Editor’s Note: The disparities between minorities in urban neighborhoods and whites in suburban neighborhoods are highlighted time, and time again; for decades in one report or the other, by one politician or the other, numerous community activists, and human and civil rights leaders. The most recent attention is the article about “urban apartheid” conditions in New Haven, Connecticut as reported below by the Associated Press.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - New Haven-area minorities in low-income, urban neighborhoods are segregated from suburban whites who have much higher incomes, better school test scores, and superior health insurance, according to a new report from the local NAACP chapter titled "Urban Apartheid."
Leaders of the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP called on the White House and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to create federal and state commissions to review legislation and policies that contribute to urban-suburban inequalities and make recommendations to address them.
"There are significant, overwhelming, and unaddressed inequities within our broader metropolitan area that continue to undermine the social fabric of our communities," branch President James Rawlings wrote in the report, released Mar. 28, 2013.
The NAACP cited Connecticut's achievement gap between poor and non-poor students, which is one of the highest in the country. White students in New Haven for example, score around 40 percentage points higher on third- and fourth-grade reading tests, than their black peers, the civil rights group said, citing state and national test scores.
The report also said 85 percent of residents in low-income city neighborhoods are minorities, compared with 34 percent in high-income neighborhoods.
Residents in poor urban neighborhoods suffer higher rates of child poverty, unemployment, home foreclosures, crime, asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure than those living in non-poor neighborhoods, the NAACP said. Poor urban residents are also much less likely to own a home, earn college degrees, or have any form of health insurance.
"We have to engage the best of our urban and suburban planners, our entrepreneurs, our teachers, our clergy, and other professionals, plus our official and unofficial leaders to take control of our collective community and ensure prosperity for all residents, not only those able to afford moving to wealthier, safer neighborhoods, and outer suburbs and towns," Rawlings wrote.
The document was named after the apartheid racial segregation policy in South Africa that ended in the 1990s. NAACP officials said they added "Urban Apartheid" to the rest of the title, "A Report on the Status of Minority Affairs in the Greater New Haven Area," after seeing how glaring the region's racial inequalities were.
What do you think?
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.