Best Contextualizer of D.C.’s Whitening
But can the future identity of a big, dynamic place actually be so simple? Of course not. Enter Tony Williams, whose mayoral term coincided with the acceleration of a 30-year-old decline in the black share of the population. “Cities have a certain background, and that culture permeates, even long after that group is no longer the majority,” Williams told the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher about halfway through another long Census-prompted story. “The Irish influence in Boston is still very powerful, even though Irish people are no longer the bulk of the population.” In a time of frantic local identity anxiety, that idea—D.C. will always be black the way Boston will always be Irish—seems both right and reassuring.