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  1. #1 America's Booming White Enclaves 
    America's Booming White Enclaves

    By Randy James Monday, Oct. 12, 2009

    Traveling some 27,000 miles, African-American journalist Rich Benjamin roamed the United States from 2007 to 2009 exploring a major demographic shift that's attracting remarkably little attention — the flight of white residents from cities and integrated suburbs into cloistered, racially homogeneous enclaves. Tidy communities such as St. George, Utah and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho — places Benjamin calls Whitopias — have grown at triple the rate of America's cities in recent years, raising troubling questions about the country's multiracial cohesion. The Stanford literature PhD chronicled his adventure in a new book, Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, and spoke with TIME about what he found.

    Let's start with the title of your book — what is a Whitopia, exactly? It's more than just a place where a lot of white people happen to live.

    Absolutely. A Whitopia has three things. First, it has posted more 6% population growth since 2000. The second thing is that the majority of that growth — upwards of 90% — comes from white migrants. The third thing a Whitopia has is an ineffable social charm — a pleasant look and feel.

    You say many Whitopias offer a high quality of life, and tend to perform well on those "Best Places to Live" lists that run in magazines. Do you think people are also drawn to these places specifically by their whiteness?

    The major draw to Whitopia is that they're safe communities with good public schools and beautiful natural resources. Those qualities are subconsciously inseparable from race in many Americans' minds. For some people race is a major role, and they said so to my face, but most of the Whitopians I encountered aren't intentionally practicing racial discrimination or self-segregation.

    You say Whitopias can form even in the middle of diverse cities. How is that possible?

    People don't realize that diversity isn't the same as integration. Blacks and whites in New York, where I live, are as segregated today as in 1910 [based on sociologists' segregation index, which measures how much contact people of differing races have with each other.

    What is the danger Whitopias pose to America as a whole?

    You can call me old-fashioned, but I'm an integrationist. A democracy can't function at its optimum unless all members are integrated as full members.

    A community full of like-minded people tends to enforce their own view of the world and closes off opposing viewpoints. You can go to parties in New York City where the liberal smugness is intolerable, because they're only hearing liberal viewpoints. On the Whitopian conservative side, it's spinning out of control. Look at the teabagger movement, where people are concerned their taxes are going to be wasted on minorities and illegal immigrants. Same with the movement that says Obama is not a citizen.
    Time seems to fear crime-free, small town-feel settings with few begging drunks and no graffiti.

    Time
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  2. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Time seems to fear crime-free, small town-feel settings with few begging drunks and no graffiti.

    Time
    I thought this was satire.

    This is real article?
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    I didn't see any specific examples given of the communities he's describing.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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    Paging Mr. Obvious...
    Obama-if you're being run out of town, get out in front and pretend that it's a parade!!!
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I didn't see any specific examples given of the communities he's describing.
    Tidy communities such as St. George, Utah and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho — places Benjamin calls Whitopias — have grown at triple the rate of America's cities in recent years, raising troubling questions about the country's multiracial cohesion.
    I'm sure The Villages are another along with hundreds of other similar communities.
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    I saw those two, but no others mentioned. Don't know what "The Villages" is.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I saw those two, but no others mentioned. Don't know what "The Villages" is.
    There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of planned communities that are set in exurbs or suburbs and which feature common elements: HOA oversight, upscale community recreational features like pools, gyms, and miles of paved walkways, scenic settings, community-focused recreational activities: boating, golf, horseback riding, even shooting, and a welcoming attitude toward churches and private schools. A lot of these communities are intertwined with retirement communities for very active seniors so they are usually multigenerational.

    What these communities don't have are high crime rates, homeless people, gangs, open drug use, squalor, and a high teen drop-out rate.

    These communities are all "whiter" than the demographics of the largest city in any state they are located in but they aren't red-lined communities.

    We have a number of "whitopias" in Colorado". I don't live in one but I know a lot of people who do. It's not the whiteness they are after, it's the lifestyle. Non-whites who share the lifestyle (and there are more than you would think from this article) also come for the lifestyle - not because they want to suck up to The Man.
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    I looked up The Villages, and it's cookie cutter houses in Florida, so I'm not interested. :) I agree with you about what people - of any color - want in communities, and I think the only color that really matters is green. I think The Villages would sell houses to black and hispanic people if they bring enough green to the table, don't you?
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I looked up The Villages, and it's cookie cutter houses in Florida, so I'm not interested. :) I agree with you about what people - of any color - want in communities, and I think the only color that really matters is green. I think The Villages would sell houses to black and hispanic people if they bring enough green to the table, don't you?
    I'm sure they do sell houses to anybody who is willing to abide by the covenants and who can swing the asking price.

    This author is getting some press because he appears to attacking whites who live in certain HOAs. However, even this guy admits that a lot of people (regardless of color) prefer the "whitopia" lifestyle. It's just that those people are selfish and heartless because when they move away from an area, the problems just get worse without the leavening action of hardworking, honest people who have ambition.

    In other words: the trash gets trashier. :p
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    But living under HOA control has to be hellish. Everyone in your business all the time. My sister lives in a place with an active HOA and her neighbor, who got himself elected president of it, is a busybody who bugs the shit out of everyone. He gives out "citations" if he doesn't like how you mowed your grass.
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