We’ve all heard the same arguments from conservatives regarding the state of the African-American community, which explains poor outcomes by labeling millions of hard working African-Americans as lazy and morally inferior to whites.
“If current economic trends continue, the average black household will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as their white counterparts hold today. For the average Latino family, it will take 84 years. Absent significant policy interventions, or a seismic change in the American economy, people of color will never close the gap.
Those are the key findings of a new study of the racial wealth-gap released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Corporation For Economic Development (CFED) … To put that in perspective, the wealthiest Americans — members of the Forbes 400 list — saw their net worths[sic] increase by 736 percent during that period, on average.”
Most conservatives would balk at the notion that it will take the average African-American family 228 years to reach the same financial level where white families are today. This is mainly due to privilege and the “American Dream” myth that makes them believe that anyone can “bootstrap” their way to success if they “work hard enough.”
It’s difficult for people to recognize privilege especially when it’s microscopically ingrained into the fabric of the society they live.
Today most racism (with the exception of Donald Trump rallies) exist in the form of “micro-aggressions,” which are often unconscious expressions of racism, often committed innocently by people who would never consider themselves to be racists.
There is also microscopic racism ingrained in every institution in America, from financial to government to commercial business. This is why, in many cases, convincing people of the existence of white privilege is next to impossible.
Imagine when Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek tried to convince people of the existence of microorganisms back in 1665? How many people must have thought him insane? Now imagine, how many years after his findings did it take the average person to believe in the existence of organisms that their naked eye couldn’t see?
White privilege came about from systems of discrimination that went on for centuries. The negative outcomes and environments we see today in African-American communities did not come about within a vacuum but rather after hundreds of years of concerted efforts by those seeking to keep wealth within white communities.
You can read here about at least eight highly successful Black communities that would have been incredibly wealthy today had it not been for concerted efforts by white people living during their time.
This video by YouTube celebrity Lacy Green brilliantly explains how policies of white supremacy have managed to cripple the progress of the Black community.
Featured image via YouTube.