Unending Economic Struggle for African Africans
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 may have come as the most important constitutional change for African Americans, ending segregation in public places and any form of racial discrimination in the United States. While this may have ended the public disgrace for African Americans, racial discrimination had just taken a whole new angle, where it kept playing under the disguise of the law. Researchers continue to assess the level of racial discrimination against black people in the United States every year. One of the areas of focus in this kind of research has been on the racial discrimination in the workplace. Apparently, many black people in America still struggle to rise to top rank positions in their respective workplaces. One survey indicated that resumes with names that sounded whiter received more responses than names that were typically black, suggesting that race is still a factor of consideration in the American labor market.
Even though policies have been developed in the U.S. labor market to offset preferential treatment based on race, there are many loopholes that are being currently utilized to sideline black people from in which they qualify. Research on this issue has always been ragged behind as researches often fear that some statistics may trigger public unrests. As a result, it is still unclear, the exact level of racial discrimination in the work place against black people. However, qualitative studies report that most black people have experienced one racial discrimination gesture in their workplaces once or more times. Essentially, black people cite that race is often a factor that influences their employers’ perception on individual productivity. Whenever black people underperform, their white employers often make racial remarks to signify that the underperformance is highly influenced by some sort of deficiency in their races.
Despite the progress that the US has made towards eradicating racial inequality, black people often have to fight harder in the labor market compared to white people. White people are twice likely to be accepted than African Americans, who earn about 25% less than white people. There are many ways by which these factors come into place (Fox, Ashley M). One is educational levels. Agreeably, the number of African Americans who received higher education is higher than the percentage of whites who have attained college and University level education. Whenever there is a slight chance that a white person’s resume has one added advantage, it will prompt an salary higher than that of a black person working in the same capacity. Unfortunately, when African Americans have an added qualification in their resume, it may be disregarded and they may find themselves working in the same capacity as white people who are less qualified.
A study by Mullainathan and Bertrand examined racial discrimination in the United States labor markets. In their randomized experiment, they sent about 5,000 CVs in response to more than 1,300 newspaper job applications seeking clerical, administrative and sales jobs across Chicago and Boston. The researchers randomly assigned names that sounded either white or black to the resumes to suggest an applicant’s race. Other factors such as experience and additional qualifications were also varied in the resumes. The researchers found out that when qualifications were at par, race was a significant determiner on whether there was a response or no. The researchers concluded that most average African Americans experience this kind of discrimination when applying for different positions. The researches also observed that many black there were fewer responses from applicants from black neighborhoods. A significant level of discrimination was also observed in particular occupations where black people were often thought incompetent in those areas.
In January 2012, a study was published on the challenges faced by LGBT families of color. According to the survey, there are more about 12 million children being raised in LGBT families, and the number was bound to increase. 32% of these families were found to be living below minimum wage rate. This is one of the problems that racial discrimination has created. Most black people are working harder than they ought to, to rise to the same levels as white counterparts. However, they keep on getting frustrated by the racial prejudices that function in the labor market(Fox, Ashley M). African Americans keep on dreaming that race will stop being a factor that defines how well they progress in life. They still hope that the education system will give them the same treatment.
According to Ashley M. Fox, a contributor of the Forbes, the Institute of Policy Studies reported that the racial wealth gap may take about 228 years to be closed. This represents how long black people will have to struggle to receive equal treatment. Black people continue struggling to build wealth amidst tough economic trends. The buying power of black people is about $1.2 trillion, which is not near to the levels that can scare the Wall Street for them to start straightening their policies to offset racial discrimination, as to them, the black community is still far from being capable of shaking the financial market. Fox argues that the situation for both underclass and working class black people continues to worsen. More black people continue to indulge in crimes increasing their number in American prisons.
Gillian B. White, in an article appearing on The Atlantic, argues that financial impotence may not equally cut across races as many people would think. For minorities like African Americans, there may be just more than conventional economic struggle. Black people have fewer resources(White, Gillian B). They are often required to dig even deeper to accumulate wealth. White argues that financial insecurity is more pronounced in black communities than in any other minority segment in America. White notes that one of the ways that is used to measure the level of satisfaction of life is the ability to respond to emergency situations. Most black families find it difficult to respond to emergency situations such as car repair, hospital bills or upkeep in the event of a job loss. For white people, they may have a wide range of access to cash by selling their liquid assets, which black people have been struggling to accumulate over the years. African American families are quite fragile.
White reports that the wealth of White households totals to more than $140,000; $14,000 for the Hispanics and only $11,000 for the African American households. African Americans struggle to safely remain in the middle class. There were about 45 to 48% of black people in the middle class and the number often fluctuates, while there are more than 52% white households in stable middle class. While the disparity may not be alarming, more details according to a 2012 report indicated otherwise. White middle class families earned about $55,000 a year while black middle class families earned $13,000 less. This means that even those black families that may match their social classes with the white people, are below the white people in the same capacity. While white people may remain in the middle class for all of their existence since reaching that class, black people often fight to remain in the middle class. Their lives are often characterized by stagnating wage rates and frequent job loss which contributes to their random setbacks.
To think that the forces that continue to discriminate against black families are particularly driven by the private sector is misleading. The government has also had a role to play in making the lives of black people even harder. Dorothy Brow, a tax law professor Emory University, there are credits, deductions and rules that function to uplift families being pulled down by taxes to pay (White, Gillian B). Surprisingly, Brow observed that white families received more boosts from such government initiatives than black families or Hispanics. Brow argues that tax law is often politicized, which gives room for racial disparities to take effect. Brow reported that half of the Earned Income Tax Credit benefits the white people while the rest of the half is shared among the minority groups. Other tax policies that are meant to favor couples often benefit the white people more than they do the African Americans.
The struggle continues. African Americans are yet to feel they fully belong to this county their forefathers worked so hard to help build. Many black families continue to remain in the same social class. Black families are often faced with the highest level of job loss compared to white people. The policies of the labor market do not favor African Americans. Black liberation organizations continue to fight for harmonizing of tax law policies and policies in the labor market to ensure that the black community benefits from such initiatives as much as the white people.