The racist rants of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and LA Clipper’s owner Donald Sterling are easy to spot and condemn. Mitch Pearlstein takes pride in the country’s condemnation of outrageous racist comments and behavior of individuals as a clear sign we are a decent country after all.
I would be more impressed if the country would be equally outraged by the racial inequities that plague our nation and state.
People of color, who make up the fastest growing segment of the population in Minnesota, compared with the white population, are more likely to live in poverty, less likely to graduate from high school, more likely to be unemployed, less likely to own their own home, more likely to suffer from chronic illness, and more likely to end up incarcerated. These negative outcomes are features of unjust systems and structures that produce disparities in income, healthy environments, and access to educational and employment opportunities based on race.
Maybe if we truly understood that the whole nation’s future prosperity depends on eliminating these inequities, our condemnation would go beyond the racist individuals to the racist institutions and systems that privilege white people and disadvantage people of color.
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