The Great Racial Divide In America

The number of Opinion Editorials written in the media (for profit news reporting, magazines and journals, and blogs) has increased in respect to the debate on the Racial Divide in America.  In the large cities and urban areas the black population (notice that I omit the word African) complains that they are harassed and treated differently that the white population.  What has been omitted is any reference to Hispanic and Asian populations.  We keep reading and hearing about the brutality of white police against the black community.  This is just one of the complaints in that community, but let us look a little closer to large cities and urban areas and how we may make a few distinctions.  The first distinction is that in many large cities, the black population usually is quite large.  In Philadelphia the black population is 44%, white population 36% and hispanic population is 13%, as of 2012 census.  The police department make up is 36% black, 55% white, and 6.5% hispanic.  When it comes to policing in Philadelphia is there really a racial divide where the black population is treated as second class citizens?

Let us take a look at a comparison in terms of demographics:

New York City compared
Census Data
New York City Los Angeles Chicago New York State United States
Total population 8,175,133 3,792,820 2,695,598 19,378,102 308,745,538
Population, percent change,
2000 to 2010
+2.1% +2.6% -6.9% +2.1% +9.7%
Population density 27,012
/sq. mi.
/sq. mi.
/sq. mi.
/sq. mi.
/sq. mi.
Median household income (1999) $38,293 $36,687 $38,625 $43,393 $41,994
Per capita income (1999) $22,402 $20,671 $20,175 $23,389 $21,587
Bachelor’s degree or higher 27% 26% 26% 27% 24%
Foreign born 36% 41% 21.7% 20% 13%
White 44.6% 49.8% 45.0%[40] 66.4% 72.4%
Black 25.1% 9.6% 32.9% 15.5% 12.6%
(any race)
27.5% 48.5% 28.9% 17.3% 16.3%
Asian 11.8% 11.3% 5.5% 5.9% 4.8%

What stands out in this particular graphic?  The black and Hispanic populations are disproportionate in large cities.  If we define urban areas as primarily residential then we can assume that there are large concentrations of these two populations in confined areas.  More whites have moved out of the cities and out of the urban areas.  Would this show signs of racism?  No, one follows the work and property values.  When companies and corporations consider the local tax areas, cities are at a disadvantage.  The costs of operating any mill, plant, or factory is very costly when compared to the outlying suburban areas where small towns are only to glad to have economic development come their way.  And as the general office work becomes more costly by being located in the cities, the general office work moves out to the suburbs as well.  That means that the employees can buy better housing at lower costs than if they stayed in the city.  And often food and other costs of living are reduced.

So what is left to those still living in the cities and urban areas?  Very little if one does not have more than a high school education.  For a few of the blacks and Hispanics and most of the whites left in the city and urban area there are the higher paying positions in corporate, public service, and owner/partnerships.  Law firms, accounting firms, positions on the city and county payroll from policeman to mayor, these are the jobs that are left that provide any kind of security and promotion.  There are the sole owner and partnerships for local services such as cafes and restaurants, food markets, general and specialized dry goods, some corporate retail stores, and other services and goods sellers.  There are union trade jobs in the cities.  But there are few jobs for less than high school graduates.  What do we know about inner city public schools?  The drop out rate for the black population is extreme.  One might be tempted to put the blame solely on the educational system for not meeting the needs of minority children.  True, given the amount of money spent per child in the inner city public school system how can these children be failing?  Well, in truth, much of that money collected in tax revenues and through government grants and private grants too often goes to the system as teacher raises, additional administrative staff (often required by law to administer the monies), benefits and retirements, and other miscellaneous expenses.  But there are chalk boards on the walls or perhaps they were replaced with white boards, there are books, and there are pencils and paper.  So why are black and hispanic children failing so badly?

Could part of the problem be the attitude of the parents?  If mom and dad don’t expect their children to learn, to do their homework, to see the value of an education, then why should the child bother?  Maybe it’s the bad people in the neighborhood that is the problem.  Maybe it is the welfare system hat is to blame.  Our welfare system has promoted learned dependency on a large class of people.  Most people in the suburbs do not collect welfare.  Yes, most of them have jobs that pay more than minimum wage.  But a welfare payment makes one dependent on the local government system.  One cannot leave the neighborhood without causing disruption to the stream of payments.  The fact is, as long as there is a welfare system that treats its citizens as chattel, binding them to the local administrative office, then there will be a racial divide.  The welfare system exists for its own sake.  If we could create jobs for all those who are receiving welfare and move them to the suburbs, those administering the system would become unemployed.  But when one is used to receiving money for nothing one is not likely to seek work.  One is not likely to give up the idle life.  And if it means moving out of the neighborhood to an unknown neighborhood, then one is not likely to make that move.  Too many academics forget that we all seek a sense of place in both where we live and where we work.  When we change those locations we disrupt that sense of who we are and what we do.  Yes, requiring police to wear cameras will help, but ending the dependency will help even more.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the start of integration of colored people into general society.  But Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society was its end for most of the people of color.  The great welfare state is slavery on the most miserable grounds for it binds future generations in a most diabolical manner.  This is the Great Racial Divide in America for it is a matter of personal attitude in the individual.  The black community must change the individual’s attitude and outlook on life while withdrawing the yoke of welfare slavery.  A sense of Equality is gained through a sense of Independence, not dependence on the system.


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