|Racial Segregation as a Cause of Systematic Economic Disadvantage|
If you surveyed the
maps in Racial Segregation in the U.S., two facts
would be evident: 1.
Moderate to high levels of black/white racial segregation, and somewhat
lower but still substantial Hispanic/white segregation, are the norm for
major U.S. metropolitan regions.
|This model is drawn from the arguments of Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton in American Apartheid (Harvard UP, 1993). Roll your mouse over the items to view explanations of their causal influence. The blue arrows designate the influence of antiblack racial antipathy. Racism is a major cause of segregation. But segregation propagates its own effects mainly through "color-blind" mechanisms. Thus, it is an error to ascribe the proximate cause of much black disadvantage to direct discrimination.|
|Massey and Denton's model subsumes two other major models of systematic black disadvantage. William Wilson's "spatial mismatch hypothesis" (The Truly Disadvantaged, UChicago, 1987), postulating that inner city black poverty is caused by the flight of jobs to suburbs, where blacks can't reach them, is depicted through the red arrows. The "culture of poverty" theory, postulating that blacks are poor because they reject middle-class cultural values, is depicted through the green arrows. Some vicious circles--causal paths that return on themsleves--are observable in this model. White antipathy causes segregation, which causes concentrated poverty and oppositional culture, which reinforces white antipathy. Low housing values create worse public finances, causing poor public services, reducing housing values even further.|