Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Census Says: Blacks Are Voting With Their Feet

The following two articles examine the flight of educated blacks away from the liberal bastions of the North and California and to the more conservative suburbs and South. The liberal policies of the blue states, fashioned to keep liberal politicians in office, are burying them in red ink and forcing the educated to flee the inner cities. Results of the recent census show just how drastic this flight is.

The latest published data from the 2010 census show how people are moving from place to place within the United States. In general, people are voting with their feet against places where the liberal, welfare-state policies favored by the intelligentsia are most deeply entrenched.

When you break it down by race and ethnicity, it is all too painfully clear what is happening. Both whites and blacks are leaving California, the poster state for the liberal, welfare-state and nanny-state philosophy.

Whites are also fleeing the big northeastern liberal, welfare states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as the same kinds of states in the midwest, such as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.

Detroit is perhaps the most striking example of a once thriving city ruined by years of liberal social policies. Before the ghetto riot of 1967, Detroit's black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent.

It was not despair that fueled the riot. It was the riot which marked the beginning of the decline of Detroit to its current state of despair. Detroit's population today is only half of what it once was, and its most productive people have been the ones who fled.

Treating businesses and affluent people as prey, rather than assets, often pays off politically in the short run-- and elections are held in the short run. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy.

As whites were the first to start leaving Detroit, its then mayor Coleman Young saw this only as an exodus of people who were likely to vote against him, enhancing his re-election prospects.

But what was good for Mayor Young was disastrous for Detroit.

There is a lesson here somewhere, but it is very doubtful if either the intelligentsia or the politicians will learn it.

Read full Thomas Sowell article here.

Another article excerpt: “The notion of the North and its cities as the promised land has been a powerful part of African-American life, culture and history, and now it all seems to be passing by,” said Clement Price, a professor of history at Rutgers-Newark. “The black urban experience has essentially lost its appeal with blacks in America.” [bold italics added]

When whites leave failing blue cities and states, the pundits call this racism: all those white Californians fleeing Nancy Pelosi’s utopia for less ambitious jurisdictions where ordinary people can do things like get jobs and buy homes are clearly pathetic trailer trash hicks too dumb, too selfish and above all too racist to understand the gloriously multicultural blue beauty of California today.

So what are we going to call the young, educated Blacks making similar choices? Dumb cracker racists?

All the social welfare bureaucracies, diversity counselors and minority set-asides can’t make up for the colossal failure of blue social policy to create sustainable lower middle class prosperity in our cities.

Most Blacks of course still vote blue at the ballot box, but more and more of them are voting red with their feet. They are betting in massive numbers that southern Republicans will do a better job of helping their kids get good educations, police their communities more fairly (see this article, where NYT columnist Charles Blow blames the Black flight from New York on the racist police), offer more affordable housing and create a better business climate. Over time, this is going to affect the balance of power in Black politics and pull the Democratic Party (and the national consensus) to the right. Reapportionment is already pulling political power toward the South; New York today has fewer electoral votes than it did at the start of the Civil War and it is going to lose two more House seats in the next division.

Read full The American Interest article here.

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