The ghettoization of black Americans hasn’t been reversed

The ghettoization of black Americans hasn’t been reversed, Charles Lane, The Washington Post, April 9, 2018, available here

In his April 11, 1968, signing statement, President Lyndon B. Johnson alluded to the 1964 and 1965 laws that outlawed racial discrimination in employment, public accommodations and voting rights, and declared that the measure filled one of the biggest remaining gaps in the new structure of justice.

“Fair housing for all — all human beings who live in this country — is now a part of the American way of life,” Johnson said.

Is it? There has unquestionably been progress. Between 1970 and 2010, the average U.S. metropolitan area’s “dissimilarity index,” a widely used measure of segregation between blacks and whites, declined from 78 to 60, according to sociologists Jacob S. Rugh of Brigham Young University and Douglas S. Massey of Princeton University: To achieve an even racial distribution would have required relocating 60 percent of an area’s African Americans in 2010, as opposed to 78 percent 40 years earlier.

That’s a 23 percent improvement. The United States as a whole is approaching a level of black-white residential segregation that researchers customarily consider “moderate,” and in places such as Blacksburg, Va., or Fort Collins, Colo., housing segregation is in the “low” range, as Massey notes in a review of the data soon to be published in the Journal of Catholic Social Thought.

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