Category Archives: Race

Black/White Wealth Gap Triples Since 1984

Contrary to what the Right Wing, the Tea Party, the Republican Party and certain Supreme Court Justices may think, just because we have twice-elected an African-American President does not mean racism and it’s long-term impacts are a thing of the past.

Very disturbing- really shocking- news from this new study….

This really shows how hard it is for minorities, not just Blacks, but also Hispanics and Asians,  to move ahead in America.  This is especially true if you look deeper at some of the drivers of income disparity such,  as  less inherited wealth and homeownership rates and home values resulting from segregated neighborhoods.  It’s not just coming from the expected sources of income/education disparity and unemployment….

From MSNBC (emphasis mine):

The racial wealth gap between blacks and whites has increased by $152,000 in the past 25 years, according to a new study [PDF] from Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy. The median wealth of white families has shot up precipitously since 1984, while the median wealth of black families has barely moved.

“Tracing the same households during that period, the total wealth gap between white and African-American families nearly triples, increasing from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009,” write the authors of the report. The chief driver of the inequality increase, they write, was disparities in homeownership, with household income arriving in second and unemployment in third.

White households were found to benefit disproportionately from average income increases, and residential segregation was said to be a major reason for inequality in homeownership. Additionally, “whites received about ten times more wealth than African-Americans” among those earning an inheritance.

“Our analysis found little evidence to support common perceptions about what underlies the ability to build wealth, including the notion that personal attributes and behavioral choices are key pieces of the equation,” they write. “Instead, the evidence points to policy and the configuration of both opportunities and barriers in workplaces, schools, and communities that reinforce deeply entrenched racial dynamics in how wealth is accumulated and that continue to permeate the most important spheres of everyday life.”

via Study: Black/white wealth inequality has exploded since ’80s — MSNBC.

From the Washington Post:

The large and growing wealth gap separating white and black families is the product of stubborn barriers that disproportionately consign African Americans to less-valuable real estate and lower-paying jobs, according to a new study.

A long-term examination of the financial lives of black and white Americans revealed that African Americans typically face a subtle but persistent opportunity gap that has served to widen financial disparities remaining from a long history of overt discrimination, according to a report to be released Wednesday by Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy.

via Study ties black-white wealth gap to stubborn disparities in real estate – The Washington Post.

Leave a comment

Filed under Race, Uncategorized

Was Jackie Kennedy Really Our First “Black” First Lady?

If you go by the old Southern “One Drop Rule”, she just may have been!

Of course, if you applied the One Drop Rule, meaning even one Black ancestor or one drop of “Black Blood” makes you Black, there would be a lot of Klansmen committing suicide.  Not that that’s a bad thing….

Still, I think of Jackie as more like Ava Gardner in “Show Boat.”  Not really Black, but now being asked to play the part….

But it’s all open to debate.

Oh, by the way, this standard also means Anderson Cooper is Black.

Anyway, this is part of a fascinating article at AlterNet.org about unknown facts for Black History Month.

Jackie O, perhaps America’s most emulated and admired First Lady, descended from a family known as the van Salee’s, who were described as “mulatto” in the 17th century. This family traced its lineage in part to a Dutch mariner named Jan Jensen, who turned Turk (what some Europeans called “going native”), which was more popular than common history reveals.

It is widely believed Jensen fathered two children, Anthony and Abraham van Salee, by a Moorish concubine. Following a dispute with his white wife, Anthony van Salee was exiled to territory across the river, where he became Brooklyn’s first settler. Until a few decades ago, this property adjoining Coney Island was called Turk’s Island after Anthony van Salle — the term “Turk,” in his day being synonymous with Moor (North African). A descendant, John van Salee De Grasse, born in 1825, was the first black American formally educated as a doctor. When Jackie Kennedy was asked about her van Salee roots during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, she called her ancestors “Jewish.” Of course, her socialite father, born in 1891, was nicknamed “Black Jack” Bouvier for his swarthy complexion. In the 1960s, journalists described the First Lady’s features as “French,” earning her the cover page of countless magazines, including film and fan publications. Not only Kennedy Onassis, but well-borns Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Vanderbilt (and thus Anderson Cooper), are van Salee descendants.

MORE:   Michelle Obama Is Not Our First Black First Lady? 10 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Black History | Alternet.

4 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, Race

Was Jesus Lily-White? Race and the Mormon Religion

Race, Politics and Religion….

Three of the most volatile topics in the world, and all addressed in this fascinating article by Jamie Reno in “The Daily Beast” with author Edward Blum’s thoughts on the impact of the various perceptions of Jesus’ race and appearance on the Presidential Campaigns.  Blum is the co-author of the upcoming book “The Color of Christ”, which I just pre-ordered from Amazon.com.

This particular article on race, Mormonism and how Romney and President Obama view Jesus really is worthwhile reading.  And I’ve spent enough time in Salt Lake City to know people really should take a hard look at the Mormon view on race.  Among other things…..

This is just one topic the book addresses.  I can’t wait to read the entire book on the bigger context of the perceived Color of Christ and it’s role in American history.

Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full, fairly short article.

So what does Blum think Obama would say if he were asked if Jesus were black? And what does he think Romney would say if he were asked if Jesus were white?

“I think Obama would say that the United States is too diverse for any one color to be recognized as the color of Christ or God,” he says. “Obama has stressed that the Golden Rule is his main political lesson from Jesus. I rarely hear Romney mention the Golden Rule in his political positions.”

Blum believes Romney would have a harder time with the question of Jesus’ skin color. “The problem with this question would be intense for Romney because God has a body in Mormon theology, just as humans do,” Blum says. “God and his son Jesus are described as white by the Mormon prophets and in the paintings.”

via Was Jesus Lily-White? Author Edward Blum Discusses Race and the Mormon Religion – The Daily Beast.

Leave a comment

Filed under Elections, Politics, Race, Religion

White Baptist Church in Mississippi Bans Black Wedding

Unbelievable….

I guess things haven’t changed much in Mississippi over the last 50 years….

And of course it’s the Baptists leading the march backwards in time….

I don’t mean the Independent Baptist Churches, who had to leave the Southern Baptist Convention when the Southern Baptist Convention really went crazy and started trying to lead a return to the 19th Century-especially for Women, Gays and Minorities.  The Southern Baptist seem to think of the days of white male dominance as “the good old days”.

I mean these Southern Baptist Churches like the one I grew up in….

The ones whose motto isn’t “What would Jesus do?” but rather “What will the neighbors think?”

Add “First” to any Baptist Church name in the South and you can usually up the judgmental and pretentiousness factors by 10 as they like to think they are among the most “Socially Prominent” Churches in any little town….

It’s hard to believe even they are still this far out of step with time, but the people in these kinds of Churches just don’t seem to be very open to any kind of change at all….

To them, it will always be 1956….or 1856.

From TheRawStory.com:

A black couple in Crystal Springs, Mississippi says that a predominantly white Baptist church refused to let them get married because of their race.

Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson told WLBT that the day before they were to be married, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs informed them the ceremony would have to be moved due to the reaction of some white church members — even though the couple had attended the church regularly.

“The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if [the pastor] went on to marry her, then they would vote him out the church,” Charles Wilson explained.

“He had people in the sanctuary that were pitching a fit about us being a black couple,” Te’Andrea Wilson added. “I didn’t like it at all, because I wasn’t brought up to be racist. I was brought up to love and care for everybody.”

Dr. Stan Weatherford, the church’s pastor, was forced to perform the marriage at another church after he was taken by surprise by his congregation’s outrage.

via White Baptist church in Mississippi bans black wedding | The Raw Story.

Leave a comment

Filed under Race, Religion

How the GOP Is Resegregating the South

Folks may or may not remember Nixon introduced the Southern Strategy that the Republicans have used ever since to win the presidency.

President Obama’s victories in North Carolina and Virginia threatened the continued validity of that strategy.  Until the GOP took control of the North Carolina State House and expanded their control in the rest of the South.

Their goal is to leverage Redistricting to isolate Black Voters into as few districts as possible to increase the odds of the GOP winning the others.

Now they are digging in and trying to leverage Race to make the Southern Strategy work for at least another generation…

It’s really reprehensible and very obvious.  Especially here in North Carolina….

 

Here is an excerpt from a great article in The Nation by Ari Berman that explains this exceedingly well.  I encourage you to click the link at the bottom and read the entire article.

(Hat tip to Daily Kos where I first saw this….)

 

“What’s uniform across the South is that Republicans are using race as a central basis in drawing districts for partisan advantage,” says Anita Earls, a prominent civil rights lawyer and executive director of the Durham-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice. “The bigger picture is to ultimately make the Democratic Party in the South be represented only by people of color.” The GOP’s long-term goal is to enshrine a system of racially polarized voting that will make it harder for Democrats to win races on local, state, federal and presidential levels. Four years after the election of Barack Obama, which offered the promise of a new day of postracial politics in states like North Carolina, Republicans are once again employing a Southern Strategy that would make Richard Nixon and Lee Atwater proud.

The consequences of redistricting in North Carolina—one of the most important swing states in the country—could determine who controls Congress and the presidency in 2012. Democrats hold seven of the state’s thirteen Congressional seats, but after redistricting they could control only three—the largest shift for Republicans at the Congressional level in any state this year. Though Obama won eight of the thirteen districts, under the new maps his vote would be contained in only three heavily Democratic districts—all of which would have voted 68 percent or higher for the president in 2008—while the rest of the districts would have favored John McCain by 55 percent or more. “GOP candidates could win just over half of the statewide vote for Congress and end up with 62 percent to 77 percent of the seats,” found John Hood, president of the conservative John Locke Foundation.

via How the GOP Is Resegregating the South | The Nation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Race

Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism

I am not at all surprised….

In fact, this just reinforces what I already thought and observed through life experiences….

And the elected Republicans and GOP base certainly down play and belittle science and education….

They are playing to their audience and reinforcing their fears and prejudices to get elected….

So they can take care of their rich friends and Corporations….

The only other reason people are “conservative” is the when the Rich are trying to preserve their wealth!

From the Huffington Post:

The study, published in Psychological Science, showed that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.

I.Q., or intelligence quotient, is a score determined by standardized tests, but whether the tests truly reveal intelligence remains a topic of hot debate among psychologists.

Dr. Gordon Hodson, a professor of psychology at the university and the study’s lead author, said the finding represented evidence of a vicious cycle: People of low intelligence gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, which stress resistance to change and, in turn, prejudice, he told LiveScience.

Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature “structure and order” that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world, Dodson said. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice,” he added.

Dr. Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychologist, echoed those sentiments.

“Reality is complicated and messy,” he told The Huffington Post in an email. “Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simpler solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies.”

via Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism.

Leave a comment

Filed under Congress, Politics, Race

Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church

And what century is this???

As Gandhi said:  “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”

From HuffingtonPost.com:

 

In a move to “promote greater unity” among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities, Kentucky.com reports.

Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church’s secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.

According to Harville’s father, Dean Harville, Stella brought Chikuni to the church in June where they performed a song for the congregation.

Following the visit, pastor Melvin Thompson told Harville that his daughter and her fiance could not sing at the church again. Thompson later proposed that the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage.

His proposal, which was accepted by a 9-6 vote last week, also suggested that married interracial couples be prohibited from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals.

“It’s not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form,” said Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, according to Kentucky.com.

While Pike County and the surrounding community come to grips with the church’s decision, researchers at Ohio State University and Cornell University say black-white marriages in the United States are soaring, increasing threefold, from 3 percent in 1980 to 10.7 percent in 2008.

via Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church.

Leave a comment

Filed under Race, Religion, The South