The map on the left shows how Chicago wards voted in the last election for mayor. Green wards voted for Mayor Rahm. Red wards voted for Chuy Garcia. The map on the left shows segregated Chicago. Blue is white. Green is Black. Orange is Latino. The line up perfectly with the results of the election.
This morning I found two pieces of data that I think are interesting and that I wish to share with you.
The New York Times has published a map and data that shows that if you are born in Cook County and poor, the odds are you will stay poor your entire life.
They call that lacking income mobility.
A passive phrase. Like shit happens.
This is a timely piece of information because I just got into one of those Facebook exchanges with a friend over the idea of American exceptionalism and the ability to pull yourself up by your boot straps if you just tried hard enough.
This is a myth. In America most poor kids grow up to be poor adults.
Friday, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver posted an article with data about the relationship of diversity to segregation.
At some point the words racial integration became the word diversity.
I can’t pinpoint the moment. But there was a point when I noticed it. Maybe 1982.
Maybe it was around the same time we changed the way we pronounce the name of the planet, Uranus.
We no longer had racial segregation. We had a lack of diversity.
Segregating people was an active phrase. It was something we actively did.
Lacking diversity was a passive phrase. As in, how did that happen? It was like that when I got here.
The change in language led to things like corporations having diversity training.
Which never challenged racism.
Nate Silver’s data shows that Chicago is an incredibly diverse city and an incredibly segregated one.
It is diverse because lots of different kinds of people moved here.
It is segregated because of intent and policy.
What Silver doesn’t mention is how the policy and practice of segregation impacts political power.
As in our last election for Mayor.
The votes of four Lakefront white wards elected Mayor Rahm.
In fact most white Chicagoans have never voted for a mayoral candidate of color.
I believe that before something can be addressed, it must be named.