Seeds: A once thriving industrial city, Milwaukee, Wisconsin has whole sections of the city that have rampant crime. After the factories shut down, the racial divides became even more apparent in the city. Some call it the “worst place to live for African-Americans,” it has been named one of the most segregated cities in the United States, and has some of the highest rates of incarceration (and also unemployment) for black men. The tensions within the city have been building for decades, with the some 70% of african-american kids attending “hyper-segregated schools.” The median household income between blacks and whites is almost a $40,000 difference.
Core: The spark that ignited the “Milwaukee Uprisings” was the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith. Smith was armed at the time and had a criminal record, though some are saying that the police’s reluctance to release the body camera video is suspicious. Protests ensued, wherein some people set businesses and police cars on fire, as well as throwing bricks through police car windows and throwing rocks at officers. 17 people have been arrested, and a curfew was installed. Many protesters took a less violent approach, handing out cupcakes and standing in prayer circles.
Skin: After these spates of unrest the Governor has declared a state of emergency. As well as this, many are saying that the protests in Milwaukee are more representative of a greater issue rather than this one specific shooting.
Leaves: With the state of emergency declared one would hope that this would prompt some reform for the city that is clearly struggling, but one can’t be sure. Right now, tensions remain high. To find out how segregated your city is, here.
Food For Thought: What do you think of the incidents? Do you know how segregated your city is?