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Sat Nov 14, 2015, 09:23 AM

What Went Wrong With The South Is What Went Wrong With America

http://www.alternet.org/economy/what-went-wrong-south-what-went-wrong-america

What Went Wrong With The South Is What Went Wrong With America
An economy built on a violent system of unpaid forced labor, replaced by a violent system of underpaid exploitative labor.
By Alyson Zandt / Facing South
November 6, 2015



Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States


<snip>

"The Deep South's paralyzing intergenerational poverty is the devastating sum of problems both historical and emergent — ones that, in the life of a young man, can build in childhood and then erupt in early adulthood," says Harlan. These young people "deal with traumas at home and dysfunction at school — only to find themselves, as graduates, searching for low-paying jobs in states that have been reluctant to fund programs that help the poor."


An accompanying infographic, which maps life expectancy, children living with one parent, unbanked households, median household income, and income mobility, poses a solemn question:




What went wrong is centuries of enslavement and systemic discrimination that resulted in the immense disparities we see today — but most news stories don't capture that context. What went wrong with the Deep South is, in many ways, what went wrong with America. In the South, the effects of our nation's enduring racism are most apparent, and it's hard to overstate the continued legacy of slavery. The American economy was built on the wealth created by a violent system of free labor. The economic motivation for that system was most apparent in the agricultural South, and so people in this region went to increasingly great lengths over time to preserve it in spite of contradictions with American ideals of equality. The narrative of racial difference that was created to justify that system is still with us.

<snip>

So, what went wrong in the South? A long history of social and economic inequity, which is most apparent in the places that pop out on the Washington Post's interactive map. The historical roots of this swath of concentrated poverty and low mobility can easily be traced back to the 17th century (or even to the Cretaceous era, as the places with the largest populations of enslaved people were where the soil was the best for growing cotton, which follows the pattern of ancient coastlines). In 1860, 78 percent of people in Sunflower County, Mississippi, the setting of Harlan's article, were enslaved. A map showing the percentage of the total population that was enslaved in 1860 by county bears remarkable similarity to the pattern of those Washington Post maps:



<snip>

Breakdowns in educational and economic opportunity like those Harlan describes in the Deep South may appear unique to a small number of communities, but they are indicative of broader systemic failures. Harlan mostly focuses on the issues facing economically isolated rural communities, but the accompanying map of low mobility shows that low-income young people are struggling even in some of the South's most prosperous and dynamic metros. If we want to make national progress on equity, opportunity, and mobility, then we have to figure out how to reduce disparities in the South and in those communities where economic insecurity is greatest. The Infrastructure of Opportunity varies noticeably in quality, consistency, and accessibility across the U.S.; that doesn't have to continue to be the case.





Alyson Zandt writes for the State of The South blog. She was Manpower Development Corp's 2009-2010 Autry Fellow and is manages research and analysis for its State of the South report, which features analysis of state and regional data and calls on the region to develop and implement purposeful policies and systemic practices—an “infrastructure of opportunity”—to bolster the prospects for its 15- to 24-year-olds to achieve economic resilience and a fulfilling social and civic life.

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Reply What Went Wrong With The South Is What Went Wrong With America (Original post)
marble falls Nov 2015 OP
SCantiGOP Nov 2015 #1
marble falls Nov 2015 #2
SCantiGOP Nov 2015 #3
marble falls Nov 2015 #4
SCantiGOP Nov 2015 #5

Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 05:07 PM

1. Excellent article

Should be required reading for any elected official in the 11 states of former treason.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 05:13 PM

2. When the Klan came north in the 1920's it made the South feel more "mainstream". And racism did....

become mainstream. Cities like Akron, Ohio and Milwaukee had Klan mayors and the was a "million Klan March" on Washington, DC.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 05:15 PM

3. I remember years ago

Reading that in the 20s Indiana had the largest Klan membership in the nation.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 05:35 PM

4. At the same time here Texas there were "sundown towns" and worse there black towns burnt out.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 14, 2015, 05:44 PM

5. My Dad grew up in a small town outside Nashville

And he said he could remember seeing signs with the N-word on them: "Don't let the sun set on your head."
If an AA was caught in the city limits after dark they were roughly arrested and thrown in jail for the night. He said the charge would be Trespassing.
It wasn't just the Deep South where this happened.

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