Michigan Central Station, Detroit

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I have to take issue with the notion that white flight was motivated predominantly by wealthy white racists fleeing an increasingly non-white population. There are plenty of highly diverse cities and suburbs in the US that are very successful economically with little sign of white flight, and there are even plenty of areas where gentrification is taking place. If white flight were really driven by racism, it’s hard to understand how those places could be thriving.

I don’t know the exact situation in Detroit, but I do know that jobs left that town by the 100s of thousands over the last 40 years, and the better educated and wealthier white population was probably more able to move on when the jobs left. Now, the fact that whites were in a better position to do that is clearly the legacy of historical discrimination against non-whites, but to say that the whites that left did it because they were racists just seems incorrect to me.

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