|You won't see this in all-Black cities|
Today their Silver Spring community of Hillandale is home to people of every race and ethnicity — the epitome of what one sociologist calls “global neighborhoods” that are upending long-standing patterns of residential segregation.So what happens to those communities that are classified as Black enclaves? Well, Black kids vying for initiation into gangs and high levels of Black crime make Trick-or-Treating (and the ability to create lasting relationship and build communities) an impossibility.
Around the region and across the country, the archetypal all-white neighborhood is vanishing with remarkable speed. In many places, the phenomenon is not being driven by African Americans moving to the suburbs. Instead, it is primarily the result of the nation’s soaring number of Hispanics and Asians, many of whom are immigrants.
The result has been the emergence of neighborhoods, from San Diego to Denver to Miami, that are more diverse than at any time in American history.
As the nation barrels toward the day, just three decades from now, when non-Hispanic whites are expected to be a minority, these global neighborhoods have already begun remaking the American social fabric in significant ways. Their creation and impact have been especially pronounced in the Washington area, where minorities are now the majority.
A Washington Post analysis of 2010 Census data shows a precipitous decline in the number of the region’s census tracts, areas of roughly 2,000 households, where more than 85 percent of the residents are of the same race or ethnicity — what many demographers would consider a segregated neighborhood.
In the District, just one in three neighborhoods is highly segregated, the Post analysis found. A decade ago, more than half were.
From Loudoun to Fairfax to Montgomery, communities that are growing are also growing more integrated, with people of every race and ethnicity living side by side. Prince George’s stands virtually alone as a place that is gaining population yet has an increasing number of residents living in neighborhoods that are overwhelmingly one race — in this case, African American.
A Washington Post analysis of census data shows that the number of Prince George’s neighborhoods where more than 85 percent of residents are the same race or ethnicity — what demographers consider a high level of segregation — has inched up, from 25 percent in 1990 to 27 percent last year.
Though the increase is small, any uptick is startling in comparison with everywhere else in the region. While the all-white neighborhood has all but disappeared from Northern Virginia, Montgomery and the District, the all-black neighborhood is on the rise in Prince George’s.
Yet the Prince George’s experience also illustrates the limits of integration. Most blacks and whites still live in separate neighborhoods, despite the dismantling of legal segregation decades ago.
Today, integration has moved beyond black and white. Integrated neighborhoods often are created when Asians and Hispanics move into predominantly white neighborhoods, said John Logan, a Brown University sociologist who has studied segregation patterns for 30 years. He says these “global neighborhoods” pave the way for more blacks to move into a community without triggering white flight.
In the Washington region, 90 percent of whites still live in neighborhoods where they are a majority or the largest group. Many whites remain unwilling to buy houses in black neighborhoods, Logan said, and so are most Asians.
“It’s going to be a long, long time before that disappears,” he said.
Some whites with deep roots in Prince George’s say they sense that the white exodus from the county is largely over and that Hispanics have helped make the county feel more diverse than ever.
Maryland state Del. Justin D. Ross (D) and his wife are raising four young children in Hyattsville, not far from the University of Maryland in an area that has long attracted a mix of people. His two oldest children attend University Park Elementary School, where the student body is 30 percent black, 30 percent Hispanic, 26 percent white and 8 percent Asian.
“We’re giving [our children] a competitive advantage in a real world that will look much different than the one my parents grew up in,” said Ross, 35, who is white and grew up in Prince George’s.
But most white longtime residents have friends and neighbors who have left the county and made little secret of why, said several who met on a recent afternoon to discuss white flight and diversity.
“A lot of white people don’t want to live around black people. It’s crazy, I know,” said John Petro, a developer who lives in a predominantly black subdivision in Bowie and has no intention of moving away.It’s crazy? Hmm… in virtually every major city in America that has a high population of Black people, nearly all-white suburbs have been created. It would be crazy if it were only one city; that it is EVERY city where Black and white people interact that has seen an exodus of the latter (with the former then in charge of a city that they inevitably see collapse) means it is definitely NOT CRAZY!
“They don’t always say ‘black,’ ” said Jane Eagen Dodd, a retired schoolteacher who lives in an Upper Marlboro community with a rich mix of people from different backgrounds. “They say, ‘The county is changing.’ ”
So what is Trick-or-Treating like in Prince George’s County, where crime is a huge problem (thus, disproving Putnam’s study on how communities that are homogeneous are much better than the diverse cities)?
How many of the kids in Prince George’s County are bused into the dwindling few all-white enclaves around D.C.?
The Washington Post can brag about Prince George's County offering Black people a chance to be around "Black role models" while gloating about the end of all-white enclaves. But where will Black kids be able to Trick-or-Treat when these all-white enclaves disappear?
Halloween is the one night of the year where an entire community leaves their homes and interacts with each other. Interesting that Putnam's study on how racial diversity erodes community trust needs a caveat: the greater the percentage of Black people in a community (even if it is an all-Black enclave), the less the community trust.