It’s all about distribution

So I’m there in the little blue bar:

Distribution

The divide is staggering. You can read about the full report here (pdf).

Between 1983 and 2013, the wealth of median Black households decreased by 75%.

Basically most of the black wealth earned after WWII and the civil rights movement is gone. Let’s take a picture of economic growth:

World wealth growth over time

Wealth, worldwide, went up so hard after the 50s it’s almost a straight vertical line. At the same time, black people in the wealthiest country on earth, in the freest times –1980s and up– lost 75% of their wealth. That’s just not possible, technically. That makes no sense whatsoever. And yet.

If we don’t change everything now, well from the report’s own words:

By 2024, median Black and Latino households are projected to own 60-80% less wealth than they did in 1983. By then, the continued rise in racial wealth inequality between median Black, Latino and White households is projected to lead White households to own 99 and 75 times more wealth than their Black and Latino counterparts, respectively.

In a few years white people in the US probably will have on average, about 2 orders of magnitude more wealth than black people. I can’t even process that. I have to re-do the math. Twice as much is 2X, which is already a lot more. Five times more is filthy. 99 times more? No wonder white folks are so much more chill about the future while people of color are stressing out. Jesus. More facts:

Distribution

I think this is what gets me the most. Strong, qualified black and brown folks doing worse despite having done everything to succeed. I know, you white folks feel irritated by that because you did everything to succeed too and it didn’t pan out. But on average, you have a massive cushion of wealth that will help you out. We don’t have that.

Because the safety net is basically inexistent the fact that qualified, highly educated people of color can’t find work is a tragedy in the making. It’s even weirder with all that talk about inclusivity and diversity, that makes it even more confusing to me, tech worker of color. I can’t land a start of an interview for contract jobs that I can do with ease, that’s how bad it is. Meanwhile all the jobs I did? Stellar reviews from bosses. It’s disheartening. But I keep going. It’s been years.

It’s not about education. It’s not about working hard. It’s not about making sacrifices. It’s about wealth distribution. And distribution fucking sucks.

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