by Yvette Carnell
A recent study found that the average black family would need 228 years to build the wealth of a white family today. The study made the rounds and was published at a number of outlets, still CNN eye-rolling extraordinaire Angela Rye doesn’t believe black poverty is a problem because she and her friends are doing well.
Rye said the following on CNN while discussing Trump’s comments on poverty in the black community:
John (Berman), it’s not about us all having to be lifted out of poverty. I’m not impoverished, and I have several middle class friends who are doing well in this country. And so I reject the notion that we constantly need to be talking about-…
Rye went on to say that blacks are not monolithic, not understanding that economics is one of the few areas where we actually are monolithic:
What situation, though? So that’s part of the problem. So the fact that African-Americans are talked about as monolithic entities as, you know, we all need to pull ourselves up by our boot straps when we were barefoot on plantations building this country for free is highly problematic to me.
To the contrary, wealth accumulation is actually flat in the black community. I’ve no idea why the African-American community rails against white supremacy while giving black functionaries of the white elite like Rye a pass. Here’s more from the study mentioned above about black wealth:
Those are the key findings of a new study of the racial wealth-gap released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Corporation For Economic Development (CFED). They looked at trends in household wealth from 1983 to 2013—a 30-year period that captured the rise of Reaganomics, expanded international trade and two major financial crashes fueled by bubbles in the tech sector and housing prices. The authors found that the average wealth of white households increased by 84 percent during those three decades, three times the gains African-American families saw and 1.2 times the rate of growth for Latino families.
And from a Huffington Post article titled “Black Wealth Barely Exists in One Terrible Chart”:
Upward mobility from the bottom of the income distribution is much less likely for black than white Americans: 51% of the black Americans born into the lowest fifth of the earnings distribution remain there at age 40.
Not only are we not excelling, we’re actually falling behind, according to the data. And not only do we not have money, we don’t have land either:
The five largest white landowners in America together own more rural land than all of black America combined. According to CNBC, this small group’s total land holdings are about 9 million acres.
In the report “Who Owns the Land,” the United States Department of Agriculture disclosed all of Black America only owns just under 8 million acres. In fact, it was further explained that African Americans own less than one percent of U.S. rural land, worth a mere 14 billion dollars.
A group of people who are descended from slaves, downwardly mobile, have no wealth, land or inheritance are monolithic in that they are poor, regardless of whether Rye drinks mimosas with her middle class friends on Sunday afternoon.
It’s ignorant of Rye to use her friends as barometers for Black America anyway. That’s what data is for, and yet she’s on CNN neck rolling and eye popping in defense of a worldview that does nothing to advance the condition of the majority of African-Americans in this country.
What would’ve been the reaction had a white person on CNN said, in reaction to Trump’s comments, “Well, I have middle class black friends who are doing fine.” Black twitter would’ve roasted that person. And Rye shouldn’t get a pass either just because she’s black.