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Old 05-16-2007, 07:50 PM   #76
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To be quite honest, I've seen more segregation in the north than I do in the south.
Very interesting. It's always very interesting to see how far the pictures drawn through the little bits you see or get from one region fit with the big picture.

I think that it's a good point to raise that if there is a more equal diversity, or share, of black and white the level of segregation will decrease.

Here in Germany we are still struggling with the situation that most ethnicities stick together so that you have parts of the city where most are Arabs, other German, then Turkish, German-Russian and other ethnicities are mostly more widespread, i.e. we don't have this kind of Chinatown I've seen in Australia or that exist in the US.

Concerning the south of the USA I have to agree that generally Florida is somehow left out, or seen differently. I think part of the reason is that it draws much more tourism, and Miami is very popular with Germans. But they rather compare it with California than with other southern states.

New Orleans is quite popular as well, but the rest of the region still didn't get that much attention, and only became popular through movies about the racism, Klan activities and so on.

It's a shame because we know from own experience that this picture can't be true. On the other hand, like the Nazis didn't cease to exist with the 8th of May, racism didn't do so with the Civil Rights Movement.
The only question left then is, to what extent is this still present today.
So thank you for the answers.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:24 PM   #77
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I think the last time I heard Dixie being played at a public function was during the St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah, GA. Shamefully, it was MY college marching band that played it. Ironically, it was the original version of our fight song, it starts out with the Dixie melody and then the rest is all "yay we love hokies!"

I never quite understood the whole "heritage not hate" BS retort myself. I agree with you. Regardless of whatever people spit out at me, I still believe that there has GOT to be racism entangled with waving that flag to this day. Even if one claims not to have racial prejudices, it has been made quite publically clear that the flag's very presence is offensive. If they REALLY cared so much about black people, the white confederate flag bearers would take down the flag so as not to offend. It is a load of crap.
Oh, they claim it's not prejudice. But they're just kidding themselves. They're prejudiced. They're set in their ways. And even if some change improves their lot in life, they're not interested. That flag is bad for business. Employers don't want to put their factories where people are waving those flags. We have some new businesses from Japan and Germany in the Birmingham area, but they are near the universities, which are populated by more progressive types. I have an American flag in my room, but you won't find a Confederate flag anywhere around here.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:28 PM   #78
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To be quite honest, I've seen more segregation in the north than I do in the south.
Me too. One interesting thing about my upbringing is that I grew up around ethnics. These ethnics just lived out in the neighborhoods with everyone else. My best friend was Greek. I'd go over to her house and eat Greek food. To this day, I love Greek food. There weren't very many Jewish people, but my sister's best friend was Jewish. We went to their bar mitzvahs and once I called up a Jewish friend and she came over and helped me do a Passover seder. We had a Hunnakah party at school in honor of the Jewish students. So it's not like we were completely isolated from people who weren't WASPS.
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:16 AM   #79
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Reading this I'm curious, how do blacks and whites live together today?
Is there still a kind of segregation present, meaning normally whites live and act together with whites, and blacks rather stay with whites? Or is it mixing more and more?
This is probably a bit more empirical of an answer than you were looking for, but I checked some US Census data for 2000 (and, briefly, the prior 20 years) on segregation in our largest metropolitan areas--using the race/ethnicity categories of white, black, Asian, and Hispanic, as defined by the census (there are a few other official categories, but their numbers are too small for practical comparisons). Our Census uses three standard measures for segregation--the "dissimilarity index" (% of whichever racial group being considered which would have to move in order to achieve even integration within a particular geographical census tract); the "exposure index" (the racial composition of the census tract an average person of a given race lives in); and the "isolation index" (% of same-group population within the census tract where an average member of said racial group lives).

In a nutshell, the good news is that black-white segregation continues to decline nationwide. The bad news is that the pace of that decline slowed considerably during the last decade, and that at the present rate, it will take at least 40 years before black-white segregation declines even to the present level of Hispanic-white segregation. Meanwhile, Hispanic-white and Asian-white segregation hasn't declined at all since 1980, despite steady increases in the size of these population groups. The trend applies just as strongly to suburbs as it does to cities.

--The statistically typical white American lives in a neighborhood that is 80.2% white, 6.7% black, 7.9% Hispanic, and 3.9% Asian. (White Americans are about 69% of the total US population--75% counting those who identify as both Hispanic and white--and are a majority in every state except California, New Mexico, Texas, and Hawaii.)
--The typical black American lives in a neighborhood that is 51.4% black, 33.0% white, 11.4% Hispanic, and 3.3% Asian. (Black Americans are about 12.3% of the total.)
--The typical Hispanic American lives in a neighborhood that is 45.5% Hispanic, 36.5% white, 10.8% black and 5.9% Asian. (Hispanic Americans are about 12.5% of the total, though note that about 48% of them also identify as white.)
--The typical Asian American lives in a neighborhood that is 17.9% Asian, 54.0% white, 9.2% black, and 17.4% Hispanic. (Asian Americans are about 3.7% of the total.)

Based on the measurements mentioned above, and looking at black-white segregation only, the 10 most segregated major metro areas (out of those with the 50 largest black populations) in the US are: Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New York City; Chicago; Newark, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Nassau-Suffolk, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Miami. The 10 least segregated metro areas in terms of black-white segregation are: Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia; Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, North/South Carolina; San Diego, California; Jacksonville, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina; Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina; Riverside-San Bernardino, California; Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, Virginia/North Carolina; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Augusta-Aiken, Georgia/South Carolina. Washington, DC (since Irvine mentioned it) is close to the middle--#29 to be exact. As a broad generalization, the first 25 metro areas on that list (i.e., more segregated) are dominated by "Rust Belt" cities stretching from the Midwest on eastward to the Atlantic, while the second 25 (less segregated) are dominated by Southern cities. Those two regions are also where the majority of the US black population lives (about 40% of the total black population resides in the South, which is also where all but 2 of the 60 or so majority-black counties are).

In terms of Hispanic-white segregation (and again, looking at cities with the 50 largest Hispanic populations only), the 10 most segregated metro areas are New York City; Newark, New Jersey; Los Angeles-Long Beach; Chicago; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Salinas, California; Boston; Bergen-Passaic, New Jersey; Ventura, California; and Orange County, California. The 10 least segregated metro areas are Visalia-Tulare-Porterville, California; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Orlando, Florida; Sacramento, Califonia; Stockton-Lodi, California; Modesto, Califonia; Portland-Vancouver, Oregon/Washington; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Laredo, Texas. Once again DC is just about in the middle--#24. As you can see, it's a little harder to generalize about the geographical pattern of the segregation in this case. The majority of the US Hispanic population resides in the Lower West, the Northeast, and Florida.

In terms of Asian-white segregation, there are only 40 metro areas with Asian populations large enough to be useful for these kinds of measurements. The 5 most segregated among those are: New York City; Stockton-Lodi, California; Houston; Sacramento, Califonia; and San Francisco. The 5 least segregated are Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah; Denver, Colorado; Ventura, California; Las Vegas; and Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona. DC is at #25 (out of 40) on this list. The Asian American population is primarily concentrated in California, Nevada, Washington state, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington DC, and New York City/New Jersey.

So...that's probably waaaaayyy more data than you cared to know , and of course it doesn't provide much of anything in the way of explanations, but at least that gives you a bit of a hard-data-based snapshot of the state of racial segregation in the US.


--------------------------------------------------------------------


Irvine and verte's last comments were kind of interesting...I think it's important to keep in mind that degree of 'diversity' as usually defined (i.e., how many ethnoracial groups are present?) is not necessarily linked to degree of segregation. To refer back to the concepts of "exposure index" and "isolation index" mentioned above, frankly I feel I got much more "exposure" to people outside my own ethnoracial group growing up in rural Mississippi than I have anywhere else I've lived (New York City, New Jersey, Michigan, Indiana). Not saying that's "good" or "bad" really, just an observation, and obviously there are all kinds of ways you could qualify that--e.g., you can belong to a local minority and still hold racist views towards the majority; or, just because you feel very comfortable and familiar with people of Ethnoracial Group X based on extensive "exposure" doesn't mean that will magically transfer over to your attitudes towards Ethnoracial Group Y; etc. etc. Personally I was always a bit confused, if that's the word, about 'which box I fit in' growing up--being a fairly dark-skinned Jew in a small Mississippi town where no one else's family is Jewish doesn't always grant you a pass for 'white', and the fact that my parents were "foreigners" (with accents to prove it) further muddied things...and that's setting aside the religious divide. At the same time, like Irvine's bf Memphis I had hardly ever met anyone Asian, Hispanic, etc. either, until we moved away. The first place we lived after that was actually a heavily Jewish (although, mostly Slavic-Ashkenazic/Hasidic, which is not my background) neighborhood in Brooklyn, and THAT was surreal...suddenly I was in the "majority," at least as a Jew, and yet here I had this sore-thumb, thick Delta Country accent (think Shelby Foote, if you ever heard him on radio or TV) which I quickly discovered coded me as 'stupid redneck' with a lot of the locals. For some perverse reason this failed to motivate me to try to lose my accent, but anyhow, while my broader social environment definitely became much more 'diverse' overnight, it was a bittersweet experience as often as it was an exciting one. I'm not surprised that NYC ranked so highly on the segregation front.

Again, that's not to say that any of it was "good" or "bad" in a race relations sense. It's facile and not really true to say "What's in your heart is all that matters" on these accounts--travel really is broadening; moving to a different sociocultural climate really does change your outlook. But IMO, it's also facile and untrue to think that merely living in a 'highly diverse' area magically grants you those consequences of extensive social exposure. You can, wittingly or not, strongly exhibit preference for "your own kind" in a big city too--Southern, Northern or otherwise.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:16 AM   #80
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Wow! Thank you very much.
A lot of data, but studying economics I'v to learn to get used to statistics and data.

It's really interesting to see those figures, and I really didn't know that 75% of Whites are also identifying as Hispanic. That's really a lot.

In movies you often see the cities like New York or LA where there is clearly a "Chinatown", parts that are mainly "Black", and others where most are Hispanics. And, of course, the other parts mainly inhabitated by Whites. This is pretty similar with cities like Berlin, although to a much smaller extent.

In English lessons we also have some lectures about countries such as England and the US and always learn about the American Dream, things like the "melting pot", and that it's rather a "pizza" or "salad bowl".

It's very interesting to read "first-hand" reports of how it is like living there and then comparing it to the data.
I'm really thankful for taking the time for this answer. I've never lived in a very diversitive area until now (which is kind of an understatement, there was basically no diversity until I went to school in the nearest city by the age of 17), so I don't really know how it is to live in the majority or minority that much.
Berlin is really a very new experience for me.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:30 AM   #81
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The small Southern rural town I grew up in is still nearly completely segregated outside of schools.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:41 AM   #82
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It's really interesting to see those figures, and I really didn't know that 75% of Whites are also identifying as Hispanic. That's really a lot.
I think you misread that - it's 69% plus 6% (White/Hispanic) equals 75%.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:37 PM   #83
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Oh, you are right.
Thinking of the numbers of people of English, German and Irish heritage alone it should've dawned on me that I can't have gotten it right there.
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:11 PM   #84
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I am of German and Scottish descent myself. In places like New York and Boston, the German and Irish communities all live together, each in their own neighborhoods. Here they live side by side. The black and white communities are still segregated, however. The occasional African American family lives in the surburbs, but we've been afflicted by "white flight". Most of the whites live in the surburbs where the blacks live in the city. We live in the city, but our neighborhood is what they call "lilywhite". It's completely white. The blacks live in the west and the north of Birmingham, while east Birmingham is white. The churches are black and white. Eleven o'clock on Sunday is probably the most segregated hour of the week, shamefully enough. My own church is mixed, but that's only true of Catholic churches. The Protestant churches are segregated. Each church is in either a white or black neighborhood.
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:14 PM   #85
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^ In fact Birmingham was the most segregated Southern city in terms of black-white segregation (unless you count Miami as a "Southern city") based on Census data; it was in the 'top 15' as I recall.
Quote:
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The small Southern rural town I grew up in is still nearly completely segregated outside of schools.
It is true that Census data makes a poor basis for generalizing about small towns/rural areas. The generally agreed-upon 'cutoff point' for measuring the 'dissimilarity', 'exposure' and 'isolation' indices is that if the black or Hispanic population of an area is less than 50,000 or the Asian population less than 20,000, then the sample is probably too small to be useful for comparison-based generalizations. While it might be interesting to do a similar data sort looking only at, say, areas with total populations under 10,000, the problem is that you'd run into too many situations where you're comparing, e.g., a Western town of 10,000 with 1.5% black population to a Southern town of 6000 with 30% black population (or, e.g., the reverse concerning Hispanic population). Statistically, that makes for a very poor comparison. Which is where more anecdotal observations can be helpful, and provide a useful counterbalance both to the tendency to blanketly equate lower segregation with lower racism, and the tendency to blanketly equate lower diversity with greater racism.

In western Mississippi, which is predominantly rural (though nowhere near as much as the Western US of course), a common pattern always seemed to me to be that segregation was most pronounced at the opposite extremes of the economic spectrum. The wealthiest neighborhoods locally were usually almost exclusively white (though this has also been true of everywhere else in the US I've lived), the poorest neighborhoods were usually distinctly separated into 'poor white' and 'poor black' areas, and then in between things were more mixed, as was for example the street in Itta Bena we lived on. In Itta Bena at that time there was only one school for everyone in K-8 (the high school was a regional one) and only one market, therefore neither of which were 'segregated'; as far as public spaces, it was usually the churches where segregation was most visible (excepting the government, which I'll get to in a minute). The largest local employer was the university (MS Valley State U, where my father taught) which was and is de facto a "black university" (and de jure one until Mississippi's formerly white colleges desegregated during the course of the 60s); the second largest was catfish farming and processing, which employed both blacks and whites; and the third largest was cotton farming and processing, which also employed both blacks and whites (and nowadays, a small but growing Hispanic population as well). The local government was predominantly white while I was growing up, despite whites being only about 10% of the population at the time; Itta Bena didn't have its first black mayor until, I think, 1997--partly because of outright racism in local government circles, partly because of 'lag time' in the sense that it wasn't until then that the first generation of African-Americans who had grown up, gone to school etc. post-desegregation were coming of age politically.

But I know you can't generalize about the rural/smalltown South at large based on that, as there's no one "typical" rural Southern racial demographic.
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:27 PM   #86
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You know, I never really associated myself with "southerner", just like I never associated myself with a certain denomination or other labels. I never really thought I possessed any of the characteristics of the southerner stereotype, except for my use of the word "ya'll", until I moved to Chicago. And they definately hold the stereotypes of the south there, and they treat Texas like it's its own country. But they did admire the manners of "southern charm". So it was very interesting living there, constantly labeled a southerner.

But I will agree that as progressive and liberal as Chicago is, it's definately more segregated than any place I lived in the south.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:01 PM   #87
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You know, I never really associated myself with "southerner", just like I never associated myself with a certain denomination or other labels. I never really thought I possessed any of the characteristics of the southerner stereotype, except for my use of the word "ya'll", until I moved to Chicago. And they definately hold the stereotypes of the south there, and they treat Texas like it's its own country. But they did admire the manners of "southern charm". So it was very interesting living there, constantly labeled a southerner.

But I will agree that as progressive and liberal as Chicago is, it's definately more segregated than any place I lived in the south.
I don't think of Texas as the South at all. I know lots and lots of Texans and they have the accents and the charm, but they are otherwise completely different than Southeasterners. I, too, treat Texas like it's own entity, and within Texas, West Texas is a whole other deal than the rest of Texas.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:27 PM   #88
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I don't think of Texas as the South at all. I know lots and lots of Texans and they have the accents and the charm, but they are otherwise completely different than Southeasterners. I, too, treat Texas like it's own entity, and within Texas, West Texas is a whole other deal than the rest of Texas.
It's always interesting to hear an outsiders opinion. It's funny there is even a bigger distinction when visiting Europe. It's "oh you're from the states?" Yeah, Texas actually. "Oooooohhhhh TEXAS!"

Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, but rarely was it indifferent.

And the funniest was Prague(I think) they were just getting 'Dallas' there in syndication(this was 1998) so they all thought we lived our lives like JR and Sue Ellen.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:05 PM   #89
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It seems like Texas, Florida and West Virginia are three states that always fall into to the 'subject to debate' category. (I've also occasionally heard people debate Kentucky and Oklahoma, though personally I definitely think of the former as a Southern state--maybe 'Southern with a Midwestern flavor'--whereas I perceive Oklahoma as a 'Great Plains state'.) Based on travel experiences, I do think that large parts of far eastern Texas and far northern Florida look and "feel" much like their adjoining, 'clearly Southern' neighbors (Louisiana and Georgia, respectively)--but Miami or Dallas, say, I've never really thought of as "Southern" cities. It is true that those states were part of the Confederacy and that's often seen as critical to the definition, but for various reasons (Texas' status as a "border" state, its large expanses of prairie and desert and ranchland, Florida's "Caribbean" influences and its general youth as a heavily populated area, etc. etc.), that somehow doesn't quite do it for me. But true, ultimately I don't really perceive Texas as 'the West' either--more a place unto itself like joyfulgirl said. West Virginia I really know pretty much nothing about, so I couldn't comment there.

I can relate to never being quite sure what response you're going to get, whether here or abroad, from revealing which state you're from...not infrequently I can feel myself wince a little before saying "Mississippi" (I still have plenty enough accent that I can't get away with simply saying "Indiana"). And yeah it's also true that Northerners/Westerners will often automatically peg their own concepts of "Southern" onto you if you have any hint of 'drawl' or 'twang' to your voice, for better and for worse (I will acknowledge that, for example, the "Southern charm" stereotype sometimes allows you to get away with being quite rude to someone's face without them really realizing it, which can have its uses).

Of course then within the South you have various debatably defined subregions as well, 'Deep South', 'Upper South' etc., each with their own distinct associated social and cultural and landscape stereotypes, but that's a whole other discussion.
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Old 05-18-2007, 04:14 PM   #90
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And the funniest was Prague(I think) they were just getting 'Dallas' there in syndication(this was 1998) so they all thought we lived our lives like JR and Sue Ellen.
I had the same experience in Italy in 1995! I was visiting with my boyfriend at the time, an Italian from Italy, and his best friend had been hearing about me for some time. So when he finally met me, he told me I was completely different than he imagined, and when pressed, he said he thought I'd be like the women on "Dallas"--chain smoking, big-haired and loud! He seriously thought all American woman are like that. In return, I then feigned surprise that he wasn't connected to the Mafia.
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