For anyone to deny the existence of systemic racism puzzles me.

Black homeowners on average have 60 percent of the income of white homeowners but only 1/10th of the household wealth. The No. 1 source of inter-generational wealth is homeownership. From the 1930s to the 1960s the federal government passed policies to actively encourage white homeownership and discouraged black homeownership.

By the 20th century, every state in the South had mandated racial segregation, known as Jim Crow laws, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. These laws were not struck down until 1954. In 1956 the Southern Manifesto was signed by 101 U.S. Congressmen in the South pledging to maintain segregation. Fifty new Jim Crow laws were passed after 1954. Private “whites only” schools became common in the South.

Widespread civil rights protests combined with anti-war protests inspired the law and order response by politicians. In 1970, 70 percent of black men had good jobs, by 1987 only 28 percent did. As unemployment skyrocketed so did drug use and crime. Enter the war on drugs and unfair standards of enforcement.

During the Clinton presidency funding for public housing was cut by $17 billion while the funding for prisons increased by $19 billion. In 1980 total prison population was 350,000, in 2005 it was 2.3 million. The U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. We imprison a higher rate of our black population than South Africa did during apartheid. Overall drug rate use is the same for whites and blacks, but the imprisonment rate for blacks is six times of that for whites. A white boy born today has a 1 in 23 chance of going to prison, for a black boy it is 1 in 4.

If you care to learn more, watch this brief YouTube video

Ann Harrington


Contact Bobby Burns at and 329.9572.