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Unsettled AmericansMetropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration$
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John Mollenkopf and Manuel Pastor

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702662

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702662.001.0001

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“The Kindness of Strangers”

“The Kindness of Strangers”

Ambivalent Reception in Charlotte, North Carolina

(p.163) 7 “The Kindness of Strangers”
Unsettled Americans

Michael Jones-Correa

Cornell University Press

This chapter is a study of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose case points both to the advantages and limits of business leadership. It argues that Charlotte has long had a business elite concerned about the city's role as a national financial center in the New South. Under their influence, Charlotte took a leadership role on school desegregation, downtown development, and regional economic strategies. This served to constrain anti-immigrant politics as Latino immigrant communities grew rapidly within the city and county. Nonetheless, the ground shifted as a former Charlotte mayor became an anti-immigrant governor, playing to a conservative Republican legislature, and some local anti-immigrant political figures picked up this lead. The example points to the lack of services in newer destinations, including suburbs, but also how elite opinion can constrain many conservative populist impulses.

Keywords:   Charlotte, North Carolina, business leadership, business elite, anti-immigrant politics, Latino immigrants

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