Interesting piece. For the most part, people do like to live with others that are like them. Many times that means people of the same race or ethnicity, but it also means living with people who share the same cultural experiences.
The academic concerns of the white parents in the piece are no doubt a driving force, but you can’t discount the cultural factors. Regardless of race, most people like to be around others who have similar backgrounds and upbringings. If you’re a fourth or fifth generation American and you’re suddenly surrounded by immigrants with whom you have nothing in common, it might be a little jarring.
I’m married to a woman whose parents emigrated from India. While they’ve been here since the 1970s, the way I grew up was much different than how my wife and her brother were raised. Since I’ve been married and had a child, I’ve gotten to experience aspects of Indian culture I wouldn’t have otherwise. A lot of it is really cool. Some of it I’m not that into.
As a a liberal white dude, I can understand how a lot of white people may not want to be surrounded by people they have little in common with culturally — whether that’s because they’re fearful of these newcomers or simply uninterested in their cultures. I’ve always had friends of other races and ethnicities and made a point of getting to know and befriend people who were different from me. In my experience — regardless of race, ethnicity or class — most people are not like that. I don’t think it necessarily means they’re racists.