The roots of racial segregation in Baltimore

The residential segregation bill won the City Council’s approval of December 9, 1910…

Blacks simply were not allowed to live in white neighborhoods, and when it comes to mixed blocks, it was hardly the rule of law which reigned.  Blacks who moved into mixed blocks were penalized when white politicians wanted to do so.  The entire regime was extreme:

Baltimore’s innovation was the use of government legislation to achieve systematic, citywide race separation.  “Nothing like it can be found in any statute book or ordinance record of this country,” the New York Times wrote.  “It is unique in legislation, Federal, State, or municipal — an ordinance so far-reaching in the logical sequence that must result from its enforcement that it may be said to mark a new era in social legislation.”  Baltimore thus became a national leader in residential segregation.

That is from Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City, by Antero Pietila.  Anyone interested in the roots of current problems in Baltimore should read this book


"Anyone interested in the roots of current problems in Baltimore should read this book"

Anyone still blaming Whitey after 100 years should stop reading books and get out more.

Whitey used blacky against the wrong kind of whitey. Blacky wasn't doing so hot to begin with, but this left him close to cultural bankruptcy. Whitey discarded blacky when he's done and ships him off to bum-f, MO where the wrong kind of whiteys better not complain or they'll get the treatment once again. The right kind of whitey cares about blacky about as much as he cared about the "rights of labor". F whitey.

I am Hannibal Krugman, and I approve this message.

Anyone still blaming Whitey after 100 years should stop reading books and get out more.

So you think that the reason that Whites in the USA (and especially in the South) have much higher levels of violence than Whites in Europe has absolutely nothing to do with history and anything that happened 100 years ago or more? Interesting.

Is your explanation just that American whites are inferior, or that we don't have strict enough gun laws?

I do not have an explanation for your inability to respond to the OP and instead run off on your own tangent.

Seems you're the one who can't respond.

It has to do with genetics and culture. Those whites had higher levels of violence in Britain.

Americans have always had higher violence than their European counterparts. It's the burn-off effect. Anyone crazy enough to up and leave their home country and move to another continent is also crazy enough to commit manslaughter. The descendants of Iberians in Latin America also have much higher rates of violence than their cousins in Spain and Portugal. And for that matter so do the French in Quebec.

Anyone who thinks 2015 - 1965 adds up to 100 should stop using the internet and get out more.

Anyone who gets 1965 and 1910 confused should stop going out and read more.

The segregation ordinance is from 1910. Although the information is not available on the post, these kind of laws were not generally repealled until the 1960s, so one can asusme that the same was the case for Baltimore. This is why the comment mentions the 1960s and not 1910.

I think restrictive covenants on real estate were readily removed and difficult to enforce from about 1950 onward, though I imagine there was a great deal of local variation there.

Such laws were declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1917's Buchanan v. Warley as a violation of people's property rights; you had a right to sell or rent to whoever you please, whatever their race.

Private racial covenants were declared unenforceable by the US Supreme Court in 1948's Shelley v. Kraemer.

@ArtDeco Not really. You'd be surprised how effective an unmotivated seller and lack of financing are at keeping people out of the neighborhood. Read up on it.

What does that have to do with restrictive covenants on real estate?

Any word on repealing Arizona's restriction on hunting camels, guys?

It is interesting how 50 to 100 years can not be allowed as meaning "a very long time". Anyway, I think the reason NPW said 100 years is because he is curring Progressives some slack. Thing is: if you start counting in 1967, every single mayor has been a Democrat. One would have thought that in 50 years of Democratic control this issue would have been licked...

Actually, pretty much every Mayor of Baltimore has been a Democrat. The most recent Republican mayor was Theodore McKeldin, who was firmly ensconced in the Dewey-Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party.

Maryland's Democratic Party had a segregationist wing until about 1966 and a Dixiecrat wing until about 1990. The five Republicans elected Governor between 1854 and 1986 more or less ran to the left of the regnant viewpoint within the Democratic Party of their era (to the extent that that assessment is not anachronistic).

"One would have thought that in 50 years of Democratic control this issue would have been licked…"

What issue would that be?

1. Original sin?

2. Hostility to law enforcement, or, indeed, any program of social improvement which pays little heed to talking cures or patronage distributed by social workers?

3. Fragmentation of authority within metropolitan settlements and the decay of central city tax bases?

Original sin ... heavy man. Let's call in the theology profs.

I'm emigrating to South Dakota where no democrat holds statewide office. Republicans have an 84-20 majority in the legislature. Additionally, the state is reputedly one of the more scenic in the lower 48; is fiscally solvent; and is taxpayer friendly.

You have to put up with their winters.

Via Wikipedia: <i<Government spending is another important segment of the state's economy, providing over ten percent of the gross state product. Ellsworth Air Force Base, near Rapid City, is the second-largest single employer in the state. Haha.

Per the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 11.1% of South Dakota's gdp is attributable to the public sector. The national mean is 12.4%.

Government is the top employer almost everywhere.

You don't think New York and California benefit from this military base?

Defense spending is a public good. We put bases in low density areas to reduce noise pollution and traffic. New Yorkers would be pretty upset if we put that base in Westchester.

Ronald Coase would approve of this outcome.

About a decade or two ago, a warplane of the New Jersey Air National Guard, during a training exercise, managed to drop a bomb on a New Jersey school. Fortunately, it was the middle of the night and nobody was killed.

There are good reasons the federal government doesn't spend a lot of money training its warriors in New Jersey, despite all the taxes paid into the federal fisc by New Jerseyans.

No one benefits from the military base except the people that draw a paycheck because of it. There are no barbarians at the gate, it's just a bullshit excuse to get you to wave a flag about paying for make-work.

Perhaps they should've looked north to Boston's totally not racist Irish Democrat mayors for inspiration

The mayor of Boston from 1993-2014 was named Thomas Menino. His ancestors came from several thousand miles southeast of the Emerald Isle.

There's been a real upsurge in antiquarianism among liberals / progressives who are embarrassed to admit they've held the whip hand on race for the last half century. So we see all these articles these days dredging up obscure history to explain why, say, Baltimore or Ferguson or wherever has high rates of black criminality, although they seldom seem to come up with counter-examples of areas where enlightened policies led to low rates of black criminality. But that just proves the pervasiveness of institutional racism and white privilege.

As an example of how fast urban districts can change, here are photos of a street corner in South-Central L.A. in 1928 and in 2012:

Here's another example of urban districts changing from 1965 to 2015:

So segregation 100 years ago leads a black youth today to clean out a sneaker store? Are people really buying this line of thinking or are they just throwing stuff out there in order to avoid the obvious?

Not living next to white people should not cause folks to shoot, kill and rob each other. Being segregated didn't cause the Chinese in 1960s SF to devolve into an orgy of violence and desegregation. It shouldn't cause Blacks to do the same.

Being segregated didn’t cause the Chinese in 1960s SF to devolve into an orgy of violence and desegregation.

Indeed, most of the riots and orgies of violence in the US were committed by white people against Chinese, not the other way around. I assume that you clearly think that is because people of Chinese background are just better than whites in some way (since you obviously don't think that history should affect a group.)

Good point. Being the majority and the oppressor can ALSO lead to non-organized orgies of violence. So apparently we needn't look at a history of being an oppressed minority as an excuse.

Thank you, that was a teachable moment!

I think that there are plenty of cultural reasons going back several hundred years for why the USA (and most other Western Hemisphere countries) have much higher levels of violence than European countries. (It's especially true among my native South, among my fellow Scotch-Irish.)

Apparently, however, you think that the higher rate of violence among whites in the USA compared to Europe has absolutely nothing to do with history. It's all just because whites are inferior, or perhaps because we don't have tough enough gun laws.

The rates of violence of white Americans is on par with Europeans even with the comparatively wider availability of guns. Nice try though.

Did you look at the graph?

It ranks the rate of white homicide in the US among 162 countries. not just Europe. And the only European countries with higher rates are Russia and a handful of Eastern European nations - Latvia, Belarus and a couple of others.

Major Western countries are all lower than the US, many by far. The US white rate is 2.5 per 100,000. Several countries, including Germany, Italy, France, and Britain are at 1.0 or less. Canada is 1.6, Japan 0.3. The only western country near th US white rate is Norway, at 2.2.

Nice try indeed.

So you think one homicide more per 100,000 in a country awash in guns is a significant difference? Do better man. Also not for nothing the homicide data is from the FBI which does not break out Hispanic ethnicity from White.

Whoa! What's going on in Norway? Is this caused by Anders Breivik?


First of all, it's a difference of 1.5 or so, and the US white rate is 2.5 times that in the countries I mentioned. It's not like we are looking at the dfifference between 61.0 and 62.1. So yes, I think that's a meaningful difference. Is it "significant?" Well, the question is not clear, since we have actual population parameters, not estimates from a sample.

But I will say your point about "awash in guns" seems important to me as ana explanatory factor. It suggests that the widespread availability and ownership of guns in the US contributes to our higher homicide rates. I agree with this, but I'm sure I'll hear from many who wave it away.

Whoa! What’s going on in Norway? Is this caused by Anders Breivik?

2.2x51=112 murders a year, take out his 77 and you have 35 which would be a .7 rate, much lower than anywhere else, so I doubt it

No. Not much lower than anywhere else.

Sweden and Slovenia are .7. Germany and Denmark are .8. And there are lower countries.


You can stop now.

We don't need more evidence.

I think the reason European whites are more quiescent is because 1) they're older, and 2) they kill off their more martial-minded males in bloody warfare every 30 or so years.

Currently, Europe's young people are being replaced by young people from the Maghreb.

2) they kill off their more martial-minded males in bloody warfare every 30 or so years.
There have been three general mobilizations across the whole of western civilization since 1648. That's rather less often than 'every 30 years.' The last two were characterized by nearly universal conscription, so were not limited to 'martial-minded males'.


Right because otherwise there would be ethnically mixed neighborhoods just like in...

Seriously, an ethnic group is essentially a breeding population. You think people are ever not going to live near the people they want their kids to marry? Or perhaps you think one day it will be just as likely that a black person will have babies with a non-black person and with a another black? In which case their will cease to be any black people (hooray??).

What are we fighting for here? What is the ideal? Segregation by income? Yipee! Randomly assigned housing? What a sense of community that would produce!

What are we fighting for here? What is the ideal?

Free choice of individuals seems like a good start, instead of laws forcing people to live where politicians and a majority wants them to. Yes, many people would indeed choose to live near people of similar ethnic background exactly as you say, as happens everywhere. But government enforcing it is a different thing entirely.

I suppose you're one of those "government is just a name for things we do together" people, in which case the Baltimore bill doesn't matter. But to those of us who believe in liberty and small government, it's an abomination.

You are aware, are you not, that governments at all levels have shelves of laws and entire bureaucracies tasked with enforcing integration?

The segregation that occurred as a result of restrictive covenants and the like was superior to the segregation that has occurred as a result of white flight, black dysfunction, and income based market segmentation in housing. Not that black neighborhoods were generally as nice as other ethnic neighborhoods, but it is almost totally forgotten that there used to be black people who actually owned things. Now Koreans own all the stores in black neighborhoods and Jews or the Federal government own all the buildings. Property is and has always been a form of government, by the way.

There was even a sense of communal responsibility over the culture and noblesse oblige among the better off. After all, your children would have to grow up in this community. Now all kids want to do is leave the place of their birth whether they are from a "bad area" or not and anybody with ability and drive does leave.

but it is almost totally forgotten that there used to be black people who actually owned things.

There are still blacks who 'own things', even if you're not paying attention.

Conditions in majority black neighborhoods have worsened in cities like Baltimore have gotten worse over time, not better.

I think the collapse of manufacturing employment had a bigger impact than segregation or racism.

It's also hard to blame racism for a tripling of the illegitimacy rate since the 1960s.

The overwhelming majority of black children are born to single mothers.

Oops, duplicated that first point. MR needs a better mobile interface.

Having grown up in Baltimore and with continuing family ties there, it seems to me that its black community has become more diverse than it was forty years ago.

There are those blacks left in increasingly empty ghettos. But there are black neighborhoods in west Baltimore which are essentially working class. I was recently driving in that section of town and it was a classic, 1960s style working class neighborhood. Modest houses, aluminum siding, neatly tended lawns. Fifty years ago, you would have expected it to be an Italian neighborhood. But it is actually a middle class black neighborhood. It is by no means a ghetto.

Other blacks have moved into the suburbs and in many cases are demographically not much different than their neighbors. We recently attended an NFL basketball game in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at a predominantly black high school. In terms of physical plant, it looked pretty much like other suburban high schools in NJ. Those attending were pretty much all black, but essentially looked and behaved pretty much like other suburban kids. (More importantly, the McCorty twins are great three points shooters.)

But there is no media story with these folks, just as there isn't any about white suburbia. What they're doing is not news, it's everyday life, and that's not covered in the press. So if you don't have direct experience with this community, you'd have only what the media gives you, which is the impression that all blacks live in fatherless ghettos. That's a significant part of it, but there is considerably more to the black community today.

If that's 1910, then I would assume it was struck down by Buchanan v. Warley (1917) (found Louisville's similar explicit racial zoning unconstitutional) but then continued under a different form attempting to seem facially neutral.


It is interestin to speculate what would have happened in american cities if European immigration had not ended in the 1920s.

Real estate is a cycle, and you need to find someone to buy out the ghetto. If you can't, then you're stuck with it.

You are not stuck with the ghetto. When you run out of poor people to habitate the place, the place gentrifies, especially if t is well located.

You can find a 'cause' for anything. Japan and Germany were completely destroyed after the war. The Irish had a massive famine. Russians were bought and sold with the land.

What people are really seeking here is an excuse.

And to blame a century-old policy for a complete and utter failure despite living in the wealthiest, freest country in space and time is a very poor excuse, particularly when destitute minorities from places like Vietnam, China and Africa can arrive in America and do really well.

Excuses are necessary because few on the American left are keen to treat blacks as being capable of accepting responsibility for their own behaviour. It seems rather racist to me, but then I'm a foreigner.

>It seems rather racist to me, but then I’m a foreigner.

You really need to pick up a US dictionary. Here, a "racist" is defined as a person that a Democrat wants to dismiss.

Example: If you care to point out that Baltimore has been wholly-run by the Democrat party for fifty years, and that if anything should be the shining egalitarian utopia always promised by Democrats, it should be Baltimore -- you are a racist.

But, dammit Other Jim, there's power and then there's power. The Dems running Baltimore just didn't ever have sufficient discretionary power to REALLY change things. For example, did they get to run a Great Leap Forward? No. I rest my case.

Laughed out loud.

Detroit's boom years ran from 1910 to 1940; by 1943 they had a huge race riot. Germany was booming in the 1920s and crashed along with the rest of the world after 1929; by the mid-1930s they were blaming a minority ethnic group for all their problems. Rwanda in the late 1980s suffered greatly from a collapse in coffee prices; by 1994 we saw the Rwandan genocide.

Conclusion: inter-ethnic violence is usually preceded by an economic downturn. But not all downturns lead to inter-ethnic violence. Why not?

The common belief that the US is the "wealthiest, freest (sic) country in space and time" distorts many American's ability to look objectively at social issues such as this. Sure the US is wealthy (though not the wealthiest country by GDP per capital) and it is a lot 'freeer' than much of the world on many measures (thought it hardly deserves the 'est' title) but, given its size, it is the internal disparities that matter. Areas of significant economic disadvantage in the US are also typically areas that suffer from continued restrictions on their freedom. A relevant and contemporary example would be the Justice Department's findings from their investigation into the policing practices in Ferguson MS that there was a systematic abuse of power unfairly taxing the african american population. It isn't just the century old policies but the continued discrimination that they're rightly pissed about.

Ferguson is following a typical trajectory. As blacks move into an area, past a certain tipping point the private sector whites leave, taking their tax dollars with them. Vestigial public sector whites hang on, clinging to bureaucratic seniority and vested pensions. They try to replace the lost tax revenue with traffic tickets. Eventually, the public sector whites retire or get voted out. Then you have a homogenous society where police no longer bother with stoned blacks walking in the middle of the street.

Internal disparities?

Good grief, what's a bus ticket cost to North Dakota or Texas?

A real disparity was faced by the Vietnamese boat people who arrived with no money and no English. Where are they today?

One of the reasons immigrants are so successful is that they are expected to be - they're expected to work. The insidious evil of the racism industry is that it tells blacks they cannot succeed. The expectation has vanished. The usual cultural incentives shredded.

My dentist was a boat person. That's upward mobility, asian style.

Ferguson of infamy is in Missouri not in Mississippi.

How is segregation the problem in Baltimore when the police who have been charged with murder were an integrated unit with 3 blacks and 3 whites?

The root of racial segregation is the preference of non-blacks not to live in areas that are mostly black, because more blacks commit violent crimes and are unruly at school.

TC & AT: For years, the content on your blog has been consistently amazing. For years, the comments section on your blog has been consistently weak (at best).

Suggestion: Pay 1 or 2 GMU undergrads a few thousand dollars to implement Reddit style up/down votes. They may even be able to use existing APIs.

I dont recall who said it first, but a sort of Internet postulate is that anyone tasked with moderating a site will eventually become a power hungry dick.

MOFO, community driven up and down arrows are not centralized moderation. The Anti-Gnostic, nor are they censorship.

When people can't discriminate on the basis of price, they do so on the basis of other things. When the first comment always stays at the top, when there's no penalty for non-contributing content, and when the most interesting comment discussion starts at the 50th initial comment, then there's much less reason to add a thoughtful contribution. Moreover, a simple like/dislike system allows for de minimus signaling, which is valuable when content doesn't rise to the level of a response other than +1 or -1. (See this thread as a good example.)

Are there downsides? Yes. On net better? Yes.

Can you show me the top 5 comment threads in the history of MR?

Then discriminate on the basis of your ability to read and ignore what you choose. Do not dictate the viewpoints of others, you marxist scumbag. Back to Vox (no comments), DeLong (no unapproved comments), or Reddit (non-liberal comments disappear) with you.

In an uncensored environment, dialectic eventually prevails against rhetoric. That's why idealists (or, perhaps, ideologues) must censor, stick their fingers in their ears, lobby for legal proscriptions, etc., because when the playing field is dialectic, they lose.

'In an uncensored environment, dialectic eventually prevails against rhetoric.'

Which just might explain why comments disappear here.

I disagree with the diagnosis, rendering the suggestion moot. But that's me.

Suggestion: Pay 1 or 2 GMU undergrads a few thousand dollars to implement Reddit style up/down votes.

Here's a suggestion: instead of trying to shout down, remove, or hide well-written and polite comments with which you disagree, why don't you try growing up and trying to tolerate the presence of viewpoints contrary to your own?

Or if someone pisses you off enough, wipe them from your universe while not stopping others from seeing them.

If you don't like the comment section, upvotes will just tell you that you really don't like the comment section.

Unfortunately, you might be right about that. I was called a "marxist scumbag" for suggesting that readers might want to signal life/dislike without having to comment --- I don't even know what means.

You are a Marxist scumbag

My experience is that comment voting leads to circle jerking comments. When it seems like most people reading a blog think this way or that way the people who disagree will spend less time there and you end up with r/politics.

This is a risk, and maybe commenters on MR would drive this result. But, is this outcome worst or better than no ranking? I don't know, but I doubt it.

On Reddit, I don't read any main subreddits like r/politics, and outside of those subs, the first 5 top voted comments tend to have the most thoughtful responses, or better, the most thoughtful sub-discussions beyond the top comments.

But just look at the comments in this one blog post. There's substance, but you have to wade through an awful lot of crap to find it.

People interested in the disparate rate of violence between whites and blacks in the US should check out Sethi and O'Flaherty's "Homicide in Black and White".
They discuss segregation, cultural theories, tail of the distribution theores, but their main point is how strategic complementarity in potentially violent interactions can create large differences in murder rates between groups.

Wow -- great paper. This immediately stood out:

"In rural areas, there is no racial disparity in murder. The homicide gap is also much larger than
the racial disparity in aggravated assault--in some ways the crime closest to murder--and there
is no racial disparity in aggravated assault among young men. We argue below that this pattern
is inconsistent with explanations that emphasize Southern heritage, a culture of violence, or group
differences in the distribution of individual characteristics. Explaining why the disparity is so great
is the goal of this paper"

No racial disparity in murder in rural areas and no racial disparity in aggravated assault? That's really interesting -- I didn't know (and wouldn't have guessed) either of those things.

If there was no racial disparity in murder in rural areas, you and I would have heard of it before.

Wouldn't rural blacks and urban blacks have radically different cultures?

Living in a small town substantially reduces the payoffs of going a gang and unemployment rates are typically lower, increasing the incentive to complete one's education and find meaningful employment.

Well, for a really quick first pass, the blackest county in the US is the entirely rural Jeffererson. Going from news reports and, it looks like that it averages a murder per year. With less than 8,000 people, that means it averages 12.5 murders per 100,000 (the standard way of putting murder rate). That is a bit under the US black murder rate (about 14 per 100,000), but way over the US white rate of 2.5 per 100,000. (I derived both figurers from Wiki and DOJ uniform crime reporting.

Of course, this is just one county...but some data is better than nothing. It is worth noting that the sentence where Sethi and O'Flaherty assert that 'the disparity disappears' in rural settings has no citation to back it up.

Serious question:

"strategic complementarity in potentially violent interactions"

What does that mean?

It basically means, in certain types of interactions, you're more likely to murder someone if you think they are more likely to murder you. So if blacks are perceived as more likely to murder, then they are more likely to be murdered, which makes them even more likely to murder, etc. It's like an exponential self-reinforcing effect.

Makes sense. Thanks.

Yeah, well, Baltimore was "Much less than average" on the Google n-word n-gram map yesterday so all should be well, right?

I am jealous of this comment

Today's school districts reinforce longstanding segregated residential patterns: by ruling that courts cannot enforce desegregation via busing across district lines absent evidence of de jure (i.e., intentional) segregation (highly unlikely), the Court legalized segregation. Hence, those born in poor school districts suffer a double hit: poverty all around them and lower quality schools. Recent studies have shown that poverty begets poverty, that poor people who move to more affluent neighborhoods experience a significant reduction in poverty. But if poor people attend lower quality schools, what's the likelihood of being able to make a move to a more affluent neighborhood. Not much. There's a fiction in America that the more localized the governmental unit, the better the government; the reality is that the more localized the governmental unit, the more corrupt it's likely to be.

IOW, the revealed preference is people will pay for majority white/Asian school districts, which is where I imagine the majority of academic economists with families live. Again, this is one of those areas where economists' wives tend to be more savvy and perceptive than their husbands.

You are more right than wrong though. The bad thing about being poor is you have to live around poor people.

Why are they "lower quality schools"? It does not seem to be spending since many lower quality schools get the same spending as better quality schools and often the lower quality ones get more money.

What makes these schools lower quality, the administration, teachers, facilities, students, parents, corruption, or fill in the blank ??????????????????

1. an ineffectual disciplinary regime.

2. slow pacing of lessons and a deficit of tracking to allow better students a more appropriate pace.

3. a deficit of certain curricular offerings (see #2).

Agree on 2 and 3. But on 1, disciplinary regimes are pretty constant across schools, rich and poor. It's just that poor schools need more discipline than rich schools, and aren't getting it.

It’s just that poor schools need more discipline than rich schools, and aren’t getting it.
No, poor schools need to be able to ship the incorribles out to facilities run by the county sheriffs. That's effective discipline in that context.

The quality of a school is roughly determined as follows: 80% the quality of the students (intelligence, discipline, morality), 20% everything else.

"Desegregation" via busing. Bad liberal ideas never die, and they f-ing never fade away!

Rayward, I hereby sentence you to the remainder of your life in a Detroit slum. This is appropriate for social justice and I wish you good luck.

If I wanted to know why organisms like associating with organisms who look like themselves, I'd ask a biologist not someone with an MA in journalism.

1)The white man is the oppressor.

2)We must make the white man live as closely as possible to those they oppress.

People claiming both 1 and 2 don't actually believe number 1.

Segregation doubled nationally from 1880 to 1940:
The National Rise in Residential Segregation
Trevon Logan, John Parman
NBER Working Paper No. 20934
Issued in February 2015
NBER Program(s): DAE
This paper introduces a new measure of residential segregation based on individual-level data. We exploit complete census manuscript files to derive a measure of segregation based upon the racial similarity of next-door neighbors. Our measure allows us to analyze segregation consistently and comprehensively for all areas in the United States and allows for a richer view of the variation in segregation across time and space. We show that the fineness of our measure reveals aspects of racial sorting that cannot be captured by traditional segregation indices. Our measure can distinguish between the effects of increasing racial homogeneity of a location and the tendency to segregate within a location given a particular racial composition. Analysis of neighbor-based segregation over time establishes several new facts about segregation. First, segregation doubled nationally from 1880 to 1940. Second, contrary to previous estimates, we find that urban areas in the South were the most segregated in the country and remained so over time. Third, the dramatic increase in segregation in the twentieth century was not driven by urbanization, black migratory patterns, or white flight to suburban areas, but rather resulted from a national increase in racial sorting at the household level. The likelihood that an African American household had a non-African American neighbor declined by more than 15 percentage points (more than a 25% decrease) through the mid-twentieth century. In all areas of the United States -- North and South, urban and rural -- racial segregation increased dramatically.

Anyone interested in the roots of current problems in Baltimore should read this book
If you're interesting in repairing Baltimore's problems, you can read treatments of Giuliani and Bratton's work with the NYPD, S.H. Hanke's treatments of the effect of property taxes on a locus like Baltimore, treatments of the Canadian experience with metropolitan government, and literature on school choice.
You can do it all while Dr. Cowen hobnobs with other faculty at GMU.

Who's writing (who's written) the book telling us how they did it in the County of Cook, Illinois, and how they did it in Chicago, yet another sadly segregated Democratic Party paradise?

The real roots of the current problem in Baltimore: low IQ, low impulse control and lack of morality.

'low impulse control and lack of morality'

Wait - some one wrote that about New Orleans - 'What you won’t hear, except from me, is that "Let the good times roll" is an especially risky message for African-Americans. The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society.'

But then, he isn't a racist - he is a leading light when it comes to human biodiversity, though.

We killed most of the Nazis in Germany, p_a. You are living among imposters. Let the good times carpet bomb Berlin.

Is that a refutation...or just name calling?

Segregation was a way of protecting poor whites from black dysfunction. Rich whites just pay sky high real estate prices to enact de facto segregation. Then they fight over the couple of talented tenther blacks that move into their white neighborhood so they can feel not racist for working overtime to pay the mortgage that gets them as far away from blacks as possible. Poor whites can't segregate economically, so eliminating segregation was mainly a way to punish poor whites and merging poor whites and poor blacks into an underclass lumpen stew of dysfunction.

"Segregation was a way of protecting poor whites from black dysfunction."

Yeah, poor whites were being protected from this man's 'dysfunction'.

Now go to that address in Google street view and look at the neighborhood now, abandoned buildings and the look of a slum

Looks like those poor whites were right to worry about what would happen to their neighborhood

But everyone tells me that racial segregation was a Southern thing...

Well, you do know that both Maryland and Delaware were slave states that were exempted from the Emancipation Declaration, and that Maryland's slave economy pretty much looked like Virginia's? In significant part because both sides of the Potomac (not to mention all the other rivers draining into the Chesapeake Bay) were well suited for tobacco cultivation.

('The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands; it did not apply to those in the four slave states that were not in rebellion (Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri, which were unnamed), nor to Tennessee (unnamed but occupied by Union troops since 1862) and lower Louisiana (also under occupation), and specifically excluded those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia.' )

And that Maryland is south of the Mason-Dixon line?–Dixon_line

Speaking as a Northern Virginian born at a time when my birth certificate determined the race of who I could legally marry, it is utterly unsurprising to think there is basically no difference between northern Virginia and southern Maryland when it comes to racism, except that one slave state remained in the Union, and the other didn't.

It matters not that they were 'exempted'. All slaves were manumitted without compensation 3 years after the proclamation was issued (see 13th Amendment, ratified in December 1865).

The point being that Maryland and Virginia share a similar background in terms of a slave based plantation system - and that Maryland's slaves were freed after Virginia's, not before (just like Delaware, but to be honest, Delaware has never felt as southern as Waldorf/La Plata/Brandywine etc., with their nearness to Fredericksburg, Va.)

And one should point out that another slave state exempted from the Emancipation Proclamation was Missouri - again, another state whose slave were freed after Virginia's.

It wasn't just the 'South' that included slave states, after all. As people from that region tend to know, even if it is a bit obscure in other parts of the U.S.

This is actually pretty hilarious considering that Marylanders often think of themselves as "Northerners" now, since they stayed in the Union, and they align themselves politically with the Democrats. Maryland is a Blue State, Virginia is Recently Purple, but more Red historically. There's also a scarcity of bridges over the Potomac which seems to be because Maryland doesn't want them. They don't want those Southern Rednecks driving into their state easily.

You fancy that Maryland residents are all descendants of antebellum populations, rather like people named van Rensselaer in the Hudson Valley?

The dense settlement in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland had a population of < 150,000 when my aunt graduated from the local high school there in 1943. It has a population of north of 1.6 million today. There's a reason people in the Washington-Philadelphia corridor do not think of themselves as 'Southerners'. They're not, they're commonly migrants from some place else, and they have dissimilar properties. And, no, people in the Maryland suburbs of Washington do not fancy people in Fairfax or Arlington counties are 'rednecks'/

'This is actually pretty hilarious considering that Marylanders often think of themselves as “Northerners”'

Well, as a Northern Virginia native, I consider it hilarious that Marylanders think there is much difference between plantations on one side of the Potomacs and plantations on the other.

'they align themselves politically with the Democrats'

As did all southern states, actually - see the southern strategy -

'Maryland is a Blue State, Virginia is Recently Purple, but more Red historically.'

See above - until 1969, Virginia was as yellow dog democrat as any other former member of the Confederacy. Since 1969, the number of D and R governors is equal.

'There’s also a scarcity of bridges over the Potomac which seems to be because Maryland doesn’t want them. They don’t want those Southern Rednecks driving into their state easily.'

Or they prefer all those midwestern tourist dollars to stay in Ocean City, and not end up further south. Which just might explain why this exists, having been built without asking Maryland's permission - 'The Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel (CBBT) is a 23-mile (37 km) fixed link crossing at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay in the U.S. state of Virginia. It connects the Delmarva Peninsula with Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

The bridge–tunnel originally combined 12 miles (19 km) of trestle, two 1-mile-long (1.6 km) tunnels, four artificial islands, four high-level bridges, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of causeway, and 5.5 miles (8.9 km) of approach roads—crossing the Chesapeake Bay and preserving traffic on the Thimble Shoals and Chesapeake shipping channels. It replaced vehicle ferry services which operated from South Hampton Roads and from the Virginia Peninsula from the 1930s until completion of the bridge–tunnel in 1964. The system remains one of only ten bridge–tunnel systems in the world, three of which are located in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Since it opened, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel has been crossed by more than 100 million vehicles.[2] The CBBT complex carries U.S. Route 13, the main north–south highway on Virginia's Eastern Shore, and, as part of the East Coast's longstanding Ocean Highway, provides the only direct link between the Eastern Shore and South Hampton Roads regions, as well as an alternate route to link the Northeast and points in between with Norfolk and the Carolinas. The bridge–tunnel saves motorists 95 miles (153 km) and 1½ hours on a trip between Virginia Beach/Norfolk and points north and east of the Delaware Valley without going through the traffic congestion in the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area. The $15 toll is partially offset by some savings of tolls in Maryland and Delaware on I-95.'–Tunnel

'The dense settlement in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland had a population of < 150,000 when my aunt graduated from the local high school there in 1943. It has a population of north of 1.6 million today. There's a reason people in the Washington-Philadelphia corridor do not think of themselves as 'Southerners'.'

But there is a reason why people born in Virginia do, even when looking at the huge explosion of population. And Maryland wanting to ignore its plantation history is as understandable as Colonial Williamsburg not bothering to show slaves until recently - it tends to take away the fairy tale effect.

For 50 years America has been discriminating against Whites to equalize group results without much success. Recently the definition of White privilege that needs to be remedied has been expanded to include the "new Whites," grandchildren of Japanese internment camp survivors, children of Mao's cultural revolution, Vietnamese boat people, and millions of other formerly impoverished Asians. I suspect when the majority of Whites fully comprehend that elites have no intention of ever embracing meritocratic principles and individual responsibility (i.e. the "content of their character"), there will be an unpleasant backlash. Perhaps it's time to try something different, like actually treating people as individuals.

Meanwhile, we should study our history, but not use it as an excuse or even explanation for 21st century violence and family dysfunction.

Actually, if 'prestige' universities can find poor 'Asians', they will discriminate for them as against similarly situated whites. Espenshade found that a poor 'Asian' was seven times more likely to gain admittance to the Ivy he studied than a similarly situated poor white.

Tyler sure knows how to put a mirror up to his commentators. Sad.

You're neither willing nor able to argue a discrete point with anyone. Stupid.

Looks like the pot is calling the kettle Black!

BLACK?! It looks like Andre was right all along! I'm leading an exodus to the Huffington Post comment sections. Follow me, liberals! Many upvotes await!

I don't see anything offensive in this thread, but I don't have the exquisitely-tuned sense of outrage you have.

As a white man, it makes me proud to know that the fate of entire races is solely determined by the actions of white men 100 years ago. We white men are truly gods among beasts.

The comments in this thread are awesome! They are far more insightful than the original post. I'm pleasantly surprised that these decidedly non-mainstream ideas have real traction.

You genidiots should read the other link about neurobullshit. If you really believed in "human biodiversity" you wouldn't misapply population level statistics to individuals.

No one's misapplying population level statistics to individuals. If I can speak for everyone for a moment, everyone treats individuals in their daily lives with respect and dignity until proven deserving otherwise.

Although population level statistics would be a good reason to not live in Baltimore.

No one’s misapplying population level statistics to individuals.
I see you're not familiar with the Unz Review comment boards.

I actually spend more time than I'd care to admit jabbing that crew. They generally do not take it well.

The logic in these "segregation caused the decline" arguments is quite incredible.

1) In 1910 Baltimore was a great city, and highly segregated.
2) The segregation was ended in the 1960's, residential covenants were made illegal
3) Baltimore then falls apart
4) The fleeing white residents move to the suburbs, and use real estate prices, zoning laws, and mortgage requirements to enact de facto segregation.

The obvious conclusion is that it was the lack of segregation that enabled Baltimore to be safe and thriving, and when it was the end of segregation that made Baltimore fall. It was the segregation of the suburbs in the 70's and 80's that made them safe and thriving. How this gets twisted around to blame segregation for the fall of the city is a case study in twisted logic.

I also love the mendacity of the term "white flight", as if whites had gone mad and were fleeing the illusions of a paranoid mind. Whites were fleeing black crime.

You can read exactly what happened in a book such Carnasie by Jonathan Rieder. Rieder was a liberal and spent several years in Brooklyn during the 70's doing an ethnography, trying to figure out why the whites there were so racist. Turns out they were racist because they had experienced a massive, massive increase in crime. Housing projects were built in their neighborhood, blacks were moving in their neighborhood, and the result was muggings and sexual assaults. Not only that, the police weren't doing anything about, a guy got mugged at knife point and the perps were caught, but merely got probation.

Black underclass areas have been devoid of the rule of law for a century and a half. When the police enter these communities, they are capricious and brutal. The lack of a legitimate, consistent, firm, fair, discipline and authority has made these areas very high crime, and when whites can cannot contain this crime, they flee to far away areas.

Mr. Kersey, get your timeline right. Restrictive covenants have not been enforced since 1948, not 1965. You might also get your frame of reference correct. The frame of reference is the whole metropolitan settlement (which sprawls over four counties and has two million people in it), not the core municipality.

I'm intrigued by John Thacker's statement that violence rates are higher "especially in the south". Do you have some empiric data to support that? The only data I can find run counter to that statement.

Maybe there is also a law that is at the base of segregation in Manhattan, the liberal city ?

Not sure what is so bad about segregation.

"Such laws were declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1917’s Buchanan v. Warley as a violation of people’s property rights; you had a right to sell or rent to whoever you please, whatever their race."

Indeed -- even segregationist lawyers thought the Baltimore law unconstitutional, as it interfered with the right to contract. And of course the right to contract means the right to **not** contract too, i.e. not be forced to sell to blacks, red heads, left handers, homosexuals, or allegedly libertarian economic professors.

Restrictive covenants are a little trickier, but well rooted in Anglo-American law -- you can still restrict the *use* of the land you sell, in perpetuity (though in practice courts will ride roughshod over this). And of course, if a buyer didn't want to have the restrictive covenant in the contract he or she could insist on its being taken out.

We need to get back to true freedom -- which means at least letting people sell to whom they want.

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