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The Most Racist Cities in the U.S.

By Rich_Maloof Sep 27, 2012 5:46PM

The issue of racism has gone largely unaddressed by this year’s nominees for president, but there’s no question that many voters see the contest in black and white. Racism runs deep and wide in America, despite the better angels of our nature and the bitter divisions of our past. Anyone searching for evidence won’t have to look far — you can find it in your neighborhood, if not at your own breakfast table. But where is bigotry most rampant? Which cities are America’s most racist?

Drew Magary, an editor at Gawker, wants to find out. After penning a piece on the Five Most Racist Cities in America — naming Birmingham, Boston, Phoenix, New York and Cincinnati — Magary drew comments from users complaining that their city did not make his original, admittedly unscientific list. Surely, there are cities more deserving of the title, they balked, where ignorance runs through like it’s in the water supply. To be sure he doesn’t show any bias to one metropolis over the next, Magary has invited readers to help in the Search for the Most Racist City in America.

Initial candidates in the racist-city census have been posted this week. First up is Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love, Magary notes, has been home to historic race riots, and deified mayor Frank Rizzo had a volatile relationship with Philly’s African-American community during his tenure in the ‘70s. The horrific incident on Osage Avenue in 1985, in which police dropped a bomb from a helicopter to end an armed confrontation with the radical group MOVE — touching off a neighborhood fire and killing 11 people, including five children — also helps earn Philly an ignoble distinction. Boston was next to be dishonored, with a nod to the Sox for being the last MLB team to integrate their roster, followed by St. Louis, with a note from one Missourian about how the city is carved up into black and white sections “like a checkerboard.”

Racism comes in all different colors, so to speak, and your city may make a winning candidate whether it’s woven through with longstanding, institutionalized racism, racism acquired based on personal experiences, or what-not-me denial. So show some love and tell them where you see hate.

Good thing, at least, that racism is contained within city lines. All clear in the 'burbs.


An earlier version of this post mischaracterized the MOVE incident of 1985. A prior incident between MOVE and police resulted in the shooting death of one police officer in 1978.


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1622Comments
Sep 19, 2013 6:03PM
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it's very alarming to still hear the ignorance and hate on this and other sites, especially from person's like bigbob with a little mind, 95% of crimes aren't commited by blacks and your ancestors most likely didn't originate here in the u.s. but were migrants so they should also be returned to their country and leave it  to the person's your ancestors and other humans so eagerly killed for this land, the Indian nations, they are the only true americans, everyone else is of immigrant beginning and African beginning.You yourself have some african blood in you it's where human lif most likely began..

I'm not sure whay any race thinks they are superior to any other or why black men are so revered yet so hated it appears to be a deep jealousy otherwise why spend billions on sun tan lotion and surgery to make you lips larger or to gain some booty and to enlarge the penis.one day we all will have to dispense with this racism and fight a common enemy. i hope we are ready

Sep 10, 2013 9:41PM
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Unless we forgive the ignorance of the past, we can live in the truth of the present.
Aug 25, 2013 2:29PM
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Racism will always be alive and well in America thanks to bigoted parents, Republicans and our present Supreme Court.
Aug 24, 2013 6:23PM
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Preferring you on cultural and race is not racism ; its biology based on evolution. We gathered into clans of our on race and culture to survive and we avoided other cultures and races based on fear and the unknown. Any form of multiculturalism is antithesis to evolution and survival.

Aug 24, 2013 1:07AM
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Why oh why is slavery being brought up right now? Yes, this article is ridiculous but if it upsets you please don't bring up slavery and tell a bunch of black people to go back to Africa?!!! This is 2013, when someone mentions racism it's a white police officer racially profiling a teenage Cambodian boy and pulling him over when it probably isn't necessary. It's a blonde woman from Alabama not wanting to sit next to a young black boy and clutching her purse for dear life for fear of being robbed. It's white kids beating up a white boy because he's going out with a black girl. It's a Vietnamese woman not wanting to hire a fully qualified black woman because of the fact that she's black. It's a Mexican man sneering at a Salvi dude from across the room... need I go on? Who the heck goes all the way back to slavery times to find a reasonable example of racism, I ask you. SMH @ Y'ALL
Aug 23, 2013 4:26PM
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The STRUGGLE CONTINUES; it did not end with the march of fifty years ago! Stormy the road we trod, bitter  the chastening rod............... 
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