The New York Times and Upper West Side Segregation

Of all of the taboo topics in today’s political landscape, absolutely nothing is more fraught with danger than race. Recall the old joke about how people dance at a nudist camp -- carefully, very carefully. Everything from vocabulary to tone of voice must be carefully calculated and the slightest mistake can be career-ending. A complex etiquette per se is not, however, the problem. Civil society would collapse if everybody spoke bluntly. The question is whether taboos blind us from serious problems that demand forthright, honest discussion.  A perfect illustration of how the race taboo undermines honest discussions of serious social problems can be found in recent New York Times articles (and here) about redrawing school district lines in Manhattan’s über-liberal Upper West Side. These articles abound in euphemisms and omissions guaranteed to obscure awkward truths. Manhattan’s Upper West Side is home to a multitude of affluent white liberals and...(Read Full Article)

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