Wisconsin has some of the worst disparities between black and white people in the country. That's according to a new report that outlines the causes of these disparities — and possible solutions.
But it's not just Wisconsin. All 12 states in the Midwest — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin — have obvious racial disparities between its black and white populations, according to the report. The report compares Midwestern states to other parts of the country in areas like education, employment, health, and homeownership.
The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a national think tank based in Madison, contributed to the report. The Iowa Policy Project, Policy Matters Ohio and the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) were also part of the team.
"There are deep roots to the structure of inequality in the Midwest. They're historical. They relate to systemic, public and private action that has resulted in where we are today," COWS Associate Director Laura Dresser says.
She explains that when thinking with a historical perspective on racism in the U.S., most people often think about the South. But this report dissolves the misconception that racism and segregation is a Southern issue.
So, why does the Midwest have such stark inequalities? To understand, author of the report Colin Gordon says we have to look at history:
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