In 1950, Philadelphia was a predominantly white city, with blacks comprising about 20 percent of the population. A decade later, that number had risen closer to 30 percent, and four years after that—in the summer of 1964—racial unrest flared in North Philadelphia, largely over brutality against blacks by white cops. Hundreds were injured or arrested, and more than 200 stores in North Philly were damaged or destroyed in three days of rioting, with many never reopening. White flight only accelerated in the next decade, and today blacks make up 44 percent of the city’s population, and non-Hispanic whites 37 percent.
That’s when blacks from the South, with chips on their shoulders, John says, moved North. They moved into great brownstones above Girard and trashed them, using banisters and doors to stoke their furnaces instead of buying coal. Before long, it looked like Berlin after the war. Whites moved out.
Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, DC, New Orleans — will Blacks figure out the Dem are their curse? …