Urban Ghettos and the influx of latinos

My debate will be " Is the influx of Latinos into large American cities helping or hurting the challenge of urban renewal?"

Based purely on personnal observation over a 60 year period my feelings are that the Latino population is softening the ghetto and surrounding areas making it more attractive to some middle class whites who seem to be gradually moving back in and the neighborhoods are becomming much more diversified. So I see it as a positive.

Is there any actual data to support your opinion?

No I could not find anything on it to speak of.

What makes you say that?

Particularly since “Latino” is a pretty broad term which encompasses many diverse groups such as Mexicans, Dominicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans.

  In the Los Angeles area it is primarily Mexican and Central American. Many of them have done pretty well and instead of moving have improved their properties and stayed. Whites are less hesitant to move into these areas now than they were when they were primarily black areas. The affect is more noticeable in fringe areas. 

 On the other side of the coin we also have areas of hispanics that have expanded as fringe area whites moved out in the typical white flight fashion. But overall I feel like a slow transformation might be in the works with a better blending of cultures.

“Latinos” is again too broad a term as it covers a range from the the majority of American Latinos ( Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants) as well as the minority of them (Latinos from South America). Each exists in a different socioeconomic strata and most have little in common beyond their ability to speak Spanish (and even that’s not a given among Mexican-Americans)

In the Los Angeles area, areas of South Central which were formerly exclusively Black after WWII and when housing discrimination laws were lifted and began White flight (Compton,Watts, Inglewood,etc) are no majority Latino. They are still run by Black politicians and officials for the moment, but eventually they’ll become Latino enclaves as African Americans home owners die off and their children move away.

Those place have seen some renewal. But the majority of those areas are still lower income/high crime areas despite the changing demographics. Whether this will change remains to be seen.

I currently live near a city in Northern Indiana where the Latino population has almost tripled in the decade since I moved here. The Latino families in the area are purchasing homes in what was previously the “Black” area of town because property values here are so low that a home can be purchased for as little as $10k. While there has been minor conflict, the two groups largely interact well with one another.

However, as in Southern California, Blacks retain political power in that area as the Latinos have yet to organize themselves and their total population hasn’t yet exceeded that of the African Americans here. When this occurs, the tensions may increase as well as the crime.

In Chicago, Latinos remain mainly in the center of the city and in several northern areas including Humboldt Park. The city is pretty Balkanized and few people of any race live outside the “traditional” areas where each racial group has carved out for themselves. Latinos have yet to make too many inroads into the South and West dies which are the “traditional” Black areas of the city.

They have, however, transformed both Berwyn and Cicero, close in collar suburbs, from “White ghettoes” into almost exclusively Latino areas. The areas have so far remained pretty much the same, although anecdotally the crime level may have gone up slightly.

I think its a phenomenon that is better correlated with immigration rather than race. For example, the Mexican barrios of LA are have been barrios for a long time and don’t show any signs of gentrification or renewal. Immigrants move into the margins of crappy neighborhoods because they are cheap and create a DMZ that can sometimes become working class neighborhoods and that can sometimes lead to gentrification. A lot of immigrants these days are latinos.

We will be just fine when people that come to America for the American dream want to be Americans no matter where they came from.

It worked for a lot of people before PC stuff got in the way. The people that want to be defined as Hyphen-Americans are not helping. The pols that play on them aren’t either.

A bunch of white people moving in doesn’t help the problem, just displaces it. While more racially and economically mixed neighborhoods are a good thing, the major issues in education and job creation need to be solved.

It was easier for Italian Americans and Irish Americans to just melt in with the English, German and Scottish stock that was already here. Its a bit different for people who look different.

Some groups were able to “work towards whiteness,” to paraphrase a famous sociological treatment of the matter. Before then, they needed to band together, as hyphenated Americans, to strengthen themselves against the prejudices of the more privileged.

“Before PC stuff got in the way,” you mean when it was fine to openly refer to dagoes, polacks, kikes, slopes, chinks, japs, niggers, spics, and so on, and more importantly, treat them accordingly? Check your privilege. Also, consider the different circumstances that push people into the migrant stream, the US role in it, and how this will affect their attitudes and actions.

Consider also that complaints about “political correctness” nearly always arise from privileged sectors, often blind to their own privilege, at the moment that the slightest challenges to their status arise.

PC comes into play when it makes it difficult to awknowledge or address problems unique to various groups. Sticking our head in the sand doesn’t help anyone.

And so, the Tumblrization of the Straight Dope Message Board begins.


Latinos are great for property values.

If they’re gay.

The OP is based on a false premise: that it was something other than white supremacist, anti-black policy by federal and local governments, corporations,schools, banks, insurance companies, and individual whites, that created black ghettos. Start with imaginary arguments, end up with imaginary conclusions.

[FHA adopted a racial policy that could well have been culled from the Nuremberg laws. From its inception FHA set itself up as the protector of the all-white neighborhood. It sent its agents into the field to keep Negroes and other minorities from buying homes in white neighborhoods. It exerted pressure against builders who dared to build for minorities, and against lenders willing to lend mortgages . . . It not only insisted on social and racial ‘homogeneity’ in all of its projects as the price of insurance but became the vanguard of white supremacy and racial purity—in the North as well as the South

Did he ever mention when and how black ghettos were formed?

Of course, political correctness is forced on the privileged via the complaints of the non-privileged. Who else beside the privileged sectors would complain about it…??