Re: Is white racism nec. all bad?

John Otteson (
14 Apr 1995 13:42:49 GMT

In article <3mk6l6$>, (Gary Strand) writes:
|> jo> John Otteson
|> gs> Gary Strand
|> gs> [W]hy weren't black communities of the pre-civil-rights era wracked by the
|> kinds of problems these communities have today? If overt racism has de-
|> creased from those times, why have some black communities become near-
|> absolute hellholes? ....

|> jo> Good questions! A side effect of integration, the fair housing act of
|> 1964, and improved job opportunities for blacks, was that many blacks
|> moved out of their old inner-city neighborhoods. Once these neighborhoods
|> lost their middle-class and its stabilizing influence, they lost commun-
|> ity and began a downward spiral.
|> Exactly, just as enhanced mobility overall has depleted "community" in lots
|> of places. So, do we chalk up these "lost neighborhoods" to white racism or
|> to a number of direct and indirect socio-econo-political forces?
|> --

Look at the context those communities were in. Why were they affected so severely?
Why were they more fragile than other communities? To me, the answer is "400 years
of white racism." Our culture has been systematically trying to break down the
strength of the black family and community for 400 years through slavery,
sharecropping, segregation, etc. Now white conservatives, claiming that history is
irrelevent, ask blacks, "How come you let your families fall apart?!" What's the
old cliche?... "Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it!" Surprise!

(A side note: I was thinking that another force at work was the decline of the
rust-belt industries; industries that provided a lot of blue-collar jobs for
inner-city blacks.)