Friday, March 25, 2011

The New South

Wonderful news of the new black migration and the growth of minorities in the country. Segregation is waning and America is becoming much stronger for it. If your own community is not diverse I would question why and look for ways to change it because diversity is America's true power.


PBM said...

Watch out GOP, the White, male southern strategy isn't going to work for much longer.

But David, how do you propose we discover why our communities lack diversity? And how do you think we can make our own communities more diverse?

Also, how do you respond to Robert Putnam's theory that increased diversity actually decreases civic participation and interaction?

David Ginsberg said...

Good question PBM,
I would assume that communities that lack economic diversity (such as very rich or very poor) lack diversity. To improve the poor communities there needs to be outside investment because being poor, those communities cannot invest themselves. The wealthy communities should be required to house a percentage of low-income families to distribute the burden throughout society instead of concentrating it. Of course economic diversity was not the start of the subject, but has a lot to do with racial diversity considering there is a disproportional group of minorities in the lower tier of society then whites. I am fully opposed to "gated communities" both in idea and in practice.

For Robert Putnam, I am not familiar with this theory, but i would agree in the short term that this would be true. In the long run, when the different groups living together interact and no longer live in isolated communities, then there civic engagement grows. NYC gives great examples of this movement and ultimate participation.

Ryan Karerat said...

TJE said...

PBM, glad you remember Putnam!

PBM said...

Your first proposal seems to resemble socialism. It has also been attempted and failed many times. DC is a perfect example, and the front of the Washington Post today helps prove it. A lot of areas here used to be poor (by the Verizon Center, by Nationals Stadium, Adams Morgan, etc.). Huge investments by private industry came in the form of new stadiums, new buildings, new businesses, and new jobs, but all of this ended up just pushing out poorer residents and creating new wealthy areas. The black population decline (as seen in the Washington Post) has accompanied this development.

"The wealthy communities should be required to house a percentage of low-income families to distribute the burden throughout society instead of concentrating it."

So does that mean that people who have been successful and want to live around other successful people should actually have to live near problems associated with poorer areas like gangs, drugs use, theft, etc? How could these poorer people afford housing in richer areas? Would other be required to pay for them?

I don't know if Putnam's study breaks it down into short and long term, I think in the end he does say he has hope for the long term, but he definitely takes NYC and other diverse cities into account in his analysis, not just the suburbs where the homogeneous scum of the earth reside. Also, I don't know if I would use NYC as a good example of civic engagement (I used participation before, but engagement is what Putnam uses). My impression of it is that everyone is on their own, and there isn't very much interaction on the streets with random people, or people of other races. Putnam would also argue the amount of diversity makes more people distrustful of others and more introverted, which I think applies to NYC as well. This doesn't even take into account Ryan's point on inequality there.