Racial Wealth Inequality

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Caitlin Maltbie
009606309
Take Home Essay

Question 2: Racial Wealth Gap Between Blacks and Whites

After racial discrimination was made illegal in the 1960s, blatant and bigot racism has seemed to disappear, yet remaining racist attitudes have continued to put blacks at an overall disadvantage due to the progression of these attitudes into institutionalized settings and policies. The result of historical and contemporary discrimination and segregation is a widening gap of racial wealth between blacks and whites. Now, America could be argued to be a dichotomized society of black and white, proving that the Kerner Commission was correct to predict that “our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal (Bobo & Smith 1998: 178).” Although whites didn’t necessarily intend on such a separate and unequal society, they don’t plan to change it either. The reasons behind this perpetuating, widening gap that I will discuss follow a history of disadvantage versus advantage dating back to the time of slavery, as well as segregation and discrimination in practices such as hiring processes, loans, residential structuring, wages, and government aid which have resulted in increases of unemployment among inner-city blacks as well as concentrated poverty. Blacks are at a disadvantage to whites because they lack human capital tracing back to equal education and job opportunity that would regularly aid to accumulate wealth as it does for whites. Starting back as far as the 16th century, slavery crippled chances for blacks to gain social and economic mobility. Now, we continue to see these crippling effects among generations of blacks.

Not only do whites typically earn more annually, they have an easier time finding employment. The racialization of the state could be considered the starting point of the racial wealth gap between whites and gaps, and can be seen in policies and programs in the U.S.. Beginning...
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