Beck seems to be most concerned about urban sprawl and congestion, so it seems fitting to take time and examine just what exactly spurs that kind of growth. In the United States, the forces of growth and sprawl have historically been intertwined with race and racism. Zoning laws and development projects have been (and are) used to prevent different groups of people from interacting. This, combined with the concept of “suburbia” invented solely to give a name and destination to postwar white-flight, makes it hard to find Beck’s argument convincing.
The expansion of tract housing, freeways and strip-malls that we witness today is not a function of immigration, nor is it particularly new to our time and place. Contrary to what Beck implies in his blog post, it was the cultural shift during the postwar years that we might thank for our nation’s obsession with expansion. Eager to display its global superiority, the United States binged on far-flung suburban communities and big cars to traverse the newly unfolding national highway system.