African-Americans in Pittsburgh have fallen behind even recent immigrants
Larry E. Davis:
The bad news about Pittsburgh's African-American population just got worse, and it should shake up every resident of any race in Western Pennsylvania.
A study released last week by the University of Pittsburgh's Center on Race and Social Problems confirmed, yet again, that African Americans in our region remain at the bottom of every measure of the quality of life, which include indicators of economic status, educational achievement, family stability and violence.
Add to that dismaying information a new, more startling discovery: African Americans who have called Pittsburgh home for generations are living lives more impoverished and desperate than even the most recent immigrants to Pittsburgh.
Data compiled about four racial groups in Pittsburgh -- white, black, Asian and Hispanic -- show that not only whites have eclipsed African Americans in education, employment and most other dimensions of life, but so have Asians and Hispanics.
More than 50 years after the Brown v. Board of Education court decision that ordered school integration, more than 40 years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act became law, black Pittsburghers appear to be trapped beneath the inexorable march of others' progress.
The fact that Asians and Hispanics are doing better than blacks shows that the problem has nothing to do with racism since if racial discrimination was involved it should affect all non-whites equally.