Sunday, December 10, 2017

Simple Truths: De Facto Segregation

Author's note: I just discovered this post from many years ago. It's a draft, but I can't capture my original train of thought, so I am publishing it below "as is." I'm very surprised at #3, because I now firmly believe segregation, assisted by poor public transportation, is the cause of almost all major issues in modern countries. I don't mean only race-based segregation--I mean segregation of all kinds. In nature, birds of a feather may flock together, but if the human race's survival depends on "getting used to each other," segregation must be actively fought with the same planning and precision militaries fight wars.

Truth #3: Segregation may help minorities, at least in modern-day America.

Look at the history of assimilation in America. Which groups have been successful? How have they been successful? And why have we had so much "white flight"? Is "white flight" just a term for rich people trying to avoid an influx of poor people of a different color? Or is it a practical response to unwanted cultural change?

I don't know the answers to the aforementioned questions, but I do know there is safety in numbers. In America, as much as we advance the "melting pot" theory, the real power is in concentration, not integration. Democratic societies function based on elected representatives. Who chooses the representatives? The majority. If your group--whether professional, religious, or racial--is in the majority, chances are, your group will maximize its political potential. In contrast, if your group is in the minority, you will be dependent on the kindness of the majority to ensure your prosperity.

In good times, everyone is usually on the same page--it's the bad times that cause miscommunication and violence. History shows that when things get bad enough, majorities have no problem gassing millions of Jews, locking up Japanese-Americans, detaining and torturing Arabs and Muslims without due process, and so on.

In short, when the economy is doing well, Americans love assimilation; however, problems tend to arise during each recession.

Truth #4: Most people don't even know our two biggest problems.

The proliferation of nuclear weapons is a massive problem--so is trying to compete in a globalized economy. Sure, other major problems exist, such as cybersecurity, a crumbling infrastructure, and a declining K-12 education system, but nuclear weapons and globalization stand out because we don't necessarily have the answers yet. 

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