Increasing Diversity

The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to measure how diverse every neighborhood in America is with the intention of increasing diversity. I have seen this story all over but here is Fox News’s account.

In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory.

The policy is called, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July.

“Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child, even her lifespan, is determined by the zip code she grows up in. This is simply wrong,” he said.

I already know what the results of this survey will be. They will discover that most people tend to live near people who look and think like them. This will attributed to the continuing effects of discrimination and segregation despite the fact that such discrimination has been illegal since 1968. No doubt they will also discover that realtors have been using racist dog whistles such as “nice neighborhood”, “low crime”, and “good local schools”; all known to be codes for white supremacy.

People do tend to prefer to live near people like them. That may not be a good thing, but it is human nature. In general, most Whites would prefer to live near Whites, most Black prefer to live near Blacks, etc. I suspect that the people living in more integrated neighborhoods feel they have something in common more important than race. Zip code alone does not account for poverty. There are many factors involved. Rich people tend to live near rich people, and poor near poor. This is because not every place is equally desirable to live in. More desirable areas are going to be more expensive to reside in. A child who grows up with poorer parents in an impoverished part of the country is not going to have the same opportunities as a child growing up in a more affluent area. This is not fair. It is life, though. It is simply not possible to give every child precisely the same opportunities, especially with utopian schemes.

What will happen to communities that are deemed not diverse enough?

Data from this discrimination database would be used with zoning laws, housing finance policy, infrastructure planning and transportation to alleviate alleged discrimination and segregation.

Specifics of the proposed rule are lacking. Now published in the Federal Register and undergoing a 60-day comment period, the rule, “does not prescribe or enforce specific” policies.

My hometown of Madison Indiana is not very diverse. We are 93.5% White, 2.8% Black, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% Native American and 1.7% Hispanic of any race. Am I wrong in guessing that the federal government is going to actively discourage any businesses from locating here, unless we have acceptable levels of diversity. Madison is a nice place, but there are not many economic opportunities, especially for young people. To be honest, there is no particular reason why many non-Whites would want to move here. Who would want to move to a town where they would be a member of a small minority unless there were some compelling reason, such as a good job, to do so? What is Madison supposed to do to get a more diverse population? Should bankers offer cheaper mortgages to minorities? Should they be exempt from local taxes? How is that even remotely fair?
I can’t help but observe that the people who profess to be most against racism and discrimination seem to always be proposing discriminatory policies. The people who claim to want better race relations always seem to be trying to incite more trouble between people. Maybe the solution to our problems with race relations is to stop making race such a big deal. Maybe, instead of having the national conversation about race the liberals always say they want, we should all just shut up about the matter. Maybe we should just treat people like people and not worry about minor things like skin color. Maybe we should just let people live where ever they want to live and not try yet another utopian scheme that is sure to cause a lot of trouble and misery and not solve anything.
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