Cities Moving Beyond Segregation

Haya El Nasser, USA Today, December 7, 2011

The old residential neighborhoods spread across a 150-block area off majestic The Paseo Boulevard were mostly white before they became mostly black. Now, many are deserted.

Sitting vacant are about 1,000 lots along tree-lined streets east of Troost Avenue–a legal line of segregation for decades under Jim Crow laws enacted before the civil rights movement. {snip}

The emptying out of African-American neighborhoods in the heart of this city is bemoaned by many who are battling the decline. But in an unexpected twist, the flight of blacks to other city neighborhoods and nearby suburbs in Missouri and Kansas has created an unforeseen result that is generally greeted with optimism: desegregation.

Blacks’ move to suburbia has accelerated in the past decade, shifting the racial make-up of urban and suburban neighborhoods across the nation. The change is particularly striking here because of the area’s long history of racial segregation.

Black-white residential segregation plummeted from 2000 to 2010 in the Kansas City metropolitan area after rising during each of the previous three decades, according to one analysis of Census data.

Kansas City last year was the 36th most segregated metropolitan area among the 100 largest, down from 18th in 2000.

“It’s as much the fact that city ghettos are being broken up as the fact that suburbs are beginning to integrate,” says Kansas City native John Logan, a Brown University sociologist who did the analysis. “It’s one of the places that I would describe as a success in the making, after a long history of intense segregation.”

{snip}

Kansas City’s black population is growing. The metropolitan area’s non-Hispanic black population climbed to 272,469, up almost 16% since 2000. Their share of the metro area’s 2 million people went from 12.8% to 13.4%.

“In the last decade, a lot of places that had very small black populations in 2000 now have 7% or 10% or 12% black populations, and that’s the range you can say they’re really becoming integrated,” says Logan, director of the US2010 Project at Brown University, which studies trends in American society.

{snip}

Logan’s research shows that African Americans are more likely to move to neighborhoods that were once predominantly white after other minorities have knocked down racial barriers and settled in. This could be because Asians and Hispanics are more easily accepted at first or because whites in those neighborhoods are more accepting of diversity, Logan says.

{snip}

Whites, on the other hand, still rarely move in to minority neighborhoods except in some urban areas where development has launched a wave of gentrification. In most cases, whites leave neighborhoods as they get more diverse and move farther from central cities, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, Logan says.

{snip}

Here [Kansas City], black flight has more to do with the dismantling of the public schools.

The Kansas City, Mo., school district lost its accreditation from the Missouri Board of Education in 2000 and has been operating under a provisional accreditation since 2002. In September, the Missouri Board of Education said the district has not improved academic performance and had such leadership turmoil that it would yank its accreditation in January, paving the way for a state takeover within two years.

Once the schools lose their accreditation, families will be able to send their kids to other schools that border the district and the Kansas City district will pay transportation costs. This final blow to local schools may drive more people to suburbia.

“The quality of the school district is certainly something that caused whites and blacks as well to move out,” Tauheed says.

{snip}

Former teacher Joann Boyd, 61, is a retired guidance counselor for the Kansas City, Mo., school district. She was one of the first blacks to move to Overland Park, Kan., in a neighborhood of duplexes in a suburb that was among the nation’s fastest-growing in the late 1990s.

{snip}

Boyd welcomes the growing diversity in race and income in her community.

“It’s good,” she says. “In the ’70s when I first moved here, it was almost like I was the only one. I wasn’t as comfortable then. It’s like home now. There are more people like me here.”

{snip}

A more negative fallout of Kansas City’s suburban explosion, especially for lower-income residents, was the lax lending practices that preceded the housing collapse. Unqualified buyers were granted mortgages, foreclosure rates soared and many families were evicted and went in search of affordable housing, often in older suburbs.

That dispels the notion that this movement to suburbia reflects rising incomes for African Americans, Tauheed says.

Aside from affluent black suburbs of Atlanta and Washington, D.C., “There’s been no increase (in incomes),” he says. Tauheed calls the decline in segregation a momentary change triggered by blacks settling into older suburbs close to the city.

{snip}

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  • Anonymous

    “It’s good,” she says. “In the ’70s when I first moved here, it was almost like I was the only one. I wasn’t as comfortable then. It’s like home now. There are more people like me here.”

    If you are black this line of thinking is normal and OK.

    If you are white you are an evil racist and need to be punished.

  • Auntie Em

    City life is hazardous to personal health in multiple ways. One seldom mentioned is the spiritual health of humans. Were people really meant to live in crowded conditions or in glass, steel and concrete environments? And with any number of looming disasters common sense suggests our inner cities will become death traps.

    I’ve lived in other areas of the country but prefer the Heartland. Some people call it “flyover” space. We still know how to find, grow and process our own food, to make living structures and clothing.

    Should we all be suddenly catapulted into the 1800s by plague, famine or worse it will be a short step back into grandpa and grandma’s world for many of us.

    It’s been plain to me for decades that most people prefer to live with what they know. As long as people are still able to make that choice they will eventually gather in homogenous groups.

    Imagining what our cities will be like within ten years I’m willing to surrender my occasional visits to whomever cares to live there.

  • Anonymous

    “unforeseen result that is generally greeted with optimism: desegregation”

    Talk about “laugh out loud”!! That’s a good one!

    The only ones greeting this with “optimism” are the ones not living there. Get ready for new white “exurbs”, and then the retreat to rural life, as blacks and Hispanics push outward. Though actually, things will hit the fan before that happens, and America will split along racial and ideological lines.

    Blacks’ move to suburbia has accelerated in the past decade, shifting the racial make-up of urban and suburban neighborhoods across the nation. The change is particularly striking here because of the area’s long history of racial segregation.

  • Question Diversity

    Blacks’ move to suburbia has accelerated in the past decade, shifting the racial make-up of urban and suburban neighborhoods across the nation. The change is particularly striking here because of the area’s long history of racial segregation.

    Kansas City has no “long history of racial segregation.” That is because it doesn’t have as strong of a racial undercurrent to its culture and politics as St. Louis, historically speaking. That and it wasn’t until relatively recently that Kansas City got a substantial black population, because unlike St. Louis, Kansas City never had any real heavy industry to attract blacks migrating from the South. But it eventually got one. What was the magnet that attracted blacks? I have no clue.

    A white Kansas Citian, having ancestral roots in the rural parts of the Great Plains not far from KC, or the mountain regions of Arkansas, tends to think of himself as a “plain ole regular American.” A white St. Louisan, having usually clearly defined ethnic roots from Europe, thinks of himself in terms of ethnicity, and it’s not a far leap from ethnic thinking to racial thinking, especially since, as I said, St. Louis has had more blacks for longer. The right wing in Kansas City tends to the libertarian, in St. Louis it tends to the racialist.

    Kansas City, compared to St. Louis, does have a lot more Hispanics. That is a direct outgrowth of its reputation and reality as a cow town, and its place along Interstate 35. KC’s Hispanic population continues to grow and grow and grow. Some neighborhoods in the former lily white suburbs, especially the Kansas suburbs, (where its current and former Governors are big time Hispanderers), are now majority Hispanic.

    Kansas City’s black population is growing. The metropolitan area’s non-Hispanic black population climbed to 272,469, up almost 16% since 2000. Their share of the metro area’s 2 million people went from 12.8% to 13.4%.

    Part of that is the natural population growth of the existing black population, and part of that is sub-Saharan African immigration. Kansas City was a favorite place to dump the Sudanese “Lost Boys.”

    “In the last decade, a lot of places that had very small black populations in 2000 now have 7% or 10% or 12% black populations, and that’s the range you can say they’re really becoming integrated,” says Logan, director of the US2010 Project at Brown University, which studies trends in American society.

    The most common places where that has happened are in the older parts of Johnson County, Kansas, the northeastern sections closest to downtown KCMO, and on the north side, north of the Missouri River, a lot of which is KCMO proper but has a suburban feel to it, and in what were/are the relatively few white areas of The Dot (Wyandotte County, Kansas, which is mostly Kansas City, Kansas.)

  • Wayne Engle

    This is just another one of those “Ain’t diversity great?!” stories that the mainstream media pumps up occasionally — usually with the reporter a minority him/herself, as was the case here. It’s supposed to tell the community at large, “At last, after many years of segregation and White racism, we’re seeing the dawning of a new day of racial harmony and equality!”

    Horse hockey. As soon as those suburban communities reach the tipping point — usually estimated at about 30 percent black — the Whites will start to move out to even more distant suburbs. And those “integrated” suburbs will eventually be all-black, just like the urban areas they vacated a decade or two hence.

    Let’s face it: Nobody — not Whites, not Hispanics, not Asians — really, as a group, wants to live cheek by jowl with large numbers of blacks. It’s not worth the hassle.

  • Anonymous

    A partial mitigation to all this would be more home schooling in

    those situations having specific circumstances in which such a

    resort would be indicated as having a chance of success over and against “publik skools”. Home schooling is not suitable for most situations. At root is the need to explore the legal limits in parents having their own children home schooled in another home schooling house, etc., For a sizable percentage of the population, home schooling makes far greater sense in the early years (ages, say, 5-9 or so ) than the “pot luck” possibility that a somewhat “at risk” child will get his wheels on the rails in the vitally basic period kindergarten through grade 3. Current technology devoted to this aim would make it possible for home schooling efforts to be monitored sympathetically, video recorded, etc.,, and specifically advised and supported in ways vastly enhancing the

    potential. Home schooling deserves far more of a supportive legal and financial and technological superstructure that it presently has. It has vast political potential for us at this time, too.

  • Anonymous

    “Here [Kansas City], black flight has more to do with the dismantling of the public schools.”

    And what group is responsible for the “dismantling” of the public schools?

    It must be the Latvians and Estonians. It couldn’t possibly be the Afro-“Americans”!

  • iforgot

    Blacks moving out of a ghetto is kind of like trees moving out of a forest. First, one or two trees leave and go to a new place where there are no other trees. Then other trees in the forest decide that the forest is no longer for them and they join the other trees in the new place. Then a whole slew of trees leave the forest and move to the new place. And guess what. . . they’re in the forest again.

  • AwareintheHeartland

    Exaxtly “in the forest again”. I’ve seen the violent crime spreading into the suburbs in KC as the blacks have been leaving KC for the burbs. The crime is following. I’m sure I could find stats to back me but I’m too tired right now; trust me the crime follows. Hopefully it will serve as a wake up call to more white folk after they get some up close experience with diversity and enrichment.

  • Detroit WASP

    There was a black woman on NPR today talking about this. In a very PC way she said blacks are better off if they don’t concentrate all in one area and spread themselves out!

    She was right of course. Even she seemed to know that blacks destroy neighborhoods and their numbers need to be limited to minimize damage. In other words, enough whites and asians are needed to stem the tide of black destructive nature. Blacks need other races to keep them from converting back to their third world nature.

  • paul rim

    The established whites just bury their heads in the sand pretending they are not being displaced. One by one they move out until those left feel vulnerable & leave on mass. Usually just a few diehards & old folk remain. This same process is happening all across the white world,but eventually there will be nowhere to flee to. Maybe we need to grow a backbone again & say don’t cross this line.

  • Anonymous

    I forget who said this, but it’s always stuck with me. It’s something like,”Integration starts when the first Black family moves in and ends when the last White family moves out.”

    Also, Auntie Em #2 mentioned that people in flyover country know how to take care of themselves. My mother was raised during the great depression, but it was in a more rural area. She said that it was never as bad as the cities because in the country they could always get enough food.

  • MSNPC

    It is a cycle. Once the crime skyrockets from all the new blacks in the once safe white suburbs, the whites will simply return to the cities as it is now safer because all the blacks that stayed in the city have now killed each other. Then the cycle repeats itself 50 years later.

  • Rob

    What angers me is that blacks want to move in next to me in “suburbia” and control things at the same time complain and bemoan that whites are now moving into the “inner cities” where blacks once lived and moved away from. In other words, black don’t want whites to have a say in anything and don’t want to allow them their own destiny in neighborhoods they choose to live in. This is the epitomy of “racial supremacy” and something the hypocritical US government indulges.

  • McGillicuddy

    Question Diversity’s post #4 on the difference between St. Louis and Kansas City are spot on. I recently graduated from Mizzou, and being a Chicagoan, it seems to me that St. Louis is a small Chicago, and Kansas City is a big Omaha. In Missouri they simply think of it like this: St. Louis is the western-most eastern city and K.C. the eastern-most western city.

  • WR the elder

    First you have a nice white neighborhood with good schools and low crime.

    Then some blacks move in, fleeing the conditions in their previous neighborhood that were caused by having too many blacks.

    The media lauds the new desegregation.

    The crime rate increases and the school quality starts to decline. Whites start to leave.

    More blacks move in. Great! Diversity is Good.

    The remaining whites leave. Crime goes up more and the schools are useless.

    Blacks who can move out and move into a white neighborhood where the crime is low and the schools are good.

    The media lauds the new desegregation.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • Riley DeWiley

    Blacks will never live in the suburbs in large numbers until they can deal with the responsibilities of car ownership. Most of them can’t.

    An alternative, of course, is public transport into the ‘burbs. Hasn’t happened yet, and is not likely given current economic conditions.

  • SS

    SOME White People accept asians but those people have yet to experience the destruction asians bring wherever they settle.

    Also, Whites keep moving out because being around non-whites is simply unnatural.

    White People who are the Most Giving, the Most Thoughtful, the Most Respectful and the Most Kind are the very ones to pack up and move first and they do it because it’s nature. It’s not a thought, it’s nature, it’s instinct. White Flight is Instinct.

  • Anonymous

    Bringing the hood to Whites is the beginning of the destruction of a formerly liveable and safe and sound neighborhood. How many Detroit’s can America endure? The White flight syndrome is still alive and well with integration a misguided fantasy waiting to explode in the faces of the Whites caught up in this mad experiment. Where has integration functioned to the benefit of Whites? The answer is nowhere except perhaps in the fixated minds of those who certainly do not reside in the integrated environment they so zealously advocate for others.

  • Fritz

    Blacks are “desegregating” my Chicago suburb and I’m anything but optomistic about it. You can take the thug from the hood, but in time anywhere you put him becomes the hood. It never fails.

  • sbuffalonative

    Question Diversity: “What was the magnet that attracted blacks? I have no clue.”

    It was the HUD program called Hope VI.

    It was determined that the reason black communities were dysfunctional was that there was a concentration of poverty so HUD decided the solution was to de-concentrate blacks by moving them into white neighborhoods.

    This was done in my area of South Buffalo by two groups. One is H.O.M.E (Housing Opportunities Made Equal) and the other Belmont House.

    In the early 2000’s, these groups were buying up homes in South Buffalo. Yellow and black lawn signs sprouted overnight like mushrooms after a spring rain.

    The sign said these properties were owned by Belmont and HOME and that the properties were under surveillance (a scare tactics used to keep people from removing the sign I assume).

    Shortly thereafter, blacks began to flood my once largely white neighborhood.

    This is being done all over the US. HUD looks for white neighborhoods that are suffering from a lack of diversity. HOME and other groups are buying up houses and moving blacks and Hispanics in.

    This has slowed due to the housing mess but when things are sorted out (money is found to pay for low income mortgages) we will see another wave of ‘diversity’ into white communities.

  • Anonymous

    “Here [Kansas City], black flight has more to do with the dismantling of the public schools.”

    Dismantled by whom?

  • Nick

    Basically black neighborhoods are so intolerable that other blacks don’t want to live there.

    They would rather live with whites.

  • Anonymous

    It couldn’t possibly be the Afro-“Americans”!

    Dismantled by whom?

    No, it couldn’t. Blacks do not have the intelligence or organizational skills to “dismantle the schools.” Look closer at who was demanding school and neighborhood integration, the lawyers and judges, those in the government that instigated and supported this and shoved it through, damn the money and objections of white Americans. You can be sure it wasn’t THEIR neighborhoods that were under attack.

    Do your research. You’ll find it wasn’t blacks who did this.

  • Shawn (the female)

    #2 Auntie Em, so, so true. I agree 100%

    ‘The Kansas City, Mo., school district lost its accreditation from the Missouri Board of Education in 2000 and has been operating under a provisional accreditation since 2002.’

    Am I obtuse, or is there a reason to wonder what good accreditation IS if you can lose it then be given a ‘provisional’ that accomplishes the same thing? And nine years later and still can’t muster the requirements? Oh, never mind, why should they try – the requirements don’t even count. Even the School Board operates under the black mentality: if it don’t come easy, you owe me a freebie.

  • Question Diversity

    21 subuffalonative:

    That’s a very likely reason to explain the spread of the existing black population throughout Kansas City, and a lot of other areas, in recent years. The question I’m asking is that what was the magnet that led blacks to Kansas City (Missouri) a long time ago? I’m talking in the 1950s and 60s. Next to no blacks moved from the Deep South to Kansas City during the Great Migration between the two World Wars, because it had no heavy industry.

    Now, Kansas City, Kansas has had blacks for a long time. I am almost certain that KCK’s current blacks are descendants of blacks that fled “slave” Missouri for “free” Kansas.

  • Playing Roots Backwards

    It appears that now is a good time to once again share this great quote from an unknown author:

    “Integration is the period between the time the first Black family moves into a neighborhood and the day the last White family moves out.”

  • sbuffalonative

    As others have noted, if a white person had been quoted as saying, “There are more people like me here,” the headline would have been “Troubling Trend Seen in Suburbs”.

    I’ve read other such stories about the so-called success of integrated neighborhoods but they are but a snapshot in time. Liberals want to believe that integration has worked but the change is not stagnant.

    In time, more blacks will move and and more whites will move out. This is just a moment in time when liberals see the integrated balance they dream about.

    It won’t last. The slide will continue.

  • Tim in Indiana

    “It’s like home now. There are more people like me here.”

    The leftists see this type of sentiment as normal, natural and understandable when spoken by a black person, but as unnatural, immoral and only temporary when spoken by a white person.

    I can understand that the leftists have an agenda, but what I can’t figure out is why so many whites go along with such a patently absurd double-standard. I swear, some kind of insanity has gripped the white race.

  • Anonymous

    10 — Detroit WASP wrote at 9:36 PM on December 8:

    “There was a black woman on NPR today talking about this. In a very PC way she said blacks are better off if they don’t concentrate all in one area and spread themselves out!

    She was right of course. Even she seemed to know that blacks destroy neighborhoods and their numbers need to be limited to minimize damage. In other words, enough whites and Asians are needed to stem the tide of black destructive nature. Blacks need other races to keep them from converting back to their third world nature. ”

    This might be a pacifying thought for some, but the problem is or course that black immigration from Africa and the Caribbean (mostly) will provide higher numbers in all these regions until we are back with the same problem, only worse.

    The woman on NPR is no doubt aware of this. She is counting on more miscegenation in the mean time until there is no majority anything. I am convinced of NPRs mission to promote the multiracial model of humanity in line with their no borders, universal utopian planet ideology with justice for all but whites. But that same formula parallels the giver and taker populations formula. At a point, there will be none but takers remaining. Then comes the utopia of universal cannibalism.

  • Anonymous

    “I can understand that the leftists have an agenda, but what I can’t figure out is why so many whites go along with such a patently absurd double-standard. I swear, some kind of insanity has gripped the white race”.

    They are afraid of black people, as are, apparently, our leaders.

  • Clinging Bitterly

    Maybe I’m not the brightest reader but um….is Kansas City’s black population growing or shrinking? The article seems to say both. Anyway, there’s a controversy brewing in Kansas City over the redrawing of the KC City Council boundaries because they don’t preserve a “supermajority”-that is two-thirds-of ethnic minority votes in the 3rd and 5th districts, and makes no provision for tying together Hispanic communities in the west and northeast parts of the city…On the other side of the coin, proponents of the new map are saying that the 1st, 2nd and 6th districts are growing, and that each district needs to be balanced at about 76,000 people… Apparently, color blindness is only a virtue among whites…..

  • Tom S.

    *“It’s good,” she says. “In the ’70s when I first moved here, it was almost like I was the only one. I wasn’t as comfortable then.

    But notice that although she felt like she was the “only one” and it wasn’t “as comfortable then” – she never left!

    *It’s like home now.

    Why, is there more trash laying around, more crimes being committed?

    I’m sure as her neigborhood becomes more and more black she’ll move to yet another White neigborhood where she’ll again complain about being “the only one” and “not comfortable”.

    These people are unbelievable!

  • A Swain

    If the Marxist Liberal regime is so intent on forced integration in the name of diversity, let them start monitoring majority Hispanic and multi-Asian living spaces with a view to actively integrating these also via increased African-American and African influx.

    Or does this forced ‘integration’ project strictly apply only to predominately White Working-class/Middle Class areas with the exception of White Marxist Liberal politically-elite areas, of course?

    We can’t have such diversity double-standards pervading in contemporary society so White people residing in areas affected by forced integration are entitled to commence campaigning for the forced integration of non-White majority areas by every other non-White race and culture as well.

    After all, how can one claim to be proceeding towards full integration so as to achieve diversity unless everyone is included in this utopian project regardless of race, culture and/or religion.

    To disagree would be racist, would it not!

  • Anonymous

    Oh what a utopia! Mau maus everywhere! Non-swimmers on all of the streets, everywhere! Oh joy! The problem is that they are even more belligerent when they are integrated. Demographically, they are at great risk this way according to Chittum in his book

    Civil War II. In the meantime, they are more of a thorn in our sides.

  • SayIt

    Let’s see, Blacks as a group top all lists of social pathology: highest violent crime rate (by far in all categories), highest academic failure rate, highest rate of school discipline, dropout and expulsion, highest inter racial rape rate (by far), highest unemployment rate,… you name it. So why don’t whites (or other racial or ethnic groups) want blacks moving into their neighborhoods and school districts? Must be racism,right?

  • Section H8ter

    Blacks have moved to suburbia at an accelerating rate. A great deal of that movement can be attributed to Section 8–the number one killer of good neighborhoods and good schools.