Thursday, August 16, 2007

Something to Whip Up Extremists Everywhere

The WSJ opines on the death of diversity. The tidbit in the article is a sociology study showing that members of diverse communities care less about each and trust each other less. It's just perfect to cause the anti-immigrationists to cackle with told-you-so glee, while no doubt firing up the ad hominem attack machine on the left to shoot the messenger.

As usual, the proper course is a middle course. You can build diverse communities with high trust if you build them slowly and if the newcomers are encouraged to assimilate over time. If you exceed some critical rate of change or produce disincentives to assimilation, then the community fractures and its members hunker down on their own. On the other hand, communities need a little push to accept anybody who's different.

In short, fair housing laws and reasonable hate crime legislation are beneficial. PR campaigns, forced integration, and incessant celebrations of "otherness" are not.

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