Thursday, December 3, 2015

Disdain for others, quantified

Here is an article discussing the so-called racial tipping point, the relative number of black people (and especially poor black people) that the average white person will accept living around before running away to a new house to avoid black people.  It's sad and absurd that this concept should even have to exist, based as it is on a conception of blacks as a sort of epidemic disease, but there seems to be a rather rigorous way of quantifying the intolerance of whites for living near blacks.  Sadly, this tolerance level seems to top out at only 14%, meaning that if a neighborhood has a higher proportion of black residents than that, all the white folks will likely move out in short order.  Then as blacks attempt to flee this now-blighted area by moving to the place where the whites moved, the whites will again move farther out.  It is a more statistically rigorous way of characterizing a phenomenon I discussed in a past blog post, of everyone disdaining everyone else, which leads to an ever-widening suburban sprawl as those who deem themselves desireable move farther and farther away from city centers or inner suburbs populated by those they deem to be undesireable.  My wife, a very insightful outside observer of the US, has repeatedly remarked that if something will be our undoing as a nation, it is these deep rifts we maintain between races.  I agree with her.  Such rifts stem from, and further promote, our inability to conceive ourselves as a single people, to see our neighbor as a neighbor and not a suspicious, tainted other.  How shameful.

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