Are suburbs and small towns friendly to diversity?

We’ll talk to Myron Orfield and Ron Brownstein at 9 a.m. Tuesday about the changing demographics outside our cities. How are small towns and the suburbs handling growing diversity? Share your stories.

Kerri stumbled upon this film promoting the magazine Redbook. It’s a strange vision of life in the suburbs in the 1950s. Was America really like this?

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • Electra

    When will we stop refering to people of color (including multiracial people) the “minority” group in the US?

  • Jack in Hilltop

    We might look to Norway, Sweden, and Ireland to see how diversity impacts small, centuries-old monocultures.

  • Mike in Savage

    I lived by Lake Harriet, no non-white people lived there. I moved to Savage, many non-white.

  • Amy

    Just wondering if your guests are aware of what is happening in Worthington, MN? It’s neither an urban nor suburban area but its racial and ethnic diversity has now surpassed that of St. Paul. It presents some unique challenges to that small city and especially to its school district.

  • Julie from Prior Lake

    Who wants to send their kid to a school with a 50% drop out rate?

  • R.T.R.

    The libs favorite word is diversity. Please explain why. What’s the magic?

  • Jack Anderson

    I live in Burnsville. White population is a minority here. My neighborhood went from white majority to the United Nations of races. Unfortunately, this has hurt my resale value and opportunities. I value racial deversity, but I also value homeowner pride, which I don’t see anymore. It truly is a sad commentary.

  • Dan in Edina

    Non-white families buying houses from white families does not constitute white flight.

  • stephanie

    Amy,

    What are the challenges that Worthington is facing?

  • stefanie

    Retaining and recruiting highly skilled teachers after suburban integration occurs is necessary. White families relying on open enrolment to leave racially diverse schools is actually educated parents following selective teachers who leave once the work gets more challenging.

  • Gg

    What would your guests say about the new book Spreading the Wealth in which it is argued that if Obama wins he will institute a program to take wealth from the suburbs and spread it to the cities, because he has an old notion of the suburbs.

  • McWeaver

    We have lived in a northern suburb/exurb 60 minutes from the airport for 6 years. After a few years, I realized a large proportion of my neighbors moved here from closer to the cities to escape non-whites. We are a mixed race couple (Caucasian husband & Asian wife) with mixed race children. Our kids have been referred to by racial epithets openly in the halls of their (otherwise very good) High School and other places. Once, my dark haired slightly dark complected children sat in my truck as I was in a Home Improvement store. Several teens walked by and shouted a racial epithet at them – albeit the wrong race, referring to them by a derogatory term for Hispanic. I came back to the truck and found my kids both laughing. Thick skin helps.

    I have had to address the issue of openly expressed racially derogatory terms in the halls of the high school with the administration. The problem isn’t really the homogeneity of the race of the entire high school staff- it is the homogeneity of their experience – no experience what-so-ever with functioning mixed-race populations.

  • Amy

    Stephanie-

    Worthington’s population has exploded this past decade+. The elementary school is over-crowded. Many, many kids are first generation immigrants that arrive with zero english language. Housing is also a major issue- very little rental opportunities for families. They need to build a new school and pass a levy to do so but most of these new families are not citizens and cannot vote and the voting population of Worthington is not too amenable to the idea of higher taxes to pay for such things.