York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Bias-related incidents, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: ‘A concern in York County’

State police horses separate a woman yelling at white supremacists during a January 2002 disturbance in York. Neo-Nazis and other racists traded insults with city residents, anarchists and anti-racist protesters in the aftermath of race riot trial verdicts. Police largely kept the two groups separated. (See related photo below.) Background posts: York’s 221 E. Princess St. home to telling ironies and York mayor Brenner brought order during tumultuous times and Images capture hope for racial harmony.

YorkCounts’ recent report of quality-of-life indicators assessed one category simply and aptly: “Bias-related incidents are a concern in York County.”
The report showed that such incidents are trending down since 1998, but the county average is twice the state’s numbers.
For example, the average number of bias incidents reported per 100,000 residents from 2004-2006 in York County totaled 5.5. The state average was 2.6 percent.
Here’s a quick assessment of this thorny problem that has long plagued the county… .

Members of the clergy pray in preparation for a demonstration organized by supremacist Matt Hale in January 2002.
Background: York County residents have long had a complex, often unproductive, relationship with people of color.
Some of that conflict comes from the county’s long border with a former slave state, Maryland, and the hateful symbolism some groups attach to the Mason-Dixon Line.
At the risk of over simplification, it can be argued that York County’s historic proximity to a border state and other points south moves the graph of bias-related incidents upward in the 21st century.
Related background posts:
Is York County part of Alabama?
When York County rolled up its red carpet to people of color.
Other posts in this series:
Farmland preservation, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Ag use outpacing population growth
Further education plans, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Post-high-school prospects rising
Teen motherhood, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Despite historic occurrence among Pennsylvania Dutch, rate is falling
High school graduation, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Rising after a low start.
Tobacco usage, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Rooted in York County’s past.