Jewish World Review Nov. 25, 2005 / 23 Mar-Cheshvan,
"The New White Flight" was the title of an eye-opening article in the
November 20th issue of the Wall Street Journal. It was about a high school
in Cupertino, California, where a growing Asian American student population
is causing rising academic standards and causing many white parents to
withdraw their children from the school and some to move out of the
The school has some of the highest test scores in the state. But,
although everybody is in favor of high academic standards in the abstract,
not everyone is in favor of having to struggle to meet those standards.
One white mother who was taking her son to an after-school soccer game
noticed all the Asian American parents arriving to take their children to an
after-school study program. A few years of her son playing soccer while the
Asian kids were hitting the books would be bound to create academic
The phrase "white flight" is completely misleading. All over the world
and throughout history, groups have collected together with people like
themselves, whether by race, income, education, religion, or any number of
other characteristics. There is nothing unique when white people do it.
A century or so ago, when Polish immigrants began moving into various
Detroit neighborhoods, blacks began moving out. The research of pioneering
black sociologist E. Franklin Frazier showed long ago that Harlem and other
black communities were internally divided, with people of different income,
education, and behavior patterns living in distinctly different zones.
When Eastern European Jewish immigrants began arriving in the United
States and some began moving into German Jewish neighborhoods in Chicago,
the German Jews began moving out. Similar patterns have been found among all
sorts of groups.
When blacks move into a neighborhood and whites move out, that is
something visible to the naked eye but there is nothing unique about such
"white flight." The phrase is misleading for the same reason that saying
white people have toenails would be misleading. It is true in itself but
suggests something unique that is in fact common to human beings of all
It is not just in residential patterns that people sort themselves out
in many ways. People tend to marry other people with similar IQs, even when
they don't know what those IQs are. They just tend to gravitate toward
people whose levels of understanding are similar to their own.
Cliques form in all kinds of places for all kinds of reasons. Chess
players, jazz fans, and gamblers tend to hang out with others who share
The fact that people sort themselves out in many ways is not usually a
big problem except to those people who cannot feel fulfilled unless they
are telling other people what to do. Government programs to unsort people
who have sorted themselves out have produced one social disaster after
The decades-long attempts to mix black and white school children
through school busing produced no real educational benefits but much racial
polarization and ill will. The same thing continues to be done in colleges
in the name of "diversity" and with the same bad results.
Among the most unconscionable attempts to unsort people who have sorted
themselves out by behavior are government programs to relocate people into
neighborhoods where they could not afford to live without subsidies. Often
the people in those neighborhoods have sacrificed for years in order to be
able to live where they could raise their children in decent surroundings
and not have to live in fear of hoodlums only to have the government
import the bad neighbors and hoodlums they have tried so hard to escape.
Both kinds of people may be of the same race but that does not make the
consequences any less painful or the resentments any less bitter. Blacks as
well as whites have objected to having problem people thrust into their
midst through housing subsidies or government housing projects being built
in their neighborhoods.
Almost never do the social experimenters relocate dysfunctional and
dangerous people into their own elite neighborhoods. They unsort other
people's neighborhoods and embitter other people's lives.
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