White Economic Privilege Is Alive and WellIs, therefore, Asian Privilege a Thing?
By PAUL F. CAMPOS JULY 29, 2017
Is the white working class losing economic ground because of policies intended to improve the lives of black people? Anxiety and resentment among some white voters about those policies certainly seemed to benefit Donald Trump’s campaign last year, with its populist, ethno-nationalist message.
The problem with this belief is that it is false. The income gap between black and white working-class Americans, like the gap between black and white Americans at every income level, remains every bit as extreme as it was five decades ago. (This is also true of the income gap between Hispanic and white Americans.)
In 2015 — the most recent year for which data are available — black households at the 20th and 40th percentiles of household income earned an average of 55 percent as much as white households at those same percentiles. This is exactly the same figure as in 1967.It’s almost as if white racism, which even the most conformist would admit has declined substantially over the last century, wasn’t the only thing that was holding blacks down, even in 1967.
Indeed, five decades of household income data reveal a yawning and uncannily consistent income gap between black and white Americans across the economic spectrum.“Uncannily consistent” — it’s almost like it’s partly genetic or something.
Fifty years ago, black upper-class Americans had incomes about two-thirds those of white upper-class Americans, while the black middle class — those in the 60th percentile — earned about two-thirds as much as its white counterpart.It would be interesting to see somebody calculate the ratio of black income to Jewish income in 1967 and 2017. I don’t know what it was or is, since Americans are strongly discouraged from thinking about such data, but let’s say blacks averaged half as much as Jews in 1967 and one-third as much as Jews in 2017. Would the NYT headline the article: “Jewish Economic Privilege Is Alive and Growing”?
Those ratios remain the same today.
These numbers should shock us. Consider that in the mid-1960s, Jim Crow practices were still being dismantled and affirmative action hardly existed. Yet a half-century of initiatives intended to combat the effects of centuries of virulent racism appear to have done nothing to ameliorate inequality between white and black America. …Hey, I was just in Boulder! Something that surprised me about Boulder was that it rolls up the sidewalk early. I expected that in conservative Colorado Springs, but leftist Boulder is super early to bed too. Most restaurants on Boulder’s posh pedestrian mall downtown close their kitchens at 9pm, as do most of the chain fast food restaurants around town. Even with a smartphone, it was a bit of a challenge to roll into Boulder at 9:05 PM and find a place to eat.
But the historical pervasiveness and contemporary persistence of racism in America offer more than adequate explanations for what should be considered a scandalous state of affairs in regard to race-based economic inequality. …
Paul F. Campos is a professor of law at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
I suppose you could make the case the White Privilege is alive and thriving in Boulder, which is of course an extremely liberal (Clinton 81 – Trump 11), rich, and white place. From Wikipedia:
The racial makeup of the city was 88.0% White, 0.9% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 4.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.2% some other race, and 2.6% from two or more races. 8.7% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.On the other hand, Boulder is famously not like all of America.
In 2011 the estimated … median family income was $113,681. …
Boulder housing tends to be priced higher than surrounding areas. … The median price of a home exceeded $1,000,000 dollars in July 2016.
Now, you might think that being a professor in Boulder, of all places, might lead you to notice slightly fresher things about working class white privilege, but, apparently not: Professor Campos [Email him] merely reiterates the same old same old ideas that were the conventional wisdom in 1967.