The government won’t have to do much to study segregation in this country. Hyper-segregation exists in many of the larger metropolitan areas in the United States, and Kansas City certainly is one of them.
It is a long-standing, well-established practice in which racial and ethnic minorities as well as poor people are isolated away from white, middle- and upper-class people, schools, businesses, faith and civic institutions in towns. Studies have shown that America is more segregated today than it was when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement.
The increasing disparity of wealth in this country has hardened the barriers further separating people of different races and classes. Yet, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro plans to try to bring the walls down and integrate neighborhoods.
On Monday, Castro is to speak at the National Council of La Raza conference in Kansas City. He said during a speech in Chicago, one of America’s most segregated cities, that he wants metropolitan areas to study patterns of segregation and make plans to reduce it or to more evenly spread government resources to tackle the problem, the Tribune Washington Bureau reports.
Recipients of federal grants must meet a standard set in the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the year King was assassinated. The rules have been inconsistently enforced.
Castro wants to change that. The rules require communities to identify segregation tied to race and poverty. That’s easy.
The hard part will be getting officials to actually do something about generational and worsening conditions that perpetuate communities of haves and have-nots as well as a third class known as have-more.
Castro will have to be aggressive about implementing this initiative so that change actually occurs. He doesn’t have much time because President Barack Obama’s term ends after 2016.
Any action Castro takes will certainly be ammunition for all of the presidential election candidates.
The GOP White House hopefuls certainly will parrot the conservative line that Castro and the Obama administration are pushing social engineering onto communities that should determine their own fates.
Right. How’s that been working for the majority of Americans?