[Ed. – Sounds like you made it through safely. Must have been when all the bitter clingers were on vacation.]
Last August, as my wife and I and two of our friends biked through the Great Allegheny Passage in McKeesport, Pa., a city 12 miles from Pittsburgh, I joked that we probably wouldn’t see any more black people until Maryland. I was wrong. In the 150 miles between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md., we saw four.
The dearth of black people on the GAP trail should be no surprise to anyone who’s driven through Pennsylvania. A popular joke about the state is that it’s Pittsburgh on one side, Philadelphia on the other and Alabama in between. The “joke,” of course, is that once you leave those metropolitan areas, you’re surrounded by small towns and rural farmland. And “surrounded by small towns and rural farmland” is a euphemistic way of saying “surrounded by whiteness.”
Thing is, that dynamic isn’t exactly unique to Pennsylvania. Regardless of where you are in the country, once you get 10-15 miles outside a city’s greater metropolitan area, you’re probably going to splash into a sea of white people. And that sea probably won’t end until you’re near another city.