|The Great Migration = Manifest Destruction|
In reality, it was what we at SBPDL have dubbed "Manifest Destruction" that failed the northern cities: the mass movement of Black people overwhelmed these cities, with the fall of Detroit a direct result of this 'great migration' Mr. DiSalvo champions. Why don't we just let Mr. DiSalvo's City Journal article speak for itself?:
A century ago, nine out of ten black Americans lived in the South, primarily in formerly Confederate states where segregation reigned. Then, in the 1920s, blacks began heading north, both to escape the racism of Jim Crow and to seek work as southern agriculture grew increasingly mechanized. “From World War I to the 1970s, some six million black Americans fled the American South for an uncertain existence in the urban North and West,” writes journalist Isabel Wilkerson, the author of The Warmth of Other Suns. Principal destinations in the Great Migration, as the exodus came to be called, included Washington, D.C. (the first stop on the bus), Chicago, Detroit, and New York City. The Great Migration had tremendous political implications, both good and bad. It helped spur the civil rights movement, but it also trapped many blacks in urban ghettos.
More recently, however, the Great Migration has reversed itself, with blacks returning to the South. In a broad sense, this reversal fits within a larger demographic shift among Americans in general, who are moving from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. But the new black migration is nevertheless significant: not only could it portend major changes to the nation’s politics; it also testifies to the liberal North’s failure to integrate African-Americans into the mainstream. As the historian Walter Russell Mead has observed, that failure is “the most devastating possible indictment of the 20th century liberal enterprise in the United States.”
In the early seventies, the New York Times noticed that between 1970 and 1973, for the first time, more blacks had moved from the North to the South than vice versa. The movement has continued apace. Last year, the Times described the South’s share of black population growth as “about half the country’s total in the 1970s, two-thirds in the 1990s and three-quarters in the decade that just ended.” Many of the migrants are “buppies”—young, college-educated, upwardly mobile black professionals—and older retirees. Over the last two decades, according to the census, the states with the biggest gains in their black populations have been Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Florida; New York, Illinois, and Michigan have seen the greatest losses. Many of the new black migrants are moving to the South’s urban and suburban hot spots, rather than the small towns that their grandparents or great-grandparents left behind generations ago. Today, 57 percent of American blacks live in the South—the highest percentage in a half-century.
Much of the migration has been urban-to-urban. During the first decade of the new century, according to Brookings Institution demographer Bill Frey, the cities making the biggest gains in black population were Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston. Meanwhile, New York City’s black population fell by 67,709, Chicago’s by 58,225, Detroit’s by 37,603, and Los Angeles’s by 85,025. But plenty of the migrants have been moving from cities to suburbs. “By 2000 there were fifty-seven metropolitan areas with at least 50,000 black suburbanites, compared to just thirty-three in 1980,” notes sociologist Andrew Wiese. The 2010 census revealed that 51 percent of blacks in the 100 largest metro areas lived in the suburbs. As journalist Joel Garreu describes it, suburbia now includes a “large, churchgoing, home-owning, childbearing, back-yard barbecuing, traffic-jam-cursing black middle class remarkable for the very ordinariness with which its members go about their classically American suburban affairs.”
But Black people are absolved from all wrong-doing in America (the narrative of continued white oppression inhibiting Black success must be repeated ad nauseam), especially that of their design. Mr. DiSalvo, after all, wants to continue to receive his invitations to the top social events in New York City.
By a strange twist of fate, the Atlanta Journal Constitution published a story that cuts to the heart of the problem of what DiSalvo has called "the great remigration" of Blacks back from the northern cities that failed them.
A perplexing coincidence : these Blacks migrants from the northern cities they helped devastate are now poised to import that same economic ruin back south [Treading water with upside down mortgages, Christopher Quinn, 9-16-2012]:
Marquita Shealey is having tough time after the Lithonia house she bought lost more than half its value in two years.
The loss put the 29-year-old first-time buyer in the same position as about 70 percent of metro Atlantans who are younger than 4o with a mortgage. She is upside down, or owes more on the mortgage than the worth of the home, according to California real estate and data firm Zillow.
For younger buyers, especially those trying to relocate or just sell a home, it is a financial hardship that ripples through the economy, cutting into sales at department stores, stifling hiring and and pulling down other home values.
In Shealey’s case, she can’t sell and take a loss and has also suffered some other financial hits, such as expensive home repairs and a split with the man with whom she bought the house. So she is stuck in a home that suppresses her ability to flex with new financial constraints. She cut back spending and is considering pulling her daughter out of private school.
“I thought once I closed, everything would be smooth sailing,” Shealey said. “Now everything is on me.”
Zillow economist Stan Humphries said younger buyers typically paid low down payments, have little equity in the home and are more likely to have purchased in the last ten years as home prices hit a peak. Home values dropped on average about 35 percent here since 2006.
About half of metro Atlanta mortgage holders over 40 are underwater, he said. If older owners don’t have a disaster such as a job loss and had no plans to move, they are less affected because they can wait for prices to come back, Humphries said.
The national average of underwater owners is 31 percent. Metro Atlanta has been hit harder than many cities by the bursting housing-and-loan bubble.
Clayton is hit hardest in the region. It is in the worst 1 percent of counties nationally, Zillow’s numbers say, with 83 percent of mortgages underwater. Even well-off Forsyth, which had an $87,605 median income in 2011, is in the lowest 20 percent of counties.
County/ % mortgages underwater/median home value*
Clayton 83 $45,200Wait a second? Clayton County has a median home value of $45,000? Would you believe that in 1990, Clayton County was 75 percent white; now, it is nearly 70 percent Black.
Paulding 69 $83,400
Douglas 69 $75,600
Gwinnett 58 $117,100
DeKalb 56 $96,300
Fulton 47 $139,500
Cobb 46 $141,800
Cherokee 46 $146,900
Forsyth 36 $204,200
Fayette 34 $177,000
The falling property value in Clayton County is but a reflection of the type of community these new residents can create.
Recall that in 2010, a home sold in 90 percent Black Detroit went for the median price of $7,500:
Some might say Jon Brumit overpaid when he stumped up $100 (£65) for a whole house. Drive through Detroit neighbourhoods once clogged with the cars that made the city the envy of America and there are homes to be had for a single dollar.
You find these houses among boarded-up, burnt-out and rotting buildings lining deserted streets, places where the population is shrinking so fast entire blocks are being demolished to make way for urban farms.
"I was living in Chicago and a friend told me that houses in Detroit could be had for $500," said Brumit, a financially strapped artist who thought he had little prospect of owning his own property. "I said if you hear of anything just a little cheaper let me know. Within a week he emails me a photo of a house for $100. I thought that's just crazy. Why not? It's a way to cut our expenses way down and kind of open up a lot of time for creative projects because we're not working to pay the rent."
Houses on sale for a few dollars are something of an urban legend in the US on the back of the mortgage crisis that drove millions of people from their homes. But in Detroit it is no myth.
One in five houses now stand empty in the city that launched the automobile age, forged America's middle-class and blessed the world with Motown.
Detroit has been in decline for decades; its falling population is now well below a million – half of its 1950 peak. But the recent mortgage crisis and the fall of the big car makers into bankruptcy has pushed the town into a realm unique among big cities in America.
A third of the population are unemployed. Property prices have fallen 80% or more in large parts of Detroit over the last three years. The average price of a home sold in the city last year has been put at $7,500 (£4,900).
On the opposite side of Lawley Street Jim Feltner and his workers were clearing out a property seized by a bank. "I used to be a building contractor. I was buying up places and doing them up. Now I empty out foreclosures. I do one or two of these a day all over the city," he said. "I've been in Detroit 40 years and I've watched the peak up to $100,000 for houses that right now aren't worth more than $20,000 tops. I own a bunch of properties. I have 10 rentals and I can't get nothing for them, and they're beautiful homes."The devaluation of once prized real estate in Detroit (well, when it was owned by white people) is the unmentionable legacy of the migration of Blacks to northern cities - the same thing happened in Cleveland, Gary, and in parts of Chicago - and it is this same legacy they will import with them back south.