Mar 29, 2011

Milwaukee Is Still Number One in Segregation

Segregation now, segregation forever?

Seems that way; American apartheid lives. And Milwaukee is number one ... again. (Denvir. Salon, citing John Paul DeWitt of and the University of Michigan's Social Science Data Analysis Network)

Some 45 years ago, Karl Taeuber, Professor of Sociology, Emeritus (University of Wisconsin-Madison [Off campus]) and Alma F. Taeuber devised a method to measure racial segregation: The Taeuber index.

The Taeuber index was a momentous intellectual break-through, quantifying racism and providing a means of delivering rigorous social scientific evidence for many housing discrimination law suits in the 1960s-70s-80s when fighting racism was a pursuit taken up by many sectors of American society.

Now-a-days, as likely as not, if one reads about the Taeuber index, the cite is likely from some rightwing think tank taking issue with the existence of segregation, the method of measuring it in housing, and the proposition that racism is the cause.

Fighting racism remains a long fight, for academics like the Taeubers, for all of us.

As Taeuber said to me some six years ago after the death of Kenneth Clark [whose work on racism is cited in Brown v. Board of Education]: The branches on the tree of racism extend high, and the roots run deep.

True, but as I consider giants in fighting racism like the Taeubers, the Panthers, SNCC, and our children today: Total victory over racism remains certain.

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