The Hidden Cost of Being African-American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality Thomas M. Shapiro Order
White Nationalism, Black Interests: Conservative Public Policy and the Black Community Ronald W. Walters Order
Racial Wealth Divide Education Project
United for a Fair Economy is sponsoring an educational project that will address the growing wealth gap between whites and peoples of color in the United States. Our workshops will address the historic roots and continuing causes of the racial wealth gap, and point the way to government sponsored policy initiatives that will enable peoples of color to build wealth as individuals, families, and communities.
UFE is currently producing a book entitled The Color of Wealth that will provide the basis for the workshops.
In New York City, unemployment rose among Black men during the nations recent recession and only 51.8 percent of Black men between the ages of 16 through 64 were employed in 2003, a dramatic decline of 12.2 percentage points from 2000.
Imagine listening to a presidential or senatorial campaign speech and hearing this proposal:
"My fellow Americans, our country is facing a dangerous polarization of wealth and power. The growing disparity in assets and opportunity is becoming frighteningly un-American. America has a long and noble history of investing in its citizens and its citizens reinvesting in America. I have a proposal that would further this long and proud legacy. A half a century ago, our country made a substantial investment in broadening wealth. We invested in subsidized mortgages so that millions of Americans could purchase a home. Many more got debt-free college educations that vaulted them into the middle class..."
Discrimination in hiring is still a significant cause of Black unemployment. A 2003 study of job applications showed continuing employer discrimination. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent fictitious responses to help-wanted ads, with either white-sounding names (Emily Walsh, Brendan Baker) or black-sounding names (Lakisha Washington, Jamal Jones). The white-sounding names were 50% more likely to be invited for an initial interview than applicants with black-sounding names. Black resumes werent helped much by stronger credentials.
Similarly, in 2003 a sociologist at Northwestern University, Devah Pager, sent white and Black men with and without criminal records to job interviews, and found that white applicants with prison records were more likely to be hired than Black applicants without one.
Racial inequities in unemployment, family income, imprisonment, average wealth and infant mortality are actually worse than when Dr. King was killed, according to United for a Fair Economys new report, "The State of the Dream: Enduring Disparities in Black and White." The report contrasts the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the reality of the continued racial divide.
Slavery and the Roots of the Wealth Gap If the foundation of the Capitol was dug and laid by slaves, and some of Americas most successful corporations have profits from slavery in their early capital formation, perhaps the story we tell ourselves about the creation of all wealth needs to be examined and those invisible foundation stones be brought into the light.
White Benefits Checklist Think about your grandparents and parents and where they grew up and lived as adults. What work did they do? If you're white, what are some of the benefits that have accrued to your family because they were white?
White Affirmative Action Op-ed by Betsy Leondar-Wright How have I gained by being white? The Supreme Courts mixed decisions on whether the University of Michigan may consider race in selecting students set me wondering about what preferences my own family might have received over the years.
A Long History of Racial Preferences - For Whites by Larry Adelman, executive producer of the 2003 PBS Series RACE - The Power of an Illusion What we don't readily acknowledge is that racial preferences have a long, institutional history in this country - a white history. Here are a few ways in which government programs and practices have channeled wealth and opportunities to white people at the expense of others.