When Is White Flight Not White Flight?
August 05, 2017, 08:07 AM
Print Friendly and PDF

Here’s something I didn’t include in my Taki’s Magazine review of Kathryn Bigelow’s new movie Detroit about the 1967 riot in Detroit: my discovery of an alternative term for when you don’t want to use the term “white flight.”

As we all know, all bad behavior by urban blacks is caused either by white flight or by gentrification. Or, if neither is currently happening, then segregation and apathy are at fault.

For example, the opening prologue to Detroit blames the 1967 riot on the economic devastation caused by the white flight of 22,000 whites who had the good sense to move out of Detroit in 1966. (No mention is made of the 80,000 whites who fled in 1968.)

Interestingly, however, the pejorative “white flight” becomes the neutral academic jargon “ethnic succession” in the case of the precise neighborhood where Detroit’s “12th Street Riot” broke out. Wikipedia explains:

The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot …

As Ze’ev Chafets wrote in Devil’s Night and Other True Tales of Detroit (1990s), in the 1950s the area around 12th Street rapidly changed from a community of ethnic Jews to a predominantly black community, an example of ethnic succession. Jewish residents had moved to the suburbs for newer housing but they often retained business or property interests in their old community. Thus, many of the blacks who moved to the 12th Street area rented from absentee landlords and shopped in businesses run by suburbanites. Crime rates rose in the 12th Street area.

[Comment at Unz.com]