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9 Colum. J. Race & L. 1 (2019)

handle is hein.journals/cjoral9 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                    Sarah   E. Waldeck*

       Headlines  about  racial polarization  and  a country
divided  obscure  an  important  present opportunity:  racial
integration initiated by local community  choice. These local
contexts have  national significance in light of census data
showing   that American   suburbs  and  exurbs  are perfectly
positioned to integrate and  can  do so through  local choice
irrespective of what occurs at the federal level.
       However,  integration is not preordained. Census data
shows  segregation  decreasing within  some  large cities but
increasing in metropolitan areas as a whole. When Blacks move
to the suburbs, Whites flee to locations ever farther from the
city's center. Suburbs and exurbs, not cities, are the new ground
zero for integration efforts. The stakes are high: Ferguson,
Missouri, home  of the 2014 protests, is a suburb from which
sixty-two percent of the White population  fled between 1990
and  2010.
       Using  empirical fieldwork from a Chicago suburb  that
successfully integrated in the 1970's, this Article sheds light on
how  norms and  other behavioral phenomena  fuel the dynamics
of integration. When  a community  deliberately chooses to in-
tegrate, it generates norms that foster and sustain integration.
As  a norm  weaves itself into the fabric of the community, it
becomes  even more powerful than  law. The norm  helps ensure
that  individuals within  the community make integration-
affirming choices, even when those choices are costly. When the
norm  is visible to those outside the community, it attracts new
members   who  value integration and are likely to support the

       * Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Residence, Loyola-Chicago School
of Law and Professor of Law and Robert Diab Scholar, Seton Hall University.
I appreciate the help I received from Rachel Godsil, Jordan Paradise, Alan
Raphael, Jack Ashton, Jesse Garza, and Caitlyn Basinski, as well as from
those I spoke with in the Village of Oak Park. I also benefitted from a Loyola-
Chicago School of Law faculty colloquium and panels at conferences sponsored
by the Law and Society Association and the Association of Law, Property and
Society, as well as from the editorial suggestions of the Columbia Journal of
Race and Law. I owe particular thanks to my late colleague, Marc Poirier.

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