Tuesday, August 13

Diversity is Not Necessarily a Good Thing

There’s a lot of people advocating diversity these days that act as if the following are foregone conclusions:

  1. Diversity is always a good thing.
  2. Minorities love diversity and want to see as much of it as possible.
  3. Forcing diversity on communities will have positive impacts.

Before we go too far down the forced diversity road, I think that we should question these assumptions and demand that someone provide some type of concrete evidence to support them.  In addition, I would like someone to try to disprove what I have to say regarding the subject.  I disagree with all three of these assumptions, AND, I’ll tell you why as I critique each one. 

1, Diversity is always a good thing.  First a few questions: Why?  What data does anyone have to support this claim?  How much diversity is the appropriate amount?  Who will determine what is the proper amount?  How much is this diversification going to cost us?  What guarantees do we have that it will produce the results its proponents predict?  Will the proponents of forced diversity pay the costs of reversing the diversification, or at least compensate those who are negatively affected, if it has too many unintended negative consequences?  Would that even be possible?

Until all of these questions are answered to my satisfaction, I will strongly oppose any forcing of diversity upon neighborhoods.  If diversity is such a good thing, how come you don’t hear stories about more diverse neighborhoods and communities outperforming those that are less diverse?  If diversity was as great as its proponents say it is, economic forces would have diversified almost all communities a long time ago.

2. Minorities love diversity and want to see as much of it as possible.  Again with the questions: Says who?  What data does anyone have to support this claim?  If this is true, why haven't all minorities melded into one monolithic culture long ago, or at least be actively participating in such a transition right now?  How come people of various minorities tend to socialize with people of their own culture?  For that matter, how did various ethnicities and races ever develop in the first place?

Forced diversity is not even a good thing for the people its proponents claim it would benefit.  We’re all members of some minority, if you break things down far enough.  White Christian can be further divided into white Lutheran, among other denominations, which can be further broken down into white, Missouri Synod, Lutheran.  Everyone knows that most people prefer to socialize with people of their own culture, and even more specifically, subsets of their own culture.  It’s been that way since the earliest times of civilization.  In fact, that’s how various ethnicities evolved.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.  This is merely people preserving their culture.  That’s good, not bad.  If we were to diversify neighborhoods on a large scale, it would mean the death of various ethnic cultures and their rich histories would be forgotten.  

Don’t believe me?  It’s a matter of economics.  If you go into a Mexican-American neighborhood, you will notice businesses like grocery stores that cater to the needs and tastes of people that are of Mexican heritage.  Not surprising, huh?  A grocery store specializing in needs of Mexican-Americans will do well, if properly managed, in a Mexican-American neighborhood.  It wouldn’t have a chance of succeeding in an African-American neighborhood, and would have little chance of succeeding in a neighborhood with the same percentage of Mexican-Americans as the United States.

If we forced diversification on everyone, not only would the Mexican-Americans lose their favorite grocery stores, but all other ethnicities would lose the things that make up their collective identities as well.  It's a matter of critical mass, whether we're talking about a business, social club, or a church, the success of an organization depends upon having a certain minimum number of customers/members, in order to survive.  Having similar types of people concentrated in the same area makes it much easier for organizations that cater to those people to survive.

The very fact that various ethnicities even exist, proves that most members of minorities are no more in favor of forced diversification than an Arkansas farm boy, or a wealthy white businessman, living in gated community.

3. Forcing diversity on communities will have positive impacts.  How?
What data or historical precedent does anyone have to back this up?

We have already discussed some of the negative impacts of forcing diversity, but of course, there are more. We have seen the results of forcing diversity in the past.  Remember forced busing?  How’d that work out?  We have also witnessed what happens as neighborhoods, became more and more diverse.  It happened to neighborhoods in Detroit and other large cities.  At first they were fairly affluent, then they became more diverse, but then, they quickly became less and less affluent and ultimately, (and ironically) less diverse.



Raj Arjan said...

DIEversity is bullshit.

neil schnurr said...

Not necessarily, but it's not necessarily a good thing either. Forced diversity is bullshit, almost anything that is forced is.

Raj Arjan said...

Agreed. But why is it that only white people MUST EMBRACE DIVERSITY?

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