Black People Politics : What determine our future: White Supremacy or Personal Choice?

GrayMatter

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Aug 17, 2016
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Looking to generate a discussion around the biggest deciding factors about our futures: White supremacy or our personal choices? Going to lay out a couple statements and data affirming Black people control their own destiny in the US in terms of economic and social outcomes. I would like to understand the ideas and solutions of people that believe White Supremacy is the obstacle ie the counter argument and the supporting data. The argument is based on the desire for a few basic goals: to make money, live comfortably, and provide a solid base for child development.

Here we go...

Capitalism is not the enemy.

Capitalism rewards skill and investment. It marks a historical change in society away from nepotism toward meritocracy. If you learn a skill, you can earn a wage. If you save your wage, you can invest. By repeating that cycle, you can get rich. Learning skills is a personal choice. Saving money and investing is a personal choice. Therefore, I conclude, we as Black people should recognize that our choices around education and savings have greater impact on our outcomes than any other variables.

Quick anecdote, then onto the data...

In the first edition of Frederic Douglass' autobiography 'Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,' Douglass notes that when he arrived in Massachusetts he saw "the most astonishing as well as interesting thing ... the condition of the colored people, a great many of whom, like [himself] had escaped [slavery] and [were] living in finer houses, and evidently enjoying more of the comforts of life, than the average slaveholders in Maryland." -Chapter XI, pg 72, Narrative of the Life of F. Douglass
Not sure about you, but this passage hit me like a ton of bricks.

The data...

Fast forward to today, there is a relationship between education and wages:
As an example education and wages, let's look at one type of education and see who is capitalizing and measure their result, Medical Schools https://www.aamc.org/download/321536/data/factstableb4.pdf:
2014-2015: Whites graduated 58% of MDs - that year, Asians graduated 19% of MDs
Whites are 63% of the US population
Asians are 5% of the US population
Asians are over-represented in MD graduation rates. Why is that? Do Asians see that earning an MD is a path to increase their wages? Is there something else nefarious going on?
Average salary of general practice MD: $136K
Average salary of bachelor: $45K
Average salary of hs diploma: $30K

The above stats show a clear relationship between education and wages.

Financial Institutions:
I have often heard that the financial infrastructure blocks Black people out of investments. Blacks are simply customers in the eyes of financial institutions. Any Black person in the country could own a stock within a few days by signing up for any number of trading platforms.

Further, if you own a life or health insurance policy in a mutual insurance company, you already own your share of the insurance company's investment portfolio which likely includes Commercial Real Estate and a range of fixed income and equity investments. Perhaps even someone who believes in White Supremacy owns some of the biggest Class A office space in the country through their policy...
https://www.metlife.com/investments/real-estate/equity-realestate.html#overview

Participating in the financial arena is a personal choice. Ignorance is the only barrier to entry.

On to Social outcomes, this is the simplest one yet...just get married:

Marriage is associated (notice not implying cause/affect) with a great many outcomes, let's simplify it to outcomes for children and economic stability:
Would anyone disagree that two parent households promote better outcomes for children? Here is a link to basic insights on that: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-better-off-but-marriage-isnt-the-reason-why/

Article shows the marriage affect may really just be a product of good parenting and high income. I argue that marriage allows for good parenting and higher disposable income.

Marriages split living expenses: split mortgages, buying food in bulk, child costs, transportation costs, create life insurance benefit arrangements, and split other living expenses, and the division of labor (working as a team)...the economic impact of marriage is straight forward.

These data reveal a simple formula for economic and social success that doesn't care what race you are:
1. Get educated
2. Save your money
3. Get married

The best part of this is that each is a choice...
The second best part about each is that no one can stop you from achieving these...

Or could they? What is the counter to this argument?
 
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