3.9.16

FIND AN AMERICA TO BUY INTO.

Reason's Steve Chapman suggests that ethnic diversity is not producing ethnic tension.
The biggest source of racial tension is also the oldest one—the divide between whites and blacks, manifested in economic disparities and broadly different views of law enforcement. Most whites express confidence in police, but only 30 percent of African-Americans share that trust. Though blacks continue to feel they face discrimination, most whites believe they don't.

Other groups, though, have integrated themselves into American society more fully than could have been expected. Asian-Americans, who once faced intense prejudice, are likelier than any other group to intermarry and to live in racially mixed neighborhoods. Their households also have a higher median income than white households.

In a society dominated by racial animosity, you'd see different groups segregating themselves, or being segregated, from others. That's not what is happening.

Scholars John Logan of Brown University and Wenquan Zhang of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater found that compared with 1980, in the 20 most diverse metropolitan areas, people of every race are likelier to live in "global neighborhoods" inhabited by whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans. In these cities, half of whites now live in such areas.

If multicultural societies were prone to intergroup violence, a growing immigrant population would generate more disorder. In fact, Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson has documented, the rise in immigration has produced a sharp decline in crime rates. "The transformed vitality of cities was most visible in the places that had seen the greatest increases in immigration," he wrote in The American Prospect.

Achieving vitality through diversity? In America, that's not a naive dream. It's a solid reality.
It's the isolated poverty pockets where there's the most violence, and those places aren't particularly conducive to in-migration.  Or taco trucks.  Some things you just can't make up, such as a Trump spokesman of Latin American roots with an interesting twist on cultural imperialism.  Let Doug Mataconis reinforce a point I've frequently made.  By all means read and understand the essay and follow the links.
[Marco] Guitterez’s (in the Trump universe, does he get a nickname distinct from little? -- ed.) appeal to the idea of “taco trucks on every corner” reflects the long standing fear of the xenophobe that immigrants will change American culture. The answer to that fear, of course, is that yes, they will change American culture. This is how immigration has always worked in the United States. From the founding of the nation, and even prior to ratification of the Constitution, waves of immigrants from different parts of Europe influenced American culture in countless ways that have enriched and changed what it means to be an American. They’ve impacted everything from our customs (many of the Christmas traditions we now see as common came from German immigrants), our language (pretty much every large scale group of immigrants has helped add words to the what we consider common English), and even the kinds of food we eat (need I mention pizza, sushi, hamburgers, Chinese food, and, of course, tacos?) Newer immigrant groups are also adding their own flavor to the American stew, which is why you can find restaurants serving food from India, Ethopia, Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, the Middle East, and Central and South America in most major American cities and their suburbs. This is what the idea of the “melting pot,” which isn’t really an accurate description of what happens when American and immigrant cultures meet, is all about. Immigrants become American and, at the same time, they influence and add their own flavors to what it means to be American. It’s why pizza, sushi, hamburgers, hot dogs, and, yes, tacos, are as much “American” food as the things Americans ate in 1776.
Assimilation is messy. And socially necessary. "[T]he day we stop being willing to adapt to immigrants as much as they adapt to us is the day what it means to be American dies." Indeed, and I have some proper German beer set aside to open after the tomato-canning is done for the day.

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