Why some people leave Randolph: Part 4 Race

Race

Few people in my interviews would openly cite Randolph’s racial and ethnic diversity as a reason for leaving the town.  However, the fear of others and especially those others considered more dangerous or lower class is a constant undercurrent in conversations in and around Randolph.  As one former resident said to me during an all-white social gathering in Randolph when asked why her family moved away, “It was getting a bit too dark here.”  White flight – and I would add middle class flight of all races – is an issue for Randolph.

But, the idea of white flight does not really capture what is happening in Randolph.  Worries about Randolph’s changing racial and ethnic demographics do not fall into the black/white dichotomy we usually think about.  A fear was revealed in interviews with people of all races that emerging demographic trends might leave Randolph less diverse.  The worry is that Randolph would come to be dominated by one or two ethnic groups, such as Haitians or Vietnamese which are currently thought to be the fastest growing groups in Randolph.  The fear of Randolph becoming “another Dorchester/Mattapan” is apparent here because this image of a less diverse Randolph is a Randolph closer to the current demographics of those areas.

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