I agree with John Gorman on several points. I am a white woman born and raised in Texas. My son is a Black young man born and raised in Texan. He has lived near and in Austin since graduating from high school in Fort Worth, Texas in 2011. I have been here since 2013, and wish we had both moved here sooner, both because we do experience much less racism here and because maybe we could have afforded to buy a home. Gentrification and unplanned for growth has sadly brought wealthier, mostly white people from more conservative areas here in recent years, and is pushing out both Brown and Black people from the East Side where they had previously been pushed to. (In fact, gentrification is causing many of us who aren’t white men with high paying jobs, or part of a white couple not to be able to afford to buy homes.)
However, my son reports being on the receiving end of very little racism, even micro, here, especially compared to Fort Worth. He DID see an increase in the days after Trump’s election, including a white guy trying to fight him on 6th Street, which had never happened to him before or since. And it’s true that my Black women friends and clients do report more micro aggressions. However, there is hope. Young Black people like him are getting jobs in the tech field and are helping diversify north and south Austin. He has recently been hired by an excellent company which will pay him more than enough to live here. Most importantly, as John Gorman points out, this is a place where people march and vote and stage sit-ins at the Capitol. We risk arrest by countering racist gatherings, and because we show up, those gatherings have been cancelled. We lobby lawmakers, unionize city and state workers, and vote Democrat by a majority. Please take John up on meeting his friends. I also offer you my friendship.