I distinctly remember that early in Rona's real estate career, a prospective client told her, "We don't want to live in no multi-cultural neighborhood." She heard the word multi-cultural pronounced with such distaste, she instantly knew it was code for, "We don't want to live with no niggers." Rona invited these buyers to find themselves another agent.
Things have changed. Today, it might be a lot harder to avoid living in a neighborhood where your neighbor has a different race than you do. The Boston Globe published a map showing the diversity of different neighborhoods in the city, and only a few are islands unto themselves. I wish they would have extended the map into Somerville and Cambridge! Still, it tells the story: most of us now choose to live in neighborhoods where there are "enough" people "like me"--but not too many. I think that's a sign of progress.