrary to the way they are commonly portayed, to be the least racist. I’m not sure why but I have a few observations:

1 - Many northeasterners are hypocrites. Liberals who ‘adore’ blacks and want them to succeed! As long as they don’t move in next door.

2 - I have seen markedly fewer single parent black homes in the south than I do in the northern cities. Southern folks have more intact families (it seems) and I think this creates an envriroment for success in school and in society. This gives blacks more of an even playing field with whites. It creates a more stable home financially, better neighborhoods, blacks become more upwardly mobile.

3 - Many norther blacks are caught in a poisonous culture. A culutre in which education is devalued and other things are valued. I did not see this as much in the south. It think that this is just another symptom of NOT having strong families.

4 - Many norther blacks came from the south to the big northern cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

They had no roots and entered an enviroment that was very racist. Whites didn’t want them there, period. Those who stayed in the south had a more stable base. They had ‘people’ there, white and black. And I think that paid dividends years down the road. I think those who moved north are still struggling to catch up.

I have witnessed the same thing here in Minnesota. It is a silent segregation. In my neighborhood there aren’t many black families yet the highschool which caters to my neighborhood would indicate that atleast 30% of my neighborhood should be black. What happened? Where do these black families live and is it in a mixed community?

I don’t think the “North” has come to terms with its race issues yet. There are areas around the Twin Cities that would make me think that ethnicity does not exist here yet we have one of the most racially diverse regions of the country.

By “accidental” I am assuming you mean either “not government enforced or created” or “random”? But random in the sense that the stock market is random, not in the sense that individuals are not creating these dynamics purposefully?

The worst racism I’ve witnessed was in southern Illinois. The white people there just seemed to have never been close to any minorities. I couldn’t stand it there. It was 100 times worse than anything I’ve witnessed in the South, where people mix for the most part.

Irish,

First, let me commend you on your choice of going to Cracker Barrel. ;>

Second, while the South has its warts, I think all too often it has become a cheap scapegoat. The worst racism I have ever seen has been north of the Mason-Dixon line, without question.

Northerners love to pat themselves on the back and wag a sanctimonious finger at the caricatured Southerner, but my personal set of experiences - for what their worth - has consistently shown me that white Southerners legitimately befriend more black Southerners than white Northerners do of their black brethren.

Talk is cheap. I think you have got the right idea - look at what people do, not what they tell you they think others should do.

[quote]DS 007 wrote:
1 - Many northeasterners are hypocrites. Liberals who ‘adore’ blacks and want them to succeed! As long as they don’t move in next door.

[/quote]

Ding, ding, ding! We HAVE a WINNER, folks!!

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
By “accidental” I am assuming you mean either “not government enforced or created” or “random”? But random in the sense that the stock market is random, not in the sense that individuals are not creating these dynamics purposefully?[/quote]

Well, I mean that it has happened without us conciously thinking about it. It is like a “white flight” groupthink.

It certainly isn’t random in that people aren’t doing it purposefully, and as for the government enforced part…well, let’s just say alot of people think that the only way to get the blacks out of towns like Asbury Park or AC is to raise taxes…which they are trying to do. So the “government enforced” idea is up for grabs, too.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Irish,

First, let me commend you on your choice of going to Cracker Barrel. ;>
[/quote]

I love the Cracker Barrel. Good shit there.

I haven’t been in the South for more than a week or so at a time, so I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that the Northern white working class seems to despise blacks (and moreso the Puerto Ricans).

I remember a woman who I had a class with saying that when she goes to a restuarant and they give her a shitty table, it unnerves her more now than it did when she lived in the South. She mentioned that at least in the South, you knew you were sitting by the kitchen or the pisser because you were black- in the North, no one talks about it, and that’s what pissed her off the most.

[quote]
Talk is cheap. I think you have got the right idea - look at what people do, not what they tell you they think others should do.[/quote]

What scared me was how fucking uncomfortable I was being in a restuarant that had more blacks than whites.

Maybe it’s because of the area I’m from, but generally, if you’re surrounded by blacks, you’re in Paterson or Newark or Camden or Trenton, and you’ve got to watch your fuckin ass there.

That probably comes off as incredibly racist, and I don’t think I’m articuating it nearly as well as I want to.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
thunderbolt23 wrote:
Irish,

First, let me commend you on your choice of going to Cracker Barrel. ;>

I love the Cracker Barrel. Good shit there.

Second, while the South has its warts, I think all too often it has become a cheap scapegoat. The worst racism I have ever seen has been north of the Mason-Dixon line, without question.

Northerners love to pat themselves on the back and wag a sanctimonious finger at the caricatured Southerner, but my personal set of experiences - for what their worth - has consistently shown me that white Southerners legitimately befriend more black Southerners than white Northerners do of their black brethren.

I haven’t been in the South for more than a week or so at a time, so I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that the Northern white working class seems to despise blacks (and moreso the Puerto Ricans).

I remember a woman who I had a class with saying that when she goes to a restuarant and they give her a shitty table, it unnerves her more now than it did when she lived in the South. She mentioned that at least in the South, you knew you were sitting by the kitchen or the pisser because you were black- in the North, no one talks about it, and that’s what pissed her off the most.

Talk is cheap. I think you have got the right idea - look at what people do, not what they tell you they think others should do.

What scared me was how fucking uncomfortable I was being in a restuarant that had more blacks than whites.

Maybe it’s because of the area I’m from, but generally, if you’re surrounded by blacks, you’re in Paterson or Newark or Camden or Trenton, and you’ve got to watch your fuckin ass there.

That probably comes off as incredibly racist, and I don’t think I’m articuating it nearly as well as I want to. [/quote]

I don’t think it’s racist if it’s real. My wife is black and we are - obviously - at a point where we can be real and call things as they are. If a ‘black area’ of town is a dangerous place to be then it is appropriate to say that you have to ‘watch your ass there’.

I think to NOT say that would be racist. That means you are ignoring the facts of a situation or distorting reality because of some misplaced racial sensitivity. One that should not be extended to potentially dangerous criminals, no matter their race.

I know exactly where you are coming from in terms of feeling uncomfortable with a room full blacks when you are not used to it. But you will get used to it if you live in the south for any period of time. And you’ll make black friends and you will learn a lot about black culture. Both good and bad. But you won’t learn a lot about the bad until you establish a good friendship with a few blacks.

When you all know each other well, trust each other, that’s when you will all cut the bullshit and tell it like it really is. You’ll hear about places that they won’t go because it’s dangerous. You’ll hear what they really think about black learders and about what needs to happen in the black community.

This is why I always say that the cure for racism is exposure. When you begin seeing people as individuals first then everything else takes care of itself.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I’m looking through a bunch of Myspace profiles today, and I’m coming across quite a few that are from the South where people have as many black friends on there as they do white.

It reminds me of last year, when I went to a Cracker Barrel in Maryland or Virginia, and something just felt very different there. What was different from Jersey? There were as many black patrons there as there were white. This does not happen up here.[/quote]

Well, if you were in Maryland or Northern Virginia, you weren’t in the South, not culturally anyways. That area is becoming more like New Jersey, as far as the demographics and income. What you were seeing was probably due to the culture of the area. MD and VA have always had a large black population, and the harmony you’re seeing now came after a load of ugliness during the 60’s, and an expansion of high-tech and federal employment in the past decade in the area.

Maybe those areas found a way to live together, but I don’t know if you can extrapolate that to include the South, or compare them to New Jersey, which has had a different history with its integration.

Before everyone pats The South on the back too much, I have noticed more “integration” over the last ten years in Texas, but before that, it was hell. I am not sure what happened, but in places like Houston and even Louisiana, growing up in the 80’s was like living a racist social experiment. That didn’t seem to change until around the early 90’s about the time of the OJ verdict. I still get followed around stores by cops at times, but it is nothing like it used to be. I got pulled over two weeks ago in front of my own townhome because an UNDERCOVER cop in a white corvette didn’t think I lived there (he followed me to my house and flashed his lights when I slowed to pull to the side of the road in front of my place) and claimed this was a “bad neighborhood” and he thought I was slowing down to buy drugs. This is not a bad neighborhood. I’m just one of the only minorities living in the complex.

I wish I could view the world through the eyes of someone who never experiences this shit directed at them but the reality is it is still out there. It has only recently become not so visible in public.

Socially, younger guys don’t tend to focus on race when it comes to friends as much as it used to be in the past. Hopefully that means this type of thing will eventually come to an end…once the older crew dies off.

Very interestig thread. I can’t really comment on US race-relation from a personal point-of-view, but I can share my experiences growing up in Ontario.

I live in a metropolitan city of about one million people, and it’s a pretty diverse city. There are many families from many different backgrounds, here. I’d say that segregation is somewhat visible in my city, as well. Poorer, less safe areas tend to have higher proprotions of visible minorities than more well-to-do neighborhoods.

Keep in mind that well-off neighborhoods are still relatively multicultural. I live in a very nice area and I have neighbors of various ethnicities: Chinese, Lebanese, Russian, Polish, Indian, Pakistani, South African, etc…

My place of work is also very mutlicultural. My employer has a diversity HR policy, though, which has really been followed through on. My place of work is much more of a mixed bag than anything I’ve seen. All sorts of pople, there.

I think people tend to associate with others of the same color, though… I often see social groups, at work or around town, which are almost entirely composed of one ethnicity. For example, an all-white group of friends or an all-phillipino group of friends.

It sounds like, depending on where you live, it is a totally different world. Someone said that Whites from the NE have issues living next to minorities. Well, to cure them we should force them to live in certain parts of California.

I live in a middle-class neighborhood and have the following races living on my street: blacks, whites, Latino (or Hispanic), Asians, Middle Eastern (turbans and all), and Indian. My problem is that with the exception of the whites, blacks, and Latino all the other races stay to themselves and don’t interact with anyone of another race. Maybe that’s because they are newer to this country? But it makes them seem stuck up.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
There is so little integration that I’m amazed.

How did this happen? [/quote]

It’s something that banks and realtors do. I believe it’s called red-lining. It means that banks will not extend loans and realtors will not sell property if it will integrate an area.

IMO a lot of racism is based on unfamiliarity (going both ways) which can result in fear and withdrawal.

The basic premise of this thread is correct, IMO… there are some northern cities (Chicago for example) that are very segregated. Neighborhoods can change drastically from one block to the next.

Of course, certain blithering idiots can’t resist the opportunity to blame everything on mean old Liberals and their dang hypocrisy…