American cities more ethnically diverse, but not well-integrated


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And yet, so few Americans will accept a description of their society as “white supremacist.” smdh


… but … but melting pot?!


And in the “integrated” urban neighborhoods, it’s often just a temporary state of affairs: incoming white gentrifiers will live alongside poorer people of color for a time, but eventually they succeed in driving off poor residents using tools like increased rent, code enforcement, and police harassment.

Or, if they fail and the area doesn’t become “nice” (a.k.a. friendly to middle class whites), then they’ll abandon that neighborhood for another up-and-coming diverse area, and try to drain it of diversity instead.


This is news?


Well, it is something most “nice” middle-class white folks don’t realize, or maybe won’t admit. So it does bear repeating, again and again and again and


Our city in L.A. struggles against it’s slow flip to a Hispanic majority (at least the old white folks do)… There was an ancient grocery store that went out of business many years ago – somebody wanted to re-open it as a stored called El Valu Food (city council only approved it when they changed the name to something less “ethnic”, i.e. Fresh Mart). Ironically, since they never did re-open, the market is now being turned into a Vallarta Supermarket – the dinosaurs must have shuffled off in the intervening years.

They had no problem with WalMart putting in one of their “community” grocery stores nearby.

Comments on the Vallarta change:

Hey Liz...Diverse doesn't mean everything is turns LATIN. listen I have no problem with actual diversity... but if it gets to the point where I look around and there are few of my own kind, well then I move to Long Beach... which is what I did over a decade of ago. No one wants to be taken over, you ignorant fool. Even in East L.A. there is resistance against hipster white people coming in. It's silly because there is no chance East L..A. will become predominantly ever. But at least they are becoming as you said... DIVERSE.
I second the trader Joes , we have glorias . Ghetto we are almost there. Open your eyes
Thankfully, those are the minority opinions ;) -- the vast majority are happy with the increasing diversity and even the old-timers get down on the negative folks.

Edit to add that the various ethnic groups are well mixed and have not Balkanized yet… Our little street pretty much reflects the overall demographics exactly.


Dear me yes, people choosing to live where they want instead if where they ought to, definitely time to put a stop to that.


Would a well integrated city still have ethnic communities? Having a bunch of Cinese (or Mexican or German or …) shops in one part of the city is kind of nice.



I kinda don’t think the “nice” middle class white people don’t need reminding; after all, they are the ones constantly on the move to stay one step ahead of deconstruction of property values. Diversity is of no value or importance to them…they aren’t “diverse”, its really all about the money and the schools.


But poor people are not living where they want. They can only live in the margins which capitalism has allowed to become (temporarily) affordable - i.e. where capitalism says they “ought to” live. Those areas often become segregated ghettoes because of two factors:
a) The presence of black and brown people in an area tends to reduce property value (because racism).
b) Black and brown people tend to be poorer than white people, on average (also because racism).

(a) causes majority black/brown areas to become affordable for poor people. And (b) means that a lot of the poor people who move in will themselves be black/brown, leading to an involuntary snowball effect. This is not something that people want - in fact, almost everyone will claim to be against ghetto-ization and the concentration of poverty. But it’s an inevitable result of combining structural racism with capitalism, and few are interested in challenging those underlying systems.



Key line from the article (yes, I read the whole thing): “Whites are still attracted to those suburbs that are white.”
I think you could substitute any culture/race for whites. People often choose to live amongst their own kind. I live in Orange County, CA which has a reputation of being all white but is in reality one of the most diverse counties in the USA. Take a city like Irvine. It is very popular with Asian immigrants, particularly Chinese. The Chinese will buy homes anywhere in the city but they prefer neighborhoods that have a higher Chinese population. They are not being forced into certain areas of the city. You may say that’s all fine and good for Chinese but what about black people? True, as a percentage, they are underrepresented in Orange County but take a city like Cypress, which has a higher percentage of African American households than the US average. Most of these families choose to live in the same neighborhood. And it’s not because it’s more affordable, it is one of the middle-to-better neighborhoods in the city. It’s because, again, people seem to prefer to live with others who are similar to themselves.

Sure, these are just anecdotes, of course, but I know they repeat themselves out all over the suburbs in the US.




Yes, in fact across the world it seems people seem to congregate with similar races and ethnicities (hence every city has a “Chinatown”), and in some cases that’s actually a nice thing. The neighborhood I work in is heavily Asian and Middle Eastern, which means I can get certain groceries I can’t find elsewhere. It would be difficult for a specialty ethnic grocery store to survive if there weren’t a lot of that ethnic group immediately nearby (traveling a long distance to buy food is not cost effective for most people.)

Admittedly that’s a different thing than blacks and whites (who are more culturally American than any Old World traditions they might still follow) self segregating themselves. I don’t know what to make of it, but I first noticed it in college, where kids who had never met before all congregated along obvious racial lines in the cafeteria the first week of freshman year.



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