Kevin MacDonald: Ethnic Diversity and Multiculturalism in Wisconsin

Kevin MacDonald: Simon Krajsa’s current TOO article “Racial Diversity and Crime in Green Bayhits home with me because I grew up in Oshkosh, 50 miles to the south. It’s sad to see the transformations of the area since I was a kid; it’s a lesson that the revolution is not confined to Southern California, Texas, and New York.  The whole Fox River Valley was completely White when I was growing up. People noticed it when a Black person came up from Milwaukee to go fishing. There were maybe one or two Jewish families in town. The only Mexicans were migrant workers who lived outside of town on the farms and left after the harvest.

The only mildly significant diversity was religious. There were various Protestant denominations and there were still ethnically Polish Catholic congregations that were separate from the other Catholic churches. I think we Catholics did feel a bit separate from the Protestants, especially the well-off Protestants. (They were more German than WASP.) But the divisions didn’t seem very important (ethnicity wasn’t an issue) and there was a certain amount of mobility among the groups. In any case, no one felt like an outsider. We certainly did not have the intense hostility toward the WASP elite that has been so typical of Jews.

I have gone back to Oshkosh regularly in recent years and at least on the surface nothing much has changed. The non-White population seems invisible, but, as in Green Bay, there is in fact a substantial non-White population there.  In Oshkosh the main non-White group is the Hmong, a clan-based group from Southeast Asia with very high fertility, originally brought in as refugees by high-minded Christians from Wausau. Women begin having children at an early age and  have as many children as possible. Oshkosh now has Hmong Service Centers, churches, advocacy groups, festivals, and student groups at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. They have a long history in Asia of retaining their culture and not assimilating.

It’s a very adaptive culture that has been given a strong boost by generous social service benefits provided by the state. Indeed, the Hmong population in Wisconsin is exploding. Based on state estimates, these are the increases in a 5-year period for the main counties settled by the Hmong in Wisconsin:

Winnebago (Oshkosh) 20%; Marathon (Wausau) 13%; Brown (Green Bay) 54%; Outagamie (Appleton) 80%; Dane (Madison) 130%; Milwaukee (34%); Manitowoc (43%); Sheboygan (69%)

This is a very high rate of population increase by any standard. Whatever else one might say, the Wisconsin I grew up in is on the way to oblivion.

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