In Philadelphia Magazine's March cover story, Robert Huber grants anonymity to various white residents, probes their views on race, and faithfully conveys their answers, even the racist ones.
His article "Being White in Philadelphia" starts from these premises:
1) Most whites have stopped paying attention to the poorest, most dangerous neighborhoods in Philly due to queasiness about race. 2) Whites nevertheless think a lot about race due to interracial encounters that end in confusion, misread intentions, or bruised feelings. 3) Whites are unnatural, self-censoring, and overly polite as a result. 4) Their self-consciousness and hypersensitivity may signal progress, but is problematic too: public discussions of race are "one-dimensional, looked at almost exclusively from the perspective of people of color." 5) That's understandable, given historical realities; but race is an issue for white people too. 6) A less careful approach that frankly aired white perspectives could broaden the conversation, a prerequisite for getting whites invested in addressing problems so many of them currently won't even engage.
Huber concludes that moving forward, "We need to bridge the conversational divide so that there are no longer two private dialogues in Philadelphia -- white people talking to other whites, and black people to blacks -- but a city in which it is okay to speak openly about race." Is he correct? Knowing almost nothing about Philadelphia, I won't try to evaluate how its whites and blacks interact, what Philadelphia whites are thinking, or how race relations in that city might be improved.