Racial Segregation Essay

Segregation is defined as the division of people of different races of daily activities, such as education and housing. While no longer considered acceptable, racial segregation still exists. Racial residential segregation is specifically the division of whites and minorities in communities. It is obliviously present in many American minorities’ lives today. This separation within certain residential areas correlates to the continuance of metropolitan destitution in America. The existence of racially segregated housing communities has maintained society from achieving true racial equality.

The Apartheid era demonstrates how the urban ghetto was created by whites during the first half of the twentieth century in order to isolate growing urban populations. Despite the Fair Housing Act of 1968, segregation is perpetuated today through an interlocking set of individual actions, institutional practices, and governmental policies also known as institutional racism. In the post-World War II era, prejudice against Black Americans influenced Federal housing policies and affected the implementation of housing regulations.

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The Fair Housing Act is one of these policies and it prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of: race or color, national origin, religion, sex. It was passed and signed into law on April 11, 1968. The Fair Housing Act theoretically put an end to housing discrimination; however, residential segregation proved to be remarkably persistent (Massey and Denton, 1993:186–216). Despite these policies, unequal restrictions on Black American’s housing in areas dominated by Whites were continuously fulfilled.

In American Apartheid, Massey and Denton explain the central cause of poverty among African Americans is segregation. Despite the Civil Rights movement, discrimination on housing has been painfully unwavered. The majority of big cities are divided geographically along racial borders. The American Apartheid discusses how segregation has created the urban ghetto. How these exclusions have created and preserved a black underclass by limiting the educational and employment opportunities for the residents of these neighborhoods.

In the view of the middle-class Whites, inner cities has come to house a large population of poorly educated single mothers and jobless men-mostly Black and Puerto Rican- who were unlikely to exit poverty and become self-sufficient (Denton, Massey 1993). The reason explained for residential segregation is the wealthier or White residents leave the area for the suburbs, while decreasing the tax base which hurts funding for education, which causes everyone else who can afford it to leave, further decreasing the tax base and education.

No businesses want to invest in an area that has nobody with money, but lots of crime. The result is that the only people who are left are black and poor. They have little opportunity for edification or employment, and are trapped in a vicious cycle of distress. The inequality that transpires from residential segregation is immense through many aspects; such as educational and employment disadvantages, housing ruin, loss of commercial facilities and businesses, crime and social disorder, welfare dependency, and unwed parenthood are only some of the social problems found in the urban ghetto.

Yet the Public School System is one of the most effected systems through this disparity. Children in high?poverty schools face enormous challenges, their classmates are generally less prepared, aspirations are extremely low and have greater absences. Compared to White residential schools graduation rates are distressing. The parents of these children are less involved and have close to no financial security for college. The teachers that are hired at these schools are typically known to be less experienced and more commonly teach outside their fields of concentration.

All these factors relate to the drop-out rate, crime, teen pregnancy…etc. According to Why Segregation Matters (Orfield and Lee 2005), through the No Child Left Behind Act, soft racism of low expectations would come to an end. However, the schools categorized as persistent dwindling schools were all located in segregated minority neighborhoods or “Urban Ghetto”. These communities commonly expose conditions of distress resulting in adverse student success (Orfield and Lee 2005). The continuance of the outcomes due to residential segregation can be attributed to modern racism.

Modern racism is the ability to keeping prejudicial perceptions and acts subconsciously. For example, Minorities not getting hired because of individuals still embracing strong stereotypical and racist beliefs towards them. This allows for the continuation of residential segregation in urban and suburban areas by not employing them and giving them an actual opportunity to separating themselves from their immediate circumstances. The White Privilege (McIntosh 1988), enlightened me on how some unconscious racial inequalities can effect an individual’s position in society.

McIntosh goes on to discussing 26 white privileges which she has encounters first handedly. The privileges acknowledged simply confer that white people as opposed to non-white do have certain advantages such as housing in better communities.

References

1. Douglas S. Massey, 1985. “American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. ” American Journal of Sociology 96(2), (September): 329-357. 2. John E. Farley, 1985. “Disproportionate Black and Hispanic Unemployment in U. S. Metropolitan Areas. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 46(2), (April): 129-150. 3. Douglas S. Massey, Gretchen A. Condran and Nancy Denton, 1985. “The Effects of Residential Segregation on Black Social and Economic Well-Being. ” Social Forces 66(1), (September): 29-56. 4. Paul A. Jargowsky, 1985. Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City. New York: Russell Sage Foundation 5. Douglas S. Massey, Andrew B. Gross and Kumiko Shibuya, 1993. “Migration, Segregation, and the Geographic Concentration of Poverty. ” American Sociological Review 59(3), (June): 425-445. . Chiquita A. Collins and David R. Williams, 1998. “Segregation and Mortality: The Deadly Effects of Racism? ” Sociological Forum 14(3): 495-523. 7. Douglas S. Massey and Mary J. Fischer, 1998. “How Segregation Concentrates Poverty. ” Ethnic and Racial Studies 23(4), (July): 670-691. 8. Gary Orfield, Chungmei Lee, 2005. “Why Segregation Matters”. The Civil Rights Project at University of California. Race, Class, & Gender (50): 416-425. 9. Peggy McIntosh, 1988. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. Race,Class, & Gender (11) 99-104.

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