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America's 14 Most Ready to Riot Cities

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"Not so long ago, Memphis, a city where a majority of the residents are black, was a symbol of a South where racial history no longer tightly constrained the choices of a rising black working and middle class. Now this city epitomizes something more grim: How rising unemployment and growing foreclosures in the recession have combined to destroy black wealth and income and erase two decades of slow progress." Source: News One for Black America.

  • Children living in poverty: 38.5%
  • Unemployment: 10.9%
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 23%
  • Percent of residents receiving SNAP assistance:   25%
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 50.0 %
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 18.9%
  • 12th Highest U.S. City Crime Score: 256.32
  • Housing value disparity: 152% (std. dev. / median)
  • Hate crimes per 100,000 population: 5.17

5. New Orleans, LA: (Tie)

Between 2000 and 2009, New Orleans lost more than a quarter of its residents. This decline was largely attributable to Hurricane Katrina. According to Delta Dispatches, New Orleans has rebounded in a big way since 2005.   But the facts say it has a long way to go.   Will the Big Easy keep its cool?

  • Number 1 in homeless: 2,582/100,000 residents
  • Number 1 U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 55.0%.
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 54%
  • Unemployment 9.7%
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 24.2%
  • 55.0% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
  • Housing value disparity: 157% (std. dev. / median).  

5. Buffalo, NY:   (Tie)

Number one in hate crimes reported and ranking in the top 20 for misconduct of police officers in forces of less than 1,000, Buffalo is skating on thin ice.   It has fared better than many with a relatively low unemployment rate, but poverty and disparity are taking a toll.   SNAP (the new name for food stamps) recipients have increased over 20%.

  • Ranked 1st in hate crimes in large U.S. cities: 11.47 per 100,000 population
  • Poverty: 28.8% of residents below the poverty line
  • Children in poverty: 41.6%
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 22%
  • 49.2% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
  • Housing value disparity:   112% (std. dev. / median).  
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 56.3%.
  • 18th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita forces under 1,000 officers
  • Unemployment 8.1%

6. Milwaukee, WI:  

A June 2011 study from the John K. Maclver Institute, a Wisconsin-based think tank that promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government, showed Milwaukee slid 28 spots in a national ranking of economic strength.   With a school district high school graduation rate of only 31.5%, the city's government may want to be less than limited in addressing the community's educational needs.   Other Wisconsin business notables are complaining they don't have enough qualified applicants to fill job openings.

  • Percentage of single-parent households: 52.2%.  
  • High school graduation rate, public school district: 31.0%
  • 45.4% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
  • Hate crimes per 100,000 population: 2.64
  • Unemployment 10.4%
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 33%
  • Children living in poverty: 41.3%
  • Per capita income: $18,290
  • 20th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita

7. St. Louis, MO:  

Another schizophrenic urban gas guzzling disaster where the work day affluent commuters boost the city's population by 34.5% and then leave for their suburban oasis each night.   As reported in the St. Louis Beacon: Historian Colin Gordon takes the long view when it comes to understanding how St. Louis has fared during the nation's recent economic downturn -- and his perspective isn't pretty. "We're now in a situation in a lot of settings -- most starkly Detroit but also in cities like St. Louis -- where land values in the central city have fallen off the abyss. There are properties you can't give away," he said. "But by the same token, some of the incentives for building out in a cornfield have been restrained both by the lack of credit and by the undermining of environmental costs. In some respects, when gas prices spiked a couple of years ago, that was at least a temporary wakeup call for the kind of sprawl that areas like this have experienced over the course of their history."

  • Top national crime score for U.S. cities: 381.62
  • Housing value disparity: 124% (std. dev. / median)
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 57.9%
  • Percent of residents receiving SNAP assistance:   36%
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 36%
  • Unemployment 12.6%

8. Baltimore, MD:  

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has admitted her latest proposal to balance the city's budget by eliminating marine, helicopter, and mounted units from the police force; cutting 900 city jobs; closing 29 recreation centers; decreasing hours at 311 call centers; and end the Fourth of July firework display, is "unacceptable" and "goes too far." But, Baltimore has other festering problems as well.  What's wrong with this picture?   Baltimore's unemployment is relatively low.   Oh, I forgot.   Working class jobs don't pay very well.  

  • Housing value disparity:   120% (std. dev. / median)
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 59.2%
  • High school graduation rate, public school district: 41.5%
  • Percent of residents receiving SNAP assistance:   24%
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 15.2%
  • City budget deficit through FY2011: $121,000,000   per capita: $190
  • 15th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
  • Unemployment 7.9%

9. Atlanta, GA:  

The population of Atlanta increases by 62% every workday due to commuter influx. Lot's of homeless, an amazingly high per capita income of $36,912, and a Mecca to young southern professionals.   Atlanta is a shining example of disparity and inequity on steroids.   Hey, good buddy, how many hours were you parked on I-75 today?

  • House value disparity: 218% (std. dev. / median)
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 60.4%
  • Homeless: 1,263/100,000 residents
  • 3rd U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 34%
  • Children in poverty: 48.1%
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 20.5%
  • Poverty: 27.8% of residents below the poverty line
  • Unemployment 9.9%

10. Cincinnati, OH:  

"The explosion of violence in Cincinnati--the largest urban disturbance in the US since the 1992 Los Angeles riots--revealed the deep social tensions in every American city... The April riots underscored the most basic fact of life in America: the enormous social gulf that has opened up between the wealthy elite and the vast majority of the population."   Jerry White, writing for the World Socialist Website about the roots of the riots that erupted in Cincinnati, Ohio in April of 2001, following the police killing of an unarmed black teenager, not a rumor, fact.

  • Percentage of single-parent households: 55.9%
  • 17th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
  • Unemployment 9.9%
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 41.0%
  • Children in poverty: 40.9%

11. Long Beach, CA:  

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)
 
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I find it interesting that Boehner's home district... by Joanne Boyer on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 9:24:35 AM
Next time I write something like this I'll try to ... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:14:49 AM
Citations for all facts and figures in this piece ... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:11:42 AM
DHS is expanding their polygraph program to fight ... by Patricia Donalds on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 1:36:15 PM
Patricia,I moved to Russia in 1999 and I've not he... by mike buchan on Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 at 3:18:35 AM
Looting, burning property, and assaulting fellow c... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 2:29:06 PM
Just remember what a genuinely inspired US preside... by manifesto 2000 on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:22:05 PM
Q: What's the difference between a protester and a... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 8:32:28 PM
And you know how they were criminals? Because PM C... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:25:07 PM
Burning and looting your own neighborhoods solved ... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:46:06 PM
power rob, steal, impoverish and beat enough peopl... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:14:56 PM
But where did I excuse or offer excuses for the po... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:54:33 PM
What's the difference? We're all going to hell.... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 8:42:16 PM
condemn the rioters, but never condemn the abuses ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:15:08 AM
Please explain your question.  How have our r... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:18:59 AM
expected you to have read about that before if you... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:46:54 AM
that your comments are distracting from the main p... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:12:36 AM
I was foreclosed on.  Not because of the bank... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:32:37 AM
I'm also not surprised that you while you condemne... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:46:58 AM
I'm self employed just trying to  make my way... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:52:54 AM
at putting words in peoples mouths if they don't a... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:55:36 AM
don't forget that you just claimed that you took a... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:17:02 AM
I put in my income honestly and they worked their ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:31:17 AM
Laura, here is what you wrote:"Yes their governmen... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:06:36 AM
my responsibility to see through what these banks ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:13:38 AM
Unemployment...here in the US we pay into that out... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:19:23 AM
You just talked about something the Govt is at fau... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:41:51 AM
they looted and fire bombed their own areas, how?A... by ibrahim turner on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 7:50:35 PM
I don't advocate violence.  I want to deter v... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:18:31 PM
And I'm not arguing that fact one bit, I happen to... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:56:51 PM
Kudos on a great, well-researched article with loa... by Richard Scott on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:08:37 PM
It is a very well written article with lots of fac... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:30:32 PM
in which the people are most likely to riot are th... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:42:15 PM
I bet that will be where the spark ignites.  ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:11:00 PM
Thanks for these links.  Great, just great. &... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:28:16 PM
of 1965-1971. Riots, burned out cities, cops in sn... by Monica Davis on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:43:34 PM
There is a myth we are innately violent.  Rod... by Donnie McLeod on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:22:45 PM
What pulp science fiction did you pull that from? ... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:44:18 PM
Q: Why doesn't our government try to put the brake... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:32:12 PM
the title said 14 cities. My version of the articl... by Charlotte Wilson on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:28:12 PM
cities are named in 13 spots.  Of course, if ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:51:53 PM
Thanks again Mr. Adams.  There are sooooooooo... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:39:06 PM
Hey Chaz,   Just a quick note to inform you... by Richard Scott on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:01:00 PM
I would think that the rich had better review thei... by George Schmitt on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 11:00:17 PM
The GOP/Tea Party and their mass media and supreme... by eric stone on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 2:37:41 AM
I would have liked to have seen the same statistic... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 1:36:16 AM
banksters have been on a worldwide looting spree.&... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:25:13 AM
How about those who looted the Treasury of the US?... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:27:05 AM
Both Codger and Laura are extremely well-versed in... by Ned Lud on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:58:04 AM
you are completely out of line.  ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:02:11 AM
No, I'm not. What zombies (self-appointed and anno... by Ned Lud on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:39:53 AM
Imagine, a millionaire's daughter was caught with ... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:35:05 AM
facts that all the looters were poor?  Some n... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:38:32 AM
At least in Britian the police do not carry f... by David Chester on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:45:08 AM
I'm afriad America can't do what Europe and the re... by Perry Logan on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:40:04 AM
I agree with all the gun power arguments. &nb... by Chaz Valenza on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 8:40:54 AM
that the people don't strive to do better for them... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:50:07 AM
You're right about buying into the corporate racke... by Chaz Valenza on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:38:01 AM
You want to make changes do not buy from the ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:47:01 AM
It's not that hard to go to the credit union, pull... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 6:03:05 PM
Don't come across actionable ideas too often, your... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:37:47 PM
Your argument is an improvement over Perry's at le... by Ned Lud on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:18:20 AM
We still have demonstrations and they are for the ... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:31:55 PM
Most of the discussion seems to be about... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:19:19 AM
I was there for Chicago then and visited after the... by Margaret Bassett on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:54:02 AM
Google the name Darcus Howe and then click on the ... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 6:24:55 PM
While 68.3 million Americans struggle to get eno... by Richard Clark on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 1:47:19 PM
What you are describing, Richard, is capitalism at... by Bruce Morgan on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 4:30:43 PM
control government and prevent tyranny and injusti... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 10:26:43 AM
is number one "Cameron identified the growth ... by John Smith on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 4:28:00 PM
My daughter recently moved my 2 grandkids (boys) t... by Jane Christenson on Friday, Aug 19, 2011 at 5:14:26 PM