I've gotten a few emails about this new article, The White City, illustrated by this chart:
This isn't news. It's only of interest because people like hoisting others up by their petards. When I lived in Portland I ran into several people who would complain about the city's lack of diversity, but why had they moved from San Francisco in the first place? As for Minneapolis, the most famous black person I can think of from that city is Prince.
But this isn't just white racism. Progressive whites and black Democrats are part of a political coalition which has been fruitful, but that doesn't mean they share social values. This is evident in the General Social Survey, where on many metrics blacks and conservative whites form a cluster.
Update: OK, this might be a case where preconceptions influence what data analyses one might find plausible, so I'm going to look closer soon myself.
considering the title of the article, shouldn't the graphs look at the percentage of minorities overall vs white people in a "white city" instead of just the percentage of African Americans?. Even if the author considers African Americans "the traditional sine qua non of ethnic diversity", measuring the diversity of a city like Austin (Travis County, 52% white not Hispanic) by considering only the 8.8% African American population seems absurd.
And looking at the comments to the article, there are a lot more problems with this analysis as well.
What I find startling, and quite offensive actually, is the article's assumption that there is something wrong with a city being mostly white.
It would be wrong of course if blacks were being deliberately excluded. But the author doesn't seem to be implying that; he actually seems to be going all to way to saying that a city can just be too white, even if no discrimination is involved anywhere. That strikes me as every bit as racist as saying that a city is too black, or too mongrelized for that matter.
measuring the diversity of a city like Austin (Travis County, 52% white not Hispanic) by considering only the 8.8% African American population seems absurd.
portland has a pattern of minorities living away from the central core. does austin? i'm to understand that travis county as a whole is different from the city of austin.
But the author doesn't seem to be implying that; he actually seems to be going all to way to saying that a city can just be too white, even if no discrimination is involved anywhere. That strikes me as every bit as racist as saying that a city is too black, or too mongrelized for that matter.
right, but the issue is that most white liberals do believe that racial, ethnic and religious diversity is a good which enriches us. holding these beliefs is fine, but many also will preach to white conservatives about their exclusivism, etc. the reality of the phenomenon might simply be differences of values, not racism, and the same might be at work to explain white conservative separation from non-whites. remember that in the OkCupid sample the majority of white women admitted that race matter quite a bit in terms of their dating preferences, and OkCupid is generally a young liberal set. these women are surely not racist, they simply have preferences.
Well, this looks to me like graph of how far west a city is, generally. The first two "liberal" eastern cities I think of off the top of my head are Boston and New York City: they have 23.5% and 25% respectively. I imagine DC has an even higher percentage? I also think a better chart would look at percent minorities in the city vs. the state, as well as a few other variations.
As a side note, I think that if you look at Portland, the percentage of minorities in the city and in the "urban area" is roughly the same; I don't think this is the case in a lot of other cities.
I was just doing the same thing that the author did, using data from the entire county instead of from the city itself.
ok, looks a bit too sloppy then. i'll have to take a closer look at the data myself....
If you're going to do an analysis yourself, you should keep in mind Pittsburgh. It's kind of a Rust-belt success story where it had a deep decline in the mid-80's, implemented a lot of these urban-growth policies (I think...) and now the urban core is quite nice. It's the same size as Portland (~2-2.5 million in the metro area) and has a large AA population.
Austin is in Travis county which is a pretty large county, about half of which is rural agriculture.
To confirm what I thought, I looked at stats for Austin here:
There is more farmland in Travis county than there is land in Multnomah county (Portland). It just seems that using county data is a little hard when some of the counties are almost entirely urban/suburban and others aren't. Also look at the ratio of population to non farm employment. Multnomah pop. 714,567, non farm employment 403,119. Travis county pop 998,543 non farm, 461,609. The difference isn't just more kids or old people. There is only 1% difference in percent of combined under 18, over 65 groups of folks. Also only about 1% difference in unemployed.
Data is fine and dandy, but I think the ultimate in knowledge is the data plus having been in a particular city long enough to know how data correlates with reality.
One of the first things one learns is that there is "less cultural difference" between hispanics and whites than there is between both those groups and African-Americans.
In my 50+ years of living in the southwest and south US, I've learned that African-Americans dislike Hispanics more than they dislike whites and that whites dislike African-Americans more than they dislike Hispanics.
Let me note that I am aware of my own massive over-generalization.
"When I lived in Portland I ran into several people who would complain about the city's lack of diversity, but why had they moved from San Francisco in the first place?"
To be around other white people who complain about lack of diversity.
I am not being snarky.