Racism has been one of the most pressing issues in the US since centuries. There is a belief that this discrimination is history and, now, all Americans live in perfect harmony. Qi Ryan Wang of Northeastern University has some surprising results on how racist and socioeconomic differences have crept into reinforcing the age-old discriminatory system in what is considered to be, perhaps, the most powerful country of the world.
Analysing about 650 million Twitter messages over a period of eighteen months, Wang studied about 4,00,000 residents living in 50 of the largest cities of USA. Decoding the geographic location of the senders of these tweet messages, he was able to understand the resident locations and their travelling patterns. Wang made an important discovery that residents of primarily black and Hispanic communities did not visit the middle-class white residential areas. Similarly, white families with low income did not visit higher income white residential areas. Such a pattern shows a dangerous trend amongst US residents to stay within one’s economic and racial categories, showing that racism and socioeconomic segregation is far from over in America.
The implications of this are thought to be many. Losing out on job prospects, people who could be role models and other resources as an implication of the fact that an increased number of investments happen in the middle- and upper- class white localities. There is a pressing need to understand why such segregation still exists and remove the existing prejudices against communities. Then alone can America become a true superpower nation.
N Malavika Mohan