Is Systematic Inequality in Schools the Cause of New Racial Tensions and Violence?

While racial inequality in America has always been prevalent, inequality and the racial tensions that follow have recently reached new heights, not seen since the Civil Rights movement. While there are many reasons for these tensions, systematic inequality in the field of education is the leading factor. Without having a quality education, it is nearly impossible to survive in today’s job market by oneself, let alone carrying a family. With this being the case, it is baffling how this systematic inequality has been allowed to go on for so long, and not been made a larger issue yet.

Every year, it seems, violent crime continues to rise in the United States, as racial tensions do as well. Many analysts and pundits would point to income inequality as the main culprit for these tensions and increased violence. But, when examined from a different perspective, it is easy to see how education inequality can account for all of this. While the pundits are correct about increased violence and racial tensions mainly stemming from income inequality, income inequality is usually caused by a lack of education or an existence of education inequality. This systematic education inequality can be demonstrated in many ways, but one of the clearest is funding. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of 2010, the United States spent 39 percent more per person in public schools than any other OECD country. With this type of spending and money to work with the results of better all-around education should be quite a bit more noticeable. Wealthier, usually white, areas are more likely to see an increase in funding because with kids that are seen as having “a future,” it seems to be a better investment. While, in certain economic aspects, it may be a safer investment, it doesn’t make it correct. There is absolutely no way to justify a certain race or ethnicity earning college degrees at such a higher rate, especially when college grads make almost 51 percent more per year than those with just high school diplomas.

This chart demonstrates systematic education inequality in the United State’s system.85

Many minorities have figured out this systematic education inequality and seen it first hand in action. Because of their loss of faith in the American educational system, many do not push their children to go to college, or sometimes, even to graduate high school anymore. This can cause a vicious cycle or snowball effect, generation to generation. With this lack of education running throughout whole families, this is how poverty is created. Without at least one person in a home being able to hold down a steady job, poverty will oftentimes ensue due to a lack of education, going back to systematic inequality.

Here is a podcast of myself explaining how all of this links together.



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