Dialogue on Race & Politics: Economic Impact

I see no point in reinventing the wheel. Dell Gines has an excellent post, Overview of Race & Wealth. He concentrates on five areas:

1. Segregation & Economic Impacts:

When you restrict the ability to create commerce, or limit it, it effects the population with the lowest income and wealth base the hardest, as it reduces potential clientele and funding. Couple that with banks and their redlining practices at the time and the ability for blacks to generate wealth was severely curtailed.

2. From the Civil War till Now, How Much Economically Has Changed?

Much of the historical change for blacks in America occurred through legislation that made illegal certain forms of discrimination and racist practices. However, this legislation did nothing to materially change the effects of years of economic disenfranchisement that occurred through unfair restrictions in the work place, and in business development. Affirmative Action, although important, was never intended nor designed to correct disparities caused by slavery and Jim Crow.

3. Where We Are At Today

When you have systems in place such as networks, and relationships with individuals in certain arena’s it dramatically increases your odds for economic success. Being that blacks have historically been locked out of certain ‘networks’ it further restricts the ability to access information that generates wealth.

4. The Power of Wealth

Even if racism ceased to exist today, the economic disparities caused by racism would still be pervasive and persistent amongst blacks as poverty becomes cyclical. To truly eliminate or dramatically reduce disparity between blacks and whites, a holistic paradigm change in how our nation addresses the problem must occur.

5. Solutions to the Disparity

The solution to the black disparity in wealth in America is a dramatic change in government policy and in non-profit funding and missions. Typically, inner-city and African-American centered programs are geared towards good, but ineffective band aid programs that don’t holistically work to elevate the economic condition of blacks.

Dell Gines is one of those black conservatives that has a true grasp of the issues affecting the black community and his emphasis is empowering the black community through economic development. This post states what I believe but articulates in a way that I couldn't. Check out the entire post and let me know what you think.


15 Responses to Dialogue on Race & Politics: Economic Impact

  1. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    Great post as always. Dell Gimes is a great conservative writer who has a grasp on things. I read a book that a friend had given to me, it was a self published book by an older black gentleman that is somewhat well known in the Los Angeles area. One of the most compelling statements in the book was calling most jobs mules. He want on to talk about how the majority of jobs just keep your head barely above water. We must aspire not to be like Mike, but be like the man who writes Mike’s checks. We have to create our own jobs. I work in an industry where people can make insane amounts of money and probably pay less taxes then the average person. We need to start corporations and you don’t have to be rich to do that, start small and grow. We need to learn as much as possible about new technology and how it can help us in our struggle. Thanks again.
  2. James Manning Says:
    One of the consequences of growing up poor is that you never learn about finances - there are never any finances to learn about. At some point you begin to understand them but by then, most of us are in debt up to our ears and have to plug away at it.

    I think everything is derived from having the proper tools. Our kids are barely learning to read and write and our math skills are sickening. We start there with the basics then move forward.

    We need the tools to walk the paths that are available and tools to create our own paths. I had a small subcontracting company when I lived in Chicago and the barriers to getting contracts were tremendous. I had no idea how to get around a lot of them. Actually, I didn't have the connections to get around them. That is something that a lot of black companies lack - connections. And there is a lot of racism happening when it comes to that side of the business world.
  3. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    Yes James that is correct. With knowledge comes power. There was a post on Dell Gimes blog about Black people buying expensive sneakers, furniture on credit and you know the rest. As a business man myself I have had tough times like the rest of the word. When someone’s cash flow is negative or not as positive as they would like, there are choices to make. Do we buy something that we really don’t need or buy it and suffer? We live in a society that demands instant gratification. So who’s fault is that? You can’t blame the White man. You go to homes in the ghetto and find play stations with the latest games a plasma tv and nice car out front, but you won’t find an encyclopedia or atlas. The child does not know that those books will help him much more then getting high score on some stupid game. Arnold has one television in his house. Now why does this millionaire who is married to a millionaire only has one television? You know why because even though he has gotten rich because of the idiot box, his children will not be influenced by it.

    I work in a business that has very Black people working in it. In fact when first trying to get in this field I ran into so many racists that is was ridiculous. How ever they did not and could not stop me, I learned how to play the game and now have the secrets! And business is the biggest game around. I had no connections at all but now I do. It was a long hard road and still is. Chicago is something else , my best friend is from Chi-town and he always says in Chicago you have to know the right people. I have encountered more racism in the Northeast and California then down south. Also add Chicago to the racist list.
  4. James Manning Says:
    Chicago is a very connected city. Black or white, you better know someone. But if you are black, you REALLY better know someone.

    I think there are two sides to economic disparity in the black community and it is not as easy as saying don't purchase Nike's or a Playstation. But that is a start.
  5. Diane S. Says:
    Cross posted from Dell's blog:

    Home Ownership should be a national priority. Home ownership provides for tax breaks, gives one a stake in their community, and is a source of pride for those who actually achieve it. Having your own street address without a # X on it, is a real asset when seeking credit, applying for a job, or even running for political office. Instead of substandard Section 8 housing, the government should be funneling these funds into helping the poor buy their own homes.

    High school curricula should include training in writing a business plan, seeking a small business loan, managing small businesses, and basic business accounting practices. This is not to mention fundamental information on savings strategies, investments, and the proper management of credit.

    I also think it is to the advantage of any poor community to start and run a Credit Union. Credit Unions offer smaller interest rates on loans, higher interest rates on CD’s, and the profits from the Credit Unions go back into the community.
  6. Diane S. Says:

    Do you think there are unconnected cities? It seems to me that (almost exclusively white and elitist) organizations like The Rotary Club, The Masons, mosts Chambers of Commerce, and a host of "philanthropic" organizations are really just an excuse for rich white men to make business connections with other rich white men.

    While there are a number of black Chambers of Commerce, on the other fronts, I'm not sure how to strike back.

    Any thoughts?
  7. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    I think there are two sides to economic disparity in the black community and it is not as easy as saying don't purchase Nike's or a Playstation. But that is a start.

    I have to totally disagree with you on that statement. Just buying sneakers or games is just the symptoms of the disease we are suffering from. Of course if our great grandfathers were unable to acquire and power it would put us behind in the race. But knowledge is power and I don’t just mean going to college. Bill Gates or Michael Dell never graduated from college. Why are the libraries in the ghetto not packed? Go to Korea town and see how packed they are. We have the secrets. They are not easy to find but can be found.
  8. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    Diane S please let me but in and make a comment on your post. Those organizations you mentioned are for the most all white, but I know many people of color who are in them. Want to swim go to the beach. Willie Sutton was once asked why did he rob banks, he replied because that was were the money was. What I am trying to say is that if those organizations are great for networking then figure out a way in.
  9. James Manning Says:
    To Face In the Crowd:

    I think will have to disagree on this one. I take into account every historical barrier that was placed in the path of black economic development and come to the conclusion that many in in the position that they are in because of them. Certainly, there are some individual shortcomings that we can point at, but take a kid from the southside of Chicago's playstation away and he is still behind the eightball.

    We are behind on the knowledge curve, but if our schools are not preparing our children to perfom basic life skills, I highly doubt they will prepare them for properly dealing with finances.

    I agree that we have to go where the connections are, but there still needs to be something in place to deal with the structural inequities built into the American economic system.
  10. James Manning Says:

    The city of Chicago works like this. If you know Daley, then you have a good shot of getting in - of course there is the money in the form of campaign contributions - but it's still who you know.

    The major problems come with getting contracts. The requirements are such that small and new business have a difficult time getting them - and the only way they do get them is to sub-contract with a larger, more established companies. But there is a lot of kickbacks in that scheme and so a lot of minority companies find themselves squeezed out of the proces.
  11. Diane S. Says:
    @ anonymous

    Your point is well taken, but in my part of the country, there is no way in for anyone other than the rich white males. I know a lot of these rich white men, and they are very vested in maintaining the status quo.
  12. Anonymous Says:
    James I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I by no means will ever say that historical racism is not effecting our economic development to this day. Racism is alive and well. Just taking away the play station is not the answer of course but taking the child to the library and museums will make a difference. You figure how many kids that are living in South Central Los Angeles and Watts have never spent a day at the beach, probably allot considering how close the coast is. I don’t place all of the blame on the schools. Los Angeles does have some lousy teachers but they have some extremely dedicated teachers that are working hard. I am not a fan of the LASD and we all have read about its problems in the news. But the school are overcrowded and under funded. I will say again it is the parents or parent that has to take responsibility for the child. If your child is falling behind then get them help, don’t let them watch television all day. If a child can play some of those video games which are very hard to figure out at least to me, then they can surely learn basic life skills. I was talking to my sister about what causes some Black people to retain what I regard as ghetto traits even when they have moved to the middle class. And the question was manly with Black people living and raised in Los Angeles. My sister is a culture psychologist. She explained to me that the problem is pathological and it comes from dealing with slavery(let me say she is a right wing republican and right wing Christian). She went on to say that you had many people living in Los Angeles that moved from mostly Texas, Louisiana and Okalahoma and they came here for opportunity. And had never been in the middle class so many things they just don’t know. She also stated that because our family was able to keep property and build wealth and never had to leave our roots, we would view life in a whole different manner. Hope I was able to explain this clearly because what she was telling me incredibly interesting.
  13. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    Diane S. its ironic because I was speaking with a friend from Texas this afternoon and telling them I would like to buy a ranch in your neck of the woods. And guess what they told me it is very nice but if you don’t have money you are lost, basically you can’t go there and expect the American dream. You better already have the American dream. Diane S I have found out knowledge, money and power are great equalizers not all the time but it sure helps. I have a few friends in the Great State of Texas.
  14. James Manning Says:
    Face in the crowd:

    i agree with you on points about parenting and the role they play in educating children. but good parenting skills is not something that comes natural. people raise kids according to their own understanding of the world. the problem is, many of the skills that parents in the middle class teach their children is different from those in poor communities.

    survival is on the mind when you live in poverty. and we have to separate this by generations. 40 years ago many parents had a middle class mentality but were held back due to racism. but they still taught their kids the importance of education. those kids moved forward in society as barriers fell. those parents that didn't teach the importance of education and work ethics left their children to wallow in the system (welfare, prison, the streets) and the cycle continue.

    so i do understand that the economic disparity is not completely due to racism - but racism was the initial barrier and the way the educational system is designed, it helps to maintain the system - what we like to call institutionalized racism.

    and i agree with diane, there are a lot of people with a vested interet in keeping the status quo - they may not call it racism but that's exactly what it is.
  15. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    James I have to commend you on having a blog that covers more relevant topics then on the news or what it really is mcnews. You were right on point in everything you said. But how do we fix the problem at this point? Do we just say there are some Black people that are to far gone and just try to save the children? I don’t have the answer.