July 23, 2013

Detroit v. Pittsburgh

From my new column in Taki's Magazine:
With Barack Obama solemnly recounting for us last Friday how being black in America has personally burdened him, race is back in the news. 
Actually, race is always in the news. Still, it’s worth using this particular intersection of inanity—during which the President and the Attorney General have made themselves look more foolish than Geraldo Rivera—to think through the most important question about race in the 21st century: How horrible would it really be if it became respectable to discuss racial realities seriously and intelligently?

Read the whole thing there.

62 comments:

Tom Regan said...

Krugman. Yglesias. Talking of pattern recognition...

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best takimag articles you've done in a while, Steve. I do tend to doubt that the reason for blowing the Zimmerman/Martin saga out of the water is to provide cover for Bloomie, but the rest is on the money. I resolve to again send you money for this pan-handling drive.

I've also written in to the Daily Mail to consider having Steve write a guest column. They employ Peter Hitchens, so it's not too far a stretch. Maybe other people here can write in to their favorite news sources and recommend him to them.

Anonymous said...

Steve, this has nothing to do with Occam's Butterknife and everything to do with Trotsky's icepick.

In other words, it has nothing to do with rationality or honest debate, and everything to do with politics... which to these people is a bloodsport (in Yglesias's case literally. He took one for the team.)

Krugman knows perfectly well that the DC area is nothing but sprawl (and even had its own Coleman Young in Marion Barry).

Your plea for an improvement in the quality of public debate presupposes these people want one.

They don't.

Just ask Trotsky.

Anonymous said...

White Americans are up in arms that they will be required to subsidize the Detroit bailout.

But in South Africa this is standard procedure since the demise of Apartheid. In fact even during Apartheid the tax rate was astronomical since the small white tax base had to finance "Black Development" as it was called back then. Now it is called "Transformation", but the result is the same: whitey subsidizes blackey.

The only difference is that the former white government dictated to the black masses what their subsidization would be. Now the black government dictates to the remaining whites what the subsidization owed by them will be. So whites are paying through their noses in property taxes, sales tax, personal tax, government and city levees, and onerous labor laws. Basically its no longer worth having labor in South Africa, and in fact there is no point in staying in the country if you are white.

This is the future awaiting white Americans as they race downhill to that fictional 50/50 racial split liberals are salivating about. After that 50/50 split it is South Africa-stylen freefall.

Anonymous said...

"How horrible would it really be if it became respectable to discuss racial realities seriously and intelligently?"

Potentially less horrible than now as in figuring out why things are as the conclusions may actually be less racially negative than the default, if unspoken, assumptions that currently exist.

For example say the medical data is correct and violence has actually been increasing for some years despite massive extra incarceration due to a combination of falling homicides due to medical advances and fudged stats then what is causing the increase?

My experience is

1) Particular immigrant groups who have unusually high levels of violence and lawlessness e.g. Somalis, Albanians, Chechens etc. Interestingly enough all these groups come from lawless, mountainous or marginal regions where men who are violent and lawless are more suited than men who are peaceful and law-abiding.

2) Immigrant groups who aren't particularly violent or criminal when they arrive but who for other reasons can't escape overlapping with the underclass and then become more violent and lawless over the following generations.

3) Immigration underclass - citizens who were pushed out of employment and into the underclass by immigration and become more violent and lawless over the following generations.

4) Rustbelt underclass - people who suddenly became part of the high-unemployment underclass as a result of offshoring and then become more violent and lawless over the following generations.

I think all four cases are the same.

In a full employment environment peaceful and law-abiding men are reproductively most successful.

In a lawless environment whether underclass or up a mountain in Albania criminal and lawless men are reproductively most successful.

So whatever their starting point, groups that have been pushed into the underclass by immigration or offshoring or immigrants who can't escape the underclass for IQ reasons end up getting more violent and lawless with each generation.

The solution would be

1) Don't allow immigration from particularly psycho groups.

2) Don't allow immigration from low IQ groups who aren't going to be able to escape overlapping with the underclass.

3) Full employment policy for the existing population - ideally

3b) As a minimum do whatever is neccessary to prevent gangs dominating underclass areas as it's the gang structure that acts as the mechanism for confering reproductive success on the most violent and criminal males.

Monroe Ficus said...

OT, but you see this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/whites-only-enclave-resurrects-old-pains/2013/07/23/9b975aa0-effd-11e2-8c36-0e868255a989_story.html

How dare those bad, bad Afrikaaners insulate themselves from plaasmoorde and the other beautiful effects of “vibrancy” under the benevolent rule of the ANC. Don’t they know “kill the boer” is a term of affection!

Babar from Pachystan said...

It is highly entertaining to watch official goodthinkers/gatekeepers such as Krugman and Yglesias witter endlessly about anodyne theoretical reasons for the death spiral of Detroit and similar cities while the elephant in the room that is their demography sits there ominously. In fact the elephant is no longer sitting there - it is now rampaging around the room, trumpeting loudly, goring people with its tusks, destroying everything in its path with its giant feet and leaving piles of elephant dung everywhere. And still Krugman and Yglesias sit there, untroubled and serene, delivering glib lectures about urban sprawl and the location of universities. They take us for total fools!

DJF said...

Here is the “great economist” Paul Krugman failing to take into account geography. He draws circles around two cities yet does not compensate due to the fact that aprox half of Detroit’s circle is lake, river and Canada which don’t count when it comes to jobs in Detroit. Real world 1, Paul Krugman 0.

“”””The difference is really clear in the Brookings job sprawl data (pdf), where less than a quarter of Detroit jobs are within 10 miles of the traditional central business district, versus more than half in Pittsburgh.””’

DCThrowback said...

Nobody takes all the strands and pulls them together into a coherent narrative better than you Steve. Kudos on some of your best work yet.

Chicago said...

Having an actual discussion sounds like it might be a good thing but in reality it's impossible and pointless. A very large portion of the population is intrinsically incapable of going off the reservation when it comes to some subjects; it's best just to write them off and work around them. Dialogue on sensitive subjects works best with those who are already more or less on the same wavelength.
Look at the current president. He's been elected to the highest office yet he still whines about perceived slights he received as a youth even though he's over fifty years of age now. His slights are more important than than any other person's experiences. He's a lifelong grievance collector. What sort of a discussion can one have with those whose mindset is that of me me me? For them dialogue means we lecture and you listen; for followup send more money. In the US sports and weather are the preferred safe topics that most people feel comfortable with and stick to that.

Anonymous said...

"Some of the virulence... stems from an underlying chain of logic in elite thinking that I find scary: If young black males really do tend to be more crime-prone, then…oh, no, the Nazis were right! So if Americans ever become embarrassed by the insipid political correctness we instruct them to spout, they will immediately thaw out Hitler’s cryogenically preserved brain and elect it president. Or something."

I've noticed this for a long time. I can't claim to have a perfect explanation, but keep in mind that most American lefties tend to embrace (at least implicitly) two key ideas: Utilitarianism and Utopianism.

Look at all the hip SWPL charities that swear their mission is to "End ______ forever!" (Insert "poverty", "child abuse", "racism", "gun violence", etc.) In contrast, dour conservatives (whether religious or secular) tend to agree with the Gospel warning "the poor you have always with you".

Similarly, lefties in the USA tend to be basically Utilitarian on most issues- the idea that something should be avoided simply because it is intrinsically immoral strikes most of them as rather quaint, except for issues that don't really affect them personally, on which they can afford to be high-minded (In fairness, too many conservative Republicans have the same problem, just for different issues). A woman got knocked up by mistake? Sure, abort the pregnancy for her convenience. Dad's taking too long to die and running up big medical bills? Euthanize him. A jury failed to make an example of an innocent man as instructed? Screw double jeopardy and bring him up on "hate crime" charges.

When you believe (at least implicitly) that 1) Society can be perfected by human means, or at least come reasonably close to perfection, and 2) any practical means to achieve that objective should be seriously considered, the progressive dread of politically-incorrect Hatefacts starts to make more sense. If "genetically inferior" blacks are all that is standing in the way of turning every city in America into a hipster SWPL paradise, what can't be justified? My theory, then, is that, despite what they say, progressives are not really worried about what crotchety conservatives and religious zealots out in flyover country will do if frank discussions of race become commonplace- they're worried about what they themselves will have to consider doing. Already, most urban progressives aren't bothered much by the NYPD's institutionalized racial profiling, the disproportionate abortion rate of blacks, or sex-ed programs clearly targeted at black teens. How big of a leap is it to, say, forced sterilization? I don't presume to speak for progressives, but it doesn't seem like much of a leap to me.

Canadian Observer said...

I thought this was article about the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup Final match-ups. Crosby and Malkin v. Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

Dahinda said...

"Now, northern civic leaders such as Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago are attempting to palm off their slum populations onto smaller cities."

Peoria, Illinois is only now going through the white flight that other cities experienced in the 50's and 60's. A lot of this is due to Chicago tearing down many public housing projects and giving the residents rent vouchers to move to other parts of the state.

TGGP said...

To be fair to the conventional wisdom, the lack of whites+asians in Detroit is itself something to be explained, an endogenous outcome. As the city got worse people who could afford to left, leaving those who could only those limited to the city's rock-bottom housing prices. A better explanation would begin BEFORE the decline of Detroit relative to Pittsburgh.

Anonymous said...

"Obama wants to talk about racial profiling in Florida, but not in New York City."

Anonymous said...

"Peoria, Illinois is only now going through the white flight that other cities experienced in the 50's and 60's. A lot of this is due to Chicago tearing down many public housing projects and giving the residents rent vouchers to move to other parts of the state."

Sanford the Peoria of Florida?

Anonymous said...

Babar from Pachystan said...
... And still Krugman and Yglesias sit there, untroubled and serene, delivering glib lectures about urban sprawl and the location of universities. They take us for total fools!
Krugman et al. know the score exactly. However, somehow making whitey or the US Gov (by implication again whitey) responsible for this typical African outcome fits neatly into the perpetual anti-white game plan of The Tribe. That's all there is, it is that simple and that primitive.

Anonymous said...

"Krugman. Yglesias. Talking of pattern recognition..."

How about we have Nate Silver study and notice patterns about racial problems? He probably won't touch it as the findings will have him screamed at.
I mean as a lib Jew, he should know that the unspoken policy is shhhhhhhhh.

Of course, if white cons dominated cities and carried out gentric cleansing and sent blacks to white liberal suburbs or small city/town communities, the lib media would be up in arms. But when people in the media and urban elites see eye to eye, the media are more about covering up certain truths than uncovering them. They are complicit.

If Muslims veil their women, American elites veil certain truths, and the media are complicit in this, as with the
heat' closed down the beach in Chicago. Or all the talk of 'teens' and 'youths'.

We have media burka or sharia law when it comes to the truth.

In old movies, there were leaves and bushes that were always conveniently positioned so the private parts of naked people couldn't be seen.
Naked truths are not allowed in the US..
The media's role is to keep re-positioning the leaves and bushes so that we don't notice things.
But we are shown the KKK at Oberlin.

Media are a story of the slavery of thought.

Observing from the Sidelines said...

Babar: "And still Krugman and Yglesias sit there, untroubled and serene, delivering glib lectures about urban sprawl and the location of universities"

These liberal discussions always remind me of the scene in "Monty Python's Meaning of Life" where Death intrudes on a dinner party, and the diners all try to ignore him or rationalize him away.

Anonymous said...

Very misleading of the article. Pittsburgh's population "grew" by about 152 people over last two years. The 2010 census does not show any growth but rather decline for the sixth consecutive decade and it is presently US'S 61st largest city.

Art Deco said...

A better explanation would begin BEFORE the decline of Detroit relative to Pittsburgh.

I suspect a perfect storm is to blame.

1. You note the rap on Detroit's politicians that they invested in showy projects rather than working on the mundane quality of life. However, this is depressingly common in urban politics; a great many meatheads end up i mayor's chairs. Michael Moore made a name for himself lampooning the efforts of the Flint, Michigan tourist bureau.

2. The drag from the decline of heavy industry was more severe in Detroit than it was elsewhere (though not more severe than in Buffalo, which is in better shape).

3. The city's black political class has been of wretched quality compared to other central cities. Carl Stokes, David Dinkins, and Kurt Schmoke may be regarded as performing unimpressively. I do not think anyone would doubt that Stokes and Dinkins are decent and pleasant and well-intentioned. They did not have a plan for coping with the social pathology in their midst (Shmoke's signature phrase was "It's out of our control"), but they were not working to make things worse. Not so Coleman Young; IIRC, Tamar Jacoby in her long look at Detroit concluded Young regarded white residents as unnecessary. Kwame Kilpatrick was just appalling. It is hard to think of prominent inner-city pols as lousy as these two. Marion Berry was bad, but Congress could and did strip him of any serious discretion.

4. The city government had a peculiarly inept response to the 1967 riots, which were a fiasco in a way few other such incidents have been. I think it was under Jerome Cavanaugh's administration that the institutional culture of the police came to acquire its current decadence. Cavanaugh was actually elected on a platform of complaint against the police, who were already struggling in 1961 against the nascent decay in public order. The black power structure were hostile to law enforcement at that time and then regarded the police as a source of patronage for blacks and a sinkhole of paperwork when they got hold of the department themselves.

5. As a consequence of these autonomous forces you have had a vicious circle, with capable people leaving and the dynamic of social relations and political life determined by the addled sorts who remain.

6. The place really does need to be under some sort of trusteeship. People I trust have an agreeable regard for Mayor Bing (who had a successful business career), but then there are the rest of them ("a pack of velociraptors" Walter Russell Mead called them).

heartiste said...

Steve, this is up your alley.

Real estate affirmative action:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/23/team-obama-steps-up-racial-standards-for-neighborhoods/?cmpid=NL_FNTopHeadlines

Will upscale liberal whites be forced to bribe HUD officials to look the other way? Or is this regulation intended for the wrong kind of whites, whose neighborhoods seem more and more to serve as convenient repositories for the minorities that SWPLs gentrify out of their urban pleasure domes?

Paul Mendez said...

FROM THE ARTICLE:

[Paul Krugman sez] "So the difference between Pittsburgh and Detroit doesn’t have to do with race, but with sprawl."

I saw a PBS documentary on Detroit that blamed the city's decline on the fact that the automobile industry bought up and shut down all the public transportation system after WW2 in order to force everyone to buy a car. Absolutely no mention of the 1967 & 1968 race riots.

eah said...

How horrible would it really be if it became respectable to discuss racial realities seriously and intelligently?

In mixed, more or less randomly assembled company -- ie with no prior knowledge of or if anyone else is 'HBD aware' (meaning inevitably most people are not 'HBD aware', and some will be hostile) -- anecdotally I can say it has always been a difficult, uncomfortable experience (if not exactly "horrible"). To the point where I will never do it again. And these are often otherwise well-educated, accomplished people.

Extrapolate that to society at large, and you have part of the answer.

Anonymous said...

St. Louis vs. Seattle

Atlanta vs. Austin

Santo Domingo vs. Port Au Prince

Moscow vs. Mogadishu

And so on.

Truth said...

Hey, a town that is 26% black (double the national average) is part of an economic miracle? I think that's GREAT!

Anonymous said...

"I saw a PBS documentary on Detroit that blamed the city's decline on the fact that the automobile industry bought up and shut down all the public transportation system after WW2 in order to force everyone to buy a car. Absolutely no mention of the 1967 & 1968 race riots."

I think the reason Detroit failed is it's called 'Detroit'. I mean NY isn't named 'Detroit', so it didn't turn out like Detroit.

Lesson to be learned. Don't name your city Detroit.

Now, where is my Nobel Prize?

Anonymous said...

I think Detroit failed because of Italian-Americans.

Oily Sinatra sang about NY, Chicago, San Fran, and maybe some other places, but I don't recall he sang one about Detroit. So, Detroiters lost hope.

gubbler of the church of reformed chechenism said...

Paradoxically, could it have been the rise of moderate Neocon power in the GOP that also gave rise to extreme Christian Right southern power?

Since neocons, as former liberals and leftists, tended to be middle-of-the-road or even liberal-leaning on many issues, you'd think they'd have grown closest to moderate forces in the GOP.

Yet, the crucial factor could have been that moderate Republicans were less likely to be fanatically pro-Israel. While almost all Americans were pro-Israel, it was always a matter of degrees. The 'Arabist' wing of the GOP was pro-Israel too, but it called for a more balanced approach that was sometimes critical of Israel; and they tended to be a bit wary of Jewish power.

Neocons may have been moderate on social and economic issues but they were total hawks on the issue of Israel, and that became their main concern. While neocons were serious about social policy, they were most PASSIONATE and FANATICAL about Israel policy.

And guess which wing of the GOP was most fervently and fanatically pro-Israel? The likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Bachmann.
Since neocons' main obsession was Israel, they came to favor the wingnuts to the 'Arabist' moderates in the GOP who tended to be northern and secular. As neocons gained greater power, they purged the 'Arabists', and the GOP became the whore party of neocon Zionism, and even today, the loudest support from the Christian Wingnut sector.

So, when neocons complain about the influence of the Christian Right, they are being disingenuous since they are the ones who forged the crucial alliance for the sake of Israel and thus empowered the wingnuts.
Neocons empowered wingnuts because wingnuts--even if closet anti-Semites--were most reliably pro-Israel.

On the liberal side, liberal Zionists empowered the homos as homos are useful in pushing the 'new normal'. Since it's abnormal for the Jewish minority to be the elites of the nation, Jews want gentiles to adopt the mind-set that abnormality is the new normality.
In both cases--neocon support of wingnuts and liberal Zionist support of homos--, it all comes down to Jewish interests.

Anonymous said...

Great article tying a lot of things together.

There is a staggering level of media hypocrisy involved in trying to get Zimmerman killed for profiling while turning a blind eye to how profiling in New York has driven so many black criminals out of New York and into neighboring suburbs.

Plus there's the even more staggering hypocrisy of trying to get a hispanic man killed for shooting a black man in self-defense while turning a blind eye to the quite deliberate cleansing type killings of black people in LA.

.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/whites-only-enclave-resurrects-old-pains/2013/07/23/9b975aa0-effd-11e2-8c36-0e868255a989_story.html

The primary purpose of the US MSM seems to be to try and get white people killed somewhere in the world.

Anonymous said...

Detroit was about riots and gang crime driving the white population out of the city. Whatever else happened was built on those foundations.

Yet again it's ultimately the fault of the media for spending decades not only not reporting the problem themselves but also attacking anyone who did mention it thereby preventing any attempt at a solution.

Hunsdon said...

Truth said: Hey, a town that is 26% black (double the national average) is part of an economic miracle? I think that's GREAT!

Hunsdon said: Trust me, Truth: we think it's great too. My general sense of the crowd here is that there's not much vindictiveness towards blacks here. I take no joy in seeing black run polities collapse and burn . . . but increasingly it's hard not to respond, "Well, yeah."

I would love to see Detroit undergo a new Harlem renaissance, a flowering of art and commerce of American blacks, by American blacks, and for American blacks. Atlanta North! But I don't really expect it to happen.

pat said...

There is another ominous sign of the decline of the American city. I don't expect it will be as alarming as the devastation of Detroit but I don't live near Detroit. It's as far from me as is - well, downtown Oakland - a moral light year.

I speak of the decline in the casts of the San Francisco Opera. They keep dunning me to see their production of Così fan Tutte.

I moved to San Francisco because of its opera company. The first Così I saw in my new city had Margaret Price, Teresa Berganza, Ryland Davis and Geraint Evans in the major roles. All of these were established stars who continued as stars thereafter. The current production has no stars whatsoever. It is not an international cast or even a national cast. It is no doubt better than the cast I was in when I sang Cosi - but not all that much.

Hell, it's so mediocre an offering, if were escaping the East Coast today as I was in the day, I might even go to Los Angeles.

I looked up the current offerings of the Detroit Opera on the Web and I was not surprised that this still large city had only regional opera type casts to offer the public. But San Francisco in its wisdom removed a lot of its negro neighborhoods. They have energetically gentrified the city such that there is now little room for those obstreperous black people. But the Marxist cast of the City Weltanschauung has been enough. The opera goes first. Then the shops and restaurants. Soon the wealthy will have to content themselves with entertaining each other in their private homes.

Then what good are the rich?

Albertosaurus

Maguro said...

Actually, Pittsburgh's black neighborhoods bear more than a slight resemblance to Detroit. The Hill District, Homewood-Brushton...yeah, not a lot of biotech startups in those areas.

DPG said...

Back-to-back posts at The New Republic rich with iSteve themes.

1)
The Obama coalition alienates working class whites.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114002/obama-approval-rating-hes-losing-white-working-class-pew-shows#

2)
Jewish ethnic solidarity and angst about their reputation with other ethnicities

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113998/ryan-braun-suspended-disappointing-jews

Anonymous said...

Is the Atlanta vs. Detroit divide related to the phenomenon, occasionally mentioned in passing here at iSteve, that blacks generally tend to do relatively better overall in conservative "Red states" than in progressive "Blue states"? It'd be interesting to see Steve dig into some of the wider evidence for that general proposition.

jody said...

the burgh is not faultless. the police chief was forced to resign last year for lying about money they were stealing, and the mayor, who is younger than me, was caught lying about it too and decided he wasn't gonna run for a third term, pending FBI investigation.

he'd never be mayor in the first place if the democrat machine did not completely control the city. this guy was elected mayor when he was 27, because a republican can never win. so it has become like detroit in a way - whoever the democrats put up is automatically mayor.

this year the democrats put up 4 guys in the democrat primary to replace the mayor. there was a guy with TATTOOS ON HIS FACE running for the office, and, again, due to complete democrat monopoly on the city, you are forced to take people like this seriously, listen to his idiotic moronic ideas in city council meetings on television, and accept that tens of thousands of people will vote for him.

even though guys like that won't win the primary in the burgh, because the politics of the city are not THAT far gone, it's a taste of what the worst cities in america, like detroit, will be dealing with forever.

with this anthony weiner guy, it looks like jewish politicians in new york city have moved into a similar position there, where they can just be anybody, have done anything, offer no relevant qualifications and a few disqualifying ones, and they automatically become the front runner, because nobody else can win.

Anonymous said...

Jewish ethnic solidarity and angst about their reputation with other ethnicities

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113998/ryan-braun-suspended-disappointing-jews

------

Wait... didn't Gregg Easterbrook get in trouble(at the New Repubic) by saying Jews should be more mindful of their influence and power?

My head hurts.
So, why is TNR saying it now?

Dennis Dale said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2dPzfvpvsQ

Eric said...

Oily Sinatra sang about NY, Chicago, San Fran, and maybe some other places, but I don't recall he sang one about Detroit. So, Detroiters lost hope.

Detroit is a Shithole was supposed to be on the B side of My Way, but at the last minute they swapped in Blue Lace because the producer's mistress liked it.

Asian of Reason said...

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/pittsburgh-metro-area-named-one-of-nations-least-diverse-313330/

FYI, The Pittsburgh metro area is very, very white. Some of the suburbs are 95%+ white, you can go for days without seeing a diverse person. The city itself doesn't have a very large population (307,000) because of the way the boundaries are drawn. Most blacks live in the city. When taken as a whole metro area, blacks don't have a much of an impact at all, despite being 25% of the city population.

Donald Schoenstein said...

Albertosaurus,

Perhaps SF Opera has declined in recent years, and that's too bad, although my wife and I saw a terrific production of "La Boheme" in the 90's there. The Michigan Opera Theater productions at the refurbished Opera House in downtown Detroit are still consistently superb, this spring's "Aida" in particular.
Come check it out.

The sprawl that Krugman blames for Detroit's demise needs a new term. Affluent whites in the metro area are now building school districts and starting new townships no less than two COUNTIES away from Detroit. The exurbs are booming.
There is no middle-class left in the city, black or white. Everyone with anything has left for one of the suburbs.

Svigor said...

And still Krugman and Yglesias sit there, untroubled and serene, delivering glib lectures about urban sprawl and the location of universities. They take us for total fools!

Funny comment. But think of it this way: Krugman and Yglesias see their jobs as providing good liberals the intellectual tools needed to remain good liberals. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Hey, a town that is 26% black (double the national average) is part of an economic miracle? I think that's GREAT!

The average (big) American city is only 13% black?

Svigor said...

Gov't "work" repels decency:

Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas

gubbler of the church of reformed chechenism said...

Maybe the problem of Detroit was it was a one-horse pony town.

It was the city of big auto. Even though big auto had a managerial class, its predominance made Detroit a very working class city with a working class culture. So, Detroit had working class blacks and working class whites. Working class whites weren't very fancy.

While other big cities also had working class types and industry, their economies were more diversified. Also,
non-working-class whites in other cities found creative ways to stay in parts of the city for the cultural life. But maybe since most whites in Detroit were working class, they didn't care much about all that 'arts and culture' in the city and were just happy to move out of the place and settle in the suburbs; and they never looked back since they didn't give a crap about arts and culture. If Archie Bunker types move out of the city, they don't particularly care to move back or even look back. But 'creative' white types seek ways to move back to the city. Maybe most Detroit whites were overwhelmingly the prole-types who never wanted to look back once they left.

Though blacks are troublesome everywhere, 'creative' whites have had a softening effect on blacks. Perhaps not on most blacks but at least on the black elites. Look at some of the black elites in Chicago and NY. When Old Daley ran the place(when Chicago was very much an industrial blue collar Irish, ethnic, and black city), the politics was often bitter and divided. It was black vs white, and some feared that Chicago would be lost too. But Chicago was not a one-horse pony town. It wasn't just about factories and blue collar jobs. Its economy was more diversified. So, Chicago was able to reinvent itself, and the 'creative' white elites forged an alliance with black elites who found these 'creative' whites easier to work with, more compromising and accommodating and becalming. Daley Jr. was conciliatory than confrontational. So, even though many blacks in Chicago still act loutish, the black elites have been softened and have been willing to work with the Jews, homos, and 'creative' whites.

But in Detroit, maybe the racial culture was white working class vs black working class. It was brute mentality vs brute mentality, and such mentality defined everything from top to bottom. Black elites saw all whites as 'racists', and whites saw all blacks as thugs, and there was no middle ground.
Maybe things worked out better in Atlanta cuz, despite or especially because of the long history--even if unjust and problematic--of black/white relations, they'd developed a kind of understanding. In contrast, waves of blacks suddenly moved to Detroit and were met with uncomprehending whites who had very little clue as to the nature of black culture or attitudes. Southern Man may have oppressed the Negro, but he came to know the Negro and vice versa. But Detroit whites were like 'who are these people?' And since working class whites tended to lack niceties, there was bound to be conflicts.

gubbler of the church of reformed chechenism said...

Though Detroit's average income in the 50s was among the highest in the nation and it had a big middle class and even elite class, the entire culture was prolly 'working class' since auto manufacturing is about steel, noise, assembly lines, and etc. It's not about nice and fancy things.
Even white elites were prolly affected by the prole-ness of the culture. They could think Big but couldn't think finely or creatively about matters that needed to be handled more carefully.

And maybe cities like Chicago learned from Detroit and figured they must develop a finer and softer approach toward race. Win over the black elites by sharing in the rewards. That way, even if the black underclass remains troublesome, black elites won't lead them against whites as happened in Detroit. Instead, black elites will work with Jews, homos, and creative whites for their slice of the pie. As for the masses of Negroes, they aint going nowhere unless they're led, and black elites in places like Chicago, NY, and Pittsburgh would rather taste the pie than see the 'honkey' die.

Harry Baldwin said...

Great column, Steve.

How horrible would it really be if it became respectable to discuss racial realities seriously and intelligently?

Apparently too horrible for this president. One of the most notable elements in Obama's remarks on the Zimmerman case, as well as in his 2008 race speech, is that he always puts the anger of black people in context, i.e., justifies it, while as far as he's concerned the concerns of white people have no context outside of racism. Thus, he understands why blacks are angry that a woman would clutch her purse when they walk by or that a shopkeeper would follow them in his store, but sees no justification for the woman's fear of black street crime or the shopkeeper's concern about black shoplifting. But shouldn't the entirely reasonable fear of black criminality carry more weight than the wounded amour-propre of young black males? And anyway, aren't black handbag-holders and shopkeepers just as wary as white ones of those young black males (dubbed by police "suspect: usual")?

Why have we sacralized black anger? Who cares what black people are complaining about this week? Why must they be taken any more seriously than spoiled children?

Anonymous said...

"with this anthony weiner guy...automatically become the front runner, because nobody else can win."

Isn't he married to Hilary's BFF? That may have something to do with his success - and also why he keeps chasing other women.

.

"Even though big auto had a managerial class, its predominance made Detroit a very working class city with a working class culture."

I think that magnified the gang problem because the auto workers wanted to escape to the suburbs too and the unions could make it so.

Anonymous said...



Does Detroit have lots of hills? Walking and biking around Pittsburgh involves going up and down hills.

How is driving and getting around in Detroit? Is it like DC where if you know the ABCs you can navigate to pretty much any corner? In Pittsburgh each intersection is like a country unto itself. It has its own rules that each person passing through needs to be aware of. Disobey those rules and there's chaos. The cognitive load for dealing with that might discourage dummy's from driving. Then if you add all the hills that make it hard for fattys to walk and you get a very unfun place to be for lazy dummys.

Anonymous said...

"And maybe cities like Chicago learned from Detroit and figured they must develop a finer and softer approach toward race."

There's no evidence of that whatsoever.

In the 1960's, Detroit and Chicago were in a similar place. Both were facing the exodus of the middle class, industrial decline, and a growing ghetto.

Contrary to popular belief, Detroit was not some anti-black police state. In fact, during the riots, Detroit had a very liberal, progressive white mayor. Probably his weakness was Detroit's downfall.

In contrast, Chicago had the Daleys, who maintained peace between the races, as well as between businesses and labor.

Dennis Dale said...

Of course the shark doesn't appear until they end of that clip, but this kitsch image, of Hitler's living head in a jar, is the best icon imaginable for post-WWII convention:
http://tinyurl.com/mvqtdj4

JIG1067 said...

While roughly 1 in 4 Pittsburghers are black, my impression is that the unique geography of the city tends to limit their impact. Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh are rather segregated like in many larger cities. Shadyside, for example, is ~90% White + Asian. It's the neighborhood that contains the "high-end" shopping district and many students from CMU and Pitt. On a two-dimensional map of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods (http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/cp/html/census_map.html), Shadyside is bordered by East Liberty (>70% black). While the Powers That Be have tried to gentrify East Liberty with missionary outposts like Whole Foods and Target, the natives remain entrenched. However, they cause less trouble than you would expect because Shadyside is separated from East Liberty by a rather steep valley that also (!) contains a fenced off busway. This geographic feature limits the impact of the black population on the white population next door. This situation repeats itself throughout the city: Oakland (where CMU and Pitt are located) borders the Hill District (upwards of 95% black certain neighborhoods) without massive problems largely because the Hill District is on a huge hill largely separate from the Oakland plateau. Squirrel Hill (90-95% Jewish + Asian + White Gentile) is next to Homeland (formerly a blue collar suburb and now a black ghetto), expect for the Monongahela River separates the two regions. The uneven geography of this Appalachian city (lots of hills, valleys, and three large rivers) plus the underdeveloped roadways effectively act as distance multipliers between neighborhoods and limit the flow of population. Consequently the number of white/black (particularly ghetto blacks) interactions is lower than in many larger cities and makes Pittsburgh a more livable city. Since geography can't be transplanted from one city to another (i.e., Pittsburgh's hills to Chicago), these considerations tend to limit any lessons drawn from Pittsburgh, though by how much I can't quantify.

Anonymous said...

What doomed Detroit was too many blacks. That is the truth, though nobody will say it.

Alternatively, maybe it was because there were too many Swedish descended people living there.....

Anonymous said...

"A town that is 26% black (double the national average) is part of an economic miracle. I think that's GREAT."

To whatever extent there is a "miracle" happening, i would say it is in SPITE, not BECAUSE of the presence of blacks.

J. Frank Parnell said...

Anonymous said...

"I think Detroit failed because of Italian-Americans.

Oily Sinatra sang about NY, Chicago, San Fran, and maybe some other places, but I don't recall he sang one about Detroit. So, Detroiters lost hope."


Strangely enough, there actually is a Sinatra connection.

Although it's not specific to Detroit, I think that the details are fascinating enough to mention here. As documented in Martin Smith's book, "Frank Sinatra: When Ole Blue Eyes Was a Red", Sinatra was a left-wing radical in his youth who shifted sharply to the right as he aged.

In fact, he went from being named a Red 12 times by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940's to being invited to the White House in 1973 by President Nixon, who had begun his own political career as a member of HUAC in 1946.

Sinatra was not just your standard left-wing champion of the poor, he was also began campaigning for racial integration in the 1940's, well before it became fashionable. He donated money to the NAACP and later to Martin Luther King, and during the 60's he made news by integrating his nightclub act by including by including Sammy Davis Jr.

Perhaps his boldest move was "when he took on a school hall full of 5,000 angry students and parents protesting against racial integration [of their high school] in Gary, Indiana" in 1945. "No other major recording star of the period laid his reputation on the line in such a fashion."

"Sinatra spoke in the school auditorium and sang "The House I Live In" ... which he later reprised at the White House for Nixon.

So, you see, in a way, it really was Sinatra's fault!


Read more: Frank Sinatra: His Way | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/frank-sinatra-his-way#ixzz2a1iDx4a0

Source: http://www.shvoong.com/humanities/473661-frank-sinatra-radical-superstar/#ixzz2a1ZBi4ap

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Sinatra-When-Blue-Eyes/dp/1905192029

Lancaster Stirling said...

One must understand that when liberals like Krugman use the word "sprawl" that's newspeak for "racist whites who leave the city". So whenever they mention "sprawl" they're not really criticizing economic distribution, they're criticizing "racists whites" for not paying more city taxes to support the non-working minorities.

Anonymous said...

"Contrary to popular belief, Detroit was not some anti-black police state. In fact, during the riots, Detroit had a very liberal, progressive white mayor. Probably his weakness was Detroit's downfall."

By 'softer', I don't mean very liberal or weak. I mean devious and cunning. Daley Jr worked very hard to limit black power by workimg closely with homos, Jews, and hispanics, but he offered a major stake to black elites as long as they played the game.

Overly liberal approach makes you look weak. Daley Jr played a strong hand but with a 'soft' approach.
Of course, one could argue Chicago dodged the bullet with the sudden death of Washington, but then he was a rather savvy politician, more so than Koch who just couldn't keep his mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

"If you like, sprawl killed Detroit, by depriving it of the kind of environment that could incubate new sources of prosperity."

Isn't LA pretty much city as sprawl?
It's still not Detroit.

It's more like Exodus than sprawl. Whites fled from blacks like Jews in 10 COMMANDMENTS fled from the Egyptians. Living under blacks is like biological slavery under thug rule.

'Sprawl' doesn't kill cities. Suppose in the 60s and 70s, all the blacks left the city and moved to the suburbs whiles whites stayed in the city. Detroit would be livable.

In fact 'sprawling' the 'immigrant' population out of Paris was good for the city. And NY and Chicago has been 'sprawling' their blacks to outlying areas.

Housing vouchers show that school vouchers are a bad idea for whites. It means blacks moving to your neighborhood and enrolling their kids in your schools. Libertarians who push this are either dupes or enablers.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23431793

Esplains Obama.

"Scientists, reporting in Brain, say their research explains how psychopaths can be both callous and charming."

Anonymous said...

"Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterised by superficial charm, pathological lying and a diminished capacity for remorse."

Black reaction to OJ verdict and support of Trayvon against all evidence.

AFRO-PATHY.

Cail Corishev said...

"So if Americans ever become embarrassed by the insipid political correctness we instruct them to spout, they will immediately thaw out Hitler’s cryogenically preserved brain and elect it president."

Nixon's head in a jar, actually, but yeah, that's pretty much the fear. If ordinary white Americans ever become aware of the IQ or crime gap, or start to think those might be caused by anything other than white racism, then they'll instantly start seeing all blacks as inferior and next thing you know we'll be right back to slavery and anti-miscegenation laws. So open discussion isn't an option.

I really think that's how many anti-racism warriors see it, especially the more conservative ones. They can't all be as clueless as they act. But they see two possibilities: 1) Blame the race gaps on white racism, pay for preference programs to make up for them, and have (relative) social harmony. 2) Blame the race gaps on differences in inherited ability and bad choices by those on the losing side, and have blacks be slaves and non-people again, eventually resulting in a civil war.

If you honestly saw those as the choices, it's not surprising you might go with #1.

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh and its suburbs are super white. As an Indian, it's the perfect place for me to raise a family. Squirrel Hill is one of the last nearly all Jewish neighborhoods in an urban area interestingly enough. Carnegie Mellon has revolutionized the area, it's really a smaller version of MIT for a smaller city - but tech, meds and grads are the reason the city is in its renaissance. UPMC is just a behemoth and Brobdingnagthian in how it has transformed the Oakland area and improved the University of Pittsburgh. It's nothing like crappy Wayne State.