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Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon: Milwaukee ‘extremely segregated’

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Milwaukee Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)


Bucks guard Sterling Brown, despite not being violent or overly combative, was tased and arrested for a parking violation in Milwaukee last year. A few years ago, an employee at a Milwaukee-area jewelry store called the police on former Bucks center John Henson, who was trying to buy a watch.

These incidents fit into a larger framework.

Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, via Donald McRae of The Guardian:

Before I came to Milwaukee I’d heard the city was the most segregated in the country. I’d heard it was racist. When I got here it was extremely segregated. I’ve never lived in a city this segregated. Milwaukee’s very behind in terms of being progressive. There are things that need to change rapidly.
But I went to a school [in Atlanta] where many racist situations occurred. The basketball was pretty racist; the classroom was very racist. The teachers were so blatant in their targeting based on colour. I went to a private school and I only had one or two black friends. We were always the ones in detention. My mom knew to get me out of there. But I’d go to basketball practice with my black friends, in my neighbourhood, and me and my brothers were called white because we went to private school and were articulate.

Brogdon is clearly politically and socially conscious. An increasing number of NBA players are.

Talking like this about the place he plays is another level. Few players want that level of heat.

Brogdon might have felt empowered by the Bucks. Bucks president Peter Feigin previously called Milwaukee “most segregated, racist place I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

Facts support their conclusion about the city’s segregation. Brookings found Milwaukee to be America’s most-segregated metropolitan area.

The segregation is no accident. Years of discrimination in housing have created lasting race-based lines.

There’s no simple solution to this problem, but the first step is recognizing the problem. Too few people acknowledge it. Kudos to Brogdon for shining a light on it.