Thursday, August 27, 2009

it's all connected: land theft yesterday, wealth gap today

From Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Poverty in The American Prospect:

"Economic studies also demonstrate that inheritances, bequests, and intra-family transfers account for more of the racial wealth gap than any other demographic and socioeconomic factor, including education, income, and household structure. These intra-familial transfers, the primary source of wealth for most Americans with positive net worth, are transfers of blatant non-merit resources. Why do blacks have vastly fewer resources to leave to the next generation?

Apart from the national failure to endow ex-slaves with the promised 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War, blacks were deprived systematically of property, especially land, accumulated between 1880 and 1910 by government complicity and fraud as well as seizures by white terrorists. During the first three decades of the 20th century, white rioters destroyed prosperous black communities from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Restrictive covenants, redlining, and general housing and lending discrimination also inhibited blacks from accumulating wealth."
[bold emphasis mine]

Remember this post, during the longest election cycle of the year? (And the one I wrote about the lynching exhibition?)

This connects to that. The dots are so easy to connect once you know what they look like.


Orange said...

American Prospect isn't saying anything you didn't teach me last year. But good for them for publishing this info for a wider audience.

liza said...

This is one of those things that I know, and yet every time I think about it--you know, reflect on it, take some time to think about all the different examples in real life--it seems so shocking and pisses me off all over again. Mostly because of the prevalence bootstrap mythology--that personal finances are ultimately the result of personal choices.
I'm telling you. Makes me misanthropic.

ding said...

@Orange - sniff. that's so sweet.

@Liza - i know. because of the things i read and learn everyday, i am stunned that i haven't turned into an anti-white/patriarchy supremacist or flaming, bomb-throwing terrorist. what keeps that from happening?

my fear of prison.

and it's one of the reasons why i don't talk about most of this stuff with my white friends. (or white boyfriend.) because our levels of access to this isht is different and i really don't want to lose my temper with the people i care about.