Monday, May 18, 2015

White Flight

It's not unusual to hear commentators blame the problems of our urban areas, at least in part, on "white flight." Whites, it's implied, don't want to live in proximity to African-Americans and other minorities so they take their money and flee to the suburbs, leaving the cities, and their schools, impoverished. The tacit, or sometimes explicit, assumption behind this allegation is that white flight is motivated by racism.

The charge is nonsense, but that doesn't stop it from being made, as Dana Casey clearly fears it will be in her case. Casey has written a fine piece at The Federalist in which she lays out why, when she was a child, her family, liberal Democrats to the core, finally gave up and left Baltimore, and why as an adult she returned.

At the end of her essay Casey calls for genuine dialogue about the problems of Baltimore and other cities, rather than finger-pointing monologues in which blacks lecture whites about their white guilt. She says this:
On April 27, 2015, I listened to the sirens rush past my bedroom window all night, heading to another fire at the senior center less than a mile away, a center being built by a black church for local citizens. Baltimore was never the same after the ’68 riots, but I don’t think that will be the case today unless we keep listening to people like author Jake Flanagin or Al Sharpton, Loretta Lynch, Malik Shabazz, and even President Obama, who all keep pointing the finger instead of calling for healing or common ground.

Their supposed calls for dialogue are really a demand for monologue. The rest of us (meaning white people) had better shut up and accept the fact that we are all racist and everything is entirely the fault of white people, all white people. Then we should be made to pay (as Sharpton has so successfully modeled).

So what is true? I can only speak to what I know, but if we start including everyone’s stories and not just the politically correct stories or those that support “the narrative” being pushed by the Left as the only truth that matters, we may get closer to the actual whole truth.

Just putting in writing the things I actually witnessed in Baltimore in those troubled times will be enough to make some people hate me and call me a racist. I am willing to take that chance. Real dialogue, not just monologue, has to start with someone. I know I do not have the whole truth, but I do have a part of it and I may be that part’s only voice right now in Baltimore. Real truth, real dialogue, and real healing of our wounded city will only start when all legitimate voices are considered.
Read the whole thing. It's very good and very important.