1. Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu discusses the report he released Friday titled, "Divided by Design," about race issues in U.S. South
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2. SOUNDBITE (English) Mitch Landrieu, Former New Orleans Mayor:
"The bulk of my work has been very quietly traveling around to 13 states and 28 communities, talking to eight hundred people."
3. Photo of schoolchildren inside Landrieu's "Divided by Design" report
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4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mitch Landrieu, Former New Orleans Mayor:
"You have many, many white people that once they understand the intentional mis-design, they go, oh, we can – we can fix school districts. We want to change that. The unanimous jury verdict, some say no way. But if you say, you know, a white kid that gets arrested for marijuana is six times less likely to serve jail time as a black kid. It's clear that we don't know how to talk about this. It's an uneasy conversation. We've never really had a good conversation about it. We're usually yelling at each other. But I think, people in the south generally love the south. There are people of faith, there are people of family. They…uh…really wanna do well, but I think the African-American community justly feels like the institutions, education, healthcare, infrastructure of government, the business community, that there are designs that have kind of been against them and that they haven't been able to build the same kind of institutional wealth that even middle class or poor white families have been able to. And there's a lot of evidence that they're correct. I don't think that they necessarily want a whole lot. They want – they want the country to acknowledge it. There has been a historical wrong, which clearly there has been. And to start talking about how we actually have an intention to go forward together, that we're not going to continue to intend to be separate. And I think that the way you do that is for people to get to know each other. And there's a lot of evidence that our younger generation understands this better than some of us old folk."
5. Close of "Divided by Design" report on table
6. Various of photos from the "Divided by Design" report
More than two years after he oversaw the elimination of four Jim Crow-era monuments from the New Orleans landscape, former Mayor Mitch Landrieu is again tackling the stubborn legacy of slavery, segregation and racism in his native South.
On Friday, Landrieu released "Divided by Design," a 90-page report based on surveys and interviews with people in 28 communities in 13 Southern states.
The report describes conflicting views on racism among African Americans, Latinos and whites. It celebrates efforts to bridge racial gaps but says segregation and inequality remain major barriers.
When Landrieu was mayor, he removed four Jim Crow-era monuments from the New Orleans landscape, including statues of three Confederate icons.
This report is the first project of the E Pluribus Unum Fund, which Landrieu launched after leaving office in May 2018. It calls for cultivating courageous leaders who can build common ground.
Hopeful in some ways, the report notes initiatives by some big city mayors to promote diversity and equity in affordable housing and economic development efforts _ and to openly discuss race and class barriers to advancement.
It cites statistics indicating that the continued "de facto" segregation of communities and interviews demonstrating the chasms between the views of many black and white people.
Meanwhile, some white respondents expressed fear that gains among black people will come at their expense.
According to the report, "when discussing the nation's racial history, many white respondents flatly rejected the idea that we should spend any more time or effort discussing it."