Income and employment divides blacks and whites in Ferguson
The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have laid bare America's ongoing racial divide. The inequalities are not only police brutality but also show the two communities are not only segregated by colour but also by wealth. Ferguson has become both blacker and poorer in recent decades.
"Legalized discrimination -- where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments -- meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today's urban and rural communities" President Obama remarks on Ferguson.
- 25% of black people live below the poverty line compared to 11% of white people
- Median household wealth of black people is 60% of what white people earn annually
- The unemployment rate is 19% for blacks and 6.7% for whites
- Ferguson, Missouri is 67% black but the police force, city government is nearly all white
- Blacks also typically have lower incomes than whites, which also makes it harder for them to save and build wealth
White State Officials
Ferguson, Missouri is 67% black but the police force, city government is nearly all white. Black people don't get employed by the state or private companies. This also creates racist state systems as we have witnessed with the Michael Brown shooting.
Blacks Live In Poverty
The unemployment rate is 19% for blacks and 6.7% for whites. With the median household wealth of black people 60% of what white people earn annually, it makes it even harder for black people to start businesses.
Whites Live In Poverty
Blacks also typically have lower incomes than whites, which also makes it harder for them to save and build wealth. For black people to suceed they need to practise group economics and start businesses instead of looking for jobs.
Knowles's predecessor, Brian Fletcher (the former mayor), has a different take. "Sure we're segregated. Most cities are. People want to be with people that look like them, think like them, talk like them. It's human nature. It doesn't mean it's bad," he said. "A lot of communities in the United States are segregated by colour, by economic power, by education. You know the term 'the other side of the tracks'? It's the truth. It's been that way, it is that way and will be that way."