Racial Wealth Inequality Essay

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For this assignment, I selected three articles; one each from Forbes and The Economist, and an article from the “Opposing Viewpoints in Context” section of Gale, written by Sisi Zhang. These pieces all speak to the same theme: racial wealth inequality is real and is exacerbated by poor education, increased incarceration, and public policy.
Over the last thirty years, the wealth of the average white family has increased much more than that of the average black or Latino family. For example, between 1983 and 2010, the average wealth of white families rose from $184,000 to $1.1 million, whereas those numbers are much less impressive for blacks and Hispanics. Average black wealth increased from $54,000 to $161,000, while Hispanic families realized a jump in average wealth from $46,000 to $226,000 in the same time period. Sisi Zhang points out that, during The Great Recession, black families absorbed a 31% decrease in …show more content…

Poor quality primary education leads to low high school and college graduation rates, high unemployment, reduced wages, and increases in illicit activity. The article in The Economist suggests that one of the primary reasons for the high dropout rate (almost 35% among the black population) is that teens in poverty stricken communities don’t understand the long term impacts of the decision to leave school. Furthermore, 35% of black men without a high school diploma are continually unemployed (up from 10% in 1965), so the cycle is perpetuated from generation to generation. Children grow up with their role models lacking education and gainful employment, encountering discrimination, and experiencing frequent jail time. One in three black men spends time in prison, and two out of three black men with no high school diploma experience imprisonment at some point in their lives. Once these men have a criminal record, the chances of them securing legal employment are severely

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