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No Go Zones

Reader comment on item: Does Europe Have No-go Zones?

Submitted by Sigmund Derman (United States), Jan 30, 2015 at 10:15

This is a complicated issue. Perhaps I should not bring this up, but the United States has areas which are "no-go zones" to a relative degree between certain subsets of its population. In particular, there are lots of areas in big cities which white Americans are scared to enter. Likewise, black friends have told me that they fear getting "beaten up" if they enter certain white "ethnic" areas. These are, of course, relative and not absolute no-go zones. I, a white person, have gone to the mostly black "dangerous" areas from time to time and I have never had a problem. Black people do not always get bullied in the white European mini-Ghettos of highly Balkanized cities such as Chicago. But many people regard a number of parts of their own city as areas to which they personally are rather scared to venture. I guess that one major challenge is to reduce this kind of thing.

One big question is the following: are Muslim populations unusually resistant to integrating into the larger society? Though I have no hard evidence about this, my anecdotal knowledge (if you can call that "knowledge") is that they are. But I think the United States, despite its faults, does a better job than most other countries in this respect...not perfect...but better than Europe I believe.

In any case, this is an issue that all countries need to deal with more effectively because I doubt that there is any way to solve it in one broad stroke, such as banning certain large categories of immigrants altogether. Clearly we should try to ban immigration of known or suspected terrorists as well as known or suspected criminals. But there should be some way to slow down immigration of groups that are not integrating effectively. It amazes me that European countries do not seem to see that. The Obama administration may not be seeing that either. Hopefully the Republican Congress can put check on unwarranted amounts of immigration. Fortunately for us in the US, our major source of immigration pressure, the Hispanic populations, do seem to want to join the larger society and blend in while making their own valuable contributions as opposed to taking over and ruling us.


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