Friday, August 5, 2011

People of Color in a Future of Resilient Communities

Question posed to John Robb on his blog:

John, I have a blunt question, something I've been chewing on a lot and want to toss your way.

What do you imagine will be the fate of racial and ethnic minorities in America in a future of resilient communities?

It seems that in order for communities to self-police effectively, there is going to need to be an "us" (vs. them) that is known or recognizable. There will likely be some paring off by race and ethnicity in this process. I also imagine the enforcement of community borders must come with a willingness to do what is necessary to enforce them -- e.g., racial profiling and what-have-you.

And will this result in minorities being ghetto-ized in self-governing communities that are in fact economically-dependent serf communities to adjacent, better-off, and probably white communities? (Think Palestine to Israel.)

After all, some communities are bound to start out more resilient than others, and the poor inner city communities in which blacks and immigrants are currently ghetto-ized are not exactly going to be primed for success, being utterly resource-dependent and largely landless.

Finally, if the above, is nationalism actually the better path for minorities EVEN IN THE FACE of the future you see, which I also see? Is it wiser for them to fight like hell for larger-scale governance units, for the sake of their own well-being or even survival? Would it EVEN be prescient for minority groups to join with the hypernationalist and anti-immigrant sentiment in the country right now? Would this allow them to be part of the "us", part of the in-group?

The return of blatant racism and ethnic factioning bums me out. I have grown up and lived in multicultural urban areas, and have always felt this enriched my life and, I'd hope, their life. But can this last?

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