Monday, February 04, 2008

Racial Integration in Chicago

Steve Sailer reviews There Goes the Neighborhood, and in the process tells the heartbreaking story of the effect that first desegregation and then immigration has had on Chicago's community life. He links to a Time article from 1983 about how Chicago's wealthy lakefront area has always been relatively liberal:

Holding the electoral balance [in the racially-charged election of Chicago's first black Mayor] were the city's six affluent "Lakefront Liberal" wards. Undecided until the very end, they finally gave Washington 40% of their vote, enough to assure his 51.8% majority.

Sailer explains:

Home prices are so high near Chicago’s main asset, Lake Michigan, that only upper-middle class people can afford to live there. Thus, race doesn’t much matter. In lower rent districts, however, race trumps class. As many Chicagoans testify in There Goes the Neighborhood, among working class people the traits that make a good neighbor—such as having children who don’t commit crimes and who aren’t disruptive in school—are most often found among whites, followed by Latinos, followed by African-Americans.

This reinforces the point I have made before about how facile it is for people (myself included) who, by virtue of wealth, education, and geography, have de-facto segregated themselves from underclass minorities to then preach the virtue of racial integration to poor whites who are required to actually live it in the real world.

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