February 19, 2015

Part 2 of the micro-geography of diversity: Detail on density and mixture

Intro post here. Full set of map images here.

Let's look into how the first two spatial factors of ethnic diversity affect the local civic society. The examples will come from the black-white eastern half of the country, since there is a longer history to judge from, compared to the Mexican-(black)-white western half.

1) Density

Sparse is better, for whites too, but especially for blacks and Mexicans. Any social phenomenon that requires two or more people teaming up is proportional to the density of the individual members (the "law of mass action"). If there are 10 blacks in a neighborhood, who are spread out one to a block, they will have greater difficulty gathering together to play a game of basketball than if all 10 of them were packed densely into the same block. Substitute playing basketball with forming a gang, roving in packs, loitering while drunk / high, or other blessing of diversity.

Contrast Houston with Chicago. In both cities, roughly 1/3 of the population is white, black, and Mexican. However, the blacks and Mexicans are both densely packed into their territories in Chicago, vs. being thinly spread out in Houston. This shows up as the dots looking darker when clustered, and lighter when spread out. Chicago has a far worse reputation for being a ghetto mess than Houston, so sparse settlement wins.

(In all these maps, whites are red dots, blacks are blue, Hispanics are orange, Asians are green, and Others are yellow.)



2) Mixture

Segregated is better. This follows from Putnam's research showing that diversity erodes trust within a neighborhood.

Contrast Atlanta with Virginia Beach. In Atlanta, blacks are over 50%, but it's highly segregated, with blacks and whites only overlapping a lot in the (sparse) northwest part. Most whites are fairly insulated in the northeast part, while blacks remain mostly in the southern part. In Virginia Beach, blacks are only 20%, which on its own ought to make for a happier white population than in Atlanta. However, black and white areas are mixed to varying degrees all around the city, with no clear "our side" and "their side".


Virginia Beach

Virginia's coastal Tidewater cities in general (Richmond, Newport News, etc.) are more mixed than segregated, leaving whites nowhere to run to. Virginians (i.e., excluding DC metro transplants) are more likely to complain about black behavior than Atlantans, because they have to see it everywhere they go. White Atlantans have no illusions about the black areas being anything but ghetto / hood culture, however they're more likely to just laugh it off and get back to their happy-go-lucky segregated living. Out of sight, out of mind.

Because Putnam found that trust is eroded even among members of the same race when there are high levels of diversity, we should expect whites in Tidewater Virginia to be less engaged in civic life with their fellow whites, compared to whites in Atlanta.

One way that shows up is the lower level of religious attendance in Virginia than in Atlanta, Birmingham, and other typically segregated parts in the South. Virginia lies just outside of the Bible Belt. See the map below for rates of weekly / near weekly church attendance (from a Gallup survey in 2009).

Religious attendance is not just a Southern Baptist redneck thing, since the largely Nordic and segregated population of the Dakotas and western Minnesota are frequent participants in the Lutheran Church, as are their Puritanical Yankee Mormon counterparts in Utah.

And of course blacks also attend church more frequently in the segregated Deep South compared to mixed Virginia. Promoting "separate but equal" living zones is not only good for white civic society, but also for black civic engagement, such as it is. While black civic participation may not be up to white levels in the South, it is downright abysmal farther north along the Mid-Atlantic, as well as out in the Midwest.

During the '60s, blacks in the South co-ordinated a series of non-violent protests, largely organized through churches, in which Virginia did not play much of a role. There was the Montgomery bus boycott, the Birmingham campaign (where blacks took the dousing by firehoses), the Little Rock Nine integrating Central High School, and so on. When Rosa Parks declined to give up her seat, she didn't jump up into a boxing stance, pulling hair and shouting "Worl' stah!"

In contrast, blacks in the more mixed areas of the East Coast and Midwest broke out into full riot-and-loot mode. Unlike the church-organized plans of blacks in the South, an atmosphere of anarchy and mob rule prevailed among the race rioters in the desegregated parts of the country.

As far as I know, no one has applied Putnam's "corrosive diversity" findings to failed civic institutions among blacks, let alone in the past, to show that neighborhood-level diversity is bad for them too. I haven't dug into the literature here, just stating an impression from what I (haven't) heard so far. The lessons of history teach us that it's better for all groups in a diverse society to keep apart from each other rather than overlap in territory.


  1. " While black civic participation may not be up to white levels in the South, it is downright abysmal farther north along the Mid-Atlantic, as well as out in the Midwest."

    Didn't the dregs of the black population end up in the north? The rust belt ghettos are by far the nastiest parts of America. Wisconsin blacks are the dumbest and most truculent per Sailer. I do think you're right about blacks being alienated by others, though. Especially further into Yankee/Nordic territory where the contrast between whites and blacks is so stark.

    "blacks in the more mixed areas of the East Coast and Midwest broke out into full riot-and-loot mode."

    Said Yankee ninnies generally put up little resistance to marauding blacks. After Northerners bled out their hearts for blacks they weren't gonna lose face by stamping out unrest. Again, though, I do see you're point. Every white face made a restive black that much more ticked off.

    Didn't some study show that people's heart rates increase when around other races? Explains a lot if that's true.

    In terms of the Rodney rioting in L.A., it's not surprising that the authorities stood down given that L.A. is such a multi cult hell hole. Not just in terms of ethnicity; even the American whites there didn't have a strong enough sense of shared values and community by the early 90's to put up a fight.

    Of course as long as Boomers are around we're never gonna see pacification of black zones. What happened to blacks in the 60's is the worst sin in human history, you know. Other than Hitler. Meanwhile, look at the atrocities commited by the first bona fide Boomer regime (the Clinton era) against dastardly rightwing white outcasts (Ruby Ridge, Waco etc.)

    If blow back induced (and inadvertently financed) Muslim rage wasn't shoved in our faces by 9/11 we'd still see hysteria over anti liberal/anti gov. white groups.

  2. With regard to the MN Twin Cities metro area keeping things peachy: (from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/the-miracle-of-minneapolis)

    "In 1971, the region came up with an ingenious plan that would help halt this race to the bottom, and also address widening inequality. The Minnesota state legislature passed a law requiring all of the region’s local governments—in Minneapolis and St. Paul and throughout their ring of suburbs—to contribute almost half of the growth in their commercial tax revenues to a regional pool, from which the money would be distributed to tax-poor areas. Today, business taxes are used to enrich some of the region’s poorest communities."

    "For decades, Minneapolis was also unusually successful at preventing ghettos from congealing. While many large American cities concentrated their low-income housing in certain districts or neighborhoods during the 20th century, sometimes blocking poor residents from the best available jobs, Minnesota passed a law in 1976 requiring all local governments to plan for their fair share of affordable housing. The Twin Cities enforced this rule vigorously, compelling the construction of low-income housing throughout the fastest-growing suburbs. “In the 1970s and early ’80s, we built 70 percent of our subsidized units in the wealthiest white districts,” Myron Orfield said. “The metro’s affordable-housing plan was one of the best in the country.”"

    The growing resistance to these egalitarian ideas coincides with the beginning of high inequality in the 80's. It might also parallel growing diversity . When the area was heavily white German and Nordic there was a reluctance to let any area get too much while others suffered.

    Increasingly since the late 80's/early 90's, the Twin Cities have seen some cities become very elite refuges for those who have "made it". Maybe in others areas this sort of thing is taken for granted but it's definitely a change of pace for MN.

    I do think the article is on to something. It also notes that Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh have both a good quality of life while also being more affordable.

    Maybe you just need a low number of blacks ideally with segregation in a non ocean bordering area. But the number of blacks in the Twin Cities has gone from 13% in 1990 (tons 'o crime) to 18.6% in 2010 (no crime). If crime starts to rise again, there's gonna be huge exodus of whites from the core. It's never gonna be trendy to be shot or knifed.

  3. I think Sailer was talking more narrowly about the last couple decades, when the Chicago government paid off some the blacks to go take a hike toward Milwaukee and Minneapolis, or tipped them off that there was better welfare up there. That little migration would have been biased toward scum.

    I don't know how the waves of the Great Migration were biased, though. It was more about finding higher-paying industrial jobs rather than sharecropping. Also being sick of conflict with white Southerners, which may have biased them toward being honky-haters.

    The more I look at the maps, though, the more it seems like it's how their residence zones are shaped, and less so a bias in who migrated. Black territories in old school Southern areas tend to be spread out rather than dense, segregated rather than mixed, and with straight-line borders rather than being fenced in on all sides.

    The exceptions prove the rule: black areas in New Orleans and southern Florida are shaped and packed more like Rust Belt ghettos, and they're much shittier places to be than the rest of the black Southern areas.

    Likewise in the Midwest, black territories in Columbus and Indianapolis are shaped and packed more like Southern ones, and they're not notorious hellholes like the rest of the Rust Belt.

  4. "It's never gonna be trendy to be shot or knifed."

    On the contrary, it's only cool to have been shot at or to have had someone try to stab you. New Yorkers used to drop references to that for status points, back in the rising-crime era.

    It's still trendy to get mugged by blacks, though, and to brag about it for street cred -- ask Matt Yglesias.

  5. Looking at racial demos. it occurred to me that a final sign of a nation (empire, really) edging towards collapse is when the native stock who would've put up a fight in the past have grown up entirely in such a deranged period that they've been demoralized utterly by the alien onslaught.

    What spurred this also was the complete absence of young, healthy, virile white males in post 1990 culture. Besides token racial stuff, you also get doddering Boomers and dainty young white guys (many of whom are gay). Part of this due to those toxic groups keeping valiant whites at bay, but part of it also is whites of conscience and heart just watching the horror unfold after being so bludgeoned by BS so often that they develop a jaded, morose feeling towards modern culture.

    I really wonder what past American heroes would've thought about post 1960 (esp. post 1990) America. They might've just laid down their arms if they would've know that it would come to this.

  6. Maybe douchey liberal, childless, gutless young whites might boast about menacing blacks (esp. late Gen X-ers/Milennials who've been more insulated from violence than late Boomers and earlier X-ers) these days.

    But if 80's action films (and the focus on avenging white heroes) are any indication, Americans in those exciting times wanted to see urban thugs get
    their just desserts. Me gen morons like Pauline Kael might've branded Dirty Harry fascistic but by the 70's Americans (at least the ones not in elitist fashion la la land) were sick and tired of criminals.

    Also, the much lamented white flight of the 60's-80's obviously shows that when push came to shove, whites high tailed it out of dark hell holes.

    In terms of being glib about crime in the 70's and 80's, wasn't that more of dark humor thing than anything else? With the saner minds and higher T levels of that era I don't think Yglesias style faggyness was as common.

  7. Black territories in Minneapolis show a low density, unlike Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, etc. And they do look to be segregated from white territories, aside from some overlap in the NW. But their border isn't a simple line with "our side" and "their side" --


    There are at least three branches spreading out from the center, toward the NW, S, and E.

    That shape looks more like Cleveland or Baltimore. There isn't a single black core, like in Detroit, but there isn't an "our side" vs. "their side" as in Birmingham. The multiple-branch shape doesn't bode well, judging from the other cities that have it. It's just that their multi-branch territories are a lot denser than in Minneapolis. If blacks get dense in Minneapolis, it will turn into Cleveland.

    It goes to show how difficult it is to absorb a sudden large influx of blacks in an "our side" / "their side" fashion. By the mid-late 1900s, Minneapolis was already heavily built and settled, along with other Midwest industrial centers. You can carve out a little ghetto core, but you can't just slice off half of the city along a straight line, move all the whites on one side, and settle the black transplants on the other.

    In the South, black and white territories co-evolved over many decades, allowing them to sort their groups in a simple way -- either side of a straight line. You can do that when settlement is slow and gradual, not an abrupt transfer, where you're going to have an enclave, AKA ghetto.

    The only alternative is like Paris, to settle the blacks outside of the heavily settled white core, but that brings problems of its own.

    As in many other ways, Columbus dodged a bullet by not giving into the temptation to become a Gilded Age industrial center. It wasn't as densely packed as Cleveland, so when the blacks came, there was plenty of room for them to settle out toward the east, wholly apart from the white core, rather than be carved out as a ghetto.

  8. I don't know if you watch the pirate show "Black Sails", but they just ruined what could have been the next Game of Thrones, like a reddit commenter put it "in one fell swoop they've transformed Flint (the lead) from an uncompromising, badass, steely-eyed pirate into a lovelorn, weepy, pathetic romantic. The two images are in complete paradox with one another and make no sense".

    And so another TV show is dragged into the mud.

    & i didn't spoil the "fabulous" reveal exactly just in case...

  9. "I don't know if you watch the pirate show "Black Sails", but they just ruined what could have been the next Game of Thrones,"

    Is this directed towards Agnostic? He's said that he generally doesn't care that much about episodic TV. Especially the stuff that's been created since the mid 90's.

    I agree with him about TV being dull because basically it's about repeating the same formula without providing a satisfying resolution. With a movie you've got 1 1/2 - 3 hours to tell your story and anything goes (assuming a sequel isn't planned). With dramatic/episodic TV, the creators can't go all out since they're focusing on how to stretch the series out as long as ratings (and cast salaries) will allow.

    Also, the drawn out nature of TV (and even longer movies) leads to scenes/plots meandering about way too long which reduces the impact of any given event in the story.

    Getting back to your point about the pirate show, modern female audiences are really hostile towards well developed, stoic masculinity. This started in the 90's with alt rock/Emo/Nu Metal childish and dorky whining becoming the fashion. Sensitive? Yeah right, more like selfish and immature. In the 70's and 80's guys were supposed to be confident, self-reliant and amiable.

    People were more sensitive in the 80's, they just weren't self conscious and ostentatious about it. People just felt that it was how decent, normal people behaved. In the 90's and beyond this emphasis on so-called sensitivity was just another part of the PC plan to make white guys more childish, submissive, and non-threatening to increasingly timid girls.

  10. Blacks in the south didn't coordinate their protests. Those were communist organizers from the Northeast that grabbed a handful of black front men, weak-minded college kids, and the gullible hippie-types of each generation (I know; a relative of mine was a marcher, and he was an old lovey-dovey hippie-priest type who became a bitter miserable man later). Then they made sure the communist-friendly news crews only shot the shots they wanted, and staged acts to appeal to the mass media.

    This was also why, suddenly, the KKK went to public enemy #1. The Klan was not only anti-black, it was anti-communist; during the 1920s, during the first Red Scare, the KKK was a big force in fighting and ferreting out communist organizations. The Commies made sure this old enemy didn't get the same chance in the 1960s to stop them.

  11. You're quibbling on the word "themselves" in the phrase "organize themselves," as though I meant they needed no outside help. What I wrote was that they chose organization rather than anarchy, not that they followed that path without any outside help.


You MUST enter a nickname with the "Name/URL" option if you're not signed in. We can't follow who is saying what if everyone is "Anonymous."