The Growing Racial Wealth Gap

Adam Serwer, in his blog at the American Prospect, evaluates the depressing results of a study on the racial gap in American society.

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There is a widening racial wealth gap in America. (Thinkstock)

Adam Serwer, in his blog at the American Prospect, unpacks the results of a study on the growing racial wealth gap in America. 

Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released its report on the racial wealth gap in American society, with some really depressing results. The economic crisis essentially wiped out the wealth gains made by people of color over the past 20 years, resulting in "lopsided wealth ratios," that "are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter-century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009."

... I want to look at this in the context of our political discourse on race for the past three years or so, during which many conservatives have put forth a narrative of white victimhood in which the Obama policy agenda consists entirely of "reparations" and the sluggish recovery is Obama's racial "payback" for past grievances. As silly as the idea that Obama is a racist who is single-handedly effecting a widespread redistribution of wealth on racial terms, it's clear that on some level this narrative of anti-white oppression is gaining traction as an explanation for ongoing economic misery, given that a non-trivial number of whites, conservatives in particular, seem to think that anti-white racism is a big problem. 

Yet, to paraphrase something Matthew Yglesias once said, the numbers look more like a white racist conspiracy to deprive minorities of what little wealth they've attained than a ruthless plan for gouging John Galt. 

Read Adam Serwer's entire blog post at the American Prospect.

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