Giving Compass' Take:
- Neil Lewis Jr. explains that American's who don't suffer from the racial wealth gap are physically separated from those who do suffer, making the gap invisible to them.
- What role can you play in educating people about and closing the racial gap?
- Learn more about the racial wealth gap.
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In the last year and a quarter, the pandemic has served as a stark reminder of just how unequal America still is. But it also hasn’t been a “reminder” for everyone. Black Americans and other Americans of color didn’t have the luxury of forgetting that American society is unequal.
For Black Americans, in particular, the statistics around the inequalities of COVID-19 are numerical stand-ins for a much larger issue that permeates so many aspects of life — everything from being able to get a life-saving vaccine to the risk of being killed by police.
The reality is that our nation is still racially segregated. And it’s segregated in ways that limit our opportunities to learn about each other’s life experiences, even if our laws do not formally segregate our nation as they once did. This means that some live in a world in which they rarely encounter the conditions that bring harm to others everyday; others can’t escape those very conditions.
You can see this segregation in great detail by exploring the University of Virginia’s Racial Dot Map, which takes data from the 2010 U.S. Census and plots where people are living across the country. For instance, take southeastern Michigan, where I lived as a graduate student. You can see clear geographic separation between predominantly Black, white, Asian, and Hispanic neighborhoods.
Read the full article about the racial wealth gap by Neil Lewis Jr. at FiveThirtyEight.