When my wife would hear a story, or see something on the news, about how in some other part of the world, or even in America, people struggle financially, or with education or crime, she would often say, “It depends on where you land how your life can turn out.”

I read a review of a new book that points out how poverty in the U.S. hides in plain sight. The book shows how depending on where you are born you are more likely to suffer from poverty and structural racism.

In The Injustice of Place, by Timothy Nelson, Kathryn Edin, and H. Luke Shaefer, they point out how specific areas perpetuate economic and social injustice. You will see the extremes with the wealthy on one end and the have-nots on the other; and there is usually no middle class.

The authors looked beyond just income to health and education as well. What they identified was a map that showed where there was the most suffering, and to no surprise, it was a good fit to the map of the Confederacy. It also maps well on Native American Indian reservations in the North and the West.

As an example of keeping the status quo, the authors pointed out how structural racism works. “In South Texas, they purposely held elections when migrant workers were out of town so they couldn’t vote.”

In the Southern U.S., the white folks created “segregation academies” after the Brown vs. Board of Education verdict that allowed blacks to go to white schools. They created racist Citizen’s Councils that allowed private schools to get preferred tax treatment that still continues.

Many of the needed changes to level the playing field require a strong local free press that can focus on how the government is failing in key areas. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know it exists.

Where do you see some inequity that needs to be fixed?

To Your Prosperity,