Race and Ethnic Conflict: Contending Views on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Ethnoviolence

By Fred L. Pincus; Howard J. Ehrlich | Go to book overview
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36
Changing the Whole System

CHARLES JARET

In this section, we consider four approaches, each of which would make a marked change in the American social order. Each is touted by its supporters as having the potential to greatly reduce racial inequality and improve intergroup relations. These are (a) policies that increase residential integration among racial-ethnic groups, (b) radical or socialist proposals to redistribute power and wealth, (c) "universal entitlements" that is, the idea of extending a broad range of social and economic benefits to the entire population, and (d) racial-ethnic separatism, that is, limiting contact with out-groups in order to develop cohesion within a group and strengthen its resources and institutions.


RESIDENTIAL INTEGRATION

For the most highly segregated groups, a good argument can be made that an effective way to reduce racial inequality (e.g., access to jobs, schools, and medical care) is by taking actions and adopting policies that greatly increase the number of stable integrated neighborhoods in a metropolitan area. The Kerner Commission, back in 1968, explicitly recommended policies of school, residential, and employment integration, coupled with "enrichment" services for minority neighborhoods, as the best response to overcome the underlying problems and causes of the 1960s ghetto riots.

More recently, DeMarco and Galster ( 1993:143) strongly affirmed the urgent need for stable, racially integrated neighborhoods rather than the status quo. They said that

segregation means restricting minorities' opportunities for social and economic advancement and full participation in the American Dream. Segregation forms the key link in what may be called a vicious circle of self-perpetuating racial prejudice and inequality.

To analyze that vicious circle, Galster and Keeny ( 1988) worked out a statistical model that tried to estimate the mutual interactions and effects of prejudice, housing discrimination, economic inequality, and housing costs. Their hypothet

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