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View Poll Results: Is Metro Philadelphia - N.J. a Racist Region?
Yes I think so! 44 24.86%
Moderately Racist. 52 29.38%
Maybe a little bit. 44 24.86%
Not at all! 43 24.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 177. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-11-2010, 11:49 PM
 
521 posts, read 1,171,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinajack View Post
i have lived in NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, FL, MS and OR--Dallas and Pensacola FL were far less racist than any experience ive had here. i cant speak for a guys experience from teh Congo, only from my African American experience here. Dallas and surrounding suburbs, San Antonio, teh RGV were great places and in 4 years there never experienced a racist act. In MS 3 years maybe 2 acts, FL NONE, SC none, RI none, NY 3, PA heck i cant count them on my fingers, more than a dozen-all in the city or direct suburbs.
Dallas where? South of Trinity River, even now, is pretty much all poor and black and latino. West Dallas is mostly poor/working class latino/black. North of downtown, Dallas is rich and the really rich areas are pretty much white...University Park, Highland Park. Lakewood in east Dallas is supposed to be the old liberal/progressive area but there too, you don't see a lot of mixing of races. In fact, at office most Friday lunch groups are divided on racial grounds, pretty much. A few people make an extra effort to seek out cross-racial connection, and that is in an office environment that's supposed to be pretty liberal/progressive.

The other issue with Dallas living-- what church you attend makes a world of difference in your socializing. And for folks who don't care for any church, well, tough luck.

I think there's a truism about black/white racial issues in America that still might hold true as far as present-day issues go: In the South, they (whites) don't care if you live next to them, so long as you don't make as much as they do; in the North, they don't care how much you make, so long as you don't live next to them.

That translates to the southern whites wanting to feel that they're still rich and have it put together and don't mind blacks amongst them so long as they know who's got the goods; in the north, the historical liberal stance means that they don't mind if blacks get good jobs or get rich...so long as the social space is separate a la the "Boston Brahmin" attitude.

This also translates, according to many, into the feeling that racism is overt in the South while it is hidden but just as pervasive in the North.

Of course, all the above gets even more jumbled up due to Philadlephia's blue-collar nature, neighborhood insularity, uneducated and poor populace. Not to mention the built environment (urban density, rowhomes, etc.) is such that the poor and bad neighborhoods aren't that far from the "safe" ones...so when people hear about crime in the city, they likely heard the bullets whiz by a few blocks away. Unlike in Dallas and other car-dependent cities where the drug war and 'hood rats go about their business at quite a physical distance, usually.

If I'm wrong on any of this, do correct me.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:05 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,549 times
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I moved to NJ from FL 3 years ago and I can count on my hand the number of mixed couples I have seen here. I am white and my hubby is black and we have 4 mixed children. I can't believe just how divided people are here. I live in Camden, NJ and often visit Philly. Like FL, Philly is more a melting pot and for the most part aren't racist. However, over the bridge here in Jersey, everybody tends to live and have friends within their own race. This place is more racist than down south FL.. It makes me want to move back! People are segregated here and it's like I have stepped back in time. Crazy cause I thought it was going to be the complete opposite before I moved here. BUT many people tell me that it's just south jersey that's like this and that north jersey is different. Hell yeah, people are racist here in NJ and it doesn't seem like people really agree with mixed couples!
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmee View Post
I moved to NJ from FL 3 years ago and I can count on my hand the number of mixed couples I have seen here. I am white and my hubby is black and we have 4 mixed children. I can't believe just how divided people are here. I live in Camden, NJ and often visit Philly. Like FL, Philly is more a melting pot and for the most part aren't racist. However, over the bridge here in Jersey, everybody tends to live and have friends within their own race. This place is more racist than down south FL.. It makes me want to move back! People are segregated here and it's like I have stepped back in time. Crazy cause I thought it was going to be the complete opposite before I moved here. BUT many people tell me that it's just south jersey that's like this and that north jersey is different. Hell yeah, people are racist here in NJ and it doesn't seem like people really agree with mixed couples!
Philly has had its issues over the years but it's been improving, as evidenced by the fact a black mayor gets most of his support from whites (unheard of in this town before). part of what has helped is that over the years, many of the racists have moved over the bridge to NJ. Is there racism in Philly? absolutely, but less so than many places and increasinly less so. I'm white, my wife's hispanic, and we've had very few problems. We don't go to the northeast much but there's little reason to. her sisters used to live in south philly in the late 80's/early 90's and were definitely discriminated against. we have hispanic friends living in south philly now and have no issues. I'd credit the hispanic and asian populations for starting to thaw black/white relations. that said, her sisters experienced more racism in northeast philly than in the suburbs BUT, she also has family in the northeast and parts of it are becoming more tolerant. what happened to south philly (racists moved out) is starting to happen to northeast philly. they tend to move to bucks and jersey as far as I can tell.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Cumberland, MD
42 posts, read 89,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
Philly has had its issues over the years but it's been improving, as evidenced by the fact a black mayor gets most of his support from whites (unheard of in this town before). part of what has helped is that over the years, many of the racists have moved over the bridge to NJ. Is there racism in Philly? absolutely, but less so than many places and increasinly less so. I'm white, my wife's hispanic, and we've had very few problems. We don't go to the northeast much but there's little reason to. her sisters used to live in south philly in the late 80's/early 90's and were definitely discriminated against. we have hispanic friends living in south philly now and have no issues. I'd credit the hispanic and asian populations for starting to thaw black/white relations. that said, her sisters experienced more racism in northeast philly than in the suburbs BUT, she also has family in the northeast and parts of it are becoming more tolerant. what happened to south philly (racists moved out) is starting to happen to northeast philly. they tend to move to bucks and jersey as far as I can tell.
Pman...when you say Northeast Philly do you mean the Fishtown area? Or are you talking further North? I ask because I am bi-racial and my husband is caucasian.....we are about to move to Fishtown. I have been reading this post and wondering if we will have problems?
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:03 PM
 
2,943 posts, read 3,906,970 times
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As a biracial individual, I don't feel Philly as a whole is out-and-out "racist" ala Mississippi Burning, but it is definetly highly intolerant and bigoted. Bucks Co tends to be the land of white soccer moms who would have a coronary at the thought of being caught in "Scary, Black Philly", the snobbery and coded racism is thick here. Mont Co and Del Co seem far, far, far, more tolerant areas. NJ definetly seems somewhat on edge w/ regards to race, but Camden plays a large part of that as well.

Philly itself definetly has it's archie bunker set. They generally won't bother you in person, just come on to message boards and Op-Eds and talk about how "They" are ruining the city.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potter82 View Post
Pman...when you say Northeast Philly do you mean the Fishtown area? Or are you talking further North? I ask because I am bi-racial and my husband is caucasian.....we are about to move to Fishtown. I have been reading this post and wondering if we will have problems?
further north. as noted, I think it's decreasing via self selection to bucks and nj. fishtown is known as a river ward, not part of northeast philly. historically it had racial problems but it's changed a lot over the years so I wouldn't rule it out. we liked the area west of Fishtown which is still heavily puerto rican. the main downside is there's a seedy stretch that makes walking between the two unpalatable. Honestly, we've had very few problems here. the most open racism I've seen is black on white in poor black neighborhoods. I'd guess the same may occur in the opposite kind of neighborhoods. mixed couples are quite common in center city though they obviously don't all live there.

to the other poster-her sisters live in montco. chester county isn't diverse but I never encountered a ton of racism. racism was the worst in areas where there was a clear divide. like norristown. crime ridden norristown and it's white suburbs. white camden county and crime ridden minority camden. whatever the causes, that set up tends to perpetuate racism.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,996 posts, read 37,252,823 times
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Just read everything.

I'm white...lived in NYC (among quite a few other places over the years - MI, OR, NY, MN, CA, Brazil, Korea, Japan).

I felt like NYC was great as there are so many people from all over the world there. The whites I met there were either yuppie or hipster...and I wasn't really in either crowd. I felt in NYC that black/white relations were very thawed due to the extraordinary amount of non-black, non-white all over the place. Everyone I knew well was a 'something else' - i.e. Korean, Jamaician, Ecuadorian, etc.)

Originally I'm from MI (i.e. cities like Detroit, Saginaw, Flint, etc.) where racial relations are very divided - and mostly just black and white only. I've always imagined Philadelphia would be quite similar to MI cities. Which is something I personally feel is unhealthy for BOTH races living there.

Most of the posters here talk about the black perspective of not being completely receptive from whites, etc. I read all the responses, and curious what the perspective would be for a white living in Philadelphia who is NOT yuppie or hipster. Basically a white guy with a very modest income and supporting a family.

NYC worked great for me as there were so many people from around the world - I'd go back, but completely unafforable as well once you start a family. Many US cities have that black/white divide and not much imbetween. Sounds like Philadelphia is getting more international immigration, etc. - although doesn't sound like they are dealing with it well - i.e. the asian student 'problem' in the news as of recent - (my wife is asian, kid is mixed).

Anyways, I'm trying to feel out Philadelphia from this thread...I still traditionally think of Philadelphia as more like Michigan with unhealthy racial relations - i.e. not really good for either whites or blacks, and somewhere I'd rather not deal with the tensions and vibes from that, since I could really live anywhere, right?

When I read of many blacks bringing up very bad racial relations there, it basically means the area isn't healthy for whites (who aren't wealthy) either. Is that a fair assessment? Just not really that good for anyone than?
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:27 PM
 
5,713 posts, read 2,214,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solibs View Post
Wow.

What's the point in using coded language if everyone knows what you mean anyway?

I lived in the South Bronx in the late 70s, in Brooklyn in the 80's and I've been in Center City/South Philly since the beginning of this decade.

Not only have I never been victimized but I also don't cross the street when I see a black guy walking towards me.

Having read what you have to say on the subject I'd say, in fact, that it's your profound lack of street smarts that got you into trouble in the first place.

When I see someone on the street or on the train looking frigid and/or hurried, staring straight ahead, ignoring everyone around them, avoiding eye contact and conversation . . . I don't get the impression that the person is street smart, I get the impression that they're scared . . . and that makes you easy prey.
Ha.

You have no idea.

And BTW, your New York cred means nothing to those of us who have been listening to New Yorkers boast about where they are from for their entire lives, only to have very little to back it up, in terms of street smarts and toughness, about 90% of the time.

Living in center city/south philly does not make you street smart. Tell me about your ability not to get victimized in North Philly (where I was robbed twice) or in deep Southwest Philly, over a period of time, and maybe I'll give you some street cred. Your so called street smarts, without taking the precautions that I mentioned in my previous post, would mean nothing there.

You boasting about what you would and wouldn't do, in certain situations, is completely meaningless without context. What time of day/night? What neighborhood? Whats your gut feeling? Do you see any possible accomplices on the street that are waiting to set a trap for you? Continuing with your method in some of those situations, would indeed, cause you to be a victim. If you've never encountered them, then you live a sheltered life in philly relative to those of us who are forced to travel in worse neighborhoods at times.

My girlfriend has family in those bad neighborhoods, and not only do I travel there, but I socilaize there. So don't tell me about being nervous and not talking to anyone. I've traveled and frequented some of the worst areas of Philly, which are the worst in the country, my entire life.

I'm completely unimpressed with your center city/south philly savvy.

But in the context of that location, do you think that kid who got killed in the Italian market last year, for his ipod, was victimized because he lacked your level of "street smarts"? Maybe he could have just "not looked like a victim" and the guy with the pistol, intent on the kids valuables(in a 'decent' south philly neighborhood, btw) would have left him alone? I doubt it. When you meet a true killer, or competent robbers working in collusion, your confident demeanor will do little to disuade him/them. Only evasion will.

Knowing when to employ what type of survival skill is what being street smart is all about. Your professed cool confidence is mastered by any 10 year old Philadelphian who has grown up in the city, including myself. If you think thats all you need, then you just aren't experienced with the level of unexpected danger that I'm referring to, and your Street smarts are missing a huge component. Statistically, you can live a long time in center city without encountering danger. Statistically, you cannot travel in North Philly for any period of time WITHOUT encountering it.

Don't worry though, its completely common for center city residents to think that they successfully brave, and can handle, the worst of the urban jungle.

But to the rest of us, you just sound sheltered.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
6,967 posts, read 18,558,445 times
Reputation: 2669
we just had gunshots on christian street today

good enough for you tough guy??
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:06 AM
 
Location: NJ & NV
5,514 posts, read 13,741,595 times
Reputation: 2186
The honest truth is everyone everywhere of all backgrounds is racist. We all play this politically correct game of pretending we're not. I once had a quite wise Chinese VP boss who used to kid: "We're not racist, we discriminate equally".
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