1. Exquisite Tweets from @JamesSurowiecki

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    A short (I promise) follow-up to Parma tweetstorm below:

    James Surowiecki @
    1. .@chrisarnade argues white working class has turned to Trump in large part because they "feel disrespected."
    theguardian.com/us-news/2016/j…

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    1. One argument you often hear in defense of the resistance to housing integration in places like Parma is that white ppl. weren't opposed..

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    2. ... to integration per se. They were opposed to integrating via public housing, because of all the social problems projects bring, etc.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    3. One of the ppl. .@Chris_arnade talks to basically says this. No one in Parma, he says, would object if a black lawyer moved next door.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    4. The problem, according to this Parma resident, is that integration doesn't mean doctors moving in. It means poor people moving in.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    5. This isn't totally off base. Integrating a community by building public housing is different from having black homeowners integrate it.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    6. But most of the time, the real issue driving opposition to integration is not what class of ppl. are moving in. It's what race they are.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    7. Personal story: In the late 1970s, I lived in a middle-class town in northern CT. Our neighborhood was mixed in terms of education, etc.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    8. Dad of family across street was a Teamster. Dad of people across the other street ran a canned-foods distributor. My dad was a chem. eng.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    9. (And, yes, as far as I remember, the breadwinners in these families were all men.)

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    10. Anyway, we moved away in 1977. A black family bought our house. It was the first black family in the neighborhood.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    11. When my friends' parents found out, quite a few became angry with my parents. Told them they should find a different buyer.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    13. Now, what's really amazing about this is that the guy who bought our house was an engineer. He worked for Pratt & Whitney.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    14. This was not someone from "the projects." This was not someone who anyone could object to because of his job, his lifestyle, etc.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    15. But none of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was his race. That's what the problem was.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    16. It's true that our neighbors weren't just worried about living next door to a black person. They were worried about property values.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    17. But the fear that a black engineer was somehow going to lower the value of their homes was itself an expression of pervasive racism.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    18. So, again, ppl. in places like Parma have lots of explanations for why they fought integration so fiercely. Some may even be a bit true.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    19. But, in the end, most opposition to integration is not an expression of economic anxiety or anomie. It's an expression of racism.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki

    20. Sorry -- I guess that wasn't as short as I'd hoped.

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    JamesSurowiecki

    James Surowiecki