It’s Green Week over at Stuff Black People Don’t Like. Kersey’s thesis is that blacks create a great deal of environmental destruction 1)through their own dirtiness but more importantly 2)through causing white people to flee, leaving destroyed cities and creating environmentally suboptimal suburbs.
The environmentalist ideal for communities are dense cities, where people live in multi-family buildings, walk to local stores, shops, and restaurants, and take public transportation to other parts of the city to work, go to cultural centers and events and buy goods not available in their neighborhoods. Their horror is the suburb, “sprawling” tracts of single-family houses with large yards, huge malls with vast parking lots, served by often jammed freeways.
But for decades white people and middle-class people in general have preferred the suburbs. Dense cities have for a long time been the domain of the poor, particularly poor blacks. The only real exception was Manhattan, where the rich and professionals had neighborhoods. The Manhattan lifestyle seemed glamorous, as portrayed constantly in the media- parks, restaurants, theaters, top-level schools for high-achieving children, many more prosaic conveniences close by your building- but that was something for a tiny minority, not the average person.
The two different lifestyles have their advantages and disadvantages. The city has many conveniences, but personal space is expensive and driving a car is difficult. The suburbs have space, and car mobility is easy, but with less selection of amenities. A house with a yard is a blessing and a curse. It has space, and privacy for the inhabitants, even or especially from each other. But it is expensive to maintain; a yard needs a lot of work, and it is really only useful when the kids are small.
Obviously some people are going to prefer the one lifestyle, and some the other. The suburbs were actually pioneered by the affluent, who took the train or streetcar downtown to work. After World War II new suburbs provided housing for returning servicemen eager to settle down and start families; and if you had been living in a tenement, Levittown was a big improvement.
But even considering this, the concentration of middle-class white people in the suburbs is greater than would be expected. Why is this?
The official story is that they were seduced by consumerism, to buy cracker box houses in soulless communities, to be filled with color televisions and with cars with big tail fins parked in the driveways. And the new suburbanites were terribly racist, refusing to live with blacks in the newly “desegregated” cities or have their children bussed to black schools. The conservative counter-story is that they had legitimate reason not to want busing, and to avoid crime, and besides the ownership and maintenance of the single-family house was the foundation of the American dream, as was the consumer lifestyle.
Is there more to it? If you’re reading this you are probably open to “yes”. E. Michael Jones has written a history of “urban renewal” that posits that it was specifically aimed at breaking up the political power of white ethnics.
From the Booklist review of “Slaughter of the Cities“-
“The high-rise “projects” may have been a dismal failure, it is said, but urban renewal was done with good intentions. Not so, Jones argues in this immense volume that spans from the World War I era to the 1993 death of Philadelphian Dennis Clark, whose urban renewal career led him from Catholicism through Quakerism to agnostic Irish nationalism and whom Jones makes a touchstone of urban renewal’s moral quality. The redlining, condemning, bulldozing, race riots, white flight, and aggrandizement of federal authority at the expense of cities and states that accompanied urban renewal were, Jones says, the consequences of WASP elites fighting to keep hold of the reins of power. Those elites saw the potentially powerful Catholic ethnic neighborhoods, with the church’s influence animating them, as their primary political enemies. Armed with social engineering techniques, abetted by the subversive skills of Quaker do-gooders and military intelligence, and further empowered by fellow WASP jurists, they devastated Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and Boston generally and the welfare of blacks in particular. But they maintained power, having gutted the Catholic ethnics, who fell into the trap of overt racism, and driven them into socially atomizing suburbia. Incorporating all the details into his sweeping narrative (the notes just refer to his sources), Jones makes gripping drama out of urban development. Unfortunately, the epic it recounts is tragic. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved”
The white ethnic neighborhoods of Northern cities were not just places, or even communities, but highly organized and politically unified communites, with churches, ethnic clubs, political clubs, lodges- a matter of great fun to Jewish sitcom writers, but critical social welfare organizations for immigrant communities- that had their own mind about things. They didn’t really represent a threat to the elite, other than through labor union organizing. They swallowed liberalism pretty much whole, as that was a requirement of membership in the New Deal coalition. But they had the potential to be.
The later European immigrants- dubbed the “ethnics” in the 70’s when they began to support Reagan- had developed an urban lifestyle that environmentalists would have strongly approved of. My father grew up in a house, but in a dense neighborhood close to downtown. My grandfather took the streetcar to the mill. My grandparents had a car, but they only used it for outings on weekends, much as an urban SWPL family might do today. This neighborhood is adjacent to one that while now expensive and SWPL, is well-known for its black street crime.
As I related in So What’s the Deal With Black People? I live in a once ethnic, now more SWPL/hipster neighborhood. It’s 90% white and fairly safe. All the black neighborhoods are far away, and there is nothing here to attract black people- no dance clubs, specifically. I see blacks sometimes, but only in ones. I walk almost everywhere, enjoy a variety of places to eat, a movie theater, coffee shops, bars, two supermarkets, and a park. For families there are houses and townhouses at not-outrageous prices, a good elementary school and a good high school. That’s all within walking distance; many more things are easily reachable by bus.
It’s a wonderful, and green, community. It is also a great aberration. The presence of any significant number of blacks makes this type of lifestyle impossible. The cities, in general, are not safe or pleasant. Even blacks don’t like them, and swarm over close-in suburbs and ruin them, in Kersey’s brilliantly observed phenomenon of “Black Undertow”.
“Community” is a fragile thing, and as sociologist Robert Putnam noted in “Bowling Alone” diversity does not enhance community, but degrades it. The saving grace of all this is that blacks are unwilling to too far away from other blacks. They like being black, and they like being around other blacks. On top of this they find whiteness quite dull and tedious. Convenience store owners who want to keep loitering blacks away only need play classical music over loudspeakers.
A city lifestyle can be great- a green lifestyle can be great- but your personal physical safety, as well as the physical safety of your family, come first. Beyond physical safety is the degrading effect any notable number of blacks has on the social atmosphere. The way negrification is sold as a consumer product on MTV is bad enough, but actual black people- goofy, clownish, childish, arrogant, dull-witted, unpredictably but explosively violent black people- ruin the social environment all that much more.
Green? It’s keen. But black? Stay back. White? It’s alright.