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African Americans Remain Few in the Northern Suburbs

While the northern suburbs are increasingly diverse (up from 10% persons of color in 1980 to over 26% in 2010), the Black population in most suburbs is under 1%. Segregation is alive and well.

Can we truly pronounce housing segregation against African Americans dead? 

Yes, claims the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research in a much-publicized study released February 6, 2012. Analyzing 2010 Census data, the authors conclude that “all-white neighborhoods are effectively extinct” with “African-American residents in 199 out of every 200 neighborhoods nationwide,” compared 160 out of 200 fifty years ago.

On the North Shore? No. 

The Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs analyzed Census data of Chicago’s 16 northern suburbs and found that African Americans comprise only 2 percent of the population outside Evanston (4.7 percent overall), hardly evidence of an open housing market.

Denunciation of this new study, authored by a conservative New York-based think tank, has been swift and vociferous. 

Fair housing groups including the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance point out that the Manhattan Institute failed to consider the economic health of neighborhoods in which African Americans are living. 

Fifteen years of predatory lending practices targeting African Americans and Latinos and the subsequent mortgage meltdown and unemployment crises have erased the homeownership gains of these groups. 

The National Fair Housing Alliance reports that “African Americans and Latinos are 75 percent more likely to experience foreclosure.” There is a correlation between the price of housing in a community and its level of racial diversity, as Interfaith’s data show.

Remapping Debate, sponsored by the non-profit Anti-Discrimination Center in New York, has published an extensive series of on-line maps demonstrating that segregation is “alive and well” in the U.S. Using a “dissimilarity index,” which measures the percentage of a particular racial group that would have to move to a different neighborhood to ensure an even racial distribution throughout the area, 65 percent of African Americans would have to move according to 2010 data, not much of a change from 69 percent in 2000.

African Americans also continue to face discrimination in the housing market. Following an extensive audit of the housing market in Chicago’s northern suburbs, my organization, the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs, found that African Americans are more than 50 percent likely to be treated worse than whites with the same qualifications and familial backgrounds in trying to rent or buy in the area.

While it is true that “all-white neighborhoods have largely disappeared, this is more due to the entry of Latinos and Asians into formerly all-white neighborhoods,” as Princeton professor Douglas Massey, author of a history of housing segregation in the United States, is quoted in the New York Times.

This is the case in the northern suburbs. In 1980, only 10 percent of the sixteen community region was made up of Blacks, Latinos, and Asians. Today, that proportion has risen to more than 26 percent, nearly half of it (12.6 percent) Asian. In Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, and Skokie, one in four persons is Asian.  Highwood is the one community in which the non-Hispanic white population is under 50 percent; 56.9 percent of its population is Latino. 

But African Americans have made virtually no inroads in the northern suburbs, where it appears that they may have moved from Evanston (a loss of 3,610 African Americans) to Skokie (a gain of 3,255). This shift could be attributed to condominium conversions in Evanston and rising home prices. People of color and immigrants earn less than their native-born white counterparts.

All of this begs the question of why should we care.

From an individual rights standpoint, we should all be concerned that human beings continue to be turned away from the housing of their choice simply because they are Black. This is wrong, period.

From a neighborhood perspective, we should applaud the growing ethnic diversity of the North Shore. Our children benefit from having friends from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It builds understanding and empathy, important attributes to “global citizenship” in an increasingly interconnected world.

We should fight any effort to close our communities from those who would turn back the clock on 44 years of fair housing law. The Heritage Foundation, in a recent memo critical of the federal government’s settlement with Westchester County, NY to further racial integration for African Americans, would have us believe that “minority beneficiaries” don’t want to move to white areas and would have to be “compelled” to do so. They believe that integration is nothing less than an “imposed” exercise and “intrusion” into local markets. 

What these opponents do not understand is that on the contrary, it is housing discrimination and the failure to allow for affordable housing that constitute the “intrusion” into local markets. It is not a failure of the personal choice of "minorities." In the words of New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Pashman, in his 1975 concurrent opinion striking down exclusionary zoning practices:

“Many suburban communities have failed to learn the lesson of cultural pluralism. A homogeneous community, one exhibiting almost total similarities of taste, habit, custom and behavior is culturally dead, aside from being downright boring. New and different life styles, habits and customs are the lifeblood of America. They are its strength its growing force. Just as diversity strengthens and enriches the country as a whole, so will it strengthen and enrich a suburban community.”

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The Q February 20, 2012 at 09:32 PM
All the liberals are the same. Afforable housing but not next to me. Higher taxes but only on the rich. Good schools for eveyone but dont send the poor kids to my school. Healthcare for everyone but i am not paying for it. Shame on you people.
The Q February 20, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Democrats fund democrats......money train to justify existance.
Argle Bargle February 20, 2012 at 09:39 PM
In the great reckoning these poverty warriors will be called to account. Woe be unto those who pave a road to ruin with fools' gold. Let me aks you something, how shall we treat the guilty who have profiteered on the backs of the poor. the rainbo coalition has enslaved the poor. "after it rains there's a rainbow and all of the colors are black' its not that the color's not there, its just imagine they lack. and nothing ever changes.
Argle Bargle February 20, 2012 at 09:49 PM
The boundaries set by taxing bodies is one major malefactor, we all see those who lie and steal just to get educational services. It's an apertheid and is unjust. Dissolve the districts.
Richard Schulte February 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM
"Why can't affordable housing and economic improvements be a non partisan effort?" I guess it only becomes partisan when you disagree with the solutions being proposed. I've got a positive idea-you agree 100 percent with conservatives and then there is nothing to argue about. We've tried the left's solution, the War on Poverty, for 45 years now. 45 years, that's a long time and guess what, we still have poverty in America. OK, we've tried it your way long enough-now let's try another solution. Obviously, the War on Poverty has been a miserable failure. The reason that this discussion seems to be getting side-tracked into a discussion of the education problem is that education is the root of the problem. If poor children got a good education, they would have an opportunity to move up the ladder. But simply getting a good education doesn't guarantee results. There will always be poor folks in this world-even the grand communist experiments of the Soviet Union, China, North Korea and Cuba were not able to eliminate poverty. In fact, all of these four examples created more poverty. In North Korea, the rabble are all equal-equally impoverished to the point of starvation. Of course, the elites are not subject to the rules imposed on the rabble. If you are an elite, you got it made in the shade. BTW, I took Jim's advice and escaped from East Germany-I mean Illinois. You folks in Illinois won't have me to pull the wagon anymore. Jim's advice is wise.
Jim February 21, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Liberals unfortunately are largely folks who do not believe in the lessons of history and who wish to impress that disbelief on those who disagree by force if necessary. Diversity to them is a goal in itself without regard to the divisions it causes if there is not cultural unity of purpose. Consider the history of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America etc. There is no more certain way to destroy a country than to have divided culture, language, religion or political values. While diversity for the sake of may satisfy some perverse sense of morality, it can be very destructive if there is no underlying sense of unity of purpose accepted by the entire community.
Will Stokes February 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Schechter's outfit has a little subgroup to deal with education. Among other things, they welcomed Rev. Meeks' protest at New Trier HS. They also say they are committed to "a good public (government school) education" for every child. I thought this was an "Interfaith" group. So they aren't interested in advocating free choice in education whereby parents chould choose with a tax voucher a non-governmental school? Funny position for an ostensibly religious "Interfaith" group. Are there no Catholics involved in Schechter's outfit? How about Orthodox Jews who send their kids to Yeshivas? Fact is, most of the urban planners and other social engineers on Schechter's fat government subsidized payroll have probably not seen the inside of a house of worship in decades. The "Interfaith" appelation was just to keep with Saul Alinsky's recommendation that his radical activists should try to bamboozle the public with phoney religious affiliations. What frauds these leftists are!
Overbite February 23, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Hey, no one is opposed to private education, as long as the public isn't billed for it, which would seem to be the definition of "private." The fact that religious institutions are tax exempt is already a generous subsidy, and to increase government support would be to invite government control of a pillar of civil society. The founding fathers understood this, and that is why we do not have an established church in the US -- to protect both religion and state from a mutually compromising entanglement. It is the mark of a wingnut to want it both ways -- i.e., less government "interference," more ideological control. The Interfaith Housing Center is not a seminary, it is a group dedicated to enforcing the fair housing laws passed almost 50 years ago, which are still routinely flouted. It is allied with several dozen congregations in the area that do not share the last respondent's tribal view of religion. They understand that faith without a hunger for justice is just selfish superstition, akin to whistling gaily past the homeless shelter, knowing that one's own soul is saved. By supporting Interfaith over the last several decades, these congregants are attempting to make their faith real. They know that the organization does good work, and is committed to making this corner of the world a better place. That does not strike me as fraudulent or phony -- which, by the way, is not spelled with an "e," as most public school students and graduates would know.
Richard Schulte February 23, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Given the mess (and massive waste) created in government schools, it would seem that our educational system should be privatized. Who says that government has a right to tax people in support of (sub-standard) public schools? Isn't the objective to educate our children at a reasonable cost? If that is indeed the objective, then the money to pay for schooling should follow the child. Parents who want to educate their children outside of gov't schools should not have to pay twice-taxes to the public school systems and then tuition for the private schools. If our gov't schools actually had to compete for support of parents with private schools, then, and only then, will our public schools actually improve. Improve our educational system and the housing issue being discussed will resolve itself. The problem is not housing discrimination; the problem is our education system. It's a waste of time to attempt to solve the issue of housing discrimination without solving the education problem. The problem with solving the education problem in the United States is that education discrimination is intentional. The political party who controls gov't schools in our large cities benefits from poorly educating the children in the large cities. Children with a good education will likely not become reliable Democrat voters. So you have to keep 'em dumb to keept them voting for Democrats. And that's the reason why the Chicago Public Schools are so bad.
Deadcatbounce February 23, 2012 at 09:54 PM
According to Mr. Overbite … The fact that religious schools are tax exempt is already a generous subsidy. Well Mr. Overbite, the fact that these students are educated with private funds, while the parents also pay the local school district is a generous subsidy for the public school district.
Greenwood February 25, 2012 at 06:09 AM
My problem with Gail's thesis is that while she concludes that the North Shore is bad because of the low percentage of African Americans, she has no data concerning the percentage of African Americans that want to live in these communities. Those North Shore residents that now demand vibrant, diverse communities could have moved to Hyde Park, Lakeview, Oak Park, or any number of other communities. Instead, they moved to the North Shore and want to import "diversity" for their convenience? That may not be garden variety racism, but it's racism blended with narcissism - "Bring the different people to me."
John C Thomson February 25, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Could not have said it better... and I would leave in a heart beat were it not for my kids and grand-kids, now how do I convince them, it doesn't seem like they're paying ? attention.
KLacy June 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Hey, this is all a little unnerving. I'm biracial (African American & Caucasian), and my husband is African American. We are transferring from Farmington Hills, Mi. which is a multiracial community. We are looking for a multiracial suburb near Northbrook. Does it exist? And, how receptive are horse boarding facilities, as I also own a horse.
David Kreiman June 07, 2012 at 05:55 PM
KLacy - I prefer not to answer your post on the forum here, and unfortunately there is no way to reply directly, but i am also happy to provide some insight from multiple angles. If you see this and would like, please reach out to me at davidk@gsb.com
Joanna Schneider June 07, 2012 at 07:16 PM
@KLacy, Glenview is actually one of the more diverse burbs in the area. And, I'm not sure if Wagner Farm boards private horses, but they'd be a good place to start as you're looking for stables. There's also Glen Grove in Morton Grove, which is a big one that I've heard good things about. David, thanks for weighing in. As a longtime resident, I'm sure you can lend a valuable big picture perspective.
Tom Gross July 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I guess the increase in violent crime has nothing to do with added diversity in Skokie, and the roving bands of black teenagers attacking white people
RB July 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Richard was proud to point out the Bobby Jidall Louisiana method. They voucher there. Each voucher pulls money from public education and gives it to private education. In Louisana that money funds particularly fundamental Christian Schools that are popping up everywhere. Some teach by DVD, have no libraries and intersperse school topics with biblical quotes. Such as 'and God created this or that'. One school has no windows. Most have no PE class. It's similar to a Taliban education except Christian fundamentalism instead of Muslim. It's not progress. Poor education, a generation not being taught advanced math theory. Jesus provides, not your hardwork or homework. Scary, but Richard thinks its the answer to our problems.
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM
RB (aka code pink guy): "Richard was proud to point out the Bobby Jidall Louisiana method. They voucher there." Governor Jindal's proposal to allow vouchers for private schools introduces competition into education. Like most everything else in America where government is involved, our public schools are a mess. (Our public schools have become politicized by teachers and teachers unions.) We know that religious schools have done a better job educating our children than the public schools. Why not allow religous schools to participate in a voucher system? As an aside, Governor Jindal would make an excellent vice-presidential candidate, but hopefully Governor Romney will not choose him. Louisiana needs Governor Jindal. Governor Jindal will make an excellent president someday.
RB July 13, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Oxymoron, you may have read the link I provided previously. The Governor is providing 'education' vouchers to windowless 'schools' without libraries, and few 'teachers'. They 'teach' by DVD. No advanced math theory. If its not in their Bible, they get no lernin.
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 02:35 PM
RB (aka code pink guy): "The Governor is providing 'education' vouchers to windowless 'schools' without libraries, and few 'teachers'. They 'teach' by DVD. No advanced math theory. If its not in their Bible, they get no lernin." RB, the more you write, the less intelligent I think you are. Schools in Louisana are licensed by the State. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office requires all classrooms to be provided with windows, except in buildings protected throughout by a (fire) sprinkler system. But, you probably didn't know that. The internet is an electronic libary at everyone's fingertips. Libraries as we have thought of them for the last hundred years are obsolete. Few teachers and electronic learning is the future of education. Webinars as a means of instruction are commonplace in both the public and private sectors today. Our public schools are a "miserable failure". It only makes sense to look for other ways to educate our children. Bravo Governor Jindal. The left in America has no interest in educating our children, only indoctrinating our children. Public school teachers and teachers' unions are part of the indoctrination of our children. Using technology to educate our children will put teachers out of work and end the indoctrination. God forbid our children stumble across the American Thinkler or Townhall websites or maybe listen to Rush Limbaugh in their own. Censorship of diverse opinion is what the left is all about.
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM
"The problem with liberals is not that they know so much, but that they know so much that isn't true." Ronald Reagan RB, did you know Ronald Reagan? It sounds like he certainly knew you.
RB July 13, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Rich (aka oxyMORON). The fire Marshall in you is coming out. The American in me is coming out. Windowless? That's what you focus on? Well, I focus on the impact of taking impressionable children and interspersing Bible verses with everything they attempt to indoctrinate them with. Some of these schools teach by DVD, few 'teachers'. The reporter toured the 'school' and the room was windowless. And they was not teaching any advanced science. This is not a Catholic or other reasonable private education some of these schools are attempting. It's a Taliban type indoctrination of ideology and Jindall passed it. Public education is not going away. Jindall is assuring it gets worse, that's all. Censorship? Romney won't answer questions about exactly when he left Bain. Was it 2002 like he testified years ago or was it 1999 like he filed on Federal forms and has been campaigning about? Since he can't get his story straight, he's just not talking to anyone but Faux and a few other right leaning reporters. He and his staff have decided the press is the enemy....a self fulfilling prophecy. Nixon felt the same way, until the press hung in there and showed what a liar he was....
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM
RB (code pink guy): "Rich (aka oxyMORON). The fire Marshall in you is coming out. The American in me is coming out. Windowless? That's what you focus on? Well, I focus on the impact of taking impressionable children and interspersing Bible verses with everything they attempt to indoctrinate them with. Some of these schools teach by DVD, few 'teachers'. The reporter toured the 'school' and the room was windowless. And they was not teaching any advanced science. This is not a Catholic or other reasonable private education some of these schools are attempting. It's a Taliban type indoctrination of ideology and Jindall passed it. Public education is not going away. Jindall is assuring it gets worse, that's all. Censorship? Romney won't answer questions about exactly when he left Bain. Was it 2002 like he testified years ago or was it 1999 like he filed on Federal forms and has been campaigning about? Since he can't get his story straight, he's just not talking to anyone but Faux and a few other right leaning reporters. He and his staff have decided the press is the enemy....a self fulfilling prophecy. Nixon felt the same way, until the press hung in there and showed what a liar he was...." Looks like the code pink guy is all over the road. When somebody is all over the road, I'd say he's lost the argument. You really don't know much about the State of Louisiana or the health/safety standards which apply to schools. Best that you just shut your mouth.
Billy Bob July 13, 2012 at 05:30 PM
There seems to be general agreement that economics (high property costs in particular) keep African Americans, with their "on average" lower economic status, out of the north suburbs. Why hasn't anyone commented on the zoning and other municipal actions that keep those economic barriers high? When you have minimum lot sizes, rules against density and other restrictions, housing for lower income fellow Americans will not be built. Thus, municipal action (read, "state action" for my fellow section 1983 enthusiasts) contributes directly to a lack of diversity (racial and economic). Why do these suburbs feel they have the right to build economic moats? Combined with a school funding scheme that provides grossly indadequate resources from school system to school system, is it any wonder why America now lags the rest of the world in socio-economic mobilty? America used to be the land of opportunity. No more. Now it is the land of "I got mine and I will buy as many politicians as it takes to keep it and keep you off it."
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 05:39 PM
RB (aka code pink guy): "Nixon felt the same way, until the press hung in there and showed what a liar he was...." "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." President BJ Clinton Yes, let's go back all of the way back to the Nixon Administration (40 years ago) to find an example of a President lying. Why not just go back to last week and point out the lying of the current President?
RB July 13, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Rich, aka oxyMORON, if you had a TV, you could see Willard this afternoon. He is giving a few interviews. FAUX of course, no MSNBC, CNN will have a lightweight interview him. He'll say nothing, but they must be really worried to parade him out in from of some microphones. Imagine, Offshore bank accounts, offshore companies, outsourcing, and not working for Bain when he really was.....he's got some splainin to do! He also has released a grand total of 1 tax return (from 2010). That's pathetic. Maybe he did not pay taxes? That would look bad....but, very Republican, so why worry?
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Billy Bob: "There seems to be general agreement that economics (high property costs in particular) keep African Americans, with their "on average" lower economic status, out of the north suburbs." Obviously, the question which should be asked is: why black folks would have "lower economic status"? My answer to that question is the inferior schools which black children attend (and the fact that many black folks consider getting a good education as "acting white). Why do black children attend inferior schools? My answer to that question is that it's intentional. Democrats make sure that black children attend inferior schools to keep black folks on the Democrat plantation. Well-educated black folks would figure out what Democrats are really doing to them and start voting Republican and that would mean the end of the Democrat Party. The Democrats supported slavery, started the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), instituted Jim Crow and segregation. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Democrat racism is just more subtle today, but the result is the same.
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM
RB (code pink guy): Rich, aka oxyMORON, if you had a TV, you could see Willard this afternoon. He is giving a few interviews. FAUX of course, no MSNBC, CNN will have a lightweight interview him. He'll say nothing, but they must be really worried to parade him out in from of some microphones. Imagine, Offshore bank accounts, offshore companies, outsourcing, and not working for Bain when he really was.....he's got some splainin to do! He also has released a grand total of 1 tax return (from 2010). That's pathetic. Maybe he did not pay taxes? That would look bad....but, very Republican, so why worry?" RB (code pink guy), you've been off topic all day. It looks like you're cracking up under pressure. "It's the economy stupid." All that other stuff you're talking about is just trying to distract us from the Obama economy and Obamacare.
Richard Schulte July 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM
RB, aka code pink guy, since you have wandered off-topic, I will take the opportunity to do the same. The following may be of interest: "A group called the Voter Participation Center has touted the distribution of some 5 million registration forms in recent weeks, targeting Democratic-leaning voting blocs such as unmarried women, blacks, Latinos and young adults. But residents and election administrators around the country also have reported a series of bizarre and questionable mailings addressed to animals, dead people, noncitizens and people already registered to vote. Brenda Charlston wasn't the only person to get documents for her pet: A Virginia man said similar documents arrived for his dead dog, Mozart, while a woman in the state got forms for her cat, Scampers. "On a serious note, I think it's tampering with our voting system," Charlston said. "They're fishing for votes: That's how I view it." " Source: http://www.gopusa.com/news/2012/07/13/why-voter-id-is-needed-dogs-and-dead-people-recruited-to-vote/?subscriber=1 Clearly, there is an effort underway by Democrats to undermine the validity of our election system in America. "The ends justifies the means." I know, it doesn't matter who votes, but rather who counts the votes. Lenin and Stalin ascribed to these methods. Chicago Democrats too.
Carlo July 26, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Correction. The president is not “Black” he is bi-racial. Get your facts straight!

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