Social Ecology-Urban Studies

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There are many social issues affecting the lives of individualswithin a society such as racism, unequal distribution of resources,crime among many more. Racism has been a social issue in Americasince History and despite the government efforts to reduce racialdiscrimination, the differences between the blacks and whites arestill evident. The federal and local governments in the US developedpublic policies that involved segregation by design as opposed toracial animus, white flight or the black culture. Rothstein arguesthat segregation in Ferguson and other Metropolitan areas in the USwere a creation of purposeful public policy. One can agree withRothstein’s claims that the government should be blamed for thesegregation by design that has continued to promote racialdiscrimination against blacks in America.

Public policies are aimed at providing a lasting solution to problemsaffecting citizens. Rothstein’s argument the US federal governmentcreated a purposeful public policy that encouraged the segregation atFerguson and other metropolitan areas within the state is true. Oneof the reasons one can agree with his argument is because, uponimplementation of the public policy by the government officials,racism continued to be experienced in a different form from thenormal racial animus and black culture. For instance, in an interviewthat was conducted among the residents of Ferguson by Tim Pool,showed two narrators from the black race who argued that the policehad fined them $500 for jaywalking in an area that lacked a crosswalknearby (Duca, 2015). The interviewees said that they were forced touse longer routes to avoid getting into trouble with the localpolice. Additionally, an analysis of Ferguson’ police force andpolice activity indicated that the police force is 95% white. In2013, the police had made 86% stops and 92% searches that resulted in93% arrests of the black people (Missouri, 2014). Segregation of theblack community can be seen in the statistics of police activity inthe town. The federal government developed a purposeful public policythat was aimed at providing a lasting solution. It can be argued thatpublic policy developed was aimed at ensuring that the blackcommunity did not cause any more social problems to the whitecommunity such as crime (Gallagher &amp Lippard, 312). Hence, thereason a high percentage of white police were serving in an AfricanAmerican town and the people being arrested were mostly blacks.

Government systems such as the court system, legislation among othersare required to be effective in the roles they perform. Anotherreason why one can agree with Rothstein’s argument is the creationof purposeful public policy by the government resulted in evolveddemographic patterns that encouraged more segregation of the Americanpopulation. For example, the black community could not access suburbareas in the city because of the zoning rules and the prejudiced realestate agents (Rothstein, 2014). One of the residents of St. Louisalso explained how they used to live with people from diversecultures (Pool, 2015). However, when the blacks began protesting thekilling of Michael Brown, their neighbors relocated and sold theirhouses. A comparison of US and British riots indicate that ethnicityremains a similar cause for the riots however, a contrast exists inthe policies of the two nations (Newburn, 2014). It can be arguedthat the policies being implemented by the US government areeffective in promoting segregation rather than promoting unity amongthe citizens. Racism had started declining if whites and blacks couldlive as neighbors, but because of the unfair treatment towards theblacks by the police, there was insecurity resulting in the whitepeople relocating. Hence, there is the need for the government todevelop other public policies that can effectively address situationssuch as those being witnessed in Ferguson and other metropolitanareas in US.

Work Cited

Duca, Lauren. “Watch This Documentary to UnderstandInstitutionalized Racism in Ferguson.” Huffing Post Entertainment,4 February 2015. Web. 4 December 2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/02/fusion-ferguson-documentary_n_6972062.html

Gallagher, Charles A, and Cameron D. Lippard. Race and Racism inthe United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic. ,2014. Print.

Missouri. “The Guardian view on the Ferguson riots.” TheGuardian, 19 August 2014. Web. 4 December 2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/19/guardian-view-on-ferguson-riots

Newburn, Tim. “The Ferguson riots may seem similar to those in UKin 2011- but there are stark contrasts.” The Guardian, 20 August2014. Web. 4 December 2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/20/ferguson-missouri-not-so-far-from-tottenham-toxteth

Pool, Tim. “Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory.” Onlinevideo clip. YouTube. Huffing Post, 30 March 2015. Web. 4December 2015. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq9pHONmaLc

Rothstein, Richard. “The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at theRoot of its Troubles.” Economic Policy Institute, 15 October 2014.Web. 4 December 2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.epi.org/publication/making-ferguson/

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