Lately, the fine intent of eliminating discrimination seems to have morphed into diversity advocacy.Before I proceed, let me say that I prefer a world in which not everyone is the same. I like that my neighbors include a gay couple and a single mother and that several languages are spoken on my street.But happy diversity is an organic process that results when like-minded citizens congregate around shared values and interests. Often those interests and values have evolved from racial and ethnic identities, but not necessarily. Sometimes neighbors of diverse backgrounds share affection for old houses, or window boxes, or pet-friendliness.That not all people have access to all the same housing opportunities is called life in a free-market society. But the fair-housing folks want life to be more fair, and the ads are warming us up for some really fun social engineering. Read more…
The wormiest of three ads posted online features a mother and daughter just home from visiting mom’s workplace. Daughter is breathless with wonder at how diverse Mom’s workplace is, but wants to know why everyone in their neighborhood “looks just like us?” Dum-de-dum-dum.
What do people want in their neighborhood? How about affordable housing, access to decent hospitals, grocery stores and businesses, a police force on your side, and a good public education and the careers that come with it. It’s no coincidence that neighborhoods where those things are missing are those that overwhelmingly are minority-dominated. That’s not the “free market,” that’s institutional racism held in place by economic disparity. Where one grows up can be a burden or a blessing, and it is not easily negated after the fact. Contrary to what Ms. Parker claims, diverse neighborhoods are not produced deliberately and intentionally – they are more often than not a product of economic and social circumstance. For that matter, so are the non-diverse neighborhoods, like the 1950s white-only enclaves that have only recently begun to have ethnic diversity, as those neighborhoods decline and the white people MOVE OUT.
It must be so nice to be able to pretend that a diverse environment is something willfully chosen or unchosen based on your own personal preference and needs. But it’s not. It’s a social justice issue, showing the inequalities, often along color lines, that still exist in America. There’s nothing “free-market” about a social stratum that is stacked against you from day one because of where you live. Ms. Parker, if you’re not committed to fixing it, you’re part of the problem.