The Data-Driven Home Search

As an organic secessionism takes place in America, with whites moving to increasingly white areas, such areas will prosper disproportionately. Then will come the backlash from non-white liberals about the ‘disparate impact’ such (natural and voluntary) racial/ethnic segregation entails. The NYT wrings its hands over new tools that exacerbate this coming secession (“The Data-Driven Home Search“). Hat tip: S. Sailer.

The article profiles various websites that are empowering individuals with more information about a town or neighborhood. Such sites are:

… part of a controversial industry trend that caters to home buyers who have both the desire and the ability to cherry-pick their surroundings. Other real estate websites are supplying home buyers with loads of hyper-specific community data, including racial makeup, percent of married households and education level. Because these sites, if not actually brokerages, are linked to home sales, they have attracted the attention of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is charged with enforcing fair housing laws.

Aye, carumba! We mustn’t run afoul of HUD regulations and existing law which makes it illegal for a realtor to tell you the racial makeup of an area.

And while the notion of a “perfect” community may be a fantasy, research shows that people who move are increasingly drawn to places where they feel as if they belong, says Matt Motyl, a social psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“One factor that plays into that is, ‘Do the people here look and talk like me?’ ” Mr. Motyl said…

Legal questions aside, the growing accessibility of so much demographic data has the potential to fuel the segregation that is already increasing along a number of lines — economically, racially, ideologically. Mr. Bishop, the author of “The Big Sort,” argues that as other forms of community have gone away or weakened, Americans are increasingly reordering themselves around shared values and areas of interest. “Given a choice,” he said, “people choose to segregate themselves into these places where they can surround themselves with people like themselves.

This self-segregating boosts people’s sense of well-being by satisfying the need to belong, says Mr. Motyl, who studies ideological migration.

Imagine that!

Hopefully, as individuals are increasingly able to learn dastardly facts like the demographics of a town, we can progressively ban such tools, for the greater good. After all, there are “thorny issues” involved here.

This trend raises some thorny questions. The growing accessibility of highly detailed demographic data plays into the natural tendency of home buyers to look for “people like us,” which is as old as the subdivided hills. Indeed, some suburban communities were created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries specifically with this in mind, some with discriminatory policies written into leases and deeds.

But Bill Bishop, a Texas journalist and the author of “The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart” (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), argues that this tribalism is a major driver of the country’s deepening political polarization. Over the last 30 years, he says, greater mobility, laws enforcing racial equity and prosperity have given Americans even more choice about where to live. Will Internet-enhanced abilities to scout out communities intensify that sorting effect?

And what about the impact on segregation? The National Association of Realtors’ code of ethics prohibits Realtors and associates involved in a sale from volunteering information regarding the racial, religious or ethnic composition of any neighborhood, lest they run afoul of the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits the steering of clients to or away from neighborhoods out of bias.  But many nonbrokerage real estate websites that act as referral generators for agents readily offer such information.

But, what about U.S. Census data, which contains much of the same information?

The sites are simply making it easier for home buyers to access data that is already available, much of it through the Census Bureau, says Peter Goldey, the chief information officer and chief knowledge officer for Onboard Informatics, a provider of local content data and lifestyle search products for real estate sites. “We think the consumer has a right to information as long as the information is factual,” he said.

Uh oh. Can we ban publication of U.S. Census data? Better get Pelosi on this… and HUD.

HUD may yet weigh in on the question. The department declined to make someone available for an interview, but in a prepared statement, Gustavo F. Velasquez, the assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said: “We are aware of the issue and are reviewing it. It would be premature for us to comment while the review is underway.”

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Paris is Burning – Pt. 2,188

Paris is Burning (again) and our media isn’t covering it. Muslims (err… I mean ‘frenchmen’) are in the midst of yet another intifada in sectors of Paris.

Sarcelles

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Pew: How Americans Feel About Religious Groups

As I’ve noted here before, Pew Research has really been knocking it out of the park in recent years, with a regular flow of insightful surveys that are well put together. Their recent one is “How Americans Feel About Religious Groups” (hat tip: S. Sailer) which notes:

Both Jews and Atheists Rate Evangelicals Negatively, but Evangelicals Rate Jews Highly

Attitudes among religious groups toward each other range from mutual regard to unrequited positive feelings to mutual coldness. Catholics and evangelicals, the two largest Christian groups measured here, generally view each other warmly. White evangelical Protestants give Catholics an average thermometer rating of 63; Catholics rate evangelicals at 57. Evangelicals also hold very positive views of Jews, with white evangelical Protestants giving Jews an average thermometer rating of 69. Only Jews themselves rate Jews more positively. But that warmth is not mutual: despite evangelicals’ warm feelings toward Jews, Jews tend to give evangelicals a much cooler rating (34 on average).

 PewReligiousRatings

As Sailer notes:

[W]e see that Jews are the most ethnocentric religious group as measured by self-regard on a 0 to 100 scale (89). In other words, although we constantly hear about Self-Hating Jews, there turns out to be less Self-Hatred (100-89=11) among Jews than among any other group (next least self-critical groups at 18 are Evangelical Christians and atheists). You know, it’s almost as if there’s some kind of a pattern in there somewhere …

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Black colleges face hard choices on $25M gift from conservative Koch brothers

You can’t make this shit up:

America’s black colleges are struggling for funds. The Republican Party is struggling to attract black voters.

Enter a $25 million gift to the United Negro College Fund from the conservative Koch brothers, which has pitted the needs of black students against liberals’ insistence that the Kochs are pursuing a racist political agenda.

Will they accept the money? The suspense is mounting!

Stay tuned!

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The Brazil of North America

“America is becoming a microcosm of a world on fire,” writes Pat Buchanan in his latest column, “The Brazil of North America“:

[A]s we continue our descent to Third World status, perhaps we should explore more deeply the “diversity” that has of late come to be regarded as America’s most treasured attribute.

In 1960, we were not nearly so diverse. Nine in 10 Americans professed a Christian faith. Nine in 10 Americans traced their ancestry back to Europe. E Pluribus Unum. We were one nation and one people.

Since then, we have become the Brazil of North America, a multiracial, multilingual, multiethnic, multicultural “universal nation” unlike any that has existed in the history of the West.

And if we look abroad at those Western nations traveling along this perilous path with us, we can see clearly now our future.

Before the 1960s, Europe never knew mass immigration. And after the terrible ethnic cleansing of Germans after World War II, most of Europe’s nations were ethnically homogeneous.

Several were not. Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the USSR. At the end of the Cold War, with freedom, all three came apart. Where we had three nations, suddenly we had 24 and such sub-nations as South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria.

Now Scots are seeking to break away from England, Catalans from Spain, Corsicans from France, Venetians from Italy and Flemish from Belgium, though these peoples have lived together for centuries.

Crimeans have gone back to Russia, while Chechens and other peoples of the Caucasus are fighting to break free of Russia.

The roots of these secessionist movements may be traced to economics, ethnicity, history, religion, language, culture and borders…

Disintegration, separatism and secessionism, for racial, religious, and cultural causes, are a phenomenon common now to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Are we somehow immune?

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“Our People”

Captain Luis slips out what ‘comprehensive’ means in ‘comprehensive immigration’:

gutierrezOn Saturday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a “down payment” to the Hispanic community before more grants of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Speaking at the National Council of La Raza conference in Los Angeles, Gutierrez said that Obama assured him during a White House meeting with Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week that he would be as “generous and broad” as he can to “stop the deportation of our people each and every day.”

You gave us a down payment when you freed 600,000 DREAMers from deportation,” Gutierrez said. “Now it is time for the president in the United States . . . [to] free the Mom and Dads of the DREAMers. And to go further. Be broad and expansive and generous.”

Gutierrez said giving amnesty to 100,000 illegal immigrants was “not expansive” enough, and he called on Obama to give amnesty to “millions of our undocumented,” including the parents of illegal immigrant children.

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The ‘Death’ of Jewish Culture

“Not so long ago,” notes James Loeffler in The Death of Jewish Culture, “Jewish culture seemed to flourish in America; but now all signs point in the opposite direction. What happened?”

That this should even be a concern, and that the idea of Jewish culture being a ‘project’, is itself quite revealing. Furthermore, there is the extent to which mainstream American culture (now dominated by Jewish culture-makers in media, publishing, and Hollywood) has been thoroughly Judaized, increasingly making ‘American culture’ a de facto ‘Jewish culture’. Reading this piece, imagine substituting “Jewish” with “German” or “Protestant” or “white”. Imagine how such a piece would be received by culture at large.

Of a Jewish cultural gathering in 1910 St. Petersburg:

One of the key architects of this cultural revolution was the Yiddish writer and folklorist S. An-sky (Shloyme Zaynvl Rapoport, 1863-1920). An-sky had witnessed firsthand the terrible anti-Jewish violence unleashed by Russian pogroms and the carnage of World War I. But a greater threat than anti-Semitism, he believed, was creeping assimilation. Already, he lamented, the Jews of Russia were becoming “reverse Marranos”: that is, outwardly still Jewish but inwardly, in their minds and hearts, undistinguishable from their Gentile neighbors. Disembarrassed of religious tradition, their Jewishness lacked any positive content.

What, then, would make them Jewish? An-sky’s answer, and that of his fellow East European writers, composers, artists, and intellectuals, was to construct a new kind of secular Jewish identity, outside the traditional channels of the synagogue and the study house and yet equally capable of withstanding the fact of continuing anti-Semitism. “A people, a nation does not live by suffering but by a conscious rapture of its genius,” he wrote. To achieve this proud self-awareness, Jews formerly mired in medieval religious tradition were required to stand up anew as a modern people possessed of its own national culture.

It is important to emphasize this point. To Jewish ethnocentrists who, like Loeffler, fret about the state of ‘Jewish culture’, a “greater threat than anti-Semitism” is… assimilation. Another interesting quote from An-sky:

Indeed, so far from regretting the dissipation of our cultural strength, we are positively beside ourselves with joy and pride when a Jew achieves distinction in the outside world, and we lose no time in reminding the world that he is one of us—though he himself may be very anxious to let that fact be forgotten.

In Isaac Leybush Peretz (1852-1915), who Loeffler notes is “arguably the founding father of modern Yiddish literature”, we see the many incarnations of Jewish promotion of universalistic doctrines for gentiles (deracination; socialism; egalitarianism; etc.) while at the same time arguing that Jews, as the Chosen People, must preserve their particularism, heritage, and racial consciousness:

Nor did he harbor nostalgia for Yiddish for its own sake. “It is not enough to speak Yiddish,” he challenged his fellow cultural activists, “You must have something to say!” But that something, he insisted, also had to be rooted in something. To become modern, paradoxically, Jews had to hold on to the traditions that made them an eternal people. Only then would they produce a viable, authentic, and dignified Jewish pathway through which to integrate as a nation into the larger “culture of humanity.”

An-sky felt the same way. In common with Bialik, Ahad Ha’am, Peretz and many of the artists mentioned earlier, he insisted that in order to build a modern Jewish consciousness, religious tradition (mesorah) and folklore had to be incorporated within and converted into high culture (tarbut in Hebrew; kultur in Yiddish). Though they differed on the political framework of this project—some wanted nationhood in Zion, others were content to bet on European socialism (and, later, on American democracy)—they shared the conviction that the Jewish imaginative genius, if it were to have a viable future, must remain grounded in a real knowledge of Jewish religious tradition and a highly conscious sense of Jewish peoplehood.

Of the playwright Israel Zangwill (1864-1926), whom we can thank for the denotation of America as a “melting pot”, arguably the Jewish shaping of American culture that has had the most direct and lasting impact:

“It is in America that the last great battle of Judaism will be fought,” the English playwright Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) once wrote. A liberal order was in the process of removing the cordon of anti-Semitism that separated Jews from their surrounding society. But what then? Judaism had survived millennia of isolation and persecution; freedom and tolerance posed a fundamentally new test, and it remained to be seen whether and how Judaism would pass it.

Loeffler notes how, for much of the 20th century, Jewish particularism waned (due to that dastardly assimilation!), “But then, beginning in the mid-60s and gaining ground in the 70s, a new wave of interest in ethnicity sparked a society-wide American romance with roots and group identity.” This was a romance, we must realize, that white gentiles were not allowed to partake in, and still aren’t.

Among Jews, specifically, the energies of the ethnic “moment,” coinciding as it did with the heady emotions surrounding the June 1967 Six-Day War, percolated up through many aspects of Jewish communal life. It would be marked by, among other things, the introduction of Israel Day parades in cities across the land, an assertive campaign on behalf of Soviet Jewry, and the establishment of programs of Jewish studies at American universities. In helping to develop the last-named of these, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, which opened its doors in 1960, would play a critical role.

Subsequent generations of American Jews began to assimilate more. Such assimilation often entails intermarriage to Gentiles, which is something Jewish ethnocentrists like Loeffler find rather troubling:

By the 1990s, however, the energies fostered by these and similar initiatives had devolved into fears about Jewish “continuity.” Stoked by the findings on escalating rates of intermarriage reported in the 1990 National Jewish Population Study, these fears bred, in turn, calls for something that could rightly be called a Jewish cultural renaissance—one that could revitalize Jewish identity and affiliation, particularly among the younger members of an increasingly diverse and secularized community. In short order, music, book, and film festivals sprang up across the United States, many of them now supported by the revamped and renamed Foundation for Jewish Culture. Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation launched a documentary film fund. New Jewish museums and performing-arts venues aimed to meet the need once filled by synagogues and community centers. In Los Angeles, the Skirball Cultural Center opened in 1996 with a mission “to explore the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals.” Eight years later, Boston Jewish communal leaders announced with great fanfare plans for an $80-million campaign to build a New Center for the Arts and Culture that would “explore the Jewish imagination, reflecting the spirit of contemporary Jewish culture while discovering universal themes through a Jewish lens.”

In brief, Jewish culture once again came to be regarded as a pathway to Jewish identity: an ultimate outreach tool to Jews who might recoil either from the ritual and spiritual commitment required by Jewish religion or the particularism implied in the notion of Jewish peoplehood. Replace forbidding synagogue prayers with concerts of Jewish music, the reasoning went, and you will provide a meaningful way for post-religious Jews to assert their own place in the multicultural arena. Swap traditional text study for Jewish-themed book talks, and you afford a palatably “universal” means for Jews to engage with their own literary heritage.

Loeffler then discusses the much-discussed 2013 Pew study on Jews in America:

Of all the pieces of Jewish literature to appear in the past year, the one that makes the most sober reading is the Pew Study of American Jewish Life. This demographic report card has provoked a new round of communal self-flagellation. There is anxiety over intermarriage; worry over shrinkage in synagogue affiliation; alarm over the attenuation of American Jews’ attachment to Israel. Largely missing is any discussion of Jewish culture…

Are American Jews, then, alienated from Jewish feelings? Do they lack Jewish identities? Not at all: they freely and openly profess such feelings, and appear quite comfortable with their Jewish identity. Rather, the content of that identity has itself shrunk to a solely internal realm of subjective experience and emotion, fortified by clichés and bits and pieces of an elementary cultural literacy…

In the post-modern, post-ethnic, post-religious moment, almost anything, it seems, can count as Jewish culture.

Is it any wonder that this big-tent approach finds relatively few takers? The gruel, too thin for those Jews who are actually hungry for the real thing even if they can’t put a name to it, is of equally little interest to those who can pick and choose among “assorted pop-cultural happenings” unburdened by any artificial Jewish imprimatur. If a point of pride for contemporary American Jewish cultural organizations is their commitment to the broadest possible definition of Jewish culture, this very eschewal of boundaries constitutes their greatest challenge. A broader, more inclusive, more “universal” Judaism, without even the most tenuous link to the traditional markers of Jewish identity, is a contradiction in terms and, culturally speaking, a prescription for sterility.

That last sentence bears repeating. “A broader, more inclusive, more “universal” Judaism, without even the most tenuous link to the traditional markers of Jewish identity, is a contradiction in terms and, culturally speaking, a prescription for sterility.” The point is valid and correct, and its validity ought to be logically extended to whites and Christians… but isn’t.

Towards the end of the piece, Loeffler discusses the possibilities of art deliberately designed to foster Jewish consciousness. I found one phrase striking:

Art in service of identity is no guarantee of quality, and culture cannot be created by fiat or ordered up on demand by foundations and centers. By the same token, respect for the past and loyalty to tradition, both of which are preconditions of any culture worthy of the name, do not obligate us to surrender our critical faculties. These are lessons with particular applicability today, when the paucity and thinness of contemporary Jewish culture in America make so stark a contrast with the founding moments of modern Jewish culture in Eastern Europe and the gorgeous flowering of Jewish culture in contemporary Israel.

Now, as a subject matter, substitute Jewish with Christianity, Protestantism, or white Europeanism, and repeat the above truism that “respect for the past and loyalty to tradition” are “preconditions of any culture worthy of the name.”

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RIP: Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch has died at 89. I’ve always found her funny and compelling as hell. Her comic timing was spot-on and is perhaps best remembered (by today’s culture anyways) as Jack Donaghy’s dominating mother, Colleen, on 30 Rock.

Stritch

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Rush Limbaugh: Obama’s Immigration Lawlessness Part of ‘War on Suburbs’

As the rate at which whites retreat to more highly-concentrated white areas (part of the organic ‘white flight’ secession taking place in America), such white-majority areas will naturally prosper more, have less crime, etc, than non-white areas. There will then be a massive backlash of envy and hatred coming from non-white liberal politicians (note: white liberals tend to live in lily-white areas themselves.)

Discussing Stanley Kurtz’s new book, Rush hones in on forms this backlash will take.

He still can’t say the word “whites”, so the buzzwords and metaphors have to become more and more creative.

The day will soon come, however, when whites (whether at Rush’s level of public notoriety or whether the common man) will no longer be afraid to say the word “whites”:

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh believes President Barack Obama’s lawlessness on illegal immigration is just another part of his broader war on America’s suburbs.

On his Tuesday radio show, Limbaugh spoke extensively about Stanley Kurtz, the author of Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities. Kurtz, as Limbaugh noted, has a theory that “Obama has a war on the suburbs to take people from the inner city and put them in the suburbs via affordable housing right in these suburban neighborhoods.”

Limbaugh said Kurtz believes Obama and his friends “resent” people who fled the cities for the suburbs because people like Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder “think that people in suburbia fled the city to get away from minorities, essentially, to get away from the poor” and “to get away from dilapidated buildings and crumbling infrastructure.”

Continue reading

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P.C. Comics

In just the past week, the comic book world gave us:

  • Archie dying in saving his gay, gun-control-promoting, politician friend.
  • The announcement that Thor will now be a woman.
  • And now the announcement that Captain America will be black.

WTF. When did the comic book world become so dominated by P.C. loons?

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