Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Race and Ethnicity in the Queen City
Here are some facts, taken from Charlotte’s Community Building Initiative organization, that show Charlotte’s racial and ethnic make-up. Also, you’ll find how some of Charlotte’s residents viewed the city’s “interracial trust” factor and fairness in the legal system.
I really like it here, but I see that like most other places, Charlotte has a bit of work to do to get closer to the “melting pot” that is the ideal American image.
The demographics of the population of Charlotte, according to updated 2006 Census Department figures are as follows:
American Indian 0.5%
Mecklenburg County’s population has increased 58% in the past 16 years from 511,481 (1990) to 810,900 (2006).
42.4% of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ (CMS) students are African-American. African-Americans make up 34.4% of Charlotte’s population.
13.6% of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ students are Latino/Hispanic. 11% of Charlotte’s residents identify themselves as Latino/Hispanic.
More than 10,000 CMS students are enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. CMS students represent 152 countries and speak 97 native languages.
15.9% of the residents of Mecklenburg County speak a language other than English at home.
12.7% of Mecklenburg County residents are foreign born.
The Charlotte region ranked 39th out of 40 in “interracial trust” among the 40 communities surveyed in the 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey. “Social Capital” is defined as the formal or informal networks that connect a community.
In research conducted during the CBI/26th Judicial District Resource Team project, African-American employees and Hispanic/Latinos view the system as less fair and equitable for defendants of color than for white defendants. Some whites agree.
Research conducted during the CBI/26th Judicial District Partnership Project indicated that there is no statistically significant data from the perception and case review studies suggesting disparity of treatment based on race or ethnicity in traffic or drug cases. However, many defendants (approximately 32.7 %) do not understand how the court system works or what “happened” to them in court.