Reflections, Recommendations on Racism in U.S., Erie

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: Erie should improve living conditions for African Americans by strengthening police community relationships.

Gannon University Professor Parris Baker argues that the American system of law, economics, and education is not broken. “Our nation was created with slave labor designed to build and preserve a system of inequality. And from the looks of things, the system is working extremely efficiently,” he writes. 

After addressing America’s history of racism, including the Jim Crow era and lynchings, Baker’s article leads to an endorsement of Campaign Zero recommendations to end police violence in America, such as limiting the use of force; establishing community oversight; independently investigating and prosecuting cases involving race; requiring police to use body cameras; improving police training, demilitarizing, and establishing fairer police union contracts. 

Leading Baker’s recommendations for Erie, a city often cited as an undesirable place to live for African Americans, is the bold declaration to establish Erie as “one of the best cities in America for African Americans to live.” He urges public accountability of poor policing behaviors, increasing transparency of complaints against police, and creating a deputy inspector general position focused on eradicating police misconduct, brutality, waste, fraud, and abuse within law enforcement agencies.  

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Feature Charticle

Jefferson Educational Society


  • Statistics reflect the wide disparity in income between the African American and white populations.
  • The poverty rate is more than 45 percent in the 16503 ZIP code.

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