By Henry McRandall
Most Americans are proud of citing data that suggests racism and bigotry are on the decline in the United States. But where it really counts – in the distribution of wealth – the gap between whites and other races is actually growing much wider.
On average, a white American household is many times wealthier than black, hispanic, native American, Arab and other minority households. In fact, the wealth gap may be at a historic high and rapidly accelerating.
Consider, if you will, the average white family just in comparison with the two largest racial minorities in Amerikkka – African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.
In 2005, the average white household was more than ten times as wealthy (total assets minus total debts) as the average hispanic household and 11 times as wealthy as the average black household.
By 2009, – two years after the global economic meltdown – the multiples of inequality had grown much greater. The average white household was now 18 times as wealthy as the average hispanic household and 20 times as wealthy as the average black household.
And the raw figures on average wealth of these various racial groups are even more stark.
As the Amerikkkan economy has continually declined, it was not the socioeconomic elite that suffered but the masses – the poor, the working class and the middle class.
The average net worth (total assets minus total debts) of white households declined 16 percent, from $135,000 to just $113,000.
But the average net worth of hispanic households declined by 53 percent, from $13,400 to just $6,300.
And while the average net worth of black households also declined by 53 percent, it fell dangerously close to zero, falling from $12,120 to just under $5,700.
While some misguided whites may be inclined to celebrate such realities, the simple fact is that the pauperization of any one identifiable group contributes to the pauperization of all poor, working class and middle-class groups.
Moreover, it is important to remember that not every white household is 18 times as rich as every hispanic household or 20 times as rich as every black household.
Poor whites, indeed, are as badly off as poor hispanics, poor blacks, poor native Americans and poor Arabs.
It is the fact that the socioeconomic elite – the billionaires and mega-millionaires – are so nearly totally lily-white that they skew all the figures.
But the fact remains that in the United States of Amerikkka in 2011, your potential level of wealth is still largely dictated by the colour of your skin.
The realpolitik of Amerikkkan racism
By Henry McRandall