The core message of the research was that, “in the presence of diversity, we hunker down”, he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.”

Prof Putnam found trust was lowest in Los Angeles, “the most diverse human habitation in human history”, but his findings also held for rural South Dakota, where “diversity means inviting Swedes to a Norwegians’ picnic”. ~The Financial Times

Via Steve Sailer

Mind you, the Norwegians weren’t too happy about inviting them (who needs to put up with the old oppressors, am I right?), but maybe the Swedes had all the good liquor. 

It is remarkable that anyone thinks this is shocking, much less “disturbing.”  I remember making a remark to one of my classmates many, many years ago at my private school to the effect that “people prefer to stay with their own kind.”  It was in the context of talking about–wait for it–the K!ung Bushmen and their, shall we say, less than successful integration into the settled societies of southern Africa.  (And this was in our 8th grade world history class, mind you.)  The girl I said this to looked as if I had just kicked her dog, as I had clearly violated one of the chief premises of our entire education, which was that diversity was good, enriching and the source of only good things.  How could it be that the kind of ethnic diversity that most peoples have studiously avoided for thousands of years could have adverse effects or be the cause for social disintegration?  Before Thomas Sowell went rather batty and started talking approvingly of bombing civilians, he wrote some very smart books about immigration patterns showing that people tended to stick to their own.  This is one reason why you can find, even today, identifiable ethnic areas of Chicagoland, and why different immigrants groups settled in fairly concentrated patterns with other people like themselves.  This is partly practical at first, but it is also a way of solidifying social bonds for all people, natives and immigrants.  Those who don’t like to see the bonds of their community weakened naturally respond poorly to the infusion of this kind of diversity. 

Those who think that talk of community is a lot of hot air and who privilege the individual in their thinking about social relations probably see less of a problem.  But the problem remains, even for individualists, that bonds of trust with the people around you weaken in these “enriched” societies, which imposes burdens on the ability of individuals to live with the same confidence and peace of mind that they otherwise would.  But, no, obviously the truth must be this: the more diverse, the merrier.  That must be the key to a stable and friendly society!   

Speaking of the Bushmen, my friends and I probably forgot most of that lesson in mandatory diversity training from middle school, but we did remember that one of the Bushmen was very agitated about the presence of SWAPO in his area, and no wonder.  Odd, the sorts of things you remember.