Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Racial Resources Gap

- by Anne Phillips

The Institute on Assets and Social Policy of Brandeis University has released a 23 year study on race disparity, specifically a comparison of African-Americans and European-Americans. The study followed White and Black families from 1984 to 2007 and found that for families with similar incomes, White wealth increased while Black wealth decreased. (I am not sure how they took into account mixed race people/families.) Many reasons for this disparity were cited, including:

- Ongoing disparities in access to resources and assets. Even on an ostensibly "even playing field" there are factors such as tax breaks for investment and inheritance taxes that European-Americans are far more able to utilize and benefit from because of ownership of additional resources and assets that have only increased in value over time. Meaning today and historically Whites have been given lots more.

- Ongoing job opportunity disparities. Statistically, a white person who has been in prison is far more likely to be hired for a job than a black person who has never been arrested for anything and Black college graduates are twice as likely to be jobless than white graduates.

- Ongoing inequity in access to home ownership. Today and historically, people of color are charged higher finance fees and interest rates on home mortgages than whites.

These are just a few examples of the ways in which institutionalized inequities maintain the gap in financial and vocational success between Black and White individuals/families and institutions.

To read entire article click here.

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