We know diversity reduces social capital, as we know from the often-quoted Robert Putnam. Staten Island is a white working-class community, that in times past, would have had many of the social and fraternal organizations the loss of which Putnam decried. A cursory look at the US Census map on the NY Times site shows Staten Island to be heavily white, with some Hispanics and few blacks. On the other hand, Staten Island whites have been as heavily co-opted by what Walter Russell Meade calls the “blue social model” as anyone- they are largely unionized New York City employees. Being generously provided for, they have little need of the institutions that supported their ancestors.
As of right now they are begging their masters to come save them. Mayor Bloomberg back pedaled on his “let them eat cake” move of holding the marathon. Whether they will get the full resources of the New Deal, or blue, state is yet to be seen. My feeling is the plain folk of Staten Island and also of Long Island will be disappointed. These people are blue as blue can be and still be white but even that loyalty may not help.