Madison is not Ferguson — it’s worse

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The Cap Times (Wisconsin State Journal)

The recent U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the Ferguson Police Department revealed broad and systemic racism there. Dane County received its version of an investigation in 2013: the Race to Equity report, released by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. The Race to Equity report showed that racial disparities in Madison, on almost every measure, exceed state and national levels. Black people in Ferguson are four times more likely than whites to be arrested. In Dane County, black people are eight times more likely to be arrested than whites. In Madison, it’s 10 times more likely.

These disparities begin with the treatment of black youth who, according to the Race to Equity report, are 15 times more likely to be suspended from school than white youth. In Ferguson, black youth are slightly more than twice as likely to be suspended as white students. According to the Kirwan Institute, “Contrary to the prevailing assumption that African-American boys are just getting ‘what they deserve’ when they are disciplined, research shows that these boys do not ‘act out’ in the classroom any more than their white peers.”
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