That's a typical explanation from what sounds like an armchair urban planner/researcher who spent most, if not his/her entire career as a professor instead of looking at what the real issues were.
The industrialization part would make sense if it was a gradual shift, but it wasn't. Newark still had a very sizeable white population until the race riots in the late 60's. That is when the white flight happened when the entire neighborhood was trashed in the name of civil rights and they no longer felt safe as they were now targets. In a few short years the population of Newark rapidly shifted as the white population left to the suburbs along with most of the industry.
Again this wasn't a decline that took many decades in the making. It was a shift that happened within a 10 year span which is fast for a city. This also happened to many other cities as well, including other towns/cities in NJ (Plainfield comes big into mind. From the late 1800's until even the early 60's Plainfield was actually a summer retreat for wealthy NYC residents. That pretty much changed in a hurry with the race riots of the late 60's as well). The white flight happened because of the riots, not the way you have it which seems to be the other way around.
White flight happened for a myriad of reasons, only one of which was the riots. It's true that the riots were a major, single event that chased a lot of whites from the inner city, but white flight happened gradually throughout the twentieth century, as did deindustrialization, contrary to your claim. It started immediately after World War Two, with expanding neoliberal economic narratives making outsourcing possible, with the growth of the automobile to allow for less centralized manufacturing, American production falling behind newly industrializing countries, things like that. Industry didn't flee Newark, or anywhere, in ten years. It wasn't until Reagan that America's industry finally and almost completely died.
White flight, to get somewhat back, was also a product of many factors. Everyone would have left the city during the last sixty years of the twentieth century if they could have, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, whoever. You can argue that simply the city didn't satisfy the sensibilities of the time, or that inner cities were disgusting and dirty crime ridden hell-holes, both of which are true, but the point remains the same. The difference was white people had the financial, social, and cultural capital to leave. When the inner city lost favor in America, blacks were struggling with the legacy of slavery even more so than they are now (obviously). Whether you deny racism exists today is another argument, but in 1945, laws still actively oppressed the black community. The amount of wealth blacks collectively held compared to the percentage of our population they made up was incredibly disproportional. That's not something up for debate, and it's something that's still true, to a lesser extent. Blacks couldn't get mortgages, and no one could get a loan for a business or development project in redlined black neighborhoods. Property values, did, and still do drop the second one black family moves into a neighborhood. Our institutions at the time were still outwardly racist, and blacks couldn't enjoy the new suburban American dream lifestyle. That's why whites left and no one else did.
We must have differing opinions on what the "real issues" are. To me, having grown up in the suburbs and lived in the inner city, the real issues are a total lack of middle class employment opportunities, an almost entirely abandoned American inner city, ripe still with crime and poverty, social programs that don't adequately support even a small percentage of the people they need to support, sprawling residential and commercial subdivisions developing what's left of our natural environment while millions of residential and commercial units in urban areas remain vacant. Laws that don't protect the water we drink, the food we eat, our limited natural resources, our cultural heritage, or our working class, black or white. These are things that are happening. Whether you choose to see them going from the front door of your nice home, to your car, to your office and back or not is another issue.
Edited by thecoffeecake, 16 December 2014 - 05:27 PM.