What are the most racist cities in America?
Racism is the belief that a particular race is inferior or superior to another and that a person’s biological characteristics predetermine his or her moral or social traits. Racism takes many forms in different regions of the United States and the world and depends on factors such as cultural, religious, historical, or economic factors.
Racism has had a long history in the United States. White European settlers saw Native Americans as sub-human when they first came and start colonizing the North America and saw black Africans similarly during the period of slavery.
The United States has and has had several racially and ethnically structured institutions and policies, including slavery, segregation, immigration and naturalization laws, Native American boarding schools, and internment camps. Many people saw the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, as a sign of the United State’s entering a new, post-racial era.
However, during the 2010s, the United States has continued to experience high levels of discrimination and racism. An example of this modern racism is the “alt-right” movement, a white nationalist movement that seeks to rid the country of racial minorities.
Measuring racism in a geographic area is much more difficult than measuring population or other demographics. Polls and surveys are used; however, these are not always answered honestly and results can be inaccurate.
Methods used to determine levels of racism in US cities include racist tweets, Google searches, economic inequality, and personal experience or history.
Black Americans are one of the most discriminated-against races in the United States. 24/7 Wall St. created an index using eight metrics to assess race-based gaps in socioeconomic outcomes to determine the 15 U.S. cities with the highest levels of discrimination. While this does not take into account discrimination against other groups such as Hispanics or Asians, it gives a good idea of social and economic discrimination and conditions for non-White citizens.
Five year-estimate data was used from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2016 to collect data about median household income, unemployment rates, homeownership, poverty rate, and adult high school and bachelor’s degree attainment. Incarceration rates were obtained from The Sentencing Project a research-based non-profit that works to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was used to determine mortality rates by race for each U.S. county.
Based on this data, the 15 most discriminatory cities in the U.S. are:
- Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
- Racine, WI
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Bloomington, MN
- Peoria, IN
- Elmira, NY
- Decatur, IL
- Niles-Benton Harbor, MI
- Kankakee, Illinois
- Fresno, CA
- Springfield, IL
- Trenton, NJ
- Danville, IL
- Rochester, NY
- Chicago, Naperville, and Elgin, IL
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa has the largest social and economic disparities along racial lines. Black residents in this metro area each about 46.8% of what white residents ear, and have an unemployment rate of 23.9% - significantly higher than the area’s white unemployment rate of 4.4%.
These cities have faced major incidents sparking racial tension, such as police brutality driven by race. Unemployment and pay inequality are common trends, as well as disproportionate incarceration rates. Many of these cities also have long histories of segregation and still feel the effects of it today.