Blacks are 5.5 times more likely than whites to be unemployed in YYY County.
Three-quarters of the county’s African-American children live in poverty, compared to 5 percent of white children.
Half of all black high school students don’t graduate on time, compared to 16 percent of white children.
African-American children are 15 times more likely than their white counterparts to land in foster care. And black juveniles are six times more likely to be arrested than white juveniles.
Those are some of the findings released Wednesday in a report, “Race to Equity,” by the XXX [state] Council on Children and Families. The report compared 40 indicators of well-being for YYY County residents, mostly between 2007 and 2011. In nearly every category, the study found, blacks, who make up 6.5 percent of the county’s population, fare much worse than whites.
Eighteen months in the making, the report is offered as a baseline against which future efforts to close racial disparities in YYY County can be measured. It seeks to encapsulate and expand on previous studies that showed racial gaps in educational attainment, poverty, employment, participation in the criminal justice system and other indicators.
Although some indicators show improvement — for example, arrests of black juveniles and adults is down significantly over the past four years — most of the numbers are bleak.
“It’s no secret that we’ve had these disparities. A lot of groups have been working on this,” said Bob Jacobson, spokesman for the council. “But the approach to tackling the problem hasn’t been coordinated and comprehensive, which is really what’s needed.”
Disparities are common across the United States, the report said, but the gap between the quality of life for whites and blacks is much worse in YYY County, the epicenter for progressive politics in XXX and often ranked among one of the best places in America to live.
Rural or urban, north or south, across the United States, YYY County is “rock bottom” when it comes to racial disparities, Jacobson said, adding, “It’s really jarring.”
A few hints:
- Obama won 71.0% of the vote in YYY County in 2012.
- ZZZ, the county seat of YYY County, is also the capital of the state of XXX.
- ZZZ is a famous college town.
- I've often pointed out that the state of XXX, despite being admirable in numerous ways, has been terrible for African-Americans (and vice-versa). Blacks seem to do better in Texas or Georgia than this culturally quite different place, which has deep liberal roots going back to the eras of the Progressive and Socialist Parties.
- The Onion was founded here in 1988.
Ready to guess?
You can find this article in in the hometown newspaper here.