Opinion | We Need a Second Great Migration – The New York Times

To be sure, all of that is here. But racism is more evenly distributed across the country than we are willing to admit.

It is true that in surveys, people in the North express support for fewer racially biased ideas than those in the South, but such surveys reveal only which biases people confess to, not the ones they subconsciously possess. So I asked the researchers at Project Implicit to run an analysis of their massive data set to see if there were regional differences in pro-white or anti-Black prejudice. The result, which one of the researchers described as “slightly surprising,” was that there was almost no difference in the level of bias between white people in the South and those in the Northeast or Midwest. (The bias of white people in the West was slightly lower.)

White people outside the South are more likely to say the right words, but many possess the same bigotry. Racism is everywhere. And if that’s the case, wouldn’t you rather have some real political power to address that racism? And a yard!

For decades Northern liberals have maintained the illusion of their moral superiority to justify their lack of progress in terms of racial equality. The North’s arrogant insistence that it had no race problem, or at least a minimal one, allowed a racialized police militarism to take root. It allowed housing and education segregation to flourish in supposedly “diverse” cities. It allowed for the rise of Black ghettos and concentrated poverty as well as white flight and urban disinvestment.

The supposed egalitarianism of Northern cities is a flimsy disguise for a white supremacy that diverges from its Southern counterpart only in style, not substance.

And, while the North has been stuck in its self-righteous stasis, the savagery of the South has in some ways softened, or morphed. I am careful not to position this progress as fully redemptive or restorative. White supremacy clearly still exists here, corrupting everything from criminal justice to electoral access. The “New South” — with its thriving Black middle class and increasing political power — is still more aspiration than reality.

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