race and space

We Already Know Segregation Will Fail

Two concepts have made a resurgence in the news: the Civil War and white supremacy. While many would consider that such concepts have little relationship to urban planning, consider that social constructs shape how land is developed and where certain amenities reside. If the government has an agenda, such decisions will affect communities years after the final ballots have been cast. Consequently, segregation — a concept shaped on white supremacy — has reshaped the country in such a way that marginalized groups have consistently lost wealth. When someone argues that segregation could be seriously maintained, one need only examine its inefficacy and human cost to disprove such talk.
First of all, natural resources are finite, and there is no mathematical calculation that will allow groups to maintain their own ecosystems. Even if every racial and/or cultural group created man-made lakes, all those lakes would require sources, which means interracial cooperation. Furthermore, there are resources on the planet that are only found in other sections of the planet, and it is immoral to strip a region of natural goods and refuse to otherwise engage with such people. There is a finite amount of space, and it is actually more cumbersome to erect barriers than it is to collaborate.
Technology alone makes segregation impossible, and that includes infrastructure. Across the country, people are watching as bridges collapse and pipes corrode while some areas are struggling to attain steady internet service. The main reason that the infrastructure is failing is because instead of building quality communities, there were some quality neighborhoods and the rest were left with shoddy materials and some questionable contractors. Maintaining separate areas for everyone is a tax expense that no one wants to bear in practice.
Lastly but certainly not least, segregation implies that groups with assets are allowed to sustain and enhance those assets while those without remain without. When neighborhoods were separated by law, yes, all groups existed, but there were different problems in each area. Inequity breeds crime, and poorer constituents become further mistreated if anyone within the community acquires and hoards any of the meager goods available. In wealthier areas, this is less of a concern, but in reality, there are very few truly wealthy areas left.
Some people internally revisit the past largely because they live in the present, and the resilience needed to bring society to this level is admirable. However, just as not everyone will ride a bicycle across an entire continent, not all people have what it would take to have to rebuild society while maintaining structural inequity. A person can only live in the time available, and cannot have the convenience of one era with the circumstances of another. Segregation is expensive and immoral, and any wish to return or preserve it will destroy what is left of any nation.

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