Is Being White a Topic in Your Neighborhood?

A Philadelphia Magazine report on race has stirred controversy.

The cover story of March's Philadelphia Magazine, Being White in Philly, has sparked debate about race relations and discussions throughout the Philadelphia area.

The piece cites comments from anonymous white residents of Philadelphia's Fairmount neighborhood in analyzing local discussions of race.

Journalists criticizing the piece include a Philadelphia Magazine reporter; the magazine's editor wrote a column defending the decision to publish it.

Most neighborhoods in Patches throughout the greater Philadelphia area see ethnicity represented in different proportions than in the city itself. The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey of 2007 to 2011 estimates that 45 percent of Philadelphia residents identify themselves as black, compared to 43 percent as white, 12 percent as Hispanic and 7 percent as Asian.

Read on for ethnicity statistics for all area Patch neighborhoods, then tell us in the comments section below: What's the discussion like in your neighborhood?

Note: Some ZIP codes include more than one county.

Place White % Black % Asian % Hispanic % CHESTER COUNTY 89 7 4 6 Wayne, St. David's (19087) 90 3 7 2 Paoli (19301) 88 4 9 2 Devon (19333) 84 5 13 1 Berwyn (19312) 90 3 6 4 Malvern/Frazer (19355) 90 2 8 4 East/West Goshen (19380) 90 6 4 5 West Chester, Westtown (19382) 91 6 3 4 Oaks (19456) 93 0 7 5 Phoenixville (19453) 93 7 0 4 Phoenixville (19460) 88 6 5 3 DELAWARE COUNTY 75 20 5 3 Broomall, Radnor (19008) 89 3 9 1 Villanova (19085) 91 4 7 3 Haverford Township (19083) 93 2 5 2 Newtown Square (19073) 96 1 3 1 Media (19063) 91 6 4 2 Springfield (19064) 95 1 4 0 MONTGOMERY COUNTY  84 9 7 4 Bala Cynwyd (19004) 90 6 5 3 Narberth, Penn Valley (19072) 93 3 6 2 Merion Station (19066) 92 6 3 3 Wynnewood, Penn Wynne (19096) 85 7 11 3 Ardmore (19003) 82 13 6 4 Haverford (19041) 93 5 4 2 Bryn Mawr (19010) 83 7 10 4 Gladwyne (19035) 96 0 5 1 PHILADELPHIA 43 45 7 12 Mt. Airy (19119) 35 63 3 3 Chestnut Hill (19118) 82 15 3 4 Manayunk (19127) 88 10 1 5 Roxborough (19128) 89 8 3 3

Source: American Community Survey 2007-11. Census Bureau sampling does not follow the same methodology as the decennial census. Because respondents are able to claim more than one race and some ethnicities are omitted, percentages on some lines may not add up to 100.

db March 06, 2013 at 05:58 PM
You're right that sometimes parents make poor decisions that affect their children negatively. But the idea that every kid who goes hungry has parents who are dead, in jail, or spending their money on crack is ludicrous. And I fail to see how the fact that some kids are born to bad parents negates my argument. I don't think they have the same opportunities I did.
RoxGuy March 06, 2013 at 06:04 PM
There already is a NAAWP. It's been around since the civil war. The members dress up in white sheets and burn crosses while listening to lynyrd skynyrd. I'm sure Rezzy could put you in touch with your local grand wizard for more details
RoxGuy March 06, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Poor? Lazy? Crack? Dad in jail? Rape? Bill Cosby? Your image of black people was obviously formed during the Regan administration. You should check out real housewives of atlanta sometime - black people have come a long way since the 1980s
db March 06, 2013 at 06:18 PM
George, I agree that there is no reason any kids should be going to school hungry today in such a wealthy country. Hunger *is* nonsense. But just because a program exists does not mean everyone who is eligible uses it, or even knows how to use it. SNAP benefits don't just show up on your doorstep as soon as you need them. There is an application process, and it can take up to 30 days before a person gets access (and 7 days, if you get emergency benefits, which is a long time if you are already out of resources). There was an interesting post on The Nation yesterday on the topic of hungry kids and free meals at school, indicating that half the kids currently getting free lunch at school don't take advantage of the free breakfast for various reasons: http://www.thenation.com/blog/173185/school-breakfasts-and-ending-child-hunger#
Reggie March 06, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Let's step back and think this out a bit better. BET and other minority associations are there as a knee jerk reaction. Why? Because for years minorities were not accepted anywhere for anything. CPA Black Association? Why? Because for years, organizations like the CPA Association refused to recognize any accomplishments by anyone other than whites. WET? You already have WET. They are called NBC, ABC, and CBS. Do you see anyshows that any have persons of color (black, asian, hispanic) as its main focus. Sure, there are a few token Cosby and George Lopez shows but the majority of television focuses on the ins and outs of white households because you are the majority. You need a better excuse for racism than minority associations because they are there due to the lack of support from the "mainstream" associations. You have some valid arguments so don't disrespect yourself by clinging to the ol' if we had a NAAWP, WET, because it doesn't hold up.
Reggie March 06, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Wendy Wendy Wendy, poor white folks living in the trailer parks of the midwest have all the same shortcomings as the one's you list above. Try to focus on the situation and not the color. It makes your somewhat focused arguments poor, false, and invalid.
bigmamasigfried March 06, 2013 at 08:22 PM
This is not a black or white issue... Wheather your Asian, White, Black, Latino or whatever......It´s a matter of degrees. Yes, degrees of black to brown: degrees of brown to tan; degrees of tan to oh yes...degrees of white too. For some reason in America....the bells and whistles go off when the above "degree crisis" goes off in our brain... so a MLK said; "don´t judge people by the color(shade) of their skin but by the content of their character." If we did that throughout the planet, what a wonderful world it would be!
George March 06, 2013 at 08:33 PM
db - Thanks for quoting a notoriously liberal publication. Somehow I am not surprised. All that I read in your comments are excuses for why free benefits are not used by people that need them. Typical liberal blather. It is excuses like yours that have created the dependency class that we have today. I suggest that you immediately stop what you are doing in order to hand-feed those that are unwilling to help themselves. I know it may be a foreign concept to you, but, it's called personal responsibility. Look it up.
wendy March 06, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Reggie, Reggie, Reggie, I did mention white Appalachia, but regardless the article is about Philadelphia. I work in the city and see much of this first hand everyday. How many of you commenting live or work at 4th & Diamond? You probably wouldn't even drive through neighborhoods like that. I teach people to read there. You all sit in your homes and pass judgement, pretend to be so open minded, but never actually associating with these folks, without experiencing what your talking about. It's bad, really bad, drugs and violence everywhere, everyday, but like I said, I've seen a few who break out of their situations, it can happen but not without a huge effort. Earnest, it's not a stereotype, it's a reality. Like I said, spend a day in a inner city Philadelphia public school, they need volunteers. I am focused on the situation and am actually trying to do something about it, rather than pretend it doesn't exist, for fear of being labeled a bigot or racist. Put your money where your mouth is and do something constructive to change it.
Morgan King March 06, 2013 at 08:57 PM
It's baffling that people still find ways to make sweeping claims about groups of people based on their relative levels of melanin.
Roger M March 06, 2013 at 09:43 PM
you said "White working people" and then went on to say that "White working people" are tired of carrying the burden for the inner city poor... since you didn't mention "non-White working people" i can only take your comments as racist (in addition to being cold and heartless)... i find it hard to "get over it" when i see this sort of crap...
Roger M March 06, 2013 at 09:54 PM
you're so right, the white race is truly suffering in comparison to other ethnic groups... the nerve of these non-white folks expecting equal pay and opportunity in this great nation of ours which was founded by white slave owners... it's amazing to me that people such as yourself pretend not to be racist... and no, i don't believe only white people can be racist, but they certainly seem to be better at it than any other ethnic group... probably because they've always had the upper hand in this country (and still do)... i'm sure some of these other ethnic groups could give you examples of what being "under attack" really means...
Rezzy Dent March 06, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Is Being White a Topic in Your Neighborhood? Why is this even an article, to start controversy?
NWPhilly March 06, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Christ, leave Wendy alone. She is entitled to her opinion-she is out in the trenches. She works there and she sees and hears how bad it is in some of these neighborhoods. Nowhere in her comments did she say "Everyone" is a drug addict committing crimes! The fact that she is trying to help is commendable. It sounds Like Earnest has done some great work across the country, too. You both obviously have an interest in helping those less fortunate, so stop attacking each other! It's a shame that we are still conflating what is really a class issue with the race issue. There are very poor people of all races.
Wendy March 07, 2013 at 12:00 AM
If this message offends anyone then build a backbone because it’s just an opinion. The fact that anyone’s race ENTITLES them to anything disgusts me to my core. I heard everything from: People don’t like me because I’m red, white & blue to….don’t you think we deserve this because we’re blue, white & red and it’s sickening.   I don’t know how many times I can say this, if people don’t like you….it maybe because you’re a palterer, untrustworthy and a JERK. The fact that you happen to be red, white & blue….just makes you a red, white & blue palterer, untrustworthy JERK.   And for those who think they deserve anything they never EARNED…well you are worthless. The fact that you’re blue, white & red…just makes you a worthless person who happens to be blue, white & red.   Are their systems in place to sustain people?....ABSOLUTELY and the more you allow it the longer it will continue..........SO SPEAK UP, VOTE or SHUT UP.
RoxGuy March 07, 2013 at 12:24 AM
"And for those who think they deserve anything they never EARNED…well you are worthless" Interesting... My neighbor has a pretty bad case of MS and collects SS and Medicaid benefits he never actually "earned" from a lifetime of work. He is also given a live in nurse that probably runs the taxpayers about $90-110K per yr. Does your blunt assessment of welfare recipients apply to him as well?
Ryan March 07, 2013 at 01:14 AM
I heard very little racism living in Center City. It was a very frequent topic when I lived in Mayfair and now Roxborough. A lot of folks here start off sentences with "I'm not racist, but... [followed by something extremely racist]." Northwest Philly's lack of diversity is a selling point to some and a burden to others. We moved here despite of the lack of other cultures and what those cultures brought to other neighborhoods, uniquely tempting eateries and grocers especially. Our willingness to lose that by moving here was a trade off for convenient access to the Schuylkill trail, Wissahickon Park, and being amongst and possibly residing in (someday) such elegant historical architecture. I do miss the diverse ethnic cuisine and food that was available available to us in lower Northeast Philly and Center City, but lower NE Philly is rapidly deteriorating as the city continues to use it as a dumping ground for displaced Section 8 residents removed from gentrifying neighborhoods. And Center City became too expensive and crowded. We like Roxborough, deeply ingrained racism and vanilla cuisine a grocers aside, but some proper Mexican, Brazilian, Ethiopian, Indian, or Vietnamese places similar to the wonderfully authentic Thai restaurant on Ridge would be an encouraging sign of the neighborhood's vitality and upward direction.
Wendy March 07, 2013 at 02:26 AM
@RoxGuy. Read my message....Does your neighbor with MS feel entitled because of their race? Or is it the fact that their disability warrants them to receive social security?
RoxGuy March 07, 2013 at 03:40 AM
I read your comment. I posted a direct quote from your comment. And since he 'thinks he deserves something he never earned' then in your estimation he is "worthless". Right? That's what you wrote.
James March 07, 2013 at 04:27 AM
I think this whole race issue can be looked at with an objective historical perspective. During the Great Migration (due to industrialization and urban jobs), many southern African-American workers moved to major cities to get work. Of course, society was largely racist at the time, so these people naturally were subjected to bad neighborhoods with bad housing, bad schools, etc. These poor black urban neighborhoods continue today, and even though our society has a more open mind, we can't just undo this rut our society put black people into. Of course now we try to think of people beyond the color of their skin, but that doesn't negate nor does it fix these deeply ingrained issues. I agree that in poor neighborhoods with a historically black majority population have issues with drugs, gangs, etc, but we can't just say that it's up to them to fix a problem that white society is responsible for. I'm not asking anyone to profess how they are fixing poor neighborhoods, I'm just asking you all to understand historically why many poor urban neighborhoods are predominantly black. I hope one day all of these years of segregation and oppression can be undone, but 50 years can't undo hundreds of years of complicated societal issues.
M Morrow March 07, 2013 at 11:40 AM
The fact still remains that white is perceived as something evil. Sad that this is the case. I am seen as "white" married to a "black" man. We both suffer individually and together as a family when people continue to think that any "race" needs to act inferior or superior to another. My favorite book on this topic is The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. I highly recommend it.
Rick Kephart March 07, 2013 at 02:01 PM
What's most sad is to consider that the whole idea of "race" was originally made up for the purpose of uniting people, not setting them against each other. The concept that there are different races originated with Johann Blumenbach in Germany in 1776. He wanted to combat the notion that people who looked different, such as "Ethiopians" (i.e. black Africans), were not human persons at all, as many people believed a few hundred years ago. He proposed the idea that they were every bit as human as Europeans; they were simply other "races" of human beings. Everyone now agrees that people of all nationalities are human beings like everybody else. But now Blumenbach's concept of race is used for political exploitation, for the evil purpose of dividing people instead of uniting them as it was meant to be.
Caitlin March 11, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Wendy, because historically, the "white" race really has nothing to be proud of. Unless you consider dehumanization, imperialism, and institutionalized racism something you would honorably attribute to your race. Just think of all the nations who were forced out of their land, not only here in America but in India, Ireland, Africa etc. in the name of freedom and expansion- how much of their culture was lost and thrown away. Can you honestly say you are proud of our white ancestors? These are concepts that are truly not easy to move past, even through time, especially for a large group of people and when the system supports it. I've seen your uninformed and selfish comments appear on this site before. My advice to you is to stop watching the news and start meeting new people- yes, outside of your race and immediate neighborhood. Begin reading books, research things like institutionalized racism, the cycle of poverty in America and please- start generating your own view after beginning to understand these things that stand in the way of "decent people."
Caitlin March 11, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Caitlin March 11, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Wendy, I could have sworn that I saw you trolling on another article, claiming that you owned a business? If you truly do teach people how to read in the area that you've claimed, you would not in any way be spewing such disgusting ignorance.
Caitlin March 11, 2013 at 09:39 PM
CAUGHT RED-HANDED: "wendy 8:44 am on Sunday, February 24, 2013 [comment taken from article in regards to the plan to build a Wendy's on Rox Ave] ...coupled with the influx of displaced high school students will impact the neighborhood in a very negative way. My husband and I are local business owners, we choose to have our business in Roxborough because it is a terrific area. It is heartbreaking to see a great neighborhood overtaken in such a negative way by outside interests, while the residents have zero say in what happens to a place where their families have lived for generations." http://roxborough.patch.com/articles/bunting-house-to-become-a-wendy-s
Caitlin March 11, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Wendy is a fraud.
RoxGuy March 11, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Wendy and her beau own Barry's steaks. They've got some damn fine steaks, possibly the best in the city, but unfortunately they're served with a side of bigotry.
wendy March 11, 2013 at 09:54 PM
There are two Wendy's on here, I haven't made all the comments. Your posting direct quotes from posts that aren't connected to the right person.
Caitlin March 11, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Oh, I apologize. Are you the philanthropist reading teacher bigot or the steak shop bigot? Because both user's comments have racist undertones.


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