Report Identifies Institutional Racism in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
While opponents of affirmative action acknowledge the existence of individual acts of bigotry in the United States, they insist that institutional racism no longer exists in this country. However, a recent report documents continuing systematic unfair treatment based on race by the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania government. For the past 30 years, Allegheny County government officials have implemented a scheme to punish Lucy A. Williams, the first Black property owner in a previously all-White area of Liberty Borough, and the Black people who bought property from her and built homes in the area.
Beginning in 1977, when Allegheny County introduced its currently-used property classification system, Property Assessment officials intentionally misrepresented the information in deeds filed with the County government by Black people who bought property from Ms. Williams, assessing them for property still owned by Ms. Williams, and assessing Ms. Williams for that same property and for property she had sold.
This instance of institutional racism is significant because it is undeniable. The incriminating information is publicly available, indelibly recorded in the deeds and a certified subdivision plan filed with Allegheny County government by Ms. Williams and the other Black property owners, and in official documents created by the Department of Property Assessment which contain unmistakably intentional misrepresentations of the filed information.
In addition, the County's shameful scheme is not over. So far, Allegheny County officials have refused to acknowledge and correct the obvious misrepresentations in the County's official records.
The report that clearly documents this matter, with certified copies of the relevant government records, is available as an Adobe PDF file at the following internet address: