The Herald Bulletin

April 6, 2014

Editorial: Racial disparity still rears its ugly head


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Distressing news came out last week confirming what many of us have sadly acknowledged for some time. African-American and Latino children are far less likely to lead successful lives than white or Asian children.

The news from the Annie E. Casey Foundation was released amid national and local demographic changes that are impacting the way elected officials and all residents make decisions about future policies.

The report detailed conditions by state. Indiana was the eighth-lowest state in the nation for overall well-being of black children. Latino children ranked 10 points below the national average. White children ranked 39th out of the 50 states.The index compares how children are progressing in 12 milestone categories, including poverty and education, along with economic well-being judged on household employment and income.

In general, the future economy of America is diminished when equitable opportunities are not available for all children. Specifically, racial disparity continues the economic cycle of poverty.

Racial disparity has long been a disturbing perception in Anderson. In February, a local coalition of African-American citizens proposed a 10-point plan to address better accessibility for economic investment, health care and affirmative action. Topping the list is providing top-notch education to insure success for all children.

The group’s recommendations will hopefully be debated for some time. But the plan articulates a clear frustration with a local disparity. Now we find the imbalance, as local Urban League CEO Lindsay Brown said, is a “national tragedy.”

The national report can serve as a wake-up call. But answers must be addressed locally.

With changing demographics and shifts in racial populations, this community, and this nation, can’t merely be aware of the report’s findings.

Our economy and well-being are dependent on providing ample and equal opportunities to children of all races.

In summary Racial disparity works against the future economic well-being of the community.