Friday, April 20, 2018

Class Trumps Race — Nine examples

Nine facts you will not hear from race reductionists:

9. Black and white women from the same economic background do equally well economically.

From The massive new study on race and economic mobility in America, explained:

...conditional on their parents’ income, black women actually outperform white women in terms of individual earnings. ...the fact that fewer black women grow up in affluent families accounts for the ongoing inequality between white and black women’s wages. Black and white women born into equivalently wealthy families enjoy basically the same economic outcomes.
8. Black and white men from the same economic background do equally well economically when they grow up in neighborhoods with low poverty rates.

From  Sons of Rich Black Families Fare No Better Than Sons of Working-Class Whites:

The authors, including the Stanford economist Raj Chetty and two census researchers, Maggie R. Jones and Sonya R. Porter, tried to identify neighborhoods where poor black boys do well, and as well as whites. 
“The problem,” Mr. Chetty said, “is that there are essentially no such neighborhoods in America.” 
The few neighborhoods that met this standard were in areas that showed less discrimination in surveys and tests of racial bias. They mostly had low poverty rates. And, intriguingly, these pockets — including parts of the Maryland suburbs of Washington, and corners of Queens and the Bronx — were the places where many lower-income black children had fathers at home. Poor black boys did well in such places, whether their own fathers were present or not.
I italicized the last point because race reductionists miss it: The fact that poor black boys do well in places with low poverty rates says the problem is poverty, not race.

7. Poor white and black Americans are equally likely to be killed by the police, and richer white and black Americans are equally unlikely to be killed by the police.

US police primarily kill poor people, and in the US the ratio of white and black people in poverty and killed by the police is the same: two to one. For more details, see my linkfest at Why #BlackLivesMatter should be #PoorLivesMatter—now with graphics.

If you only want to read two articles on police killings in the US:

Surprising New Evidence Shows Bias in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings

To end police violence, we have to end poverty

6. Family income is a better predictor of children’s success in school than race.

From When Class Became More Important to a Child's Education Than Race:

According to a 2011 research study by Stanford sociologist Sean Reardon, the test-score gap between the children of the poor (in the 10th percentile of income) and the children of the wealthy (in the 90th percentile) has expanded by as much as 40 percent and is now more than 50 percent larger than the black-white achievement gap--a reversal of the trend 50 years ago.
Also recommended: No Rich Child Left Behind

5. In health, income has greater impact than race:

...even though Blacks have higher rates of disease than Whites, “these differences are dwarfed by the disparities identified between high- and low-income populations within each racial/ethnic group,” the report said.

Socioeconomic Factors Trump Race and Geography for Odds of Living to Old Age - Observations - Scientific American Blog Network:

By studying survival beyond 70 on a county-by-county basis, a team of researchers found that a combination of social factors, such as education, marital status and income, were much more predictive than race or geography alone.
The stunning — and expanding — gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor

4. White prisoners share one thing with black and Hispanic prisoners: poverty.

From “The Crime of Being Poor”:

 Most prisoners report incomes of less than $8,000 a year in the year prior to coming to prison. A majority were unemployed at the time of their arrest.
From “The rich get richer and the poor get prison”:
Among those entering prison in 1991, about 70 percent earned less than $15,000 a year when they were arrested, and 45 percent didn’t have a full-time job. One in four prisoners is mentally ill, and 64 percent never graduated from high school.
From New Report Finds Class Is a More Potent Predictor of Incarceration Than Race. But Racism Drives It.:
His research found that “while class has a large and statistically significant effect on the first three outcomes, race — once one controls for class — does not.” In the fourth category, whether a man has spent more than a year in jail or prison, he found that race does have a significant impact.
3. In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters:
Regions with larger black populations had lower upward-mobility rates. But the researchers’ analysis suggested that this was not primarily because of their race. Both white and black residents of Atlanta have low upward mobility, for instance.
and Not here, surely?:
Virtually all of the 20 poorest counties in America, in terms of wages, are on the eastern flank of the Rockies or on the western Great Plains.... The area does include several pockets of wretched Native American poverty, but in most areas the poor are as white as a prairie snowstorm.
2. Class Trumps Race When It Comes To Internet Access

1. Class Now Trumps Race as the Great Divide in America:

The class gap over the last 20 years in unmarried births, controlling for race, has doubled, and the racial gap, controlling for class, has been cut in half. Twenty years ago the racial gap was the dominant gap in unmarried births -- and now the class gap is by far.

Race reductionists often say socialists are class reductionists. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor answers that in Race, class and Marxism:

To claim, as Marxists do, that racism is a product of capitalism is not to deny or diminish its importance or impact in American society. It is simply to explain its origins and the reasons for its perpetuation. Many on the left today talk about class as if it is one of many oppressions, often describing it as "classism." What people are really referring to as "classism" is elitism or snobbery, and not the fundamental organization of society under capitalism.
Related: Boots Riley explains why class trumps race, plus some "place not race" links

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