Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why do articles about diversity lack diversity?

New York asks: What's the Matter with Connecticut?

Well, New York says Connecticut is an unequal place. Plus it apparently still suffers from a dreaded WASP plague (not to be confused with the locust kind). From the article:

Representing the R half of the equation is Fairfield County, home to an extraordinary concentration of money-management businesses and many of Connecticut’s one percenters. It’s a pretty, Waspy place, Wall Street’s buttoned-up suburb.

As we all know from years of hackneyed articles like this, WASPy is always shorthand for buttoned-up. When you see WASP in an article, it only has one implication: Those fair-skinned Episcopalians just don't know how to cut loose! It sucks when DEAD WHITE MEN aren't dead.

But predictable anti-WASP inferences aside, let's examine the demographics of Fairfield County. From Wikipedia, here are the demographics of its five most populous towns:

Rank
Town
Population
White
Black
Asian
American
Indian
Other
Hispanic
1
City
143,412
49.8%
35.9%
3.9%
0.6%
11.8%
36.7%
2
City
121,784
61.0%
15.5%
8.7%
0.3%
16.3%
24.4%
3
City
85,145
77.2%
14.0%
4.3%
0.6%
6.0%
20.2%
4
City
80,101
74.2%
8.7%
6.5%
1.2%
13.0%
25.1%
5
Town
61,023
87.1%
2.3%
7.6%
0.2%
3.9%
9.0%


Bridgeport is less than 1/2 white. Hispanics comprise at least 1/5 of the population in four of these towns. And there seems to be a fair bit of OTHER.

Pieces like this also forget or just ignore that the P in WASP stands for Protestant. Yeah, about that: of the Fairfield residents with a religious affiliation, 70% identify as Catholic, which is, you know, sort of what Protestants were protesting by becoming Protestants. 

“Connecticut ranks among the highest, and possibly the highest, in total unfunded pensions and retiree health care per taxpayer in the nation.” 

CT may be the “most unequal state in the country,” but not because it’s a tax haven; CT has the third highest tax rates in America. Underfunding is the result of fantastical projections/promises made by sociopathic politicians and bureaucrats (some of whom, it turns out, aren't WASPs!). I wonder if the writer will bother reconsidering the premise that high taxation leads to broader distributions of wealth...

And though this isn't stated in the article, buttoned-up and WASP is typically shorthand for "conservative" (see the 1,000,000^15 articles scrutinizing Orange County's demographics). Probably worth pointing out that Fairfield hasn't gone Republican in a Presidential election since 1996. Connecticut hasn't gone to a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.

Nothing is stuffier and more button-up than articles decrying the perils of the now completely imaginary WASP elite.

No comments: