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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 27, 2012 7:31PM
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  The most racist city in the U.S. has to be Phoenix, AZ.

  The most racist governor in the U.S. is Jan Brewer.

   Have you noticed that Republicans gain the title of

   most racist.  Who backs them?  the rich and the racist.

Sep 27, 2012 7:29PM
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Buffalo NY should rank in the top 5 also.
Sep 27, 2012 7:29PM
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This story sure brought out the racist pigs among us!  Wouldn't have figured the scum could read
Sep 27, 2012 7:28PM
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Minneapolis, Minnesota or Omaha, Nebraska should TOP the list? no matter which way you look at it.  I'm surprised and disappointed at the study results !
Sep 27, 2012 7:28PM
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oldford46,

Very spot on.  And, everything you said can be backed up.  But, you are/would be considered a racist for your statement.  This Country is loosing it's grip and is alarming.

Sep 27, 2012 7:27PM
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These type of surveys/rankings are usually meaningless because they're done by people way out of the mainstream who claim that respondents saying things like associating illegals with Hispanics is racist or saying blacks have a higher crime rate is racist, etc etc.

The rankings should be based on CLEAR racism.  Go around to the major cities and ask everyone if all blacks are stupid, and then rank the highest cities the ones that had the highest percent who said yes.  Have a few questions like that.

Sep 27, 2012 7:27PM
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I've lived in NYC for almost 2 decades and come from the area. YOU'RE RIGHT- NYC IS FULL OF BLACK, LATINO , ASIAN AND INDIAN RACISTS... as a white-looking woman, I have to deal with hostile stares or nasty racial comments at least once per month. 
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