Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Web Tools Whites Can Use To Avoid Accidentally Moving Into A Black Majority Or Latino Majority Neighborhood In The United States

You're the head of a White family. You're moving to a new city, and you've just found a home you think you can afford. What's the next question you want to ask the estate agent? Yeah, you know what question I'm talking about. The question, "How many of THEM live in this neighborhood".

And you and I both know what we really mean by "them", don't we?

If you're White, you definitely do NOT want to move into a Black majority neighborhood - not if you want to keep what you have, and not if you don't want your wife and daughters to be treated like ho's. A Latino majority neighborhood - that's a small step up. At least they work for a living, and most of them work hard. The problem is they also party hard, and sanitation is not exactly Job One with them.

So the first step is to do some homework in advance. There are several websites that can help prevent you from accidentally buying a house in a Black or Latino-majority neighborhood. I'll present them in the order you should consult them:

(1). Earth Resource Systems: One of their products is an ethnic map of every sizable city in the United States. At a glance, you can get a rough idea of where the bad neighborhoods are. Sample ethnic map for Detroit HERE. Caution: The information is based on the 2000 census, and Black and Latino areas are likely to have spread out horizontally since then, so to correct for that problem and narrow down the area of interest more precisely, consult the next reference.

(2). Zipskinny: This provides non-graphical demographic information by zip code, based on more current census estimates. You can pick a state of interest from the bottom of the main page, then pick the city of interest, but it works better if you directly input the zip code of interest on the main page. For example, if you input zipcodes 45210 and 45214, which represent Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood (identified HERE as the nation's most dangerous neighborhood), you will find out that both zip codes are Black majority, severely low-income, significantly undereducated, and mostly unmarried (many welfare moms). A perfect demographic storm.

(3). Neighborhood Scout: This provides graphical map representations of different zip codes based on more current census estimates, and when you mouse over the maps and click on different neighborhoods, you will get average house prices, crime statistics, and school ratings for those neighborhoods. Sample output for zipcode 45210 HERE. Used in tandem with Zipskinny, you can find out if a minority neighborhood is also a high-crime neighborhood.

Great. You've found an affordable house in a White neighborhood. One problem, though. That's no guarantee your kids won't fall within the boundaries of a predominantly non-White school, thanks to gerrymandering and even busing. One more reference is available to disclose the demographics of schools.

(4). Schoolbug: Provides demographic information on every public school in the United States. From the main page, select the state of interest, the city of interest, and then the school of interest. Or alternately, once you've selected the state, you can then select the county of interest using the option on the right side of the screen. Provides student population of each school by race. Sample output for Robert Taft High School in Cincinnati HERE; 703 Blacks, only 103 Whites.

These four references, either singly or in combination, should take much of the guesswork out of any move. They will permit you to ask more precise questions of estate agents without actually asking them if the neighborhood has too many Blacks, Latinos, etc. Estate agents are skittish about answering such questions directly because they can get burned with a civil rights grievance by undercover "narcs" who will pose as buyers to "test" the agents for civil rights compliance.


Hooch said...

Very useful information. I wish people who want to rent property from me would look at this first.

I too have to watch my ass when talking to someone who is clearly white on the phone who wants to move into one of my multi-family houses based on a craigslist ad. My houses are all nice and the immediate assumption is they are in a white area based on the picture.

I'm torn between two things. One that I don't want some loser fucking me over because I try to tell the person that they should be looking in a different part of Roanoke and the other that I don't want to waste my time, go out to the house and show it to them when I already know that they would not live there.

Anchorage Activist said...

Hooch - I've been thinking about this issue further, and I've figured out terminology you can use without incurring legal exposure.

Ask the prospective tenant if they're looking for a diverse neighborhood or a homogenous neighborhood. The term "homogenous", of course, means primarily of one race. Then when the prospective tenant responds by asking "which race", then you can tell him, because you're responding to a legitimate question.