In 1967, with the Civil Rights movement still in full swing and Jim Crow still looming in the rearview mirror, median household income was 43% higher for white, non-Hispanic households than for black households. But things changed dramatically over the next half century, as legal segregation faded into history. By 2011, median white household income was 72% higher than median black household income, according to a Census report from that year [PDF].
To say that economic inequality is still a heavily racialized phenomenon, even a generation after the end of the Civil Rights era, would be an understatement. Yet both major parties continue to discuss inequality in largely color-blind terms, only hinting at the role played by race.
The trend is even more startling when one looks at median household wealth instead of yearly income. In 1984, the white-to-black wealth ratio was 12-to-1, according to Pew Research Center. By 1995, the chasm had narrowed until median white income had only a 5-to-1 advantage over black income. But over the next 14 years the wealth gap began to grow once again, until it had skyrocketed up to 19-to-1 in 2009.
Yet even a recent 204-page analysis of the federal War on Poverty, spearheaded by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gives only passing mentions to racial disparity. In the first section of the report, which purports to explain the causes of modern poverty, Ryan and his co-authors bring up race only twice: Once to identify the breakdown of the familiy as a key cause of poverty within the black community, citing Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and again to applaud the narrowing of the achievement gap between white and black schoolchildren. Weeks later, during a radio appearance, Ryan said poverty is in part to blame on the fact that inner cities have a culture of men not working.
President Obama went a step forward in Decembers major address on inequality, when he noted that the painful legacy of discrimination means that African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans are far more likely to suffer from a lack of opportunityhigher unemployment, higher poverty rates. Yet that amounted to a footnote in a speech that also included the line, The opportunity gap in America is now as much about class as it is about race.
I think it doesnt make for good politics, said Color of Change executive director Rashad Robinson of the racial wealth gap. Its messy and requires us to be deep and think about much bigger and more long-term solutions than Washingtons oftentimes willing to deal with.
Yet in a serious discussion about American inequality, the subject of race is essentially unavoidable. Thats because most of the pipelines to a higher economic classsuch as employment and homeownershipare oftentimes not equally accessible to black folks, said Robinson.
Disparities in homeownership are a major driver of the racial wealth gap, according to a recent study from Brandeis University. According to the authors of the report, redlining [a form of discrimination in banking or insurance practices], discriminatory mortgage-lending practices, lack of access to credit, and lower incomes have blocked the homeownership path for African-Americans while creating and reinforcing communities segregated by race.
Many of the black families that have successfully battled their way to homeownership over the past few decades saw their nest eggs get pulverized by the 2008 financial collapse. The Brandeis researchers found that half the collective wealth of African-American families was stripped away during the Great Recession, in large part due to the collapse of the housing market and the subsequent explosion in the nationwide foreclosure rate.
Similarly, employment discrimination has done its part to ensure that black unemployment remains twice as high as white unemploymenta ratio that has stayed largely consistent since the mid-1950s. National Bureau of Economy Research fellows have found that resumes are significantly less likely to get a positive response from potential employers if the applicants have names that are more common in the black community. And an arrest for even a non-violent drug offense can haunt a job applicant for the rest of his life; combined with the fact that black people are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite using the drug at roughly the same rate, criminal background checks have helped to fuel racial inequity in job hiring.
Yet both parties have stressed personal responsibility to an outsized degree, said William Darity Jr., the director of Duke Universitys Consortium on Social Equity.
The underlying narrative that many people share is that whatever inequities still exist, theyre due to the misbehavior or disfunctional behavior of black folks themselves, said Darity. So theres no reason to pay attention to racial disparities because one doesnt believe theyre still significant, or theres no need for public policy action by the government because its just a question of black folks changing their own behaviors.
Darity portrayed this as a bipartisan problem and criticized President Obama for [playing] into that behavior by emphasizing personal responsibility in the My Brothers Keeper initiative to help young men of color. The conservative notion of a culture of povertyis another example of the fallacy, he said.
I think a lot of people are really attracted to stories about personal uplift or social mobility, but these are very exceptional cases, he said. Thats not the norm. Most people who are born into deprived circumstances do not really have the capacity or support to come out of those deprived circumstances.
Instead, he argued that the only way to break self-perpetuating inequality was through wealth transfers.
Peoples behaviors are largely shaped by the resources they possess, and if their resources alterned, than they might change their behaviors, he said.
- Superintelligence - Wikipedia - April 21st, 2019
- Nick Bostrom - Wikipedia - April 21st, 2019
- What is Artificial Superintelligence (ASI)? - Definition ... - April 21st, 2019
- Chill: Robots Wont Take All Our Jobs | WIRED - April 21st, 2019
- Grady Booch: Don't fear superintelligent AI | TED Talk - April 21st, 2019
- Artificial intelligence - Wikipedia - April 20th, 2019
- What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? - Definition from ... - April 20th, 2019
- Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence - Future of ... - April 20th, 2019
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) - IMDb - April 20th, 2019
- 3 Top Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Watch in April ... - April 20th, 2019
- Artificial Intelligence - Journal - Elsevier - April 20th, 2019
- Artificial intelligence - Wikipedia - April 17th, 2019
- Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence - Future of ... - April 17th, 2019
- What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? - Definition from ... - April 17th, 2019
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) - IMDb - April 17th, 2019
- Artificial Intelligence - Journal - Elsevier - April 17th, 2019
- Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds - April 12th, 2019
- Bitcoin Rise: Is the Recent Bitcoin Price Surge a Sign of Things to Come or Another Misdirection? - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin ETFs - April 12th, 2019
- Seven Ways Cannabis Legalization Will Make the Future Better - April 11th, 2019
- Zapping Elderly People’s Brains Supercharges Their Working Memory - April 11th, 2019
- Tesla Says Autopilot Is Statistically Safer Than a Human Driver - April 11th, 2019
- Chinese Scientists Gene-Hacked Super Smart Human-Monkey Hybrids - April 11th, 2019
- Scientists: Next Black Hole Image Will Be Way Clearer - April 11th, 2019
- Amazon Is Fighting South American Govs to Control “.Amazon” Domains - April 11th, 2019
- China Is Trying to Scrub Bikinis and Smoking From the Internet - April 11th, 2019
- Undersea Robots Are Helping Save the Great Barrier Reef - April 11th, 2019
- Walmart Is Rolling Out Floor-Cleaning Robots in 1,500 Stores - April 11th, 2019
- Scientists Find a New Way to Kickstart Stable Fusion Reactions - April 11th, 2019
- The Israeli Moon Lander Is About to Touch Down - April 11th, 2019
- Some People Are Exceptionally Good at Predicting the Future - April 11th, 2019
- MIT Prof: If We Live in a Simulation, Are We Players or NPCs? - April 11th, 2019
- Here’s How Big the M87 Black Hole Is Compared to the Earth - April 11th, 2019
- Amazon Workers Listen to Your Alexa Conversations, Then Mock Them - April 11th, 2019
- Scientists Say New Quantum Material Could “‘Download’ Your Brain” - April 11th, 2019
- NASA Is Funding the Development of 18 Bizarre New Projects - April 11th, 2019
- Report: Tesla Doc Is Playing Down Injuries to Block Workers’ Comp - April 11th, 2019
- Infertile Couple Gives Birth to “Three-Parent Baby” - April 11th, 2019
- Just 19 Percent of Americans Trust Self-Driving Cars With Kids - March 16th, 2019
- Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car” - March 16th, 2019
- Samsung Is Working on Phone With “Invisible” Camera Behind Screen - March 16th, 2019
- Special Announcement: Futurism Media and Singularity University - March 16th, 2019
- Presidential Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Belonged to Infamous Hacker Group - March 16th, 2019
- Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof” - March 16th, 2019
- This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset - March 16th, 2019
- How Can We Build Cities to Accommodate 6.5 Billion People? - March 16th, 2019
- Here’s How Hackers Stole $15 Million From Mexican Banks - March 16th, 2019
- Slack Just Removed a Bunch of Hate Groups - March 16th, 2019
- NASA: Space Travel Is Causing Astronauts’ Herpes to Flare Up - March 16th, 2019
- New Robot Hand Works Like a Venus Flytrap to Grip Objects - March 16th, 2019
- States Are Approving Cannabis to Fight Opioid Addiction - March 16th, 2019
- This Tech Could Secure Medical Implants Against Hackers - March 16th, 2019
- The Pentagon Wants an Orbital Space Weapon to Blast Enemy Missiles - March 16th, 2019
- Computer Fraud Laws are Flawed, this Lawyer is Fighting Against Them - March 16th, 2019
- NASA Engineer: Humans Should Consider Settling Saturn’s Moon Titan - March 16th, 2019
- New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours - March 16th, 2019
- Astronomers Just Found 83 Giant Black Holes at Universe’s Edge - March 16th, 2019
- Artificial intelligence - Wikipedia - March 15th, 2019
- Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence - Future of ... - March 15th, 2019
- What is Artificial Intelligence? How Does AI Work? | Built In - March 15th, 2019
- What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? - Definition from ... - March 15th, 2019
- Psoriasis: Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment - March 14th, 2019
- Psoriasis Treatment, Causes, Pictures, Symptoms, Types & Diet - March 14th, 2019
- Psoriasis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic - March 14th, 2019
- Psoriasis Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options - March 14th, 2019
- Psoriasis - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic - March 14th, 2019
- Boeing Is Prepping to Launch Astronauts to Space Station - March 9th, 2019
- China: New “Artificial Sun” Will Be Completed This Year - March 9th, 2019
- NASA Announces World’s First All-Female Spacewalk - March 9th, 2019
- Stalkers Are Pretending to be Cops to Steal Your Phone’s Location - March 9th, 2019
- SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft Splashes Down in the Atlantic - March 9th, 2019
- New SETI Plan: Detect Alien Starships Powered by Black Holes - March 9th, 2019
- Elizabeth Warren Shares Plan to Break up Facebook, Google, Amazon - March 9th, 2019