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Ida Bae Wells @nhannahjones
, 5 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
People are often surprised to learn that I am from Waterloo, Iowa, and that growing up here and seeing the stark racial disparities as a young child and then teenager that led me to want to become a journalist who writes abt racial injustice. This is why:…
My hometown has been rated the worst city in the COUNTRY to be black. Black unemployment is 24(!) percent, compared to 4.4 for white. Poverty rate. Median income. Go down the line. It would take several tweets to list all the black people I know who've been incarcerated.
Iowa has one of the worst racial disparities in incarceration in the nation -- and black people from Waterloo are driving almost all of that. This city on the same rail line that brought black folks from Mississippi to Chicago during the migration has a shameful story.
People often joke that there are no black people in Iowa. Well, there are and my hometown has the largest percentage in the state. And let me tell you, these white states have been some of the harshest on their black populations. Waterloo forged in me the drive I have today.
Let me also add that Waterloo and Black Hawk County are reliably democratic. Waterloo just re-elected its first black mayor, my friend Quentin Hart, to a second term. Being Democrat does not mean you don't sustain the most severe racial inequalities.
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