Let me put a disclaimer on this post....
The Facts (from a Brandis University study and a study by United for a Fair Economy):
- In the same period, Black household wealth inched up from a base of $2,000 per family to only $5,000. The sweat and toil of an entire generation had netted Black families only $3,000 additional dollars.
- The median White family was 11 times richer than the median Black family in 1984 ($2,000 vs. $22,000)
- By 2007, the White household had become 20 times richer than its Black counterpart ($5,000 vs. $100,000).
- Upper income Blacks fell even farther behind their White peers than lower income Blacks, higher income Blacks saw their wealth drop from $25,000 to just $18,000, while their White counterparts wealth soared to $240,000.
- White privilege is real. Black folks have been integrated long enough to know that the White family didn’t get richer by a quarter million dollars because they were smarter than the Black family.
- Whites are both collectively privileged and capable of bestowing an endless stream of privileges on each other, while Blacks are deliberately positioned outside of the stream, and are preyed upon as a group by powerful (White) financial forces that profit from the wealth differential.
- Had the survey continued past 2007, the carnage of the Great Recession would have revealed even more dramatically the incredibly shrinking nature of Black wealth in the current era.
- Enemies of all colors and sly servants of the rich will use the news of the evaporation of African American wealth to heap blame on Black “culture.” This “shaming” strategy is designed to keep Blacks looking inward for the source of their woes, and to simultaneously despair of finding salvation in our own capacity for group agency.
- The Brandies study shows that the racial wealth gap, although historically rooted in slavery and Jim Crow oppressions, has grown dramatically under post-civil rights era conditions.
- Blacks will not reach wealth parity with Whites until the year 2099.
White privilege is real, we can't blame Whites for this (well, not the middle to lower class Whites). But shaming and blaming Blacks for the economic gap is stupid. Just as Whites get up and go to work everyday, so do Blacks. The jobs they go to is the difference. Education and high paying employment go hand-in-hand. Successful people know this, Black or White. Compare the of education the majority of Blacks receive against the education the majority of Whites recieve. There's a huge difference. Education is the key to closing this income gap.
I do believe that current and future generations of Blacks will close this employment disparity sooner than 2099, but it is going to take a collective conscious effort. Maybe I'm being overly optomistic, but hey I'm going with it.