Aug 14, 2005, 1:01 PM
Post #7 of 13
>I saw this happen in France where Arab immigrants were treated like dirt in the 1960s and are now treated with deference. >
Re: [Bubba] The Times They are a'Changin'
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They're treated with such deference that a law was passed forbidding Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in schools, as I recall. I think they went from a nearly invisible "dirt" minority to a frightening real political force growing in numbers everyday in France.
Back in Detroit Wayne State University downtown did a study in the mid-'60s reporting on the way Detroit was resegregating from all-white areas to all-black.
The pattern was that an all-white area would panic when the first one or two blacks moved in, the first flurry of those most able to move out quickly did so, and then the area settled down to a gradual acceptance of the slow integration of more and more blacks, until the magical number of one-third black was reached
At that point just about every white still left in the old neighborhood who could, up and moved out fast. It happened on my block. Meanwhile, I had moved more inner city. My foks fled to the suburbs.
Before the 1967 riot, Wayne State was predicting that Detroit would be an almost all black city within 20 years, and lo and behold, that happened.
I think that's kind of the way human groups operate. We tend to form our own enclaves, we can accept a few "others" joining us, and suddenly when enough "others" have joined so that we feel the possibility of being outnumbered, we panic and look for another place where we can feel "comfortable."
"We" does not mean me, or every one, just a kind of general pattern of comfort, and I'm not going to extend the pattern too far or to every instance, just something to think about. Those of us who move to Mexico probably would not fit that pattern.
When some magical number of Mexican immigrants "overloads" a formerly mostly white area, some sort of hackles go up and some people feel threatened and start to react. I think many in the African-American community were less than thrilled when Hispanics became the largest minority in the U.S.
Arizona is a strange state, generally a live and let live conservativism of Barry Goldwater/John McCain, becoming more and more cosmopolitan every day as more Californicating goes on and retirees from all over the country with broader viewpoints move there. But along the border where the vigilante movement arose, I think that magical number was reached and somewhere inside many people came the word, "Enough," and they started to react. I could feel some of that even in Phoenix when I lived there.
I bet there are a lot of white Texans who are not thrilled to suddenly read on their front pages that they are now in the minority in their state and there is some internal reacting going on, churning up some gut feelings. Watch their politics in the near future.
Welcome to the 21st century. The times are indeed changing. About time.