Toyota recently moved its American headquarters from California to a Dallas suburb, Plano. According to a columnist for the Dallas Observer, Toyota ostensibly chose Plano over Dallas because Dallas schools were not good enough, but the columnist went on to suggest that there were actually other reasons that went unstated because they were politically incorrect and even racist. The reasons were as follows:
- We didn’t want to locate in Dallas because there are too many poor people there, and our employees don’t like being close to that many poor people.
- We thought about Dallas, but there seem to be way too many people of color there.
- We drove around and looked at kids on the playgrounds during recess, and we could hardly see any white kids.
- Our employees don’t want to hear Mexican music in the parks.
- We feel more comfortable in the shops and restaurants in Plano, because the whole scene is just so much whiter and richer, and when you do run into minorities, they’re dressed like rich white people.
Although the columnist might be correct in suggesting these underlying factors played a role in Toyota’s decision, my reaction is “so what.”
Since when is a company supposed to select a location surrounded by poverty and crime? The city of San Antonio did that when it built its basketball/rodeo area in east San Antonio, and everyone knows how that turned into a snafu.
Since when is a company supposed to place its employees in a location where they will be a cultural and ethnic minority? Government may extol the virtues of diversity, but as a practical, personal matter people don’t want to affirmatively act to artificially create it.
Coincidentally, the Donald Sterling issue also centers on the preference of people to associate with their own class or race. In the recording that prompted his team being confiscated, Sterling didn’t directly disparage African-Americans; rather he instructed his girlfriend to quit bringing them to his basketball games or posting photos with them.
Obviously, America has a long ways to go before it comes to terms with racism, and political correctness hinders the progress. Instead of political correctness, frank discussion like that from the columnist at the Dallas is helpful, even though he is terribly misguided.