Missoulian mailbag
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During an episode of NPR's podcast “Code Switch,” a high-schooler from a black neighborhood in D.C. said something I can relate to: “It gets boring talking to the same people who look like you. It's like talking to yourself.”

He knew only two white people in his life and he longed for contact with a more diverse population.

“It'd be nice, you know... different perspectives on different things. Too bad I don't see a lot.”

I feel the same way.

Missoula County is 92.1 percent white and only 0.6 percent African American. Do you ever think about why that is?

In his book, “Sundown Towns,” James Loewen found that black Americans tried to settle in almost every town throughout the country while fleeing the Jim Crow South. On countless occasions, they were forced to leave.

Look at what's happening at Frenchtown High to see the corrosive effect of living in nearly all-white communities. It's no accident Richard Spencer felt safe in Whitefish.

The real bubbles in this country are not blue and red, but black and white. We are, like the young man in D.C., just talking to ourselves and clueless about what's beyond our imagined borders.

Greg Martin,

Missoula

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