In his 2018 book Isolation by design, Troustine described how the local public worked in the early 1900s and that outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever had reduced significantly. Infectious disease mortality declined by 75 percent between 1900 and 1940 and was part of that decline due to the development of public water and sewer systems by local municipalities. These benefits were far from universal, however, and from the beginning low-income residents and communities of color received less than these types of services. Even when they received them, the services were of inferior quality. “They were less likely to be connected to low sewers, on graded and paved roads, or to benefit from disease mitigation programs,” writes Trounstein.
These disparities still persist today, with some areas having access to clear water, ample green space with playgrounds, and sewer works, while others do not. Segregation allowed for that unequal provision of public goods and services, both official and substantive. Trounstein argues that local governments have deepened this divide by shaping residential geography through local land use policies such as zoning laws. He calls it “isolation by design”.
During the second half of the 20th century, white flight left urban centers with a reduced tax base, inequalities that became widespread – and, with them, the politics of the disadvantaged and the underprivileged as well. In amenity places, Traunstein found that residents are politically conservative and Republicans vote at higher rates for presidential candidates, favor lower taxes and limited spending, and see inequality as a result of personal failures. Ultimately, by regulating land use, planning, zoning, and redevelopment without taking into account the challenges facing marginalized communities, local governments have deepened segregation along race and class lines – a process that has led to white property The owners have benefited at the expense of the people. Color and poor, Trounstine concludes.
The consequences of this division have been far-reaching and long-lasting. Researchers have found that racial segregation affects a broad spectrum of factors that determine a person’s life outcome, leading to high poverty rates, low educational attainment, and high levels of disorganization. Harvard professor Robert Sampson, in his book, explores how communities form communities in different areas, where the compounds of this loss lead to an asymmetrical inequality that is difficult to avoid and Reaches from generation to generation. Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect. Sampson concluded that this inequality could be broken through the type of structural intervention that governments are equipped to handle. History, however, has shown us that people with political power have failed to take action to eliminate these inequalities, leaving communities of color asking if the American dream of equality for all ever occurred during their lifetime will reach.
Throughout his life, writer James Baldwin questioned whether the United States would ultimately face the hypocrisy of a democracy that was founded on principles of equality, but in fact created a system that, above all other lives White used to value life. At the height of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, Baldwin warned his nephew of the dangers that lay ahead for him in his country, which placed him in a ghetto, aimed at “destroying” him. In his essay “A letter to my nephew, “Which became part of his 1963 book Fire next time, Baldwin recalled the circumstances in which his nephew was born: “More than a hundred years ago the conditions described for us by Charles Dickens in London were not overcome.” The 1960s was an era of violence and resistance to violence, a dark moment in our history, as freedom fighters lost their lives in this fight for civil rights and equality. Baldwin wrote to his nephew, “I know how black it is for you today.” Despite all his arguments, Baldwin hoped that we could collectively “make America what America should become.”