Breaking Brown

October 20, 2015

Top One Percenters: “I am Not Necessarily Comparing it to What People of Color Have to Go Through, But….”

Top One Percenters: “I am Not Necessarily Comparing it to What People of Color Have to Go Through, But….”

Some rich people in this country, a category of people that has grown immensely over the past few years, now require “wealth therapy”, according to The Guardian.

Former Wall Street worker turned therapist, Clay Cockell, meets and walks with his rich clients in Central Park to help them overcome the isolation of extreme wealth.

Although it’s not like being a person of color, it sorta kinda is, says Cockell:

I shifted toward it naturally,” he said of his becoming an expert in wealth therapy. “We are trained to have empathy, no judgment and so many of the uber wealthy – the 1% of the 1% – they feel that their problems are really not problems. But they are. A lot of therapists do not give enough weight to their issues.”


And as they stroll through Manhattan, what issues are America’s 1% struggling with? There is guilt over being rich in the first place, he said. There is the feeling that they have to hide the fact that they are rich. And then there is the isolation – being in the 1%, it turns out, can be lonely. It seems F Scott Fitzgerald was right, the very rich “are different from you and me”. Especially in 2015.

“The Occupy Wall Street movement was a good one and had some important things to say about income inequality, but it singled out the 1% and painted them globally as something negative. It’s an -ism,” said Jamie Traeger-Muney, a wealth psychologist and founder of the Wealth Legacy Group. “I am not necessarily comparing it to what people of color have to go through, but … it really is making value judgment about a particular group of people as a whole.”

How many black people would consider being rich, and usually white, as comparable to being a person of color?

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9 thoughts on “Top One Percenters: “I am Not Necessarily Comparing it to What People of Color Have to Go Through, But….”

  1. Johnw11 says:

    The above individuals are not “therapists” of the wealthy, they are public relations “apologists” for the wealthy. Their talk about the wealthy in terms of “isolation” is one of the most ridiculous ideas imaginable. Who is so obtuse as not to know that the wealthy “isolate” themselves via their volition; private clubs, etc., socially accessible only to the wealthy.
    Given the fact that many people in U.S. society have begun to question what is viewed as a grossly unfair share of wealth held by the small slither of people called the “1%,”  and their popularity has greatly declined in recent years, it is no wonder that they’ve hired PR persons posing as therapists– boring the rest of the populace about their “isolation.”
    Of interest, however, is the reference to “minorities,” I assume they mean poor Blacks, etc. There is a very dangerous trend currently being hustled by proponents of “gentrification” that should be put in proper context. The idea is that poor people are poor because they are “isolated” in their concentration. This con game goes like this: if we de-concentrate poverty, the lives of the poor will be made better. Nothing is farther from the truth!
    Poor people are poor, not because they are isolated. Rather, the truth is, they are isolated because they are poor.
    It is interesting that some people, who ought to know better, are making the “de-concentration of poverty” argument as if they know what they are talking about, quoting stealth proponents of gentrification = the removal of Blacks from urban centers in order to make way for affluence white 1% wannabes.
    See here:
    After quoting agents of gentrification, the author wrote in reference to the plight of the Black poor: “Families break apart. Guns and drugs come in; jobs go out.”
    But that is not the sequence of causality. That sequence makes it appear as if “jobs go out” because of “guns and drugs.” When in fact, guns and drugs come into these communities AFTER jobs go out. And families breakup, or are never formed due to the same sequence of jobs going out FIRST. It is important to understand the idiosyncrasy of that sequence, otherwise, one will inadvertently wind up supporting the victim blamers’ con that “we would invest over there, but you know, the crime won’t let us.”
    Poor Blacks don’t need de-concentration, they need a public policy to END poverty WHEREVER they live. That’s why it is important for all serious anti-poverty warriors to actually ENDORSE Bernie Sanders, rather than name drop. They also should have been thinking about that when they were supporting Clinton and his NAFTA during the 1990s in exchange for a presidential photo-op.

  2. Johnw11 says:

    The hackers say the “page no longer exist” in reference to the above link. They never work for me, which is why I rarely use them.
    The name of the article I critiqued is “Separate and Impoverished: America’s Black Poor,” by Rev. Jesse Jackson, in Counterpunch, 10/21/15.

  3. Watchful says:


    That link didn’t work for me either, John … it might work sans the  http://  protocol.

  4. Johnw11 says:

    Watchful Thanks for your feedback. Those interested to see what I am referring to should just search the title and author.
    While I know you and others understood my point, there are a lot of people who fall victim to these shysters pretending to be addressing the “plight of the poor” but are actually proposing or supporting policies of Black urban removal.

  5. Watchful says:


    Oh, I absolutely understood the point u were makin’, John. I did lookup the article and read it, didn’t even realize that Jesse was the writer. 

    I’ve been tellin’ ppl here where I live for at least the last 20 years that whenever I hear or read about there being some new ‘development’ in some blighted neighborhood that is and has been predominantly populated by blk ppl that means they’re planning to move them out.  I tell them that ‘development’ is a code word for ‘displacement’ when it comes to gentrification of major metropolitan centers in this country and it’s happening at an ever increasing rate these days.

  6. Johnw11 says:

    Watchful Precisely.
    And it’s time we call out high profile Blacks regardless who they are when they support this process of urban removal by co-signing crack-pot ideas about “mixed income housing,” etc. The reality is, truly poor –unemployed Blacks — are almost never included in such housing models, especially integrated ones. The minimum wage working poor are sometimes permitted to live in such housing / community arrangements. But even then, only a few are allowed.
    Additionally, living in close proximity to the socioeconomically better off, does nothing to change racist hiring practices that cause a white high-school dropout to be up to 3 Xs more likely to be hired than a Black college grad. And a white with an interstate railroad track long criminal record is more likely to be hired than a Black with no criminal record at all.
    These are the causes of Black unemployment rates being more than double that of whites. And therefore, as you know, the cause of the existence of the Black poor. Couple these realities with urban deindustrialization — the offshoring and interstate relocation of jobs — and one can account for the existence of whole disfranchised communities in cities and towns of all sizes wherever Blacks live.
    Blacks living in mostly Black communities are doing so because of both white flight and Blacks, in large part, being no different from other demographic group — wishing to live within an ethnic / racial community of their own culture. All groups make such decisions based on race / ethnicity and socioeconomic well-being  (class). That’s why, for example, there’s a Prince George County, Maryland (mostly Black upper income — class) and poor Black neighborhoods elsewhere..
    Mixing up people, which often causes all kinds of sociological problems, will not end poverty. A robust public policy to resource these communities beginning with jobs is the only answer when an analysis of the matter in search of a workable solution is grounded in cause and effect.
    Peddling schemes that give cover –and fake social science validity — to gentrification policies of Black urban removable — either willfully, or out of ignorance — is unacceptable behavior and must be called out as such.

  7. Watchful says:


    Totally agree, John … funny u mentioned P.G.County which is where I currently reside as of this year, but prior to moving here I was a lifelong DC resident, but ended up moving out here mainly due to a severe lack of ‘affordable’ housing despite the new DC mayor Ms.Bowser, vowing during her election campaign to make ‘affordable’ housing a priority during her administration. I’m curious to know exactly how she defines ‘affordable’.

    And just to show u a prime example of how on point ur comment was, particularly concerning the guise of so-called ‘mixed-use housing’ , check out this recent Washington Post article when u get a chance.

  8. Johnw11 says:

    Watchful  Again, slick-talking corporate sponsored Black faces saying anything to get elected so they can serve their sponsors and not their constituents.
    There was an excellent article in Reuters several years ago that explained in full detail the ‘gentrification’ of D.C. since President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. During the course of his presidency – based on the chronology the article covered– D.C. ( once called ‘chocolate city’) has either become, or is on the verge of becoming, a majority white city. The article reported that droves of “thousands” of young whites were moving to D.C. “to work in government.”
    This is occurring while thousands of Blacks are losing government jobs. And, it is this fact –loss of government jobs –that has caused a great deal of economic hardship on  many residents of Prince George County, known as the capital of Black middle-class America.

  9. Watchful says:


    Again, u’re absolutely correct. Being that I’m a DC native, I can attest to the surge of gentrification here over the past coupla decades and the impact it’s had on the poor blk residents here. Tho I currently reside in P.G.County, DC is my true home and will always be. But I’m also well aware of the issues faced by blk ppl in this county as well, especially with the mortgage crisis that resulted from the economic crash in ’08 caused by the criminally-fraudulent banksters who Bush, Obama, and the U.S. Congress, all chose to bail out with tax payers funds while we, the ppl, were left to fend for ourselves. And yet, we still have those among us that have the gall and temerity to defend this POTUS. SMGDH

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