Friday, October 15, 2010
Race Riots and the Ghetto Underclass
Race Riots and the Ghetto Underclass: A number of American cities erupted with ethnoracial violence in the late 1960s. Struggling with the effects of racial segregation, which was an urban socio-political process marked by the spatial separation of various ethnoracial groups, the ghetto underclass rioted. But why? With the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, racial segregation should not have been a major concern anymore, right? In 1965, the federal government issued the Moynihan Report, which attempted to address the basic sociological afflictions of inner-city African-American families. It effectively stated that without viable access to employment, black men were unable to carry out their familial duties. The disintegration of African-American family structure was therefore considered a primary cause of urban ethnoracial violence. After pervasive urban rioting throughout 1967, the federal government continued to investigate the problem with the Kerner Commission in 1968. Ultimately, the Commission pointed to the persistence of school, housing, and employment segregation as precipitating the rioting, and that only a governmental plan for "total integration," which included public accommodations, could alleviate the problem.