The non-PC act that dare not speak its name: whites’ self-segregation from black America

In the previous entry, “Down with Brown!”, I discussed how today’s schools impose draconian punishments on white children according to a rigid, “zero tolerance” disciplinary formula in order to avoid disproportionate punishment for black children who misbehave so much more often and more seriously than whites. I pointed to two possible solutions to this problem: the rejection of the belief that justice requires equal racial outcomes in punishment, and a reintroduction of school segregation. But I neglected to mention an obvious third possible solution: whites can relocate to communities that have no blacks.

According to black author Rich Benjamin, that trend, which has been noted from time to time in the media (for example by reporter Jonathan Tilove), is continuing and increasing. Interviewed in Time about his new book, Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, Benjamin starts off by saying that these growing white communities have “an ineffable social charm—a pleasant look and feel.” He also says he had pleasant experiences there and that people were nice to him personally. Far from approving of such communities, however, he says that they represent a danger to American democracy. An example of this danger, which Benjamin says is “spinning out of control,” is “the tea-bagger movement, where people are concerned their taxes are going to be wasted on minorities and illegal immigrants”—meaning that it’s an out of control danger to democracy for whites to resist the levying of crushing taxes on themselves for the sake of low-performing, dysfunctional, and resentful nonwhites; meaning that it’s an out of control danger to democracy for whites not to want to be forced to subsidize people who are residing illegally in this country. He says that the government should do everything it can to make sure that “all” Americans are integrated—meaning, in practical terms, that six year olds like Zachary Christie must continue to receive 45-day school suspensions for bringing camping utensils to school, all for the sake of the utopian goal of achieving perfect racial integration and perfect racial equality of outcome in all areas of life.

Here is the interview:

America’s Booming White Enclaves
Randy James, October 12

Traveling some 27,000 miles, African-American journalist Rich Benjamin roamed the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 exploring a major demographic shift that is attracting remarkably little attention—the flight of white residents from cities and integrated suburbs into cloistered, racially homogeneous enclaves. Tidy communities such as St. George, Utah, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho—places Benjamin calls Whitopias—have grown at triple the rate of America’s cities in recent years, raising troubling questions about the country’s multiracial cohesion. The Stanford literature Ph.D. chronicled his adventure in a new book, Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, and spoke with TIME about what he found.

Let’s start with the title of your book—what is a Whitopia, exactly? It seems to be more than just a place where a lot of white people live.
Absolutely. A Whitopia has three things. First, it has posted more than 6% population growth since 2000. The second thing is that the majority of that growth—upwards of 90%—comes from white migrants. The third thing a Whitopia has is an ineffable social charm—a pleasant look and feel.

You say that many Whitopias offer a high quality of life and tend to perform well on those “Best Places to Live” lists that run in magazines. Do you think people are also drawn to these places specifically for their whiteness?
The major draw to Whitopia is that they’re safe communities with good public schools and beautiful natural resources. Those qualities are subconsciously inseparable from race in many Americans’ minds. For some people, race is a major role, and they said so to my face, but most of the Whitopians I encountered aren’t intentionally practicing racial discrimination or self-segregation.

You say Whitopias can form even in the middle of diverse cities. How is that possible?
People don’t realize that diversity isn’t the same as integration. Blacks and whites in New York, where I live, are as segregated today as in 1910 [based on a sociologists’ segregation index that measures how much contact people of differing races have with one another.]

What is the danger Whitopias pose to America as a whole?
You can call me old-fashioned, but I’m an integrationist. A democracy can’t function at its optimum unless all members are integrated as full members.

A community full of like-minded people tends to enforce their own view of the world and close off opposing viewpoints. You can go to parties in New York City where the liberal smugness is intolerable because they’re only hearing liberal viewpoints. On the Whitopian conservative side, it’s spinning out of control. Look at the tea-bagger movement, where people are concerned their taxes are going to be wasted on minorities and illegal immigrants. Same with the movement that says President Obama is not a citizen. (See pictures of the tea-party protests.)

So how can we avoid the threat of the racial Balkanization that you describe?
We have a golden opportunity now. If I were an elected leader, I would say we have $800 billion in stimulus money that could rebuild America. We don’t want to build communities in such a way that continues segregation. After World War II, President Eisenhower built highways and gave incentives to homeowners that gave white suburbanites an advantage. It left us with segregation for decades to come. Now we have an opportunity to get it right.

Are there any places that are getting it right now? That serve as a model for what you’d like to see?
There are communities around the country that get it right. Maplewood, N.J., has all the attributes of a Whitopia—high property values, great public schools, neighborliness—and yet it’s also integrated and very diverse.

What surprised you about the communities you spent time in?
I was caught off-guard by the level of hostility to immigration reform in many of these communities and by how concerned many are by taxes—they believe taxes are too high. [LA replies: evidently by “immigration reform” he means the legalization of all illegal aliens and a huge increase in legal immigration, a.k.a. comprehensive immigration reform.] But I was also caught off-guard by how pleasant an experience it turned out to be, the personable warmth that greeted me in many cases.

And you were surprised by how much you enjoyed golf.
I was. [Laughs.] I feel like golf courses are the seductive emblem of Whitopia, and I didn’t think I could get the essence of the place without learning myself. What I thought was a chore turned out to be a labor of love.

Tell me about the time you spent with white separatists in Idaho.
I just stumbled upon it. There’s a religious sect called Christian Identity, which is a religious arm of the Aryan Nations. When I was in northern Idaho, I sat in on a three-day retreat and had some fascinating conversations. It was just a bizarre experience.

You, a black man, sat in on a white-separatist retreat. How did that go over?
They were curious and shocked they had found a black man on their premises. A lot of the members of the church took pains to explain to me the difference between white supremacy and white separatism. They said, “We don’t think we’re better than you; we just want to be separate from you.”

We see that tendency to divide ourselves into identity groups in places all over the world, it seems, whether it’s by race or religion or political view. Is it simply human nature?
I just reject that argument. People in Whitopia would say, “Hey, Rich, birds of a feather flock together. What’s the big deal?” Our government and businesses across the country make decisions every day that perpetuate segregation. When you say homes need to be built on a 1-acre lot, when you say apartment renters can’t live in your community—these concrete policies are what contribute to segregation. It’s not in our biology, and it’s not natural. We’re a great country—we’ve overcome some thorny problems in our past, and we’re better than that.

- end of initial entry -

John Hagan writes:

I’m watching the self-segregation movement prosper all over northern New England. I talk to people all the time who move to this region to escape minorities, and they make no bones about it. Dartmouth Hitchcock hospital on the Dartmouth campus in the upper valley bordering Vermont and is considered one of the best full service hospitals in the nation. Central New Hampshire has become a popular retirement destination as the baby-boomers leave the cities.

Many New Hampshire towns have gone from having several thousand people to ten or twelve thousand people in less than twenty years as the middle class exits places like New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts looking for safety and a refuge from black crime and immigrant poverty.

Twenty years ago it was a hard-scrabble life north of Concord, New Hampshire. These days there are malls and Starbucks and first rate hospitals with a quality of life that delivers a good balance of rural living and most any amenities you could find in the city with a population that is 98 percent white. I’ve lived in northern New England off and on all my life and I’m just amazed at the transformation of this area.

I have no doubt that this growth in northern New England is being fueled by the demographic catastrophe that our nation is undergoing. As lovely as this region is, the winters are brutal, and this area has never been the first choice for year-round living by young couples or the retired.

Paul K. writes:

Now that black journalist Rich Benjamin has spent the last two years exploring the Whitopias of America, a journey in which he seemed surprised to encounter friendly, courteous people, even among the white separatists he met, I think it would be instructive for him to spend the next two years exploring the growing black dystopias of America, so he can compare and contrast the experiences. If he has dependents, he might want to take out a generous term life insurance policy beforehand.

James P. writes:

It is only a matter of time before it is illegal for communities to be more than 70 percent white (or whatever the “national average” is). That is the inexorable logic of what Benjamin says in his article.

Benjamin says, “I was also caught off-guard by how pleasant an experience it turned out to be, the personable warmth that greeted me in many cases.”

Yes, one professional, middle-class black man is of course not regarded as a problem in such communities, and he wouldn’t encounter any hostility if he attempted to move there permanently. However, it is quite a different matter when thousands of lower class NAMs come to stay (which is what Benjamin wants under the rubric of “building non-segregated communities”).

James N. writes:

I sent this to you about another story, the Chicago beating, but it seems apropos of the Whitopia discussion as well:

The level of denial on the part of American whites about the black “culture” that actually exists in most places, most of the time, is certainly extraordinary.

I wonder if there has EVER existed, in the history of the world, a popular delusion that was this durable.

Of course, the behavior of whites is much less delusional than their spoken opinions. The mass migration of whites away from cities, initially to suburbs but now to the intermountain West, northern New England, the Piedmont, and into gated (really fortress) communities in Florida and California would be one of the most remarkable population relocations in history, if we called it by its right name.

Whites will do almost anything to get away from black “culture,” as long as they don’t have to acknowledge what they are doing.

Kathlene M. writes:

Haven’t whites been self-segregating for years? I’m only surprised (1) that Rich Benjamin has discovered this growing trend, (2) that some ACLU lawyer hasn’t smelled dollar signs and sued yet, and (3) that the federal government hasn’t outlawed the act of self-segregation as “discriminatory.”

When one group (e.g., conservatives, whites, traditionalists, Christians, etc.) seeks to separate itself from an opposing group (e.g., liberals, non-whites, non-traditionalists, non-Christians, etc.), the latter group inexplicably tries to rejoin the first group, change it and force “equality” (i.e., the minority group’s rules/values) on the entire community. Once conflict sets in, the cycle starts over again: one group seeks to separate itself while the other group seeks to impose itself on the first group. Disparate groups cannot live peacefully together under a system of forced tolerance for very long.

What is troubling about our current political climate is that liberal radicals are seeking to impose their views at the federal level, rather than allowing each state to set up its own governing rules without the threat of federal and judicial interference. It’s no wonder that several states are exploring the issue of state sovereignty once again.

Marco Jawsario writes:

The curse of being a dashing caballero is that much is required of you, and it is your unrelenting duty to assist your people in their struggle for survival. Yes, mis amigos, to whom Dios has blessed with wisdom, strength and courage, from him He will demand more.

Hence, it is my obligation to remind you that we should not give uno crapo what this escribo Negro thinks. His actions do not seal our fate! His words are not our words. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His roots are not our roots. His blood does not flow through our veins. There are no Einsteins, Galileos, Caesars, Aristotles, Bacons, Newtons, Jeffersons or Jawsarios in his galaxy of stars. We caballeros, and ONLY we caballeros, can be masters of our destiny. If we so chose to repel and live apart from the Third World dysfunctionarios who have invaded our country, that is our prerogative. We are not peons crawling on the ground like ferrets rooting for tubers at the feet of Jackson and Sharpton. Santa Maria, no! It is my task to remind you of your duty to take up sword and shield, mount your potrillos, curse and do battle with our common enemy, El Diablo Liberalo. Fraternity and unity will make us strong and brave. Dios—con nosotros!

OneSTDV writes:

I covered this last week. I associated the growing “Whitopias” with something called the Schelling Model.

White Communities and the Schelling Model:

Perhaps, segregated communities arise from only a passive willingness to live amongst those of the same race. Perhaps, it’s not a condition of outright hatred towards those different from oneself, but rather, a feeling of inclusiveness when living in racially homogeneous communities. This would square well with the implications of HBD: that racial groups TEND to gravitate towards each other due to isolated evolutionary histories.

An elegant paper published in 1971 by Harvard economist, Thomas Schelling, shows the inevitability of total racial separation given only a passive desire to be amongst racial peers. The model is entitled: The Schelling Segregation Model …

Micheal T. writes:

I recommend you pick up Searching for Whitopia. VERY important, for it shows how much black people understand the reality of race in America. This article, from a website “Stuff Black People Don’t Like,” hits the nail on the head with how black people view race from a healthy perspective and how whites view it very unhealthy.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 13, 2009 07:17 PM | Send

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