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Ethnic Relations

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William Bogedain

on 21 February 2017

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Transcript of Ethnic Relations

Racial struggles over residence in 20th century America:

People believe that The America of today is less racially segregated than America at the conclusion of the Civil War-this is not true.

Through the 19th century whites and blacks in northern cities lived side-by-side, in southern cities black servants and sharecroppers lived close to their white employers, either on their land or in alleys connected to the main streets.

There were no "black areas of town" before the 20th century.

Segregation levels in major cities during the 19th century were less than half of what they are today.
Racialization of neighborhoods:

The rise of industrialism facilitated the rise of cities, this brought in immigrants, blacks, Mexicans, whites, Asians, etc. to the metropolises.

As they poured into cities certain ethnic groups tended to clustered together in neighborhoods/slums

These groups could get on well among themselves, however when mixed together there was conflict.

As the 20th century moved forward prosperous European immigrant families were able to move out of these slums. And assimilate into white American mainstream.

However those who wore the badge of "otherness" were forbidden by Law and custom to live anywhere else.
Migration and urbanization:

As the cities grew they became more racially diverse.

There was a mass Mexican migration to the north due to the fact that they could be hired at cheaper rates than whites. However as the economy took a turn for the worse which resulted in the Great Depression, White started blaming Mexicans for widespread unemployment and economic scarcity

Due to this thousands of Mexican families were rounded up and sent via train back to Mexico. In many cases more than half of the people shipped back to Mexico were in fact US citizens.

To combat the crushing property facing many Native American families living on reservations programs were put in place to relocate thousands of native Americans to urban centers. 

This was in hopes that they could prosper, and that they would shed their Indian-ness.
From 1953-1973, 109 tribes were terminated in the eyes of the federal government, and protection was lifted from over 1 million acres of land formerly entrusted to tribes.

The beginning of the 20th century also witnessed a massive movement of blacks from the rural south to the urban north.

Between 1910 and 1930 over 1.5 million African-Americans traveled north, another 3 million followed between 1940 and 1960, a movement known as the Great Migration.

Due to certain laws a lot of those who migrated faced what were called Sunset restrictions, this prevented African-Americans and other non-white groups from living in towns. These restrictions forbade them to be inside town limits when the sunset. 

In larger cities blacks were cordoned off into restricted districts, rundown slums that quickly became overcrowded, saw a rise in crime, disease, as well as property.

Tensions between blacks and whites heated up sometimes exploding into racial uprisings or riots.
The origins of the ghetto:

The 20th century saw a mass exclusion of nonwhites from the private housing market.

In the slums, slumlords ignored housing repairs which contributed to their dilapidation. The slumlords also split their properties into multiple apartments to fit in as many people as possible and make more money.

Many blacks had to pay more for housing than whites, that's deepening the relative impoverishment. They were also confined to the cities oldest housing. From here conditions just deteriorated.

Homes were taken away from nonwhites in the sake of modernization and urban renewal, to make way for highways and stadiums. Further crowding the slums.

White fight and white flight:

As the civil rights movement gained steam, racial segregation lost its legal foothold, and activists marched for open housing and an end to legalized housing discrimination.

When legalize segregation was dismantled, those who could move out of the ghetto did so, and non white communities previously segregated by race soon became segregated by race and class.

Whites reacted to the racial integration of their neighborhoods in two ways by picking up and moving or by slugging it out with newcomers, more simply put fleeing or fighting.

Fearing racial integration many whites with the means to do so fled to the suburbs.

The federal government in fact endorsed white migration to the suburbs through loan programs administrated by the Federal housing administration and the veterans administration

When non white families moved into previously white neighborhood people often reacted with protests and organized violence.

When this didn't work they took to vandalism. Throwing bricks through windows and in extreme cases lighting newly purchased houses on fire.
Urban unrest:

Many non White city dwellers, victims of years of economic exploitation, housing discrimination, and compounding affects of racial domination remained trapped in their respective ghettos. 

These people stripped of city services, out of jobs, ignored by politicians, and simmering with the sentiment of discontent, started to express their anger.

This took the form of uprisings, many of which had numerous deaths and even more injuries. 

These uprisings were not just criminal and destructive acts, they were expressions of rage and suffering caused by a racist system.

Many of the uprisings started as protest against police action within the black community.

A growing sense of black militancy was taking hold in urban black communities, or what came to be known as the Black Power Movement.

Racial uprisings brought the plight of the urban black poor to the forefront of American discourse and also directly resulted in policies aimed at improving conditions in the ghetto.

Ideal World = Complete Integration
Are Economics to Blame?
Housing Discrimination

Unaffordable America-
public housing: gov't owned units provided at low rates ** This plays a large part in reinforcing racial segregation

public housing was a response to the housing shortage after WWII

At first, many white and black families stayed in these units for a short time period.

American public housing tends to consist of inner-city projects

Only 1 in 4 households that qualifies for housing assistance actually receives it

*roughly 1 in 4 black and latino renting families spends at least half their income on housing

evictions: women are more than twice as likely to be evicted as men in poor black neighborhoods
Advanced Marginality: The Ghetto--
In chapter 4 ghetto was defined as a racial institution marked by social isolation and economic vulnerability first formed when blacks migrated north during the early 20th cent.
Advanced Marginality: The Ghetto--
In chapter 4 ghetto was defined as a racial institution marked by social isolation and economic vulnerability first formed when blacks migrated north during the early 20th cent.
**African Americans are the only group in US history to have experienced ghettoization
The Suburbs:

Suburban development was fueled by white fear: Fear of racial integration, of decline in property values, and, most of all, violent crimes.
"Suburban Ghettos" are a result of the enticement of upper-class individuals to newly renovated central-city areas - poor families pushed into the suburbs.
Most nonwhites migrating to the suburbs moves to areas that are already populated by nonwhites.
Middle-class blacks who try to separate themselves from poor blacks are called "buppies" - black yuppies.
Poverty in suburbs is on the rise.
Almost half of new immigrants that arrived in the 1990's settled in suburban areas.
The San Gabriel Valley, CA has one of the largest Asian American communities - Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and South Asian Americans.
This area has embraced Asian culture, multilingualism, and multiculturalism.
Most of the areas youth are "multilingual, multiracial, and multicultural... [and] comfortable in diversity.
The ghetto was economically diverse and functioned as a safe space for blacks who weren't welcomed in other areas of town.

*The hyperghetto is a territory segregated by race and class-a site of extreme concentration of poverty and crime.
What are the Consequences?
How do we Improve?
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