I wasn't surprised to see some pushback on this post, and I think there is plenty of room for argument on the impact of the Klan killings on Greensboro.
I posted it less to endorse the idea (although I think our political leadership has been a factor in our relative decline, along with the reflexive negativity I've long called "Greensboro Disease") than to demonstrate that people are talking and thinking about the TRC report.
What really surprised me were comments questioning whether or not Greensboro really has declined in stature relative to other cities in this state. This seems pretty clear to me, in terms both qualitative and quantifiable.
The reasons for this relative decline in stature (as measured by population, income, reputation, vibrancy) include globalization of industry, concentration of financial services, the success of RTP and university-driven economies. Greensboro is better off than a lot of manufacturing cities across the country -- our numbers look good on a national scale, just not compared to our regional peers.
I'm a Greensboro booster and an optimist, and I see some benefits to avoiding the hypergrowth of Charlotte and the Triangle, but I'd love to see evidence that Greensboro has not slipped in relative terms in the last generation.