Interracial Neighborhoods

I was engaged in a discussion this past weekend about non-white families moving into predominantly white neighborhoods.  A married couple I know, who live in a predominantly white town, recently decided to rent their house out to a family so they could travel abroad. It just so happens that the family interested in the house is a black family.  Who cares!? It’s just another family wanting a house!

When the couple was telling me about their prospective family, the wife said “and they’re African American!” with a big smile and a thumbs up, as if I was supposed to be impressed by their choice. She said, “So we’re helping with diversity!”  But I was thinking to myself, “really? Does that really matter? It’s a family, they want a house, just like you did when you bought the place!”

What really bothered me, though, was the remarks from the husband: “They’re a really great family actually! The husband is a lawyer; he doesn’t look like he’s ever even been near inner-city Cleveland.” Really!?

Why is it that upper-middle-class white folks assume any upper-middle-class black folks must have worked their way out of inner-city Cleveland? It was astounding to me.

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