In my post about the racial disparity between Allentown's different zip codes, I mistakenly assumed that zip code 18104, which includes Allentown's west end, is located wholly within Allentown. Shocked at the disparity within Allentown itself, I decided to post about it.
Turns out I blew it. The Observer nails me. "It is unfair to compare 18104 to 18102 since 18104 goes all the way past Kmart on Tilghman Street. That is most of South Whitehall and some of Upper Mac. You need to look at the zip code area, not just the name Allentown. Look what Beth. Twsp zip is, then compare apple to apples. FYI 18104 starts on the west side of 17th st. Since the city limits are basically 30th St., that is not a very large area!"
Of course, the racial disparity in different communities still exists, but we all knew that. Right? Nazareth, my neck of the woods, is 97.5% white. RS notes that the northwest corner of Lehigh County, zip code 18066 (New Tripoli), is 97.4% white. Bangor, which is 97.7% white, has us all beat.
It's also hard to dispute that Allentown's downtown, zip code 18101, has become a third world country. Nearly thirty per cent of the population there has an income under $10,000 per year. Fifteen per cent never even made it past ninth grade. That community is only thirty-four per cent white.
GB has a possible explanation for this white flight. "Pennsylvania has devolved into people intentionally and willfully isolating themselves from other communities. And the folks in Harrisburg (who make the planning laws and encourage this behavior) are owned by the special interests who make sick amounts of cash off of this system. What's worse is that we try to justify it. I had to get away from 'those' people."
I'm certain there are no easy explanations. I'm equally certain that some of this is the result of racism.