Ghettoized in America

Native Americans already lived on this continent when the white man arrived. Even though the Indians had their own cultures and ways of life, our government methodically killed or confined many of them to reservations where today they live in poverty. It is estimated that one in four children born on the Oglala Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota are born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

White Europeans immigrated to America. Italians clustered with other Italians, Irish with Irish, Germans with Germans but the government recognized this as a non-productive way to populate the country. Thus, as our borders pushed west, immigrants were lured to spread out with promises of land and jobs. The clusters were purposefully broken up and white people populated the territories.

Meanwhile, when the U.S. government freed the Negro slaves, it legalized the segregation of the black and white races in public facilities, schools, restaurants, even rest rooms and water fountains. Rather than give them a helping hand up as they had the Europeans, the government all but forced African Americans, for safety’s sake, to live together.

And so it is today –With jobs scarce and educational opportunities unequal, is it any wonder that poor, ‘ghettoized’ African Americans are at risk?

Mellissa Harris-Perry, an MSNBC Host, exploded into anger one day on her TV show: Here’s what she said . .

“What is riskier than living poor in America? Seriously, what in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America? I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it’ll be a good school and maybe it won’t. I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No! There is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you. Being poor is what is risky. We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won’t, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness! We cannot do that!”

We need to fix this ghettoizing of America.

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