The Dream Revisited
Discussion 11: Explaining Ferguson Through Place and Race

Discussion 11: Explaining Ferguson Through Place and Race

January 2015

The eleventh discussion in The Dream Revisited explores how metropolitan development patterns shaped by race and class set the stage for the events in Ferguson, MO.

Essay

  • The Ferguson Moment: Race and Place

    by John Mollenkopf, Todd Swanstrom

    Addressing the underlying causes of the unrest in Ferguson will require changing the regional patterns of inequality.  As we argue in Place Matters, the metropolitan playing field is tilted toward suburban sprawl and urban and inner suburban decline. Governments in the St. Louis region subsidize the flight of middle-class, largely white, families out of the older parts of the region by building highways rather than public transit and giving tax breaks for jobs to decentralize. 

Discussants

  • Race, Justice, and the Matters of Black Lives

    by Christopher M. Tinson

    I would offer a few points that intersect with Mollenkopf and Swanstrom’s insights and others that present a different reading of the circumstances of Black life. Where [Mollenkopf and Swanstrom] err is in their discounting of race as a continuing central factor in the processes of structural suppression they highlight. I argue that anti-Black policymaking has been the rule in American society, not an accidental or “old-fashioned” feature, but one that is continually reshaped and which guarantees certain material outcomes from a devaluation of difference.

  • What Does Obama’s Election Tell Us About “The Ferguson Moment”?

    by Jennifer Hochschild

    Our current morass results mainly from the toxic mix of race, place, and poverty, and solutions to it must move beyond old tropes of white racism and black powerlessness. So my comments here will mainly amplify the argument of “The Ferguson Moment.” Electing a black president, twice, did not of course signal that the United States is post-racial, whatever that means; countless scholarly writings show that race persists as a causal factor in almost everything that matters.  But electing a black president twice does signal some sort of crucial change—the question is what the signal means.

  • Five Concrete Steps Towards a St. Louis Comeback

    by Jeff Smith

    In greater St. Louis, decisions of the past created the conditions of the present, which have imbued so many residents with a nihilism about the future. Swanstrom and Mollenkopf’s diagnosis of this despair’s underlying causes largely comports with myassessment a week after Michael Brown’s death. But since we seem to agree about the root causes, it seems more fruitful here to focus on potential solutions. In pressing President Obama after the 2008 financial collapse, Rahm Emanuel counseled the president, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” In that vein, it may be the right moment to broach solutions to many of the problems that have long plagued the region.

More Discussions

  • Discussion 26: Local Control, Affordable Housing, and Segregation

    This debate explores how local control in land use decision-making may influence the availability of affordable housing and contribute to economic and racial segregation. Featuring four essays from legal scholars, practitioners, and advocates, the new discussion weighs the potential benefits and drawbacks of “scaling up” the zoning process, and moving land use decision-making towards the city, state, or regional level.

    March 2019

  • Discussion 25: Health and Segregation

    The twenty-fifth discussion debates the significance of residential segregation as a social determinant of health and explores potential policy responses.

    October 2017

  • Discussion 24: Policing and Segregation

    The twenty-fourth discussion examines the links between policing practices such as “stop and frisk” and race and class segregation and explores potential policy responses.  

    July 2017

  • Discussion 23: Race, Segregation, and Politics

    The twenty-third discussion explores the impact of persistent racial segregation on political discourse and electoral outcomes in the United States.

    March 2017

  • Discussion 22: The Stubborn Persistence of Racial Segregation

    The twenty-second discussion explores the role of residential choices in sustaining segregation within American cities.

    December 2016

  • Discussion 21: Suburban Poverty & Segregation

    The twenty-first discussion explores the increasing diversity of suburbs and increasing levels of suburban poverty and debates the challenges of supporting poor households’ economic self-sufficiency beyond the central city.

    September 2016

  • Discussion 20: Making Vouchers More Mobile

    The twentieth discussion examines the benefits of defining fair market rent by zip code, to make it easier for families to move to higher-opportunity neighborhoods, and weighs potential unintended costs.

    July 2016

  • Discussion 19: Public Housing and Deconcentrating Poverty

    The nineteenth discussion debates what we should do about high-poverty, distressed public housing developments in light of recent research from the Moving to Opportunity Program about the costs of concentrated poverty.

    May 2016

  • Discussion 18: Segregation & the Financial Crisis

    The eighteenth discussion debates the extent to which segregation exacerbated the unequal effects of the mortgage-driven financial collapse of 2007 and ways to address racial disparities in mortgage lending.

    February 2016

  • Discussion 17: Community Preferences and Fair Housing

    The seventeenth discussion debates the extent to which preferences in neighborhood residents in accessing new affordable housing promote or betray the goal of truly inclusionary communities. 

    November 2015

  • Discussion 16: A New Approach to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

    The sixteenth discussion reacts to HUD’s renewed commitment to the new requirement of the Fair Housing Act to “affirmatively further fair housing.”

    November 2015

  • Discussion 15: Moving Up or Moving Out

    The fifteenth discussion explores the most effective ways to address concentrated poverty, focusing on policies that target both people and place.

    July 2015

  • Discussion 14: Housing Subsidies & Inclusive Communities

    The fourteenth discussion examines the policy issues underlying Texas vs. The Inclusive Communities Project: how government officials should balance the use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocations to create affordable homes in low-poverty neighborhoods with the use of LIHTC allocations to catalyze economic development in high-poverty neighborhoods.

    June 2015

  • Discussion 13: The Future of the Fair Housing Act

    The thirteenth discussion debates the significant of disparate impact liability under the Fair Housing Act, in light of the Supreme Court's deliberation in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project.

    April 2015

  • Discussion 12: The Poor Door Debate

    The twelfth discussion weighs the controversy about "poor doors" in the context of a debate over the costs and benefits of mixed-income housing in high-cost markets.

    March 2015

  • Discussion 10: Balancing Investments in People & Place

    The tenth discussion in the Dream Revisited debates the appropriate balance between investments to help low-income households move to neighborhoods that offer greater access to opportunity and investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods.

    November 2014

  • Discussion 9: Residential Income Segregation

    The ninth discussion in The Dream Revisited analyzes segregation by income and debates the significance of the increasing isolation of the affluent.

    November 2014

  • Discussion 8: Neighborhoods, Opportunities, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program

    The eighth discussion in The Dream Revisited explores how the federal Housing Choice Voucher program can most effectively improve social, educational, and economic opportunities for voucher recipients. 

    October 2014

  • Discussion 7: Comparative Perspectives on Segregation

    The seventh discussion in The Dream Revisited explores what can be learned by looking at racial and economic segregation through a comparative lens. 

    September 2014

  • Discussion 6: Implicit Bias and Segregation

    The sixth discussion explores how implicit bias contributes to residential segregation and whether or not awareness of implicit biases can heighten a sense of moral urgency.

    August 2014

  • Discussion 5: Place-Based Affirmative Action

    The fifth discussion explores proposals to re-imagine affirmative action by focusing on neighborhood disadvantage instead of race.

    July 2014

  • Discussion 4: Neighborhood Gentrification

    The fourth discussion explores the relationship between gentrification, neighborhood integration, and public participation.

    May 2014

  • Discussion 3: Ending Segregation: Our Progress Today

    The third discussion in The Dream Revisited asks why we haven't made more progress in reducing segregation. 

    April 2014

  • Discussion 2: Economic Segregation in Schools

    The second discussion on The Dream Revisited explores economic segregation in our schools and argues for its continued relevance today. 

    March 2014

  • Discussion 1: Why Integration?

    The first discussion in The Dream Revisited asks what we mean by "integration" and why it may be a necessary strategy to acheive racial and economic equality.

    January 2014