Where City Money Goes Reveals Institutional Racism

Milwaukee invests its property tax money in the white downtown area and not in the African-American neighborhoods. The new racial division spreadsheet (attached) adds initials investment by the City of Milwaukee with Tax Incremental Funding (TIF). In two of the predominately white areas of the city, ZIP codes 53202 and 53203 (downtown) the City of Milwaukee has invested $300, 085, 000 of property tax money for economic development. Yet in the two ZIP codes in the heart of the predominately African American neighborhoods (53206 and 53210) the City of Milwaukee has invested only $1, 500,000. That is a 298, 585,000 million dollar difference of money the City puts in White downtown area and the Black north side for economic development. Incidentally there are only 1557 lead lateral water pipes in the two downtown Zip codes and 14, 924 lead lateral water pipes in the North side two zips. If one takes away the heavy city investment in the Menominee River Parkway a similar statement could be made for the two predominately Hispanic zips of 53204 and 53215. These two zip have 18, 335 residences with lead lateral water pipes.

If you correlate the other facts on the spreadsheet, dangerous levels of lead in blood of children 6 and under, people below poverty level, infant mortality and homicide rates, percent of people with disabilities and unemployed, and educational levels a pattern of deliberate segregation emerges, it is not by chance that the Milwaukee area was the most segregated metro area in the last two USA censuses, 2000 and 2010. This is what is called “Institutional Racism, when a social institution, like city of Milwaukee government gives “negative treatment to a group of people based on their race.”

I do this research not to be negative to city government or any race. I do this research with the intention that city officials and people of Milwaukee will become aware of this form of racism. The first step to correcting a situation is to admit it exist. For example, it can be seen in the failure of the city to come up with a comprehensive and strategic plan to replace lead lateral water pipes, predominantly in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods. If a poison toxic was on the loose in the white areas of downtown it is hard to imagine the City of Milwaukee would be so slow and reluctant to eliminate it. Where the City of Milwaukee money for economic investment goes is just another example of institutional racism.

Please respond with errors to facts, disagreements or agreement.

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Page last modified on January 12, 2017

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