Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

17May/150

Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Structural Ghettos, Baltimore Included (via NPR)

We really have to stop blaming individuals for the aftermath of the extensive and violent structural policies of this nation... past and present. And we must be mindful enough to not confuse this with the increasingly popular discussion of implicit bias. Implicit bias is indeed real (not to mention a very old concept in the psychological literature) yet it does not negate (and can even distract us from understanding) the persistent and intentional racism that continues to shape public policy in this country. Moreover, our failure to understand the structural roots of violent and persistent inequities further confuses people and reinforces the implicit biases people form.

From NPR, May 14, 2015:

Fifty years after the repeal of Jim Crow, many African-Americans still live in segregated ghettos in the country's metropolitan areas. Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, has spent years studying the history of residential segregation in America.

"We have a myth today that the ghettos in metropolitan areas around the country are what the Supreme Court calls 'de-facto' — just the accident of the fact that people have not enough income to move into middle class neighborhoods or because real estate agents steered black and white families to different neighborhoods or because there was white flight," Rothstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

"It was not the unintended effect of benign policies," he says. "It was an explicit, racially purposeful policy that was pursued at all levels of government, and that's the reason we have these ghettos today and we are reaping the fruits of those policies."

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