I wrote a post entitled: MrMary’s Black History Month PSA: Why Do Black People Talk That Way, I made the point that in the context of American history, we are a distinct people. We have our own way of looking at the world and expressing what we see. Quite often when I talk about the African American experience I ask my friend to think about how they interact with people when visiting foreign nations. Now this may seen a little excessive but I want to paint a scenario for you
Hypersegregation is form of racial segregation that consists of the geographical grouping of racial groups. I will base my following statements on the study published and available by Springer scientific. Segregation can be conceptualized as consisting of five dimensions:
- Evenness -refers to the differential distribution of groups across neighbourhoods
- Exposure -measures the probability of interaction between groups
- Concentration – refers to the amount of physical space occupied by the minority group,
- Clustering – indicates the distance to the center of the urban are
- Centralization – the degree to which minorities live in areas that adjoin one another
When a group is highly segregated on several dimensions of segregation in a given metropolitan area, it can be considered to be hypersegregated.” To date, the only racial group that can be characterized as hypersegregated in U.S. metropolitan areas is blacks. Blacks were hypersegregated in 16 metropolitan areas in 1980 and in 29 metropolitan areas in 1990. In American Apartheid, Massey and Denton contended that these patterns of segregation have dire consequences: ”
“[Segregation] systematically undermines the social and economic well-being of blacks in the United States. Because of racial segregation, a significant share of black America is condemned to experience a social environment where poverty and joblessness are the norm … where educational failure prevails, and where social and physical deterioration abound. Through prolonged exposure to such an environment, black chances for social and economic success are drastically reduced.”
Real Life Consequences
The segregation that many young African-Americans experience causes them undue stress which has been proven to undermine cognitive development. Even African-Americans from poor inner-cities that do attend universities continue to suffer academically due to the stress they suffer from having family and friends still in the poverty stricken inner cities. Education is also used as a means to perpetuate hypersegregation. Real estate agents often implicitly use school racial composition as a way of enticing white buyers into the segregated ring surrounding the inner-city.
Poorer inner-cities often lack the health care that is available in outside areas. That many inner-cities are so isolated from other parts of society also is a large contributor to the poor health often found in inner-city residents. The overcrowded living conditions in the inner-city caused by hypersegregation means that the spread of infectious diseases. Poor inner-city residents also must contend with other factors that negatively affect health.
One area where hypersegregation seems to have the greatest effect is in violence experienced by residents. overty, high unemployment, and broken families, all factors more prevalent in hypersegregated inner-cities, all contribute significantly to the unequal levels of violence experienced by African-Americans. Research has proven that the more segregated the surrounding European American suburban ring is, the rate of violent crime in the inner-city will rise, but, likewise, crime in the outer area will drop.
I wanted to use facts, readily accessible facts to paint for you a picture of how different the America I grew up in is from yours. I’m not being extreme in saying we have to approach race interactions sometimes like we live in two different nation. This I feel accords us the space for open mindedness to exist. If we want to talk about police brutality and I have in mind that you lived differently from me, and you have in mind that I lived different from you then we can let go of the need to generalize, the need to push our own political agendas. We can talk just as two human beings.
“And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.”
― Malcolm X
- ‘Still Not Free’: It’s 2013, And Black America’s Hit Again (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama’s No- Segregation ‘Fair Housing’ Rule: Obama to Create Nationwide Neighborhood Racial Mapping to ‘Expand Access to High Opportunity Neighborhoods’ and ‘View Data on Patterns of Integration and Segregation’ of All Ethnic Races (katenews2day.com)
- Newt Gingrich on Obama and race (cnn.com)
- ‘Make No Mistake, This Is A Big Deal’: Feds Map Every Neighborhood To Ensure Segregation (patdollard.com)
- A Practical Guide on How Not to Approach Talking About Race or Any Serious Issue (aspoonfulofsuga.wordpress.com)