One of the ironies of modern political life in America is that some people can’t get over the fact that a middle-class suburban black family has more in common with its white neighbors than with black families in a poor, uneducated inner city. So well-meaning but unthinking people keep trying to perpetuate political racial segregation instead of letting people decide what they want for themselves.
The latest example of this comes from the county next door to me. Shelby County in on the south side of Birmingham, and it contains much of the metro area’s wealthy and middle-class suburbs. There are pockets of lower-income people, but it’s typically home to a lot of middle class and upper middle class people.
It should be a sign of progress that quite a number of the families in the upper middle class neighborhoods of Shelby County are now black. They’re certainly still a small minority, but it’s common — and it’s not an issue for anyone. For an area that was seen as Ground Zero for racial discrimination less than 50 years ago, it’s huge progress. But some people are now unhappy that those black families — spread out through all those majority-white neighborhoods — don’t see black skin on any members of the County Commission.