Report: These are the most — and least — diverse states. How did Pa. do? | Thursday Morning Coffee

September 10, 2020 7:13 am

A protester outside the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., on Saturday, May 30, 2020 (Capital-Star photo).

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

In this season of change, we’re constantly, vividly, and thankfully reminded that what it means to be an American, and what it means to look like an American, is changing all the time. Nonetheless, there are still some among us who are less likely to accept that march of progress than others, and will express that reluctance in the most vile and hateful of ways.

But then again, we can take encouragement that the moral arc of the universe continues to bend toward justice.

As the nation’s 5th most populous state, Pennsylvania, at 81.6 percent white, hasn’t been left untouched by that ongoing change — as ongoing anti-racism protests in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia attest. Other voices, as is their right, are standing up and demanding to be heard.

Those voices include Black Pennsylvanians, who comprise 12 percent of the state’s population. They include Hispanic and Latino Pennsylvanians, who make up 7.8 percent of the state’s population, according to 2019 Census data.

The Keystone State’s diversity gap, and the policy challenges it poses as a result, are driven home in a new study by the financial literacy site WalletHub, which puts Pennsylvania in the bottom half of the nation’s most and least diverse states.

Source: WalletHub

To reach their conclusions, WalletHub’s analysts said they “compared the 50 states across six key dimensions: 1) Socio-economic Diversity, 2) Cultural Diversity, 3) Economic Diversity, 4) Household Diversity, 5) Religious Diversity and 6) Political Diversity.”

“This year, racial diversity has had a prominent place in the news, as widespread protests that began with a focus on police brutality sparked larger conversations on various forms of racial inequality,” the report’s authors offer. “But while discussions on race are important, U.S. diversity spans far more than just racial lines. The U.S. population reflects a mix of not just races and ethnicities but also cultures, religions, economic statuses, educational backgrounds and other characteristics.”

Below, a list of the 10 most — and least — diverse states, and where Pennsylvania finished.

Source: WalletHub

Pennsylvania finished 30th in the nation on the WalletHub ranking list, putting it ahead of only Ohio (43) and West Virginia (50) of our neighboring states.

The 10 Most Diverse States in America The 10 Least Diverse States in America
1. California 41. Wyoming
2. Texas 42. Utah
3. Hawaii 43. Ohio
4. New Jersey 44. Iowa
5. New York 45. Kentucky
6. New Mexico 46. Montana
7. Maryland 47. New Hampshire
8. Florida 48. Vermont
9. Nevada 49. Maine
10. Arizona 50. West Virginia

So how to improve things? One expert has some ideas.

“Creative policymakers could try launching a campaign informed by that of the Quakers who sought ‘truth in inner experience’ and placed great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality as did Martin Luther King of course,” Dorothy J. Tsuruta, the chair of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University, told WalletHub. “Thus as did the Quakers who prohibited slavery, even petitioned the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery, in like manner policymakers must find a creative non-dictatorial way to promote the primary proposition that all human beings are equal and worthy of respect—regardless of whatever neighborhood individuals choose to live it. Their neighborhood should not stunt their growth.”

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.

Gov. Tom Wolf donated to Eugene DePasquale’s congressional bid amid a key audit. Is that a problem? Stephen Caruso takes up the question.

A Pa. Senate vote to curb Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive power devolved into a partisan shouting match on Wednesday, Elizabeth Hardison reports.

Finding themselves no match for COVID-19, Temple University students will spend their fall semester online. Correspondent Michala Butler, a Temple junior, takes the pulse of her classmates.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto had a bad summer. Does that mean he’s vulnerable to a challenge? Reporter Ryan Deto, of our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper, went looking for some answers.

The powers vested in Philly’s proposed police oversight commission remain unknown, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.

On our Commentary Page this morning, political tribalism is trumping accountability. And that’s bad for democracy, opinion regular Bruce Ledewitz argues. And as Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers prep for another budget debate, Medicaid spending should be front and center, opinion regular Ray E. Landis writes.

Philadelphia’s eviction ban will remain in force until Sept. 23, the Inquirer reports.
Vice President Mike Pence campaigned in Beaver County on Wednesday, where he said the ‘road to victory runs through Pennsylvania,’ the Tribune-Review reports.
PennLive profiles Philadelphia’s efforts to contain the pandemic.
Majorities in the House and Senate have approved a bill giving school districts, not the Democratic Wolf administration, the final say over whether to allow sports and spectators, the Morning Call reports.
But Gov. Tom Wolf intends to veto the bill, the Citizens-Voice reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

Half of all Pennsylvania schools still don’t have a teacher of colorWHYY-FM reports.
Centre County reported 184 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. There were 48 cases among Penn State athletes in the past week, WPSU-FM reports.
A new Morning Consult poll has Joe Biden up 50-45 percent over President Donald TrumpPoliticsPA reports.
In the face of the pandemic, states are mounting ‘unprecedented’ flu shot reports.
Joe Biden ripped President Donald Trump over revelations in Bob Woodward’s new book: ‘He knowingly and willingly lied,’ the former Veep said, Politico reports.What Goes On.
10 a.m, G50 Irvis: 
House Democratic Policy Committee on sentencing laws
10 a.m., Breinigsville, Pa: House Republican Policy Committee on coronavirus recovery

Gov. Tom Wolf holds a 1:30 p.m. newser in York to ‘
call for [the] Legislature to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19.’ Cue Republican snark in 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 …

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
Sen. Dave Argall, R-Schuylkill
, holds a 5:30 p.m reception at Philadelphia Country Club in lovely Gladwyne, Pa. Admission runs from a merely ridiculous $2,500 to a truly preposterous $10,000.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s a favorite from Christine and the Queens. It’s ‘Tilted.’  Try not to dance to this one. We dare you. It’s impossible. We’re dancing right now.

Thursday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link.
There’s no MLB Mercy Rule. Nor is there any crying in baseball: Because how do you not weep over Atlanta’s 29-9 demolition of the Marlins on Wednesday night?

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.