American identity, black in a multi-culti world, cultural absurdity

How to love others without hating you.

 Hotep (ḥtp) is an Egyptian word that roughly translates as “to be at peace with”.

Anyone who has followed my writing journeys has probably heard that the elementary school I attended started out as a school planted by a couple sent out from Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute, where he educated and equipped newly freed slaves to go out and start schools to educate the young people of the upcoming generation. By the time I arrived there in the late 1970’s, it had been long dissected into two schools (an elementary and a high school, the latter of which is closed) and absorbed into the public school system in 1950.

However, it still bears the name of the benefactor who funded the school back in 1895. It was a crown jewel of the south, being located in the first black incorporated municipality in the United States, and boasted visits from the likes of scientist George Washington Carver, Washington himself, and other accomplished black Americans. It was a place where historical pride in its origins was built into the curriculum we were taught.

Like most institutions of black excellence, it began to flounder as the civil rights movement kicked into high gear. By the time I was in 4th grade and tested with an IQ of 130, it was determined that the only way I would be able to live up to my potential was to be immersed in the gifted program at a neighboring school in a white suburb to the east of the town in which I lived and went to school.

Once a week, a bus came to my school, picked me up, and bused me over to the gifted program. It didn’t turn out as well as my teachers hoped. I got on fine with the other children but quite frankly, after being used to and being known as the brightest bulb in the box, I felt dumb in comparison to the other children in the class I was attending.  I suspect if the combination of insecurity and new surroundings had been kept in check, I might have done better. I didn’t fail, but I was remarkably average in that particular class. It was in fact, my first experience with seeing a ‘C’ on my papers.

In retrospect, I am profoundly grateful for the chance to learn early on that being “smart” is relative, regardless of test scores, and when our daughter was presented with the opportunity to be put in the gifted track (she wouldn’t have had to switch schools), we respected her decision to skip it. It worked out in her favor because she finished college -with honors from a “good” school- a full two years before her same age peers. And debt free.

I am digressing again. Educational hucksterism is a post for another day.

I have recently been getting acquainted with the ideas being floated by the movement known as the “Hotep Nation”. That is the catalyst for this post, which will simply have to be offered in pieces so that I can offer my thoughts in a coherent way without rushing and saying something I don’t intend to say.Do me the favor of not putting words in my mouth. This is controversial enough without false accusations and alternative facts.

There are things within movement that I ardently agree with, and others with which I vehemently disagree. One thing occurred to me however, as I considered where I came from, the rich history I was born into, and the school I attended as a child: How is it that a place birthed from the indisputably brilliant mind of the great Booker T. Washington, a place of renown academic and industrial excellence, somehow become a place where it was no longer possible for me to fulfill my potential as a young girl?

Schools in majority black communities have only grown worse since the 1970’s. I am contemplating what this means in an era where these schools are the best funded and most aggressively reformed schools in most places. At least, that is certainly the case here in Florida.

More some time next week.

Post partially inspired by Scott’s thoughts.

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28 thoughts on “How to love others without hating you.”

  1. I read that article about “Hotep Nation” and I couldn’t get it in fast enough.

    I won’t put words in your mouth, and I can’t wait to read what you have next.

    But man. That guy knows how to have a “dialogue” about race!

    And, like you, I found myself disagreeing with about 1/2 of his conclusions. I have no idea if he is Christian or not. But I bet you a bazillion dollars that the so-called “white-nationalist/racist” Alt-Right leaders (the ones everyone knows about) would have a very productive and civil conversation with him.

    Good stuff, Elspeth. You and I have the same IQ by the way.

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  2. Hah! Well, if I get a really good nights sleep and eat a super healthy breakfast I can bump it up to about 134. But since psychologists have specific training in all the common IQ tests, its pretty hard to get a real number. It could be 80 and no one would really know because I have all the answers.

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  3. How timely! I’ve been planning to start a blog and was going to write about a similar issue for my first post. I will be back with links later. I’m on my phone.

    I think that the hoteps are dangerously deluded. Most of their ideas are not based in reality, ignore history and defy logic.

    Marcus Garvey wanted the African diaspora to return to their ancestral lands. He was Jamaican so maybe that made sense to him. He knew where to go, he fit in with Jamaican culture. The black descendants of African slaves don’t have another homeland or a country to return to. Which country should we “return” to? It is stupid. We are American. A visit to any country in Africa will quickly reveal that the average black American has more in common with white Americans and even white Europeans than with any of the various African cultures. I’ve visited parts of Africa and they could spot my Americaness from 100 yards away even when I was doing my best to blend in. LOL.

    Hoteps and other deluded people (most white conservatives. Blacks on the left and the right.) are always decrying black people’s “refusal to do for themselves.” Black people are 13% of the population. We are the descendants of slaves which means that most us will be poor because we don’t inherit money. White high school drop outs have a higher net worth than black college graduates. Black people save a higher percentage of their income and have a lower net worth. Marriage, education, full time work, savings – none of these things close the wealth gap between blacks and whites. This is because black people were almost completely shutout from creating wealth until about 1970. Instead we helped white Americans grow their wealth with free and cheap labor. The economy is now shrinking and not growing. There is no amount of “doing for self” that 13% of the population can do to correct this. The average networth for black households is about $1700 while it over 100k for whites. You cannot build businesses, and “do for self” when you are poor and with rare exception, every other member of your group is poor. There is no “cultural” change that black people can make to makeup for not having money. That’s not how capitalism works.

    White people in this country have not “done for self.” They voted in a government that created the white middle class (and continues to prop that middle class up) while excluding black citizens. For some reason a lot of people are under this delusion that white people just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. History shows otherwise.

    A quote from the hoteps.
    Here’s another statement blacks won’t like. Why? Because the negro is so dependent upon whites that they are afraid to do for self – just like the freed slave who chose to stay on his master’s plantation because he did not know what else to do.

    Why does Alt-Right prefer Hotep Nation? Because we push blacks to do for themselves and to stop looking for white handouts. They are sick of your crying – you look pitiful to them.

    I agree that black people should not ask for handouts. I don’t think that white people (the majority on welfare) should ask for them either. Black should ask for justice which is nothing like charity or a handout. People who’ve actually received their fair share shouldn’t need handouts.

    Most of the black people that I know are not looking for white approval because white people are awesome and they want to hang out with them. LOL. No. They are forced to do so in order to survive economically and that is the only viable option right now. I’m not sure why the Hoteps think that it is self hatred that keeps black Americans wanting to be included as opposed to limited options.

    As far as this Hotep alt-right alliance goes, I’ve never heard of anything so stupid in my life. When black leaders met white racist groups like the KKK in the past it was because those groups had significant power. The KKK members were also powerful people in the community when they took those hoods off. They were making laws by day and lynching black people and burning black businesses by night. Negotiating with them made sense at the time.

    There is no reason for any black person to sit down with a bunch of white internet trolls who have no power and nothing to offer. They are altright precisely because they are not successful and not powerful and they want to claim that since the people who founded this country were white and they are also white they should be given more than the massive head start that they’ve already received and failed with. No, black people should negotiate with those who are actually in power (our government) and leave the whiny altright internet trolls to their memes.

    I really wish that people would read and comprehend history in context before they go off with halfcocked nonsense.

    BTW- I graduated at the top of my high school class from a mostly white gifted program. IME good grades are almost as much about study habits as IQ. I slacked in a regular middle school program and made C’s.

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  4. By the time I was in middle and high school, I too went to mostly white schools and performed very well, with exceptions for slacker years, LOL. I suppose we all have those. A lot of what you said resonated with me. I don’t agree 100% but with about 2/3 of the way we are in agreement,

    We have African friends. They are great people who like us and we like them but they view us as a distinctly different national and ancestral breed.We share a common faith and lifestyle, but our dark skin doesn’t make them view us as fellow Africans I have spent time around many Africans since my husband has a close relative who married one and again, they don’t view us as one of them. Not. at. all. We are Americans and they are Africans, pure and simple.

    I asked the same question: Which country should we go to? Benin (which I am pretty sure isn’t called that anymore although that was its name around the time of the transatlantic slave trade)? Angola? Congo? Guinea? How do you go about dispersing the people back to their native lands so as to return America to its founders? And why should a people who have been here since before this was a country (and who didn’t ask to be here), abandon the only home and life they have ever known?

    Oh…and then. There is the whole issue of how America was birthed to start with, which is another can of worms You know, since so many Christians are ready to jump on this bandwagon. I say what I always say: If we have to “go back”, then everyone not Native American has to go back. And not one other conservative should make a peep of a noise about a stronger country invading another and taking it over. Call it manifest destiny and keep our Western sensibilities (and our troops) out of it. After all, isn’t the standard line these days that we are no better than anyone else? But I am digressing.

    Our ancestors didn’t immigrate to American as cultural invaders, but were here since the beginning (before there was even a United states of America to talk about) and quiet as it’s kept, did contribute to the building of the nation, even if the contribution was only that of blood sweat and tears (I’m not asserting that’s all it was, but if it were, that’s a major contribution). My husband, who is as brown as a paper bag, is the great grandson of a white American. where do we put him in the racial hierarchy? I suppose where he has always lived, as a black man along with the rest of his fair complexioned maternal family.

    There is just so much to wade through here (and you have me getting ahead of myself, LOL), that I marvel at the way so many people break it down into simple “You’re black or you’re white and that’s all there is to it”.

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  5. Our ancestors didn’t immigrate to American as cultural invaders, but were here since the beginning (before there was even a United states of America to talk about) and quiet as it’s kept, did contribute to the building of the nation, even if the contribution was only that of blood sweat and tears (I’m not asserting that’s all it was, but if it were, that’s a major contribution).

    This!!! I am amazed at the nerve of these altright and white nationalists types. Most of their ancestors showed up after the Civil War and for all we know contributed nothing of import to America. But these altright kooks think that they should be able to exclude black people from the country that wouldn’t have been possible without them. I am embarrassed for the Hotep black people who think that aligning with that kind of ignorance makes sense, and for the conservatives that have embraced the altright.

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  6. I don’t disagree with everything hotep has to say, now.

    They make some decent points, in particular on a few cultural and media issues. I agree with them that a lot of the standard black liberal line boils down to, “We really need you all to LIKE us!” The average black man on the street may not feel that way, but he’s not the one in front of the cameras and writing for The Atlantic, Slate or The Root either. But more on that later, as well. We paid to live in a good neighborhood because I wanted to raise my children in a safe environment, not because I was hankering to live around non-black people. And my husband doesn’t have a government job, and never has.

    We need to be honest and willing to address why it is that when people who look like us dominate a residential community, all hell starts breaking loose. I don’t believe it’s all about the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. That argument doesn’t hold up against the statistics concerning black crime, illegitimacy, and productivity in the years between the Emancipation and the Civil Rights Act. It just doesn’t.

    They are also correct about the black liberal establishment in the media and Congress jumping on the feminist (read: white UC women), gay, and Muslim immigrant bandwagon. Again, you and I know the average black man on the street isn’t into that, but he is not the one with the microphone.

    Their arguments however, break down badly when they start talking about going “back” to Africa, and advocating total separation -which means we get kicked out or leave take your pick. They also have an unhealthy obsession with apologetics for the KKK and the extreme Alt right. I have a huge problem with this notion that embracing who you are and loving who you are requires that you stoop to worrying yourself about how other people take care of their own.

    When you have a group that spends more time talking about what’s wrong with this or that group than addressing the problems they can address in their own, it’s a problem.

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  7. We need to be honest and willing to address why it is that when people who look like us dominate a residential community, all hell starts breaking loose. I don’t believe it’s all about the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. That argument doesn’t hold up against the statistics concerning black crime, illegitimacy, and productivity in the years between the Emancipation and the Civil Rights Act. It just doesn’t.

    I’ve lived in middle and upper middle class black neighborhoods before. Loved it and no hell broke loose. You couldn’t pay me to live in a poor black neighborhood. I don’t blame Jim Crow and slavery exactly. I blame poverty (which is one of results of Jim Crow and slavery) and unemployment. Large numbers of men are locked out of the legal economy.

    A lot of people point to Chicago as an example of what is wrong with black neighborhoods. When black people got all the way free in 1970 or so, the government began bringing in large numbers of illegal immigrants to provide the cheap labor that capitalism requires. Notice that the unemployment rate for black men and the crime rate is highest in sanctuary cities. Men locked out of the legal economy turn to the illegal economy and then you get drug dealing and gang wars. Despite all of the talk about Chicago, the crime rate is lower in Chicago now than it was in the ninties and is trending down. The number of illegitimate births is also lower than it was. The percentage is higher because married black women have fewer children.

    About the media issues – black people own and control very little media. Look at the difference in rap/hip hop from the time that black people were making it independently to the time when it became something that white people owned and sold to other white people. Most of the music and tv shows that the hoteps are complaining about are made for and consumed mainly by white people. Those stereotypical images are what the majority wants to see and again, black people are 13% of the population.

    I agree with the hoteps on black liberals. Black people are exploited by the left and the right. We are gauranteed votes for the left and the boogie man on the right, and both parties seem invested in making sure that black people don’t actually ask the government to do something to serve their black constituents.

    I still dismiss the hoteps almost entirely because there are a lot of other, far more sensible people making their few good points. The Hotep types create more problems than they solve. For example they parrot white racist lies and nonsensical talking points, which isn’t really helpful to anyone.

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  8. Married black women are having more children, increasingly via outmarriage to foreign-born black men and non-black men. Whether this is a full return to historical norms of having more children remains to be seen, it could be a dead cat bounce. Black people owned property and had some degree of wealth-building happening before 1970, but a mixture of racism and fecklessness interrupted black transition into a richer demographic with a broader middle class.

    Black people did a lot for self before 1970, and what happened after that has been very very mixed. There was, of course, far more diversity of thought on what blacks should do in terms of negotiating with whites for their right share of American patrimony before certain groups took over the discourse. Yes, I mean commies and gang members.

    Black people have done a lot of lifting themselves up by the bootstraps, but they weren’t able to outrun technology’s advances and they were given welfare of the opposite kind that whites were given. It is completely true that we don’t get sufficient credit for doing so much work on our own before “the civil rights era”. And that whites deny their welfare-based support of a broad middle class and pseudo-egalitarian class structure.

    But a lot of black people have their heads in the sand about the unwed motherhood thing, which got massively worse when we were supposedly “fully free” after 1970. It’s not all the men’s fault, and it’s not all the women’s fault, but there is significantly more tolerance and support for it and that hasn’t redounded in our favor. Single parents don’t do a great job building wealth either.

    You both have raised good points, this was a great post series to start.

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  9. Single parents don’t do a great job building wealth either.

    This is certainly true. But white single parents still have a higher net worth than married black people.

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  10. I think we may be conflating divorced single mothers with never married single mothers. I have a hard time buying that never married white single mothers have higher net worth than married black couples.

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  11. @ Elspeth – when I get some time I will find a link to the study that explains this. I am not conflating divorced white mothers and never married single black mothers.

    Keep in mind that for most people, net worth is not just a reflection of your financial life but of your parents and grandparents financial lives as well. White people’s parents and grandparents got a huge head start while black people were locked out. Even never married white single mothers have a higher net worth than black married couples as a result of this. White high school drop outs who work part time also have a higher net worth than black college graduates who work full time.

    The median net worth for black people is $1700 while the median networth for white people is over 100k.

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  12. Still perusing the study. A lot of it (in the beginning at least) is addressing the legacy of disparity between blacks and white inheritance. But I have seen with my own eyes that this can be overcome.

    My father inherited nothing. He started with nothing and came of age in an era when black men were quite literally *locked out* of financial opportunity. He never went to college. When he died a year ago, he had considerable net worth.

    My uncle was 10 years older than my father, meaning he was born in the early 1920’s. Black man, segregation, locked out. Died with plenty of money in the bank and a home that was completely paid for.

    Our daughter is 22 years old. She, unlike her parents, decided to go to college and graduate before marriage and family. Now to be sure, she has the leverage of a considerable boost because she lives at home with her parents, but still. we know plenty of young college-aged adults who live at home with their parents.

    This kid bought a brand, spanking new car- cash- and she’s still sitting on pretty good chunk of money in her savings, and don’t mean four digits. She definitely stumbled onto a better paying job than she most young’uns can manage these days, but still. Because she saves religiously. She saves far better than her father and I do, frankly. And she doesn’t accomplish it by living in extreme deprivation.

    The truth is that a lot of black people make a lot of stupid money mistakes, and that is at the root of why a lot don’t accumulate any wealth, even when making good money. We can surely attribute some of THAT to the fact that for most accomplishment and financial success is a first generation deal and they don’t know how to navigate and manage the money they are making. They are in that way surely reaping the fruit of the legacy of discrimination, lack and going without, also leading to poor purchasing decisions.

    My father handled that by finding professional people to help him handle such things. He had a lawyer, a money guy, etc. And my dad was a man with no formal education besides the HS diploma he earned in 1950. He did blue collar work all his life as well. But he was wise, and that made all the difference.

    There is a hint of truth to the possibility of some institutionalized barriers to success in the 50’s/60’s/70’s. But a lot of what is happening right now in terms of financial disparity is a nasty brew of a whole bunch of things and many of those things black people themselves are responsible for.

    I fully agree with TPC though that a lot of “middle class” white people (as well as MC blacks) are reaping the benefits of a different sort of welfare while telling themselves they are doing it all themselves. We know that the tax break we get on our mortgage interest and property taxes is a type of welfare. Our girls studied hard to get the good grades that earned them the Bright Futures scholarships that slashed their tuition bills by 2/3, but still. That’s a kickback and without out it, we wouldn’t be able to boast that come this spring we will have graduated not one, but 3 girls from college before the age of 22. They would be no doubt on the 5-year track that the avergae bachelor seeking college student is on these days:

    We’re all on the dole to some degree but we have bought the line that we are doing it for ourselves. Unfortunately, too many black people are in dire straits not due to discrimination, but because they play financial checkers rather than chess.

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  13. There will always be some people who overcome their disadvantages. My black grandparents and parents are very well off and I’ve have many advantages because of it. Imagine what they could have achieved if they had been treated fairly! But the truth is, we are outliers. My family’s success does not change the fact that black people as a group have been deliberately disadvantaged and that most of them will never overcome this to close the wealth gap with white families. Obviously most black people cannot count on being outliers.

    Black people save a higher percentage of their income on average than white families BTW. As a group we are not poor due to poor decision making. Or playing “checkers instead of chess.”

    There is a hint of truth to the possibility of some institutionalized barriers to success in the 50’s/60’s/70’s. But a lot of what is happening right now in terms of financial disparity is a nasty brew of a whole bunch of things and many of those things black people themselves are responsible for.

    There is more than a “hint” of truth to it. If you are interested in the truth then please do look in to the many, many ways that white people undermined black people’s ability to create wealth for themselves. Also consider that welfare for white people goes far beyond the current mortgage interest rate deductions.

    The truth is that a lot of black people make a lot of stupid money mistakes, and that is at the root of why a lot don’t accumulate any wealth, even when making good money. We can surely attribute some of THAT to the fact that for most accomplishment and financial success is a first generation deal and they don’t know how to navigate and manage the money they are making.
    Net worth is about so much more than “making good money.” My husband makes a lot more than most and we save a lot, but the bulk of our net worth is not because of his income and our savings. Black people as a group cannot catch up with white people as group by saving and investing carefully. If you understand anything about how wealth is formed, about compound interest and appreciation then you should be able to admit that this is true.

    You say that black people make stupid money mistakes. I’m sure that this is true of some. But even black people who do everything right will not be able to catch up with white people doing a lot wrong if that white person had a decent head start. The black wealth curve will continue to be almost completely flat while white people will have the super rich, the wealthy, the upper middle class etc.

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  14. Black people as a group cannot catch up with white people as group by saving and investing carefully. If you understand anything about how wealth is formed, about compound interest and appreciation then you should be able to admit that this is true.

    Couple of things: I do understand how wealth is created but I am not particularly interested in black people “catching up with” white people as much as it matters that they improve for themselves individually, then as families, and maybe perhaps there could be some talk about corporately. Hoteps have put three or four carts ahead of the horses on that score in my opinion.

    I am reminded of how our oldest daughter has been able to get off to such a good head start, besides listening to her father.

    The job she has now is at a small company with about 150 employess along the east coast in three offices. When she interviewed for the position and went into the office, she was interviewed by a wite woman and the entire office was staffed by wite men and women except for one other young black woman. She was hired and did a good job despite not really having the experience the job called for. She was 19, and a college junior.

    Not long after she got there she learned that the owner of the company is a 70-ish-year-old black guy, and as soon as she finished college, she got a BIG raise. He looks after both her and the other young black girl there as he would his daughters. Them, and the coupld of veterans in the office because he saw combat and looks out for vets. He doesn’t suffer mistakes very well, but he looks out for the people he feels he has a special duty to look out for.

    I can count the number of wealthy black business people I’ve met who both share his vision of solidarity AND demand excellence and integrity from their black employees on one hand. I have known quite a few as my father had lots of connections and my husband’s family had wealth back when it was uncommon for black families to have wealth. They had plenty of run-ins with people who thought it was unacceptable for them to own the amount of land they did and tried to intimidate them at worst or at best, make them “stay in their place”.

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  15. About the SNAP type of welfare – welfare queens are usually white. Whites are 37% of welfare users while Blacks are 23%. Blacks technically use more than their fair share since we are only 13% of the population, but we also have more than twice the unemployment rate of white people. White people use more welfare with an unemployment rate of less than 8%.

    This lie that conservative white people have been pushing (and that some black people beleive) about black people being welfare queens and leeches needs to die. White people have been given a head start as well as a lot of different types of welfare and many of them are still struggling all while lecturing black people, who have been “doing for self” about pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. It is shameful and they need to be honest about history and current events instead of pretending that time began around 1970 and blaming any problems from that point forward on black pathology.

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  16. Couple of things: I do understand how wealth is created but I am not particularly interested in black people “catching up with” white people as much as it matters that they improve for themselves individually, then as families, and maybe perhaps there could be some talk about corporately.

    I would rather that black people as a group were not a permanent underclass. That is what happens if we don’t catch up.

    I can count the number of wealthy black business people I’ve met who both share his vision of solidarity AND demand excellence and integrity from their black employees on one hand.

    You can almost count wealthy black business owners on one hand.

    http://mobile.eurweb.com/2016/10/opinion-black-wealth-hardly-exists-even-when-you-include-nba-nfl-and-rap-stars/

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  17. I am referring to black business owners who are doing fairly well and staying afloat. Maybe best described as UM than “wealthy”. Like I said, the guy who owns the company my daughter works for is black, and there are people there who make 4 times more + than she makes.

    Poor word choice on my part. Blame it on a lack of coffee.

    I’m not a status chaser though and am not as impressed with some things as other people are. Life is more than the abundance of things we possess or can possess.

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  18. Besides our house my father owned three other rental homes and a business that my mother ran before she died and that my stepmother wasn’t interested in taking over, so he sold the land building.

    I have never thought of myself or my family as outliers (although I know my husband’s family is). I have never found it all that difficult to find black people who are doing okay and who own land. They just all happened to be born before 1940, which I think is an education in itself.

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  19. I have never thought of myself or my family as outliers

    But facts of the matter don’t change based on how we think. The data on black net worth is what it is.

    I’m not a status chaser though and am not as impressed with some things as other people are. Life is more than the abundance of things we possess or can possess.

    That is very easy to say from the comfort of the middle class. Net worth isn’t about things. It is about safety and financial security and opportunities for your children and grandchildren. It is about whether or not you can afford quality healthcare and food and education. I don’t care much about things, but I have financial security. That is more than most black people have or will have so long as that huge gap in net worth exists.

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  20. Lots and lots of black people owned land, but it was frequently literally stolen from them. Burning deeds, claiming taxes hadn’t been paid when there were receipts, etc. My relatives and some of the black people I knew growing up had to keep an eagle eye on this very problem, in the freaking 1990s. I didn’t grow up in the Black Belt South, where this kind of outright theft was the worst, but it still happened and is the sort of thing I mean when I say racism interfered with wealth building.

    But letting communists and gangsters take over the political end of things and standing by while they only ensured something for a few of the progeny they had by never-married women is also one of the reasons black American-born people haven’t caught up. Black immigrants have a different history and situation.

    Fundamentally, family structure is really important, and there is very little income gap once you start drilling down and comparing two married black parents with 100k combined income to two white parents with same. I need to dig up the study showing that female median wealth was essentially identical among never-married white, black and “etc” women. It was the “Black women have a net worth of 5 bucks!” thing.

    Wealth and income are of course not the same, but American black families do not support the same encouragement of male provision that gets the wealth numbers up. They tolerate a much higher level of male non-earning, and that’s not all racism’s fault.

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  21. I agree with you, TPC. I mentioned up thread that my husband’s family owns quite a large amount of land and has since the 1940’s. Not for lack of short-sighted relatives trying to do make dumb decisions! Thankfully more sane and grounded members have been able to keep it in the family, They dealt with a lot of threats and harassment from people vowing to “get them off that land!” So I do know and understand some of the things that have historically hindered blacks from acquiring wealth.

    And while income and wealth are not synonymous, high income can be the first step towards generating wealth for future generations. And there are a lot of high earning black people now making dumb decisions with that money, and/or getting stuck on the fiat money and debt roller coaster rather than doing something such as buying land. There are places where land is well within the range of purchasing power for people who earn a certain amount of money. My father managed on far less and under a much less fair system.

    You mentioned the problematic nature of what is considered a normal family structure in black America and that too, cannot be overstated as a reason why some of the wealth inequity persists. But of course, I’m not of the mind that equity as a goal is a feasible or even reasonable goal to strive for.

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  22. Fundamentally, family structure is really important, and there is very little income gap once you start drilling down and comparing two married black parents with 100k combined income to two white parents with same. I need to dig up the study showing that female median wealth was essentially identical among never-married white, black and “etc” women. It was the “Black women have a net worth of 5 bucks!” thing.

    I agree that family structure is very important. Even when black people are married, in many cases one spouse has a child out of wedlock. This is a drain on resources that could go towards building wealth for future generations.

    Still, net worth is not just about the actions of one generation. It is a reflection of the financial picture of several generations and for many generations black people were locked out of creating wealth in the same way that white people could.

    Like

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