Racial discrimination is closely linked to the concentration of incidences of poverty

I. Introduction

As metropolitan regions expanded over massive stretch of land, inhabitants living at the heart, specifically poor Blacks and Latinos, become gradually more secluded from the jobs and other opportunities that re swiftly scattering among progressively more remote suburbs. The focus of existing inexpensive housing in central urban areas and older communities enables the seclusion of low-income inhabitants and people of color from essential opportunities accessible to suburban citizens. One consequence is to bolster the racial discrimination which is closely linked to the concentration of incidences of poverty at the urban heart and in older, interior ring communities (Scheller 1995).

Urban spread out tends to intensify residential racial discrimination since unmonitored development at the periphery allows abrupt desertion of interior suburban and central-city housing reserves as White settlers transfer into enlarging suburban improvements. The consequent seclusion of non-Whites in the growingly segregated regions that Whites left out successfully rejects numerous of those settlers entry to the locales of opportunity in remote, developing zones of the region (Orfield 2006).This segregation is reinforced not merely through the concentration of present inexpensive housing in central urban areas and older communities, but through the hindrances to developing inexpensive housing in most far-flung suburbs. One of the most undesirable hindrances is discriminatory zoning (ibid).
Administrative breakup, the propagation of separate political commands, allows systems such as discriminatory zoning regulations. Through forbidding the development of housing that only the wealthy can pay for, these domestic policies efficiently leave out the poor and people of color from the vicinities that implement those policies. Along with divided school districts that perpetuate the racial seclusion of students, practices such as discriminatory zoning needlessly weigh down both the affected peoples and metropolitan areas (Orfield 2006).
The detrimental effects of sprawl and segregation on people of color have been soundly acknowledged. Racial seclusion concentrates poverty, with or without racial discrimination, which Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton have shown with their comprehensive study. Massey and Denton clarify that “racial segregation—and its characteristic institutional form, the Black ghetto—are the key structural factors responsible for the perpetuation of Black poverty in the United States (Cuellar 2008, 41)”.
Along with obvious racial discrimination, as where realtors shove Blacks and Whites into divided neighborhoods, the systematic racism that confines affordable housing to ghetto-typified regions of the urban core increases racial segregation and stabilize poverty. To cater to both explicit and structural racism necessitates destroying segregation and facilitates the possibility for people to subsist in localities where they can obtain opportunities for employment, quality education and social affiliations (O’Connor 2002). Making inexpensive housing obtainable all over a metro region, rather than in secluded places remote from opportunity, is a relevant way to address seclusion and concentrated poverty.
In the current period, scholarship regarding potential changes has been more and more discouraging, citing lasting domestic autonomy over land use as an obstacle to regional collaborations, regional preparation, regional housing, and regional tax-anchored giving out (Horton 2002). In reaction, this paper will attempt to evaluate housing and land use regulations that a number of states have endorsed to boost the accessibility of affordable housing in metropolitan areas through reversing the effects of sprawl and governmental division. This analysis will be intended to rationalize the apparent connection between racism and poverty as manifested by land use and housing policies in the American nation. The effectiveness of such policies is evaluated largely through the degree to which they enhance the availability of reasonably priced housing accessible to non-White and residents living in poverty, and through their potential to lessen suburban racial segregation.

II. The Predicament of Segregation

Housing discrimination augments to the racial segregation of people living in the threshold of extreme poverty. Even nowadays, real estate agents are biased against middle-and-low-income marginalized classes through presenting to them an isolated division of the market, while simultaneously driving Whites away from villages with people of color. Prejudice against minorities also proliferates in mortgage lending (Orfield 2006).
Incidences of discrimination and segregation are not restricted to the inner-city; in its place, they have an effect on large portions of suburbia. For instance, a recent survey of metropolitan Boston revealed that almost half of Black home purchasers were concentrated in only seven of more than a hundred of communities (ibid).
The manner in which the government bureaus have located public housing development plans is also a specifically relevant root of racial segregation. Since the 1930s, housing officials concentrated public housing locations in urban area interiors and since 1969, crammed them with poor occupants rather than persuading mixed-income, racially-established populations. A number of scholars have assumed that if the federal government had not divided public housing or the occupants of public housing, compulsory busing to integrate public schools in the 1960s and 1970s would have been pointless (Iceland 2003).
These pressures of segregation and more significant trends of administrative division restrict a greater part of the Black and Latino middle classes, together with poor minorities, to residing in regions with growing poverty and decreasing opportunity. “In 2000, about half of both the Black and Latino middle classes had suburbanize in the one hundred largest regions (Orfield 2006, 878)”. Due to housing discrimination, nevertheless, Blacks and Latinos who abandoned the city frequently ended up in at-hazard, secluded communities set apart by older housing reserves, sluggish growth, and small tax sources or the resources that sustain public welfare services and schools. Occupants in these at-hazard secluded populations have high poverty occurrences and high concentrations of marginal learners in the schools. These actualities lessen the prospects for middle class minorities as put side by side with the Whites in education, resource acquisition in home evenhandedness, and job opportunities (ibid).
Since their concentration in miserable, racially isolated cities and interior suburbs, the greater part of poor Blacks and Latinos subsist in despondent vicinities and go to low-quality schools; also, poor Whites often live in middle-income districts and go to middle-class schools. Children who belong to heavily poor districts and attend low-quality schools confront numerous hindrances to educational and occupational attainment. Researches reveal they are more probable than children in mixed-income schools and suburban to fail finish middle school or become teenage mothers (Neubeck 2001). Permanent social seclusion, brought about by racial discriminations, also results to the creation of gangs and other deviant social groups in disadvantaged communities that are isolated out of the majority of opportunity. Also, racial and social seclusion results in to linguistic isolation, which restricts employment opportunities for deprived social groups. Vicinities with concentrated poverty have extremely high crime rates, frequently several times higher than uptown brutal crime rates, and massive health discrepancies coming from the concentration of environmental threats, pressure, insufficient health care facilities, and meager food supply. The enhanced demand for services, the deficiency of role models and social networks to higher education and job opportunities, deviant subcultures, and other predicament of poverty increase the difficulties for teachers to accomplish their jobs in public schools (ibid).
Every individual, including deprived people of color, take advantage of living in well-off and prospect-abundant neighborhoods with substantial tax sources and plentiful entry-level employments. Integration has permanent benefits for people of every race. Blacks, Latinos and Whites from reunited schools are more probable than their counterparts from secluded schools to go to an integrated tertiary school, reside in an integrated neighborhood, work in an integrated setting, and uphold high career goals (Horton 2002). The immense bulk of law students enrolled in some of the nation’s leading law universities report going to integrated colleges. Furthermore, varied educational contexts contribute to students’ capability to be involved in a diverse society (ibid).
The Black family has been a subject matter for many years in for American sociology. In recent studies, much focus has been given on the importance of family arrangement in clarifying the lopsided level of poverty among Black families. Nevertheless, with hardly any exceptions, the foremost emphasis in sociology has been the Black families living in urbanized regions. More significantly, there have been few attempts to situate the rural Black family in the background of comparatively current population and structural modifications in Americas (Iceland 2003).
The size of families in urban areas is almost always more insignificant than anywhere else, and the Black family follows this custom, which says late marital bonds among them certainly serve as a monitor to the population; furthermore, the economic pressure is extremely high that only the small family can endure; the large families are prevented from residing to the cities or driven away, or, as is most widespread, send the wage earners in the family to the city while they reside in the country (Small 2002). It is obviously a speculation to say how far these reasons are functioning among the common Black population of the nation; yet taking into account that the entire race has nowadays initiated its great combat for economic survival, and that hardly any of the well-off class can anticipate to be married early in life, it is just to expect that for a number of years to come the common size of the Black family will diminish until the economic health can cope with the pressures of an increasing standard of living; and that then people shall have another epoch of better-sized yet not very big Black families (ibid).
What might be some of the primary factors that bolster the race and poverty connection as demonstrated in the discussion of land use and housing policies? These factors count those that have been established and indicated previously such as racial segregation and relocations of sprawl. In combination, these factors have resulted in important spatial disparity between residential and employment positions for groups particularly for those racially isolated in urban areas, hence contributing to their impoverishment and residential placements.
However, other factors are perhaps contributory too. The economics and characteristics of meager-income housing may contribute in concentrating poverty. The natural process of sorting out in housing markets in addition to where meager income housing is situated and why may also contribute. Suburban attempts that restrict the reserve of meager-income housing certainly have contributed to where meager-income housing is placed. Lastly, provided with the increasing presence of immigrants particularly in suburban vicinities, concerns may arise about whether there is rivalry between immigrant and indigenous groups, particularly with Blacks, over access to meager-income housing that may affect the race, housing and poverty relationship (Horton 2002).
The available empirical studies regarding the connection between racism and poverty as manifested in land use and housing policies reveal results somewhat consistent with much regarding what people know about the race, poverty and suburbanization dispute. These include that poverty lingers on to be concentrated among marginal classes, particularly among Blacks and Latinos, and still is greater in the central urban areas than suburbs. A greater portion of the poor still reside in central cities, particularly for Blacks, but that this trend is growingly less actual for Latinos and Asians as their deprived communities have been suburbanizing as a gradually more trim. The impoverished whites have been suburbanized since the middle part of the twentieth century (ibid).
These changes have profound repercussions and raise several unanswered concerns. These include whether the Black deprived population remained centralized over this stage in spite of increasing decentralization of the impoverished more generally; another are the possible consequences of this rising secluded pockets of extreme Black deprivation in urban America (Orfield 2006). The increasing multiplicity of poverty and ethnicity in suburban American nation requires concerns about the kinds of Latino, Asian and other immigrant vicinities and Black neighborhoods that are enlarging in suburban regions, whether they are surfacing in interior ring suburban regions or in recently expanding suburban peripheries, whether the impoverished are secluded in these neighborhoods or are cost-effectively incorporated with their own fellow ethnic non-poor (ibid).
But racial seclusion among and between minorities has diminished even while such seclusion from the dominant Whites has lingered on steady particularly in suburban regions and between Latinos, Asians, and Whites. These patterns plead associated concerns of where increasing minority integrated vicinities are taking place within metropolitan regions and in which metropolitan regions and areas these changes are altering the greatest (Iceland 2003). They also plead the concern of what the socio-economic combination of these vicinities is, and whether the increasing integration of minorities is producing conflict or collaboration for domestic resources.


Cuellar, Roberto. “Poverty and Human Rights: Reflections on Racism and Discrimination.” UN Chronicle (2008): 41+.

Flinn, Sue Carter. “On Gottingen Street: Love and Art Take on Poverty and Racism.” Alternatives Journal (2007): 19+.

Horton, Hayward Derrick. “Race, Family Structure and Rural Poverty: An Assessment of Population and Structural Change.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies (2002): 397.

Iceland, John. Poverty in America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.
Ma, Ying. “Black Racism: The Hate that Dare not Speak its Name.” The American Enterprise (2002): 54+.

Neubeck, Kenneth J. Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America’s Poor. New York: Routledge, 2001.

O’Connor, Alice. “Poverty Research and Policy for the Post-Welfare Era.” Annual Review of Sociology (2002): 547.

Orfield, Myron. “Land Use and Housing Policies to Reduce Concentrated Poverty and Racial Segregation.” Fordham Urban Law Journal (2006): 877+.

Scheller, Brigitta Loesche-. Reparations to Poverty: Domestic Policy in America Ten Years after the Great Society. Bern: Peter Lang, 1995.

Small, Mario Luis. “Urban Poverty after the Truly Disadvantaged: The Rediscovery of the Family, the Neigborhood and Culture.” Annual Review of Sociology (2002): 23.

Tussing, A. Dale. Poverty in a Dual Economy. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1975.

Weicher, J.C. “How Poverty Neighborhoods are Changing?” Lynn & McGreager. 1990. 68-110.