Immigrants, Their Children, & Contributing Factors

In discussing comparisons between the US and France, someone brought up the issues of immigration, assimilation, and violence. The specific focus was the children of the North African Muslim immigrants. Some have noted that violent crime, terrorism, and radicalization is seen more with the native-born second and third generations than with the immigrants themselves. So, this violence is learned in Europe, rather than it having been brought here by refugees.

It’s an interesting point, but it’s hard to disentangle the strands and harder still to put it all into context. For that reason, let me offer some of my commentary from a previous post, in response to Kenan Malik — Good Liberals vs Savage Nihilists:

“He does admit that some terrorists are refugees. His argument, though, is that they aren’t the majority. That’s true. As I recall, something like 20% are refugees, which admittedly still is a large number. More important is the entire atmosphere. Even for non-refugee Muslims in Europe, they likely would be surrounded by and regularly in contact with Muslims who are refugees. In general, they’d be constantly reminded of the refugee crisis in the media, reminded of the public response of hatred and bigotry, and probably mistaken as a refugee themselves. […]

“Many European Muslims still experience the negative effects of xenophobia, racism, ghettoization, and other forms of isolation, exclusion, and prejudice. They aren’t treated as fully integrated by their fellow citizens. Simply being born in a country doesn’t mean most people will see you as an equal. It takes generations for assimilation to take place. Even after centuries, Jews and Romani have continued to struggle for acceptance and tolerance in Europe. […]

“Plus, consider the situation in the United States. American Muslims on average are wealthier and more well-educated. But unlike in Europe they aren’t ghettoized nor racialized in the same way (we already have our racialized boogeyman with blacks). Maybe it should be unsurprising that per capita American Muslims commit far less mass violence than do native-born American whites. In the US, you’re more likely to be shot by a white terrorist and treated by a Islamic doctor, in terms of percentage of each population.

“The same identity politics and decline of traditional politics have happened in the United States. In some ways, the loss of community and culture of trust is far worse here in the States. Yet Islamic integration seems more of a reality than in Europe. American Muslims apparently don’t feel disenfranchised and nihilistic, as Malik assumes they should feel. This undermines his entire argument, indicating other factors are more important.

“Obviously, there is nothing inherently violent to either Arab culture or the Islamic religion. The Ottoman Empire was one of the great powers of the world, not particularly different than European empires. If any European empire with large contiguous territory (e.g., Russian Empire) had been defeated and demolished in a similar fashion and then artificially divided up as a colonial prize, we’d probably now have something in Europe akin to the present violence-torn Middle East. There is nothing that makes either region unique, besides the accidents of history. After WWI, the Ottoman Empire could have been left intact or even given assistance in rebuilding. In that case, none of the rest would have followed.”

Europe is having issues with assimilation based on a refugee crisis involving and related to more than a century of problematic relations with the the Middle East and North Africa. There is: the post-WWI forced dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, neo-colonial exploitation, Cold War conflict, proxy wars, covert operations, coups, assassinations, puppet dictators, destruction of democracy, support of theocracy, millions of innocents regularly killed over several generations, War on Terror, climate change-caused droughts, etc. All of this has been caused or contributed to by foreign governments, especially Western governments. This is built on centuries of ongoing racial and class conflicts in European history, including the legacies of colonial imperialism.

Assimilation is always a slow process. The Roman Empire spent centuries trying to assimilate the barbarian hordes of Europe, but they ultimately failed before those backwards Europeans took down that once great Mediterranean empire. Yet after the collapse of the Roman Empire, various European societies slowly assimilated aspects of the Roman Empire, developing into Western imperialism, colonialism, and feudalism. This process took most of Europe about a millennia or so, until finally a new assimilated culture could begin to be clearly identified as Western. For example, it took the Celts, Scandinavians, Germans, and Normans more than a millennia of bloodshed to assimilate into what eventually would be called the English.

As for our present situation, even in Europe, immigration violence is relatively low. Most of the increase in violence, as far as I know, hasn’t come from immigrants and their children. There has been a right-wing and reactionary radicalization of the native-born ‘white’ populations of European countries. It’s that few people ever bother to compare this native population violence against the immigrant population violence. I would like to see good data on this. I hear lot of people repeating what they think is true, but I never see the evidence for why they think it is true other than other people also repeating the same claims.

Even if it were true, this might be a normal pattern. Europe has seen millennia of violence rates that increase and then settle down following population shifts. And Americans were making similar complaints against European ethnic immigrants in the early 19th century. Yet immigrants almost always assimilate, slowly or quickly depending on the kind of society, but the only time assimilation fails is when there is enforced segregation (e.g., American blacks). I always take such allegations with a grain of salt because, when one researches them, they so often are found to be nothing more than stereotypes. Still, I do take seriously the problems of refugee crises, especially those that could be avoided, from the English-caused Irish potato famine to the US-promoted Latin American destabilization.

Unsurprisingly, desperate people act desperately. So, if the children of refugees are being targeted with prejudice, oppressed by systemic and institutional biases,  economically segregated and ghettoized, it would be entirely predictable that bad results would follow. I’ve pointed out the research that shows diversity only correlates to mistrust when there is segregation. What I’d like to see is the data on prejudice and oppression, violent crime and police brutality committed against these immigrants, their children, and their grandchildren. And then I’d like to see that compared to rates of violent crime in immigrant communities, broken down in various ways: older and younger, foreign-born and native-born, etc.

But most importantly I’d like to see research that controls for at least the most obviously significant confounding factors: poverty, inequality, segregation, political disenfranchisement, racial/ethnic targeting, etc. Consider that last one. We know that American blacks get stopped, arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned more often and more harshly than do American whites, even for crimes that have been proven to have higher rates for American whites. So, how do we know the bias against these populations aren’t built into the institutions, such as police departments, that create and keep this data?

Now consider this. All these points I make, all these questions and criticisms, they seem obvious to me. And I can’t help but think that they should be obvious to everyone. Yet most of this is rarely if ever mentioned, much less seriously discussed, by right-wingers and neo-reactionaries, by race realists and genetic determinists, by white supremacists and ethno-nationalists. As far as that goes, you won’t hear much about it by mainstream liberals, Democratic politicians, and corporate media. Why is that?

Look at the essay below, “Crime and the Native Born Sons of European Immigrants.” It is from 1937. The author, Harold Ross, discussed and analyzed these very same kinds of issues, although about European (Christian) immigrants. He even considered the confounding factor of economic segregation, among other issues. So, how is it that such an essay could be written 80 years ago and so many people to this day continue to make ignorant arguments, as if such confounding factors don’t exist? Was Harold Ross a genius or, like me, was he simply willing to state the obvious?

* * *

Crime and the Native Born Sons of European Immigrants
by Harold Ross
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
Volume 28, Issue 2 July-August, 1937

The European immigrant, landing on American shores, was forced to find cheap lodgings as he was usually penniless. These cheap lodgings he found in the disorganized slum areas of the industrialized American cities.5 The behavior of the new-comer himself was determined by behavior patterns organized in the culturally more stable European environment but his native born children suffered the stresses and strains of the new individualistic environment.

These children, the native born offspring of foreign parentage, were reared under those barren, poverty stricken socio-economic conditions that produced a higher crime rate than a more sheltered and prosperous environment. The environment of the slum dwellers meant for all the inhabitants there, be they of native or foreign parentage, a life conditioned by irregular, poorly paid employment, by a family disorganized by the necessity of the mother to leave the task of home-making in search of work to supplement the chief wage-earner’s meager income, by the general institutional disorganization, by inadequate educational opportunities and a sordid, barren milieu for the children. These vital forces were far more powerful than the fact that one slum-reared child’s parents spoke Italian and another’s parents spoke native American slang, that the one ate spaghetti, and other beef stew

If the crimes of the native born of native stock and those of the native born of foreign stock were stimulated by different causes, the cause in the latter case being a cultural clash between American and European customs which is non-existent in the former case, then there should be little similarity in the growth from childhood to careers of crime between both groups. If, on the other hand, crimes in both cases were stimulated by the same cause, namely dwelling on the same socio-economic level, then there should be definite similarity in the maturation from childhood to crime.

Anti-social behavior first becomes evident in the delinquencies of predatory boy gangs. Boys naturally tend to play with other boys. The environment determines whether this spontaneous grouping is social or anti-social, whether it is a respectable Boy Scout Troop or a predatory gang.’ The typical city “kids” gang consisted mainly of the native born offspring of foreign born parents, but nativity per se was not responsible for the gang problem.7 All boys of the same socio-economic class, whether of foreign, negro, or native white parentage, enter into gangs with equal facility.8 Boys of the more prosperous classes do not form anti-social gangs, not because they are of native white stock, but because of their prosperous environment.9 It is needless for them to rebel against the mores and law, for life has been comfortable to them. Others, regardless of parental nativity and because of their lower socio-economic position, did not willingly accept the mores and law that doomed them to a barren life, so naturally violated them.

This disregard by delinquency of nativity is illustrated by Chicago districts near the Loop, the stock yards, and the south Chicago steel mills which have had high delinquency rates as far back as the records go, and yet whose” population composition has been constantly changing. 0 In many cities it has been noted that the incidence in delinquency varied more accurately with community background than with nationality. High rates coincided with the areas of physical deterioration.”

There has been no fixed boundary between the boy’s predatory gang and the adult’s criminal group.’ 2 Behavior patterns organized in the former were carried over into and accentuated by the latter. Sons, both of native and foreign born stocks, made this promotion from juvenile delinquent to adult offender with equal facility. A follow up of 420 Chicago cases found a negligible difference.’ 3 Continuance of anti-social conduct was dependent upon other conditions than nationality. 4

Further, evidence that the crimes of native born white of both European and American parentage were the resultant not of conditions peculiar to either group but of the same general socio-economic pressures affecting both is shown by the fact that the types of crimes the immigrant’s sons were guilty of were similar not to the offenses of their parents, but to the offenses committed by native Americans. This tendency of the second generation to shift away from crimes peculiar to immigrants and towards native crimes is substantiated by records of all commitments to Massachusett’s penal institutions during the year ending September 30, 1909, and by the records of convictions in the New York Court of General Sessions from October 1, 1908 to June 30, 1909. 25

In summary, then, it was noted by an examination of both American and European reports that the differences in socio-economic conditions between urban and rural life resulted in differences in crime rate whatever may be the nativity or cultural heritage of the individuals. Further it is contended that there are just as marked differences between the environment of prosperous and poverty stricken districts within the urban areas which also result in differing crime rates. Thus the crime of the native born sons of foreign born parentage may be a result not of cultural maladjustment as is usually held, but of their position in a poverty class, a class which breeds criminals with equal facility from all its constituents be they of native or foreign parentage. This view is substantiated by evidence that indicates that native born whites of both American and European parents, if on the same socio-economic level, formed predatory groups, that both grew up into careers of crime with equal facility, and that both were guilty of the same types of crime. This coincidence of factors indicates that the criminality of both was not due to conditions peculiar to each group individually, but to general conditions affecting both equally, namely, their residence in a poverty stricken socio-economic class.

This explanation, if accepted, harmonizes the apparent contradiction between statistical studies, on the one hand, which demonstrate a higher crime rate for the native born of European parentage than for the native born of American parentage, and the personal experiences of countless officials and investigators, on the other hand, who claim, after handling hundreds of second generation offenders, that the foreign stock from which the offenders sprang was in no way responsible for the criminality.16 As the native born sons of foreign parentage tend to be segregated on that income level which has a high crime rate and the native stock tends to be dispersed through all income levels, then obviously statistical studies would endow the former with a higher crime ratio. […]

In conclusion concerning the number and causes of crime of native born individuals of foreign stock, in contradiction to accepted opinion, these views are tentatively presented.

2) Statistics seem to indicate a higher crime rate for the native born of European stock only because they disregard the various income levels. What their actual crime rate is is still a matter of opinion and it is this writer’s hypothesis that all peoples on the same socio-economic level have approximately the same crime rate.

1) The second generation is not a group culturally adrift with neither the culture of their parents nor of their new environment to guide them, but is a group with a very definite culture, a culture of a socio-economic level that is determined by irregular, poorly paid employment and results in broken homes, inadequate eductional and recreational opportunity, and a general stunted environment. And this culture determines for its inhabitants, whatever their nativity, a high crime rate.


38 thoughts on “Immigrants, Their Children, & Contributing Factors

    • That probably explains much. It wasn’t a large stretch to make Asian-Americans into model minorities. Westerners have been fascinated with and often admiring of Asians for centuries. Products from China have been prestige symbols since the colonial era and early national period.

      But there is another reason to consider. There has been large numbers of Asian immigrants to the US in recent history. There has not been large numbers of African immigrants.

      These Asian immigrants have been more wealthy and well educated than the average US citizen. At an earlier time, most of the Asian immigrants were poor and uneducated. That was a major shift the socioeconomic status of Asian immigrants. Their ability to become model minorities had everything to do with their socioeconomic status.

      • “The Chinese reached North America during the time of the Spanish colonial rule over the Philippines (1565–1815), where they had established themselves as fishermen, sailors, and merchants on Spanish galleons that sailed between the Philippines and Mexican ports ( Manila galleons ). California belonged to Mexico until 1848, and historians have asserted that a small number of Chinese had already settled there by the mid-18th century. Also later, as part of expeditions in 1788 and 1789 by John Meares, a British fur trader, sailing to Vancouver Island from Canton (now Guangzhou), China hired several Chinese sailors and craftsmen to help build the first European-designed boat to be launched in British Columbia.[8]”
        “At first only a handful of Chinese came, mainly as merchants, former sailors, to America. The first Chinese people of this wave arrived in the United States around 1815. Subsequent immigrants that came from the 1820s up to the late 1840s were mainly men. In 1834 Afong Moy became the first female Chinese immigrant to the United States; she was brought to New York City from her home of Guangzhou by Nathaniel and Frederick Carne, who exhibited her as “the Chinese Lady”.[10][11][12] By 1848, there were 325 Chinese Americans. There were 323 more immigrants in 1849, 450 in 1850 and 20,000 in 1852 (2,000 in 1 day).[13] By 1852, there were 25,000; over 300,000 by 1880: a tenth of the Californian population—mostly from six districts of Canton (Guangdong) province (Bill Bryson, p. 143)[14]—who wanted to make their fortune in the 1849-era California Gold Rush. The Chinese did not, however, only come for the gold rush in California, but also helped build the First Transcontinental Railroad, worked the southern plantations after the Civil War, and participated in setting up California’s agriculture and fisheries.”
        “The First Chinese Women in the United States”. The National Women’s History Museum. Retrieved September 5, 2014. Jump up ^ Haddad, John. “The Chinese Lady and China for the Ladies” (PDF). Retrieved September 5, 2014. Jump up ^ Ward, Geoffrey (1997). The West: An Illustrated History. Little, Brown & Co. p. 147. ISBN 0-316-92236-6. Jump up ^ Bryson, Bill. Made In America. Jump up ^ Brownstone, p.26 Jump up ^ “Chinese Fisheries in California,” Chamber’s Journal, Vol. L (January 21, 1954), p. 48.
        We were here WAY before most European Americans arrived, most of whom arrived in the early 1900s or after WWII – yet we are still “perpetual foreigners” probably also because of the EXCLUSION ACTS AGAINST us EAST ASIANS
        “The Economist: China beat Columbus to it, perhaps”

        • That is the thing. Most African-Americans have older American ancestry than most European-Americans. The same is true for certain populations of Asian-Americans and Spanish-Americans that have been in North America and the United States for a long time. The difference for most African-Americans is that they didn’t come by choice. African enslavement has left a permanent stigma on African-Americans. They are the one and only population that can’t either assimilate into whiteness or become a model minority.

    • I’ve never been against high quality research being done on gender, race, etc. But the problem is that there is too much low quality research, partly because we don’t even fully understand what we are trying to research and so how to narrow in on it. And there are too many people willing to speculate on weak or misleading data.

    • By preferences, I sense there is implied privileges, that one’s group should get special preference. But why white privileges with no other race getting privileges? And what most ‘whites’ who don’t care about white identity, supremacy and ethnonationalism, much less white privileges? Where are my German-American privileges, considering my family’s ethnic culture was suppressed by American WASPs not that long ago? To tell you the truth, I care more about my Midwestern identity. And so where are my Midwestern privileges?

      I want it mandated that no one is allowed to flyover the Midwest and that, from now on, the Midwest will be decreed by law to be the new political, economic, and cultural center of the entire country… all bow down to the Midwest, as obviously we are the most superior people. We Midwesterners are the one pure race, considering we are the most Germanic/Aryan. We Midwesterners are the fulfillment of the white dream!

      All other whites must be eugenically purified from the breeding population so as to protect the superior Midwestern genetics. We can give the entire West Coast to Asians, the entire Southwest to Hispanics, and the entire South to blacks (I suppose Canada can take New England, if they want it). But all tainted whites who aren’t genetically pure Germanic-Aryan Midwesterners must be eugenically eliminated, in order to protect the master race and make Midlands America great again.

      Midwest supremacy, now and forever! LOL

  1. Definitely not the uber aryan that you’d think dick Spencer would be with LOL I agree with some of the townspeople there who commented in the mother jones article that ironically Spencer’s wife isn’t really “white”

    You know, if you really think about it, “Europe” as a discrete landmass and entity is kind of a social construct. Really, it’s just the NW corner of the Eurasian landmassz

    • I love it when white supremacists attack each other over who is the most pure or who even gets to be called white. It is like claiming to have a purebreed pedigree for your dog.

      All genetic populations exist on a continuum of various overlapping genetics where any division you make is completely arbitrary. Some Northern and Eastern Europeans have more shared genetics with Asians and Native Americans while some Southern Europeans have more shared genetics with North Africans and other Mediterranean people.

      In terms of either genetics or appearances, there is obviously no single population of ‘Europeans’. If any population has the right to claim to be the more real Europeans, it would be the Basque who have been their the longest and who have the most unique genetics.

    • That seems rather clueless to me. When talking about integrated and cohesive communities, that only happens over at least several generations, often longer. Force people together long enough and they will assimilate into a common culture. It’s not hard to do, if you are willing to maintain the community long enough. I doubt many social scientists, especially in academia, are interested in starting a study that would require at least several generations to complete.

  2. It is worth noting that there is actually empirical research going back decades looking at how prejudices form and how they can be overcome; and a consistent result is that overcoming prejudice is best done through long-term cooperation and non-aggressive education. To break white racialism, we have to explain why it is either based on false premises (e.g. genetics and the myth of “race”) or why it is counterproductive (e,g, the use of racialism to divide workers). We also have to start by bridging gaps between ethnic groups as a first step, rather than hoping to overcome the barrier first. A fine example of the latter is when Paul Robeson, a black singer prominent in the international working class movements of the mid-20th century, sang to striking white workers building the Sydney Opera House. Racial tensions have always been an issue in Australia, but in their shared working-class identity these people put it aside for a time; showing how working-class identity can serve as a means to materially overcome racial tension.

    • I always return to the research that shows that such things as growing up in a diverse community and having a higher number of friends, both being more likely in urban areas, increases the probability that people will be more socially liberal and tolerant as adults. That is just with one generation. Imagine what happens if several generations of a family grow up with many friends in a diverse community (i.e., a large, multicultural peer group and social networks). There is probably even epigenetic effects that further get built into genetic expression and gets carried on with each generation.

      It would be interesting to look at communities that have had integrated diversity for long periods of time, at least a century or better yet several centuries. I live in a town that once had major conflicts, sometimes violent, between people of German, Czech, and English ancestry. Each lived in their own neighborhoods, attended their own churches, sent their kids to their own schools, and had their own newspapers.

      But after a century of promoted integrated diversity, largely through universal public education, most residents no longer even think about their ethnic differences or maybe even know what their ethnicity is. These people who once would have fought in the street and in politics, now they have a shared culture and simply think of themselves as white. They’ve largely intermarried and the differences that once seemed so real either have disappeared or become irrelevant.

      Many people in this town have been here for generations, since the 1800s. My landlord is of Czech ancestry and his family was involved in the violent conflicts from earlier last century, revolving around such issues as alcohol consumption. Many people still complain about the alcohol consumption in this town, but they no longer blame it on hyphenated Americans. The problems didn’t change or at least it didn’t worsen. Drunks fighting, breaking things, and getting arrested was probably a more major problem a century ago. What changed was the perception of the problem. It is seen as a community problem, not an ethnic problem.

      Diverse towns like this existed all across the country. Yet within a few generations, that diversity was integrated. That is what naturally happens, as long as you have a society where integration is desirable and where segregation isn’t enforced by law (as it was with minorities). Bridging gaps between ethnic groups happens naturally, unless there is something that keeps it from happening. Put diverse young people together without any enforced social, political, or economic segregation and they will do what young people do, make friends with each other and date each other, later on many of them will marry and have kids together. Repeat that for several generations and only the most faint memory of diversity will remain.

  3. Something about the immigrant experience either attracts neurotic people, or makes people neurotic. It might be the same reason why so many lawyers can be assholes at times.
    The dark side of the American Dream.

    • The people who choose to immigrate obviously aren’t representative of the average person. Even if they aren’t escaping some kind of problem (political oppression, refugee crisis, etc), they have to have the kind of personality or something that would cause them to uproot their entire life and gamble everything on an uncertain bet. Normal, happy, well balanced people with no issues or problems don’t typically do that.

      Yet I suspect that the very experience of immigration and settling into a new society doesn’t often bring out the best in people. It is a highly disruptive and destabilizing experience: economically, socially, and psychologically. This is further complicated for immigrants to the US which is a highly neurotic country. The levels of anxiety, depression, addiction, etc are very high in the US, as compared to similar developed countries. Not many immigrants are prepared to deal with how fucked up is American society.

  4. It’s a bit more complicated than that. After the US helped the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan against the Soviets, we basically ditched them and offered them no support. That’s besides the fact that we helped build a narrative that fed the extremism, which was Islam vs. atheist communism trying to take over their land.
    As messed up as it is, we went to Afghanistan to fight communism and we “won.” We just didn’t really prepare for the consequences and the Taliban became the major governing force through the 90s until we deposed them again in the current conflict.

  5. We are now guarding the resources(Gold, lithium, copper, etc.) the Russians surveyed in the 70’s.
    We wont pull out because that means China or Russia gets the 10’s of Trillions to extract into their economies.
    At least, that’s what a Vet told

  6. Vietnam was a lie? Maybe the superficial excuses were but there is always a real reason and it wasn’t hidden. The US gov was obsessed with communism and they had the “domino theory”. They were convinced that SE Asia was going to fall to communism spreading south from China. There had already been an extremely bloody war in Korea that looked a lot like Vietnam about 10 yrs earlier. No one in the west wanted to deal with Ho Chi Minh even though he started off as a US ally against Japan and the root of the war was against colonialism. He went with whoever would support him.

    • It was all about the Cold War. And the Cold War was about which authoritarian empire would rule the world. Vietnam was irrelevant in and of itself. It was simply a proxy battleground between the two vying global superpowers. But neither the US nor the Soviets had any interest in Vietnam. There were many such proxy wars.

  7. This is more of a thing of the past. I guess it is still going on in some areas. First an explanation is needed of what white flight actually is.

    Many more urban areas of North Jersey like Newark, Irvington, Patterson, Passaic, Plainfield used to have large white populations, if not white majorities. At the end of the WWII with the return of the troops from the war many white families left the more urban areas moving out to towns that are today the suburbs. This of course had an important impact upon American society on the whole as now about 50% of America lives in a suburb (25% in more urban areas, and 25% in more rural areas), whereas that number only used to be about 25% in 1950.

    The suburbanization of America obviously had a huge impact on Urban areas. While this was going on large numbers of African-Americans from the South had been moving north looking for good paying industrial jobs that were created during and after the war. African-Americans for the most part filled the vacuum so to speak of the leaving white families as they moved into neighborhoods and took jobs that whites were leaving.

    As a result of African-Americans moving in, many white people, who otherwise were content to stay in urban areas, also decided to follow their neighbors and move to more suburban areas. A lot of this happened as a result of tricks played by realtors who were trying to get people to sell their houses at a low price, so they convinced the white people that the neighborhood was going to hell since black folks were moving in.

    This trend continued throught the late 40s & 50s. During the mid 1960s there were race riots in NJ, most notablly the Newark riots, but I believe there was rioting in Plainfield as well in the 60s. Racial violence like this greatly excellerated the pace of white flight from urban areas of NJ. So, for example an area like North Newark which 40 years ago was probably 80-90% Italian is probably now only 5% Italian, if that (most of the holdout are people who now are quite old, in their 70s/80s).

    The negative effect of all of this was that many of these cities lost their middle class, which was largely composed of white small business owners. In the case of Newark there were lots of Jewish small business owners who lived near Central Newark and by Irvington. Many of these small businesses were torched during the Newark riots, and as a result the owners decided not to rebuild in Newark.

    Things continued to spiral out of control for the 70s/80s/ and even into the early 90s. Newark has come back to a certain degree in the downtown section, but it is still a shell of what it used to be. In 1950 there were 440,000 people living in Newark. Today there are only 280,000. If you want to understand how bad Newark used to be drive through the business district sometime. A lot of the buildings are connected by walkways above the streets. These were built, not to showcase some type of engineering ingenuity, but rather because Newark was so dangerous in the 70s/80s that many people refused to work there if they had to walk around on the streets.

    Now you could make the case that white flight is still occurring today. Many towns in NJ have seen an influx of immigrants (mostly from Asia and Latin America), as a result many white people have left. Good examples of this are Edison and Fort Lee with Asian immigrants and towns like Dover with Latin American immigrants.

    Read more:

    • White flight is hard to see sometimes. I’m thinking of around here. Iowa City has become increasingly diverse, much of it because of the university but not all of it.

      Many whites like my brother have moved to bedroom communities. The reason for this isn’t necessarily racism, though. In my brother’s case, it is because housing became too expensive in Iowa City. Part of the problem is there has been an influx of wealthier foreign students, mostly Asian, which has driven up the housing costs.

      Still, it’s not just whites who have moved to bedroom communities. So have many Hispanics. There is a growing rural population in many small towns in Iowa. It’s not clear to me that any of this necessarily has anything to do with white flight, but I don’t doubt there are some whites who move because of fear or bigotry toward minorities.

    • I was raised by conservative parents in the conservative Deep South. I remember repeating conservative talking points when I was younger because I heard them from my dad. If I had remained in the Deep South and not have come into contact with leftist ideas, I might be a conservative today, although probably of a moderate variety. I’m not a radical by nature. But the crazy right-wingers like these have pushed me further and further to the radical left.

  8. The white flight of the 60’s and 70’s is a prime example of systemic racism at work. What is happening today is some what different but it is not necessary to be p.c. here. People will always want to protect their investment. No matter who they are or what race they are. Many black people reacted just as whites did when their neighborhoods started to “tip”. They just wanted to protect their investment as well. Race and class are tied together in America and it is a waste of time to debate that in this day and age.

    I have had conversations with black people who say there was such a thing as “good segregation” once upon a time. And these were very smart level headed people who did not carry a chip on their shoulder I might add. Before the attempt at integration of America’s neighborhoods there were actually communities in black America that were liveable, well kept, and in some cases relatively safe for the times. They were by no means utopia as due to segregation they were located right next to the ghetto. But some people insist that there were more examples of successful black communities back then when compared to now. I am speaking of areas in the northeast and midwest. The south had its own story and is the only part of the U.S. that is truly racially integrated today. Which is just so ironic considering the history there. But it is not an coinsidence. As far as ethnic diversity-that was never the same issue and you can’t really compare. This country is not divided ethnically like it is racially and ethnics were never segregated to the same degree.

    “What happened to being American?
    Could it be they need special treatment? They should be ashamed of all the ‘Ghetto Thug’ type of behavior.
    Act like a scumbag, you get treated the same.
    I work with many black people, and they are absolute ladies and gentleman.”

    What planet are you from?
    Yes special treatment like being followed in the store, being pulled over for no reason, or being refused a cab? How special is that? Since when did one group of people in America share collective shame for “thug behavior”?
    Absolute ladies and gentelmen? Is that the standard for all of those in your race? Where do you live-Mayberry? If you can’t prevent your kids from turning into thugs or wiggers or whatever I guess then its not your fault, right?
    You don’t have to take any responsibilty for it then. You must be quite the gentleman. Some of my best friends, sheesh……

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    • Give it a century or so, Those ethnic enclaves will have disappeared. The descendants of the people living there will have moved elsewhere, intermarried with other Canadian populations, and become assimilated. They will simply become Canadians. It’s not like this is the first time there were ethnic enclaves built from immigrant populations.

    • I hadn’t thought about that. Of course, we live in a more peaceful time. Authoritarians during peaceful times act differently than authoritarians during wartime. But I still think the author’s main point remains. Something maybe has changed.

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