New York City takes pride in being such a diverse city. Although this is true, it does not mean that racism does not occur or that New York City is greatly integrated. The article, “A Diverse City? In Some Ways, Anything But” by Ginia Bellafante talks about the ways in which New York City actively discriminates against Black Americans.   

Last spring, a police officer Michael Dragajatic took part in biased misconduct while arresting a man. This officer who is known for his racial slurs arrested a black man without reason. He pushed the black man and arrested him after the innocent man complained of this unfair treatment. Dragajatic then filed a police report falsely stating that the man kicked and flared during his arrest. In October two protests, one near a Harlem Police Precinct and one involving a march over the Brooklyn Bridge, were conducted demanding changes to the Stop and Frisk Policy. The Stop and Frisk policy is the stopping of law-abiding citizens usually of the Hispanic or Black race.

 Councilman Jumaane D. Williams experienced racial profiling when he was handcuffed during the West Indian Day Parade this year. These concerns directed at NYC’s Police Department prompted public officials to come up with new civil rights practices in the department.  Federal Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ruled that diversity initiatives must be taken in the fire department to break the constant patterns of discrimination among blacks.

In class we read “Driving While Black” by Richard Lundman and Robert Kaufman. The study taken shows Blacks report more traffic stops than Whites and even Hispanics. These incidents mentioned above all give good examples of racial discrimination among blacks by police officers.

The discrimination among blacks is not only seen among Police officers but is also seen in schools. A teacher from the Bronx was fired for making racial remarks to his 9th grade class. This is not uncommon among schools. Even students are involved in racism and discrimination especially in schools that are predominantly a certain race.

Segregation in communities is also very high in New York City. NYC is ranked third among the most segregated cities in United States in terms of black and whites. Surveys taken from 2005-2009 shows that Blacks lived in neighborhoods that were at least 50% black regardless of incomes. Asians lived in neighborhoods that were at least 25% Asian. The study also showed that Blacks with an income of $75,000 or higher lived in poorer neighborhoods than whites with an income of $40,000 or less. The fact that Blacks with an income of $75,000 or higher still live in poor neighborhoods goes against the Moynihan Report idea of a Culture of Poverty. Though Blacks are still staying among the same poor communities they are able to maintain a high income level. The poor neighborhood they live in has not held them back from success in jobs.

 As the article stated, New York City will probably not integrate on their own. There needs to be more family housing policies and leaders in race and ethnicity communities who take action and do not just avoid this segregation in one of the most diverse cities in America.


2 responses

  1. Very interesting topic. Keep the conversation going…

  2. edcast2 says:

    An interesting point in that article is that even though New York CIty is highly diverse, it is highly segregated and I do not know if the quandary will change anytime soon. One of the main problems whether it is a sociologist, an urban planner, or a public policy maker is attempting to integrate different groups based on race, ethnicity, or class or a combination of the three. If blacks and dark skinned hispanics move into a neighborhood that is predominantly white middle class, white flight often occurs, totally eroding the tax bases for schools and other institutions. At the same time, Asians, as we have seen in the readings are more easily able to move into those same neighborhoods. As with the stop and frisk issue and diversity and the fire department, a policy maker could implement a law to integrate different groups or to improve race relations, but it does not necessarily change an individual or group ideology or perception of another group, which I see as the main deterrent for change in race relations.