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Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:16 PM

Black America is getting screwed: Shocking new study highlights the depths of economic disparities

Before being assassinated, Martin Luther King envisioned a Poor People’s Campaign descending on Washington to demand better education, jobs and social insurance. He saw it as an extension of his work on civil rights, equal in importance and scope. In “a nation gorged on money while millions of its citizens are denied a good education, adequate health services, meaningful employment, and even respect,” King wrote in announcing the Poor People’s Campaign, “all of us can almost feel the presence of a kind of social insanity which could lead to national ruin.”


Forty-seven years after the Poor People’s Campaign ended, political discussion in liberal activist circles has bifurcated in unnecessary ways. There are separate economic and racial justice movements, and as my Salon colleague Joan Walsh points out, political leaders too often speak to only one or the other. But these movements are different facets of one fight; if black lives matter, surely their economic lives matter too. And a new report shows that people of color still face discrimination and hardship in their fight for economic dignity, as sure as they do in the fight for basic respect.

The report, released today by the think tank Demos and the NAACP, focuses on African-American and Latino workers in the retail industry. While we’re supposed to believe that e-commerce and Amazon’s dominance has destroyed retail, the industry is actually the fastest growing in America, representing one out of every six new jobs in the economy last year. And while low wages and occupational hazards define retail work generally, that experience is even worse for people of color.

According to the Demos/NAACP study, black retail workers are nearly twice as likely to be living below the poverty line as the overall workforce. African-Americans and Latinos have fewer supervisory roles in retail relative to white counterparts, and more low-paid cashier positions. Among retail workers of color, there are more involuntary part-time employees, who want more hours but cannot receive them. And Black and Latino workers make less than their similarly situated colleagues — 75 percent of the average wage of a retail salesperson, and 90 percent of the average wage of a cashier, for example.

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/02/black_america_is_getting_screwed_shocking_new_study_highlights_the_depths_of_economic_disparities/

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Reply Black America is getting screwed: Shocking new study highlights the depths of economic disparities (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 OP
Romulox Jun 2015 #1
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #3
Romulox Jun 2015 #5
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #7
Romulox Jun 2015 #8
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #9
Romulox Jun 2015 #10
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #12
Romulox Jun 2015 #13
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #15
Romulox Jun 2015 #16
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #17
Romulox Jun 2015 #18
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #19
whatchamacallit Jun 2015 #14
daredtowork Jun 2015 #2
cui bono Jun 2015 #4
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #6
daredtowork Jun 2015 #30
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #35
gollygee Jun 2015 #39
daredtowork Jun 2015 #40
Mr Dixon Jun 2015 #11
Baitball Blogger Jun 2015 #20
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #21
Baitball Blogger Jun 2015 #23
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #24
Baitball Blogger Jun 2015 #31
Liberal_in_LA Jun 2015 #22
LittleBlue Jun 2015 #25
hill2016 Jun 2015 #26
LittleBlue Jun 2015 #27
JI7 Jun 2015 #28
LittleBlue Jun 2015 #29
JI7 Jun 2015 #36
LittleBlue Jun 2015 #38
hill2016 Jun 2015 #32
LittleBlue Jun 2015 #33
ismnotwasm Jun 2015 #34
LittleBlue Jun 2015 #37
AgingAmerican Jun 2015 #41
BrotherIvan Jun 2015 #42

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:34 PM

1. "these movements are different facets of one fight"...

The OP responded that she was "horrified" at my similar comment on a thread about a week and a half ago.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:52 PM

3. Excellent catch!

You are incredibly clever.

Why there is this

In addition, the high degree of unemployment in communities of color gives them less power to bargain for better wages. As a result, Black and Latino retail workers are paid less for the same work, translating to $1,850 a year in lost earnings for a full-time cashier, or $7,500 for a full-time salesperson. Seventy percent of retail workers of color make under $15 an hour, the threshold that the Fight for 15 movement considers a living wage.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:55 PM

5. Your responses baffle me. There is virtually no connection between them and the broader context

of whatever thread is involved. They're attacks looking for occasions.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:56 PM

7. Ok.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:56 PM

8. "these movements are different facets of one fight" is a quote from the OP.

The paragraph you quote is in support and elucidation of the point, "these movements are different facets of one fight".

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Response to Romulox (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:58 PM

9. Yeah I got that

It's ok dude. The article is about economic disparities for POC.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:59 PM

10. It's also how the discussion has been "bifurcated in unnecessary ways." It's quoted *in your OP*. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:01 PM

12. Yes I read the article

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #12)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:04 PM

13. But you seem to disagree with it, or, disagree with the people who agree with it. Confusing. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:06 PM

15. The article is about income disparities for POC

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:08 PM

16. And why economic justice and social justice are one in the same. The so-called "conflict" is bogus.

if black lives matter, surely their economic lives matter too.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:11 PM

17. How do you propose addressing institutionalized racism and economic injustice?

If one uses just this article, both need to be addressed

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:15 PM

18. I don't claim to have all the answers. I just know we need to do both or it's ultimately futile. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:26 PM

19. Now we're getting somewhere

So, at least a three pronged approach, keep racial issues front and center, addressing the greater income disparities, (there are a number of ways to do this) while continuing the fight for general economic justice. For women and Women of Color getting the ERA passed for instance. Interestingly, during the fight in the '80's to ratify the ERA, one of the RW pundit-type objections is that if passed it would open the door to Gay marriage.

This is a case of social justice driving economic justice.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:05 PM

14. Exactly.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:39 PM

2. I have also found the social/economic split on DU surreal

but IMHO, it mostly has to do with trying to shore up Hillary Clinton for the primary, who is weaker on economic issues than the other candidates, but can claim to be "socially" strong by fighting for equality in certain civil matters.

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:53 PM

4. That's my take on it as well.

There is no way the two don't go hand in hand. It's so obvious.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:55 PM

6. One can't be subsumed by the other however

And the concerns of POC shouldn't be dismissed, don't you agree?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:31 PM

30. They aren't dismissed

It's not as if people of color are unified in dividing social from economic issues. If they are dividing the social from the economic, it's because they have a particular agendas of their own. For instance, POC who are at the top of their professions might be more concerned about race creating glass ceilings. Meanwhile, POC who don't have access to jobs, education, basic healthcare, etc. might question whether racism has created economic consequences, and whether the association with poverty creates inequitable interactions with the criminal justice system.

So you will only be able to scold people with "So POC views don't matter..." when you are representing all POC views. I seriously doubt excluding the economic is even the majority view now.

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #30)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:50 PM

35. Er. Ok.

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #30)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 06:13 PM

39. You don't think it's possible

that all POC of all wealth levels are concerned about glass ceilings, access to jobs, education, basic healthcare, etc.?

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Response to gollygee (Reply #39)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 06:26 PM

40. Of course it's possible

I'm not the one trying to limit it to "the social" and then claim I'm speaking for all POC.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:01 PM

11. SAD

Sad but this is nothing new, however there is a change on the horizon with the income inequality gap widening and those who choose to ignore these disparities will soon find themselves in the same situation.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 03:20 PM

20. The more you understand how our society works, the more you see how

everything is interrelated. You can't create privileges for one part of society, without gaming the system for the other. It's the metaphorical butterfly effect applied on a sociological basis.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 03:22 PM

21. Well said

I didn't post this to be contentious, clearly a multi-faceted approach is called for, keeping in mind the needs of historically oppressed communities.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #21)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 04:20 PM

23. I couldn't be in more agreement.

Think of all the dirty deals and secret understandings that have been made throughout the decades that have now created mental barriers that we have to break through.

It's not going to be easy, but what should become obvious is that they can't protect their turf on a legal basis. Problem is, finding the professionals that have the background, perspective and commitment to understand what we're fighting against.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #23)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 04:27 PM

24. Exactly, generational-time problems

Usually takes generational-time solutions, change can happen faster with the right activism, clear laws setting precedent. While we have certain laws in place, they can be subverted in say, the criminal court systems for example.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #24)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:41 PM

31. Actually, racist leaning communities tend to commit civil torts

Last edited Tue Jun 2, 2015, 09:14 PM - Edit history (1)

on a regular basis. They also tend to flock together in many of these covenant-restricted communities, where they take over the boards and control the decision making to benefit their boys and gals, and undermine the rights of everyone else. They are pretty brazen in their efforts to push undesirable residents out of their insular societies.

I really don't understand why Civil Rights organizations have been so slow to recognize the correlation between these micro-cultures and economic opportunities. In small communities, job opportunities are directly derived from private-public partnerships programs that are government sponsored. Unfortunately, from what I can see, these jobs do not come without a hitch. City government not only can use jobs to dangle carrots to induce support for their programs, but they also can use these private organizations as a backdoor into the private communities. This can prove costly to homeowners who are not part of the inner circle, because it always feels like they are being sold out.

So it makes sense that if racists can push out minority homeowners out of these neighborhoods, they can also keep them from joining the very private organizations that could help them find jobs.

Of course, there's another reason to give minorities in these neighborhoods a hard time. Once they understand how the game is really being played, they would cry foul.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 04:01 PM

22. plus 1

 

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 04:33 PM

25. I think racial economic disparity isn't fixable with laws

 

We've tried for 60 years to fix it, created literally mountains of laws at federal and state level, and yet black wealth is actually the same or worse today than 60 years ago.

I've heard "well, wait until whites are the minority" as if that's going to change anything. Black South Africans today own about the same or less wealth than they did when Apartheid ended. Having an overwhelming black majority in parliament has done nothing to fix the black-white wealth disparity in South Africa.

Blacks can make income gains but whatever wealth they accumulate is offset by increasingly sophisticated debt instruments. In other words, black income gains benefit banks as horrendously awful credit card terms suck wealth out of the black community. Normally such an underprivileged group would receive investment as outside financiers seek to exploit low wages, and through these exploitative arrangements the disadvantaged community would learn skills necessary to start black businesses. That isn't happening because black areas are notoriously unstable and unsafe. The few blacks who do "make it" leave their communities for white communities at light speed.

Which forces me to conclude that if we continue this way, nothing will change. We can pass programs that make us feel good but fundamentally change nothing in the macro sense.

So there are three possible outcomes:

1) Nothing changes. This disparity continues forever (or basically for our lifetimes and several generations afterward)

2) The black community is radically restructured to end black and white separatism. In other words, black society as a separate culture is ended. No one really has the courage to even propose this. It might not even be constitutional. It might not work. And let's be honest, powerful people are satisfied with the current arrangement. Too much pride and money is at stake.

3) Intermarriage. The root cause of this problem is tribalism. Nothing will really change until those "others" are viewed as part of "us". Until whites see blacks as part of their tribe rather than separate, every law will have a loophole. A law can be made to keep equal hiring practices. But no law can force white financial institutions to make game-changing investments into the black community. That can only come from social change and self-interest. Self-interest in the sense that what happens to black people isn't a tragedy that happens to "them", it happens to poeple who look a lot like our spouses, children, in-laws and grandchildren. We would gain a personal stake in a fight that has, for too long, happened at so great a distance that we don't feel affected.


That's how I see it

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #25)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:14 PM

26. are you really saying

 

that black identity should be obliterated and assimilated into white culture?

Do you also think that immigrants should "learn English" and not pass their heritage down to their children?

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Response to hill2016 (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:22 PM

27. They will keep a piece like every other immigrant community

 

(Yes they aren't immigrants but it makes no difference for the purposes of integration)

Cultural integration is how every group other than African-Americans have come here and thrived. Now Nigerian immigrants are coming here and prospering.

Integration, one way or another, is the only way forward. Continuing on like we have been just dooms African-Americans to poverty. And putting new labels on old ideas/programs hasn't worked.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #27)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:26 PM

28. bs. black american culture is already popular and even dominant

In many cases. Not just in the us but sound the world.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #28)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:31 PM

29. You mean the culture white music execs commercialized and made a fortune from?

 

Most of the profits from black culture goes to white people, unfortunately

We're talking about black economic advancement, remember, not how much white suburban kids with no black friends love hip hop

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #29)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:55 PM

36. exactly .had nothing to do with cultural integration

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Response to JI7 (Reply #36)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:59 PM

38. You lost me

 

What do you mean? I'm saying that a person can like black culture but still, say, turn down a good investment opportunity if the area involved is AA.

Most of the white suburban kids who oh so love black culture don't even have a single black friend or family member, let alone would have ever dated an AA. Which is why I think the third scenario is most likely among the latter two. Cultural integration, if it ever happens, will most likely come from bloodline integration. (Actually family integration, we already share genetics)

If my last visit to southern California was any indication, it's already happening on a regional scale

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #27)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:42 PM

32. oh

 

so it's the black community's fault for not acting white rather than the systematic racist structures that exploits and oppresses minorities literally daily?

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Response to hill2016 (Reply #32)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:48 PM

33. No, because we caused it

 

With slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, housing policies, and other brutality toward them, we created the separatism.

What I'm saying is that one way or another, it needs to end. I'd love to say everyone will be enthusiastic to see them integrate. Unfortunately that isn't true. Many whites won't or don't care because African-American poverty doesn't hurt them. So unjustly the burden is on them. Not because that's fair, it isn't. But that's just the way it is.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #25)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:49 PM

34. That's what I meant about the criminal courts

Technically, there should be enough laws preventing what we see happening in the black community. In reality, well not so much.

Personally I believe in affirmative action and reparations. The role of positive reimbursement in community programs, instead of them being the first on the list to cut during rough economic times.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #34)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:55 PM

37. Reparations could help a lot

 

However, they would be meaningless if African-Americans don't have the knowledge and resources to invest it wisely. It would be an interest and fee bonanza for banks as they send out friendly (white) investment advisors to "help" AAs "invest" their newfound wealth.

Regardless, reparations are about as realistic as Martians coming to save us from our problems. We need something radical that restructures society, I think, or the status quo continues.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 03:06 AM

41. Right wing economics and trade deals

 

nt

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 04:03 AM

42. Economics is used as a tool of racism

But yet we're not supposed to talk about it. Good article. I don't have an answer, but we will never get there if we don't acknowledge the problem.

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