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Wednesday, 27 February 2013 11:08

Blacks Decimated by Wall Street Subprime Mortgage Scam: Wealth Disparity With Whites Triples

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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT slum45 Deteriorated housing leaves blacks behind

In a Washington Post (WP) article entitled "Study ties black-white wealth gap to stubborn disparities in real estate,"
the Post offers one more piece of proof that the "post-racial" presidency is nothing more than a soundbite.

The backlash of Tea Party racists and the general Republican Southern strategy of race baiting through code words clearly has defined that this is still a nation of two visions: one of a white Christian patriarchal America with Disneyland dreams of an imaginary Main Street and the other of a multi-cultural society of equality and the celebration of national communal values.

However, the facts on the ground reveal a deeper schism not of visions, but of a vastly unequal economic reality.

According to the recent study cited by the WP,

The large and growing wealth gap separating white and black families is the product of stubborn barriers that disproportionately consign African Americans to less-valuable real estate and lower-paying jobs, according to a new study.

A long-term examination of the financial lives of black and white Americans revealed that African Americans typically face a subtle but persistent opportunity gap that has served to widen financial disparities remaining from a long history of overt discrimination, according to a report to be released Wednesday by Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy.

In short, despite an outburst of bitter racial resentment after Obama's election that continues to this day, blacks are faring worse not better than in the past.  Vast areas of urban blight -- where pushing drugs is often the only entrepreneurial opportunity of any livable wage (until you are shot in a turf war) -- have been left to stagnate.  These are the urban plantations of poverty that gave birth to the 1968 riots after Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. In fact, they have worsened as the last of the remaining industrial and mid-to-large business base has fled these areas.

As the Washington Post reveals in the February 26th story:

The report, which researchers called the most detailed look ever at the roots of the racial wealth gap, is drawn from the life experiences of nearly 1,700 working Americans between 1984 and 2009. That quarter-century was an era of significant racial progress in the country. The black middle class expanded, black college graduation rates tripled, and black elected officials moved into a broad range of public offices, including the presidency.

Despite that progress, the wealth gap between whites and blacks nearly tripled among study participants, going from $85,000 per family in 1985 to $236,500 in 2009. Overall, the median net worth of whites in the study was $265,000 in 2009, compared with $28,500 for blacks. A broader survey done by federal officials has found even larger disparities, with blacks having a nickel of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by the median white family.

Although President Obama and Michelle Obama represent the continued rise of a black elite, blacks, in general, are falling further behind whites in economic disparity. To repeat from the WP summary of the Boston University study, "the wealth gap between whites and blacks nearly tripled among study participants, going from $85,000 per family in 1985 to $236,500 in 2009." (Italics inserted by BuzzFlash at Truthout.)

The ruling elites – white and black – promote all sorts of gimmicks to "save our children" in cratered out urban areas. These include the false hope and profiteering of charter schools, tossing more minority youth in jail (claiming that this will lead to less violence), and the show war on drugs.

But the essential dire straits of many urban minorities remains; they live in blighted neighborhoods abandoned long ago by employers – and no one is offering any hope to them as multi-generational despair and dysfunction become locked in.

They are the forgotten ones, except when they appear on the knife and gun club local news for the voyeuristic titillation of well-off whites and suburban viewers lying in their beds snacking on Godiva chocolates.

(Photo: Ryan Thomas)