October 23, 2009

Another "progressive" view bites the dust

Cities held up as "paragons of progessivity" are almost entirely ... white.

Among the media, academia and within planning circles, there’s a generally standing answer to the question of what cities are the best, the most progressive and best role models for small and mid-sized cities. The standard list includes Portland, Seattle, Austin, Minneapolis, and Denver. In particular, Portland is held up as a paradigm, with its urban growth boundary, extensive transit system, excellent cycling culture, and a pro-density policy. These cities are frequently contrasted with those of the Rust Belt and South, which are found wanting, often even by locals, as “cool” urban places.

But look closely at these exemplars and a curious fact emerges. If you take away the dominant Tier One cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles you will find that the “progressive” cities aren’t red or blue, but another color entirely: white.

In fact, not one of these “progressive” cities even reaches the national average for African American percentage population in its core county. Perhaps not progressiveness but whiteness is the defining characteristic of the group.

To use the terminology of the first sentence in the above block quote, don't the media and academia constantly and consistently deem one of the facets of "progressivity" as "being diverse?" And don't these same entities constantly and consistently define "diverse" as "including African-Americans [and Hispanics]?" (In academia, especially, Asians do not qualify as "minority" due mainly to their superior academic performance.)

Of course they do. Which is why I titled this post what I did. Based on the conventional wisdom definition of "progressive," now cities like Portland and Seattle can't claim that label. Or, at least in [large] part they can't.

Posted by Hube at October 23, 2009 06:03 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders are from Vermont. 97% white, highest in the country.

Posted by: Paul Smith Jr at October 23, 2009 11:20 PM

I guess it is easy to have "progress" if you don't have all those inferior dark skinned people around, but treating substantial numbers of such folks as one's social and political equals is more than lefties can stomach.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at October 24, 2009 11:25 AM

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