No, California is not going to become Detroit. This is what happens when people misdiagnose problems. Detroit isn’t Detroity because of one party political rule and liberalism. Detroit became Detroit because it’s a bell curve city, full of blacks and run by blacks. If anything, the black population of California is declining in both terms of percentage and raw numbers, and the few that remain are quickly being shipped out of their heretofore ghettos in Oakland, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Both are crucial factors, because if you’re going to have blacks, if you can keep them detached and spread out, this severely hurts their race-based political power. Because they are not tightly ghettoized and geographically compartmentalized, their networks of churches and preachers cannot materialize. And, as we all know, black preachers are the big chiefs in black political life. This may be one of the reasons why the Democrat Party wants to do AFFH, to spread out blacks in order to weaken real black political power, so that one day, the Democrat Party won’t need to be the black party, and can leave behind all the political problems that they currently face from being the black party. Sure, wherever blacks are scattered, they’ll still vote Democrat almost 100%, but that will be the extent of their contribution to the party. No black preachers to hang around Democrat functions.
Oakland’s black churches struggle as African Americans leave
From the sound flowing from Beth Eden Baptist Church in West Oakland when the congregation and gospel choir join in a joyful crescendo, a passerby could be fooled into thinking the pews inside are packed.
But on a recent Sunday morning, that sound was being made by fewer than 50 people in a church that can comfortably seat 400. And less than a decade ago, it did. Longtime congregants recall the days when people spilled into the aisles.
“When I was a kid, you couldn’t even find street parking on Sundays if you didn’t get here before a certain time,” said Aisha Jordan, 39, whose grandparents began attending Oakland’s oldest African American Baptist church in 1941.
Beth Eden isn’t the only predominantly black church in West Oakland where attendance is dwindling, and Jordan’s story helps explain why. The Oakland native has watched lifelong friends disappear from the church at 10th and Adeline streets after leaving for less-pricey locales such as Antioch, Pittsburg, Stockton and Sacramento. Six years ago, she left too, landing in Novato after living in San Francisco for a bit.
The departures are part of a transformation of neighborhoods that were once nearly all-black. In 1980, Oakland’s African American population numbered 159,000, or 47 percent of the city’s total. Thirty years later, it had shrunk to 109,000 — 28 percent.
Some of those who left town try to maintain a connection to their old churches, making it to perhaps one or two services a month. However, that’s not enough to maintain the financial foundation of churches that rely on tithes and offerings for their survival.
Pastors say younger people aren’t nearly as interested in organized religion as their parents were, or don’t like the messages being conveyed in services. Older members have died. But the biggest problem, they say, is the flight of African Americans from Oakland.
“Flight,” as in “being priced out.”
Black churches depend on concentrated black populations, so black preachers don’t want concentrated black populations broken up with AFFH-style policies. Even if the black preacher himself lives in a white suburb, and many of them do. However, the flip side of the coin is what I wrote almost two years ago. What is a bug to me is a feature to thee, and vice-versa.