Reprint from 2016
If we avoided people of other races, we could live in peace, the thinking went. Native Americans and Chinese were once expelled from the city; Japanese were interned during WWII. Blacks were clustered in the segregated Central District in Seattle and, along with Asians and Jews, were banned from many neighborhoods through covenants and redlining by lenders. Oregon officially banned blacks from moving to the state in its state constitution. We’re not unique in these problematic ways of dealing with race, but racism is baked into both the history and structure of our region. Cities like Seattle, which is 70 percent white, are that way in part by the intention of those who settled and built the city.