Diversity in the USA
I’ve said before that one of the reasons I like living in Howard County is because of the diversity of the people here.
One of Jim Rouse’s goals when he ‘made’ Columbia was to achieve a fully integrated city. So, did he do that very thing?
The University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service has released a map which takes racial data from the 2010 U.S. Census and represents each citizen, by race, as a dot on the map.
Each race is represented by a different colour: blue for white, green for black, red for Asian, yellow for Hispanic, and brown for other races.
Taken together the dots show a visual representation of the racial makeup of cities, towns and the country.
The good chaps at Columbia Patch have zoomed in on Columbia, showing the racial makeup of Columbia’s villages and neighborhoods. See their map here.
Wired.com called the map “The Best Map Ever Made of America’s Racial Segregation”. Wired writes that every city tells a different story, but in some the segregation can be surprising.
“In the Midwest, though, the racial divide can be shockingly exact. In Chicago, bands of whites, blacks, and Latinos radiate out from the city center like sun beams. In St. Louis, a buffer of a few blocks separates a vast area of largely black citizens from another of white and Asian ones,” the peeps at Wired.com say.
As far as Columbia goes, some of the comments on the Columbia Patch article from residents have been the most interesting….
‘……if one does NOT live in a “diverse” neighborhood, will HUD come in and make it so by force of government? Is there any benefit whatsoever to living in a “diverse” neighborhood or any detriment to do so?‘
‘Personally, I really like living in an area with a lot of income/cultural/ethnic diversity. I get a richer view of the world, and feel like my kids grow up with an appreciation for the variety of human experience. It was one of the values by which Columbia was founded, and I’m glad that it’s been maintained.‘
‘You have to take into consideration how long people have lived in those houses. When Columbia started, the % of African-Americans was near 12%, it is now 25%. Similar with other minorities. However, if those who purchased homes in 1970 are all still living in those homes, the diversity in those particular neighborhoods has been static for the last 45 years. The key here is that when those houses eventually are sold, they need to be made available to all buyers. As long as that happens, I believe Columbia will continue to be diverse, and will become more diverse, in the future.‘
‘Forced Diversity “Among the several hidden initiatives in the Obama Administration’s goal to bring “fundamental change” to America are plans, already being implemented, to use Federal power and Federal money to require greater “diversity” in each and every American community. According to an article posted on Fox News Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, while speaking at the NAACP convention last month, spoke of a new policy called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” This policy, according to Fox, requires HUD “to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it.” See http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/08/forced_diversity.html’
‘I think Columbia’s map is really fascinating compared to other parts of the country where the lack of diversity is so striking (like the Midwest cities Wired mentioned). In my opinion, I think it shows that Columbia is a pretty diverse city on a macro level.’
‘I love the fact that my kids attended one of the most diverse HS in Howard County. But it should be noted that in a lot of cases, clusters of the same ethnicity is not aways due to income factors but that people naturally seek out neighborhoods of similar ethnicity.’
Varying viewpoints, interesting feedback, Columbians 🙂 I’d love to read views from other places and residents in the USA. And I’d also like to see a map for the UK, and see how it compares…..
My friend and I watched The Butler last night. You know the one – the movie with Forrest Whitaker in as the butler at the White House for over thirty years. I loved it, it made me cry, I learned much about American history and the appalling issues of segregation, the historical back drop was reminiscent of Forrest Gump, and Forrest (the actor), Oprah Winfrey and David Oyelowo were amazing.
I love this piece by Justin Shaw, which gives a great insight into some of the racial themes covered in the movie.
Go see the movie. Take a tissue, mind you 😉
More on the Confederate Flag
A nice chap at the BBC has written about the Confederate Flag and its symbolism, much like I did. See Tom Geoghegan’s piece here.
That’s quite an amazing map. But you know what scares me about it? That some people might use it to choose where they would or would not live or move to.
Good point, Andy.
Nobody’s asking me but I think there’s a bigger division of class than race in the US. Oprah has far more in common with Bill Gates than I do. Her biggest problem is some shopkeeper may not have sprung into action fast enough to sell her a $38,000 bag. I’m the guy who can’t wrap his head around any handbag costing $38,000. YMMV.
I’ve heard some disagreements regarding the historical accuracy of The Butler, though I haven’t seen the movie. While it may be a good story it’s always worth checking the facts.
Me too. Especially the Reagan bit. Tis still good movie!
ThatOtherGuy, I was thinking the same thing. The color of our dot as a way to describe our country is getting a little old. How about dots for education level? Languages spoken? Number of $38,000 handbags owned? 🙂
History is probably better learned from history books. TV shows and movies are about butts in the seat. I have not seen ‘The Butler’ but with pop culture a healthy dose of skepticism is useful.