Policing, Segregation, and Causation vs. Correlation

Racial disparities in police killings increase with segregation. Does this mean segregation causes racialized police violence?

Excerpt from an article by Miriam Axel-Lute

Everyone should be safe and secure in their homes, their neighborhoods, and going about their lives, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they have chosen to live. This is a pretty basic statement, and yet it’s one that is clear this country has not lived up to—especially for Black Americans.

People in the housing field who have long fought for fair lending, fair housing, and integration are well aware that the promise of the civil rights movement, in terms of free choice to live wherever one chooses in peace, has not been realized. Many have pointed out, as Gail Schechter of HOME recently did, that open housing was the primary focus of the civil rights movement in the North, and it faced virulent opposition. Despite legal changes prohibiting explicit racial discrimination in housing, it continues through unspoken biases and through rules and systems that compound and perpetuate the disadvantages Black families were left with as a result of legally allowed discrimination.

There is an understandable desire to connect this knowledge to the fight against police violence. And I think they are connected. But we need to be careful about how we understand that connection if we really want to dismantle it.

Read the full article on Shelterforce.

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