It is 2018. You would think that segregation would be something largely of the past. And legal segregation is–it has been outlawed since 1964. But this does not mean that this issue has been resolved–far from it. Recent data shows that cities are more segregated than they were twenty years ago, and it is just getting worse.
The cause of this racial isolation is largely due to the wage gap. Any time minorities move into a neighborhood, rich white people have the money and means to move out (a motion that has been infamously dubbed “white flight”). While the reason for white flight is apparently due to them believing the value of their property will decrease if they don’t move out, this is flawed reasoning. The thing that actually decreases the value of their property is the very action of them moving out.
But not all segregation is due to white flight. The other issue is that instead of moving out of minority-populated neighborhoods, many white people will just never move in in the first place. This closeted racism is perhaps even worse, because it is harder to identify and directly address.
Things do not look great for residents of Cleveland, which everyone who lives here can notice is very divided (just look at how we stereotype the West and East sides). Cleveland is actually the 5th most segregated city in all of America, which is very eye-opening because it seems like residents of the city really do not talk about this issue very much.
This is not to say that there is no hope. Surprisingly, cities are becoming more diverse; it is just hard to tell from the way that people are housed. So if white people can just accept this diversity instead of retreating to their own corners of the city, we can come closer to ensuring that this diversity is genuine.