How Do We Fix What We Broke? A Diagnosis of the Heart of the Problem

  • Catalina Freixas
  • Mark Abbott
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


The purpose of the chapter is to understand the fundamental problem associated with segregation and to identify a conceptual approach for remedying it. The research of Kymlicka (Multicultural citizenship: a liberal theory of minority rights. Oxford University Press, New York, 2000), Kallen (Social inequality and social injustice: a human rights perspective. Palgrave, New York, 2003), Capehart and Milovanovic (Social justice: theories, issues, and movements. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 2007), Pausch (2012), Rutherglen (Civil rights in the shadow of slavery: the constitution, common law, and the civil rights Act of 1866. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 2012), Adams (2013), Van Ness and Strong (Restoring justice: an introduction to restorative justice. Routledge, New York, 2014) and Zehr (The little book of restorative justice. Good Books, New York, 2015) informed the focus group agende. The primary conceptual framework for the conversation is the notion of restorative justice which demands more than just recognition of wrongdoing or even punishment. It entails reparation or restitution to restore a relationship to its former or ideal state. Seemingly, America has had several opportunities or moments to make amends which they failed to take advantage. Four themes emerged from the conversation. One, white privilege has been and continues to be the underlying problem in American race relations. Two, segregation is not the problem, but merely a symptom. Three, white America has a moral obligation to return what has been taken from the African American community. Four, the ultimate solution to racism and segregation is the elimination of white privilege and the empowerment of African Americans with the necessary resources to rebuild their communities. In the accompanying essay, “The Effects of De Facto Segregation: Socio economic and Political Alienation, Crime and Contentious Black Citizen/Police Exchanges.” Andrea Boyles draws upon her ethnographic research during the Ferguson unrest to argue that segregation is not just a means of depriving African American of what whites have, but of exploiting them as well.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catalina Freixas
    • 1
  • Mark Abbott
    • 2
  1. 1.ArchitectureWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Social and Behavioral SciencesHarris-Stowe State UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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