Friday, April 08, 2011

White Ethnic Cleansing

Via Steve, a WaPo article on white flight from diversity:

More than half of the United States’ 100 largest cities relied on Hispanics and Asians to grow and would have seen their populations decline without them over the past decade, a Washington Post analysis shows.

What seems lost on the WaPo is that these Hispanics and Asians have driven out the extant White population or deterred them from moving there.  Had there not been immigration, the opportunities these cities afforded would have been snapped up by Americans.

The article continues:

“The real energy in cities is going to be from Hispanics coming in,” said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution. “Cities in the industrial Midwest could use an infusion of new immigrant minorities coming in. Cleveland and Detroit haven’t done well; they’re not attracting enough Hispanics.”

This has cause and effect exactly backwards.  The job growth drives the influx, not the other way around.  But if the WaPo is so sure of itself, then let’s make a law forcing immigrants to move to Detroit and Cleveland, just to see what happens.

3 comments:

trumwill said...

Your point regarding cause-and-effect is not without merit, but I do have to mention that if Detroit and Cleveland somehow did get an influx of Hispanic and Asian immigrants, it would likely generate a significant improvement to both cities. Of course, that says less about the prospective new residence and more about the people currently there.

Φ said...

Trumwill: that's a good point, and in fact one of the problems that we the denizens of flyover country have in explaining the problems of unskilled immigration to our East Coast overlords is that, from their perspective, the primary result of such immigration is that it ethnically cleanses blacks from cities like New York. However, I'm less sure that Hispanic immigrants serve as the "shock troops of gentrification" in the way attributed to, say, homosexuals. In other words, I don't think an increasing Hispanic percentage is a leading indicator of an increasing white percentage of a city's population.

So yes, a hypothetical influx of Hispanics and south Asians into Detroit might raise the city's standing from "dismal" to "mediocre". But the WaPo is implying that it would elevate it to "vibrant". That's what I'm questioning.

trumwill said...

We're largely agreed on the broader issue and the direction that causation is (generally) running. If it weren't outside of HC's purview, I would actually write a post on other objections I have to the WaPo piece.