Recently, I stumbled upon an article published by the Wall Street Journal, which was published seventeen years ago. However, the content of the article was intriguing, especially in relation to my series, Black Picket Fences. The article is titled, "In the Maryland Suburb of Bowie, Some Whites Resent Wealthier Blacks."
Of course, I do not think that the "resentment" cited in the article is specific to Bowie, Maryland. You will find this form of resentment anywhere you go. But when one considers the history and development of Bowie, it does pose an interesting question about the dynamics of race, especially in relation to shifts in political power. As stated in the article by Jo Bolig, a white special-education teacher, "Whites 'feel more and more powerless'.....They have less and less control and influence. Whites feel like they're losing their grip. It's provoking a kind of racial angst."
The basis of my dissertation titled, The Spatialization of Race: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Black Suburban Landscape, is centered around the examination of black suburban communities, as the antithesis of the privileges gained through whiteness. I critique and challenge the concept of whiteness, as more than simply racial prejudice, but as a system that is designed to maintain power; often through generational wealth transfer and property acquisition. The article does a good job at hinting at this, but I do think the term "resentment" should be switched to "fear." It is my opinion that a lot of this has a lot more to do with the uncertainty of the future of white security and social standing, and less to do with the advancement of blacks. At the end of the day, blacks doing better, means white security might not be guaranteed anymore; the loss of power is truly what they fear.
You can read the article at the following link:
It's been almost eighteen years since it was first published, but I think it's an important citation.