Houston Matters

Is There A Racial Opportunity Divide in Greater Houston?

For the last two weeks, the nation has watched events transpire in Ferguson, Missouri. Nightly protests, occasional looting, and a general mistrust of the police by members of the community, have all been spurred by the shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a Ferguson police officer. But as we’ve learned in the two weeks […]

For the last two weeks, the nation has watched events transpire in Ferguson, Missouri. Nightly protests, occasional looting, and a general mistrust of the police by members of the community, have all been spurred by the shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a Ferguson police officer.

But as we’ve learned in the two weeks since, while protests may have been sparked by the shooting, unrest in Ferguson has deep roots in a complex history of racial tension and perceived socially-driven divides in opportunities which date back generations.

Does such a racial opportunity divide exist here in Greater Houston? Have we overcome our segregated, racist past, or is this community just as divided in terms of race and opportunity as it ever was? How do leaders of Latino, African-American and other racial or ethnic communities feel about whether Houston provides a fair opportunity for everyone? What steps can we take, or have been taken, to aim for such fairness?

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss whether we’re providing equal opportunities for everyone in Greater Houston, and what lessons might be learned from events of recent weeks in Ferguson, Missouri. We welcome your questions for Dr. Doveanna Fulton, Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at UH Downtown; Lone Star College instructor and Librotraficante activist Tony Diaz, and Houston City Council Member and former Houston Police Chief C.O. “Brad” Bradford.

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