A Jersey City Reader Reminds Us Of How Much Was Lost In White Flight
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Re: Anthony Boehm's article The Great Replacement: Newark NJ vs. Minneapolis MN

From: Chris In Jersey City [Email him]

Thanks to Anthony Boehm for his  article on Newark. I am a resident of Jersey City and I witnessed my town go through a similar transformation, for my parents' generation to mine from the 1950s to the 1980s. Black violence. Dysfunction. Antisocial behavior and hostility. It drove hundreds of thousands of white people out. 

Philip Roth’s novel and the HBO series The Plot Against America focused on a fictional version where a right-wing government rounds up Jews across the nation, including from Newark. This was a form of gaslighting, as it was FDR and the Democrats who rounded up Japanese and German Americans. Moreover, Jews were not driven out of Newark by “right wing violence.“ They were driven out by black violence from the 1940s to 1970s. As were millions of other whites from Newark, Camden, Jersey City, Trenton, Paterson, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oakland, Los Angeles, and hundreds of other cities. 

Many Jewish friends of mine who have parents and grandparents that grew up in Newark will not fully admit as to why they are no longer living there. Same with those from many other cities. It saddens me. It saddens me that we built hundreds of beautiful cities only to abandon them without even a fight. Weequahic was a beautiful area of Newark that graduated more PhD’s than any other high school in America in the 1940s and 50s. And now it’s apocalyptic. 

This can’t go on. We can’t keep building beautiful areas only to abandon them. Wakanda ain’t real. But Newark in the 1930s and 1940s was our “Wakanda.” Now, we can’t even walk through most of the city, much less use the public schools or facilities. What is the way out of this? We can’t keep running.  


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