What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Sara Grossman reports on the devastating racial wealth gap that white elites so frequently sweep under the rug.
• How do historically discriminatory policies reinforce the cycle of marginalization for people of color in the United States? What can we do to support more equitable policy in the future?
• Learn more about the racial wealth gap and what we've learned so far.
There is the well-known economic gap between America’s middle class and its elite, but also a striking wealth gap between people of color and their white counterparts. Both are highly concerning, but only one gets significant media attention or discussion time.
These two gaps are informed by two different kinds of wealth. There is the kind of wealth that allows you to merely survive, to pay for basic necessities like food, water, and housing. But then there is transformative wealth. This is the type of wealth that builds other wealth. The kind of wealth that you invest in, get returns on, and fund your kid's college education.
Data has demonstrated time and time again that the black community has, if any wealth, the first kind. The type of wealth that allows them to just get by. This is also true of Native Americans, Latinos and a handful of other minority groups who rely solely on earned income to get by, rather than investments or capital assets. White Americans, on the other hand, tend to have transformative wealth, which has allowed their riches to multiply and generate a life of affluence and prosperity for current and future kin.
While ordinary Americans of all backgrounds have fallen behind elites, blacks and latinos have fallen behind the furthest.
Even more troubling is the complete lack of concern our leaders are showing in addressing this racial wealth gap. While politicians lament the disappearance of America’s white middle class, they are largely silent on the struggles that those of color are facing. Both disparities have serious implications for the future of a strong, equitable, and preeminent American economy.
Read the full article about the racial wealth gap by Sara Grossman at Othering & Belonging Institute.