That is because African American families with middle-class incomes are quite different from white families with similar incomes. Colorblind policies giving a boost to low-income students falsely assume that family income differences can distinguish social class. Median black family income was 61 percent of the white median in Yet black median family wealth net worth, or assets minus debts was an astonishingly low 5 percent of the white median.
This gap has undoubtedly widened since because the housing collapse harmed blacks — who were targeted disproportionately for exploitative subprime loans and exposed to foreclosure — more than whites. In short, middle-class African Americans and whites are in different financial straits. White middle-class children are more likely to prepare for, apply to, and graduate from college than black children with similar family incomes. Typical middle-class African American children do not.
Cashin agrees that admissions officers should take a special look at applicants of all races whose families have low wealth but makes clear she considers this of lesser importance than residence in a high-poverty neighborhood. Nor does she explain how low wealth should be to entitle an applicant who does not live in such a neighborhood to consideration.
Although typical middle-class black families have far less wealth than typical middle-class white families, they are not always without wealth at all. Black middle-class children are more likely to be first in their families to aim for college — again, more Michelle Obama than Sheryll Cashin.
When colorblind affirmative-action proponents seek first-generation college applicants in high-poverty neighborhoods, they risk skipping over this important pool of middle-class African Americans. Moreover, while most middle-class African Americans now live in nonmajority black neighborhoods, they are more likely to live adjacent to low-income neighborhoods. In new research, Patrick Sharkey finds that 32 percent of middle- and upper-income black families live in neighborhoods bordering severely disadvantaged neighborhoods, while only 6 percent of income-similar white families do so.
The undertow that Cashin appropriately fears for low-income African Americans — the lure of drugs, gangs, oppositional behavior — pulls as well on middle-class black youth living nearby. Those who successfully resist may have strength of character surpassing that of white youth from families with similar incomes whose adolescence was better protected. One wonders, too, if the attraction for many liberals of extending colorblind preferences to disadvantaged youth of all races and ethnicities is due, in part, to a misunderstanding of demographic trends. With enormous immigration flows to the U.
Early in the 20th century, Italians, Poles, Greeks, Jews, and others were deemed nonwhite. For example, Latino immigrants who had resided in California for at least 30 years had a 65 percent homeownership rate prior to the burst of the housing bubble.
Affirmative Action and Black Entrepreneurship (Century Foundation Book) [ Thomas D Boston] on dalgos.sm.pl *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A new definition of Black economic empowerment is put forward, based on the Affirmative Action and Black Entrepreneurship A Century Foundation book.
Like many earlier European immigrant groups, new immigrants are also assimilating in later generations by intermarriage. In , 26 percent of all Hispanic newlyweds married non-Hispanics; for those born here, the rate was 36 percent and for the third generation, the rate rises still higher. We will be a majority-majority country for some time to come. The problems are different, and the remedies must also be different, including in some, but not all cases, affirmative action.
It is also appropriate for universities seeking diversity to make special efforts to recruit and accept Hispanic students, but these efforts should not be confused with the proper constitutional requirement that universities extend preferences to African Americans to repair centuries of state-sponsored exploitation.
We cannot reasonably aspire to a meritocracy where all children — poor, middle-class, and affluent — have equal chances of landing in adulthood at every point in the social-class distribution. Higher social-class status will always confer advantages on children; we can only hope to mitigate them.
A more realistic aspiration would be to assist children of African Americans who have climbed a few steps up the ladder in climbing a bit further, and in so doing providing leadership to the black community as a whole. Yet knowing merely that middle-class African Americans have accumulated less wealth, live in less-advantaged neighborhoods, or more recently joined the middle class does not itself justify granting them preferences.
Mullen is associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto and the author of Degrees of Inequality: Look at all the blue in the U. We might begin to make progress after decades of failed education reform and might start graduating kids able to make their way in the world as adults. It was written in by Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit created in to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. In this sense, by primarily benefiting African Americans, they are indeed the kind of policy-by-disguise that Ginsburg denounced. Justice Sotomayor says colleagues can't 'wish away' racial inequality. Business Insider called it the 'greatest graduation speech ever.
It is a question neither Cashin nor Kennedy addresses: Why are there too few middle-class African Americans in selective universities, and what is the moral, legal, and historical justification for putting a thumb on the scale to compensate? Are direct effects of past discrimination still so pervasive that the 14th Amendment requires affirmative action? Answers cannot duck the need to review the history of slavery, Jim Crow, and state-sponsored exploitation of African Americans, and how effects of these policies persist.
Consider the example of most relevance to middle-class African American enrollment in selective universities — the family wealth disparities by race described above. Discussions of affirmative action are empty without the background of how these wealth disparities arose.
In the last century, federal agencies subsidized white suburban development by guaranteeing loans to mass-production builders who created places like Levittown on Long Island, Lakewood in California, and similar uncounted suburbs in metropolitan areas nationwide. Homes were inexpensive and theoretically affordable to black and white workers alike, especially to returning World War II veterans.
But the Federal Housing and Veterans administrations encouraged and usually required these builders to refuse sales to African Americans. Whites who were permitted to buy benefited from ensuing decades of equity appreciation; this wealth helped finance college for their children and was later bequeathed to them. Black families, prohibited by federal policy from buying into these initially low-priced suburbs, lost out.
Levittown is a nationally representative example.
By Levittown, in a metropolitan region with a large black population, was still less than 1 percent black. White Levittowners can today easily save for college. Blacks denied access to the community are much less likely to be able to do so. The government certified unions for exclusive bargaining even when unions barred African Americans from membership or restricted them to the lowest-paid jobs. Fortunately, other prominent voices are, for the first time in a long time, making the historical case. We cannot calculate specific debts owed to African Americans in almost all cases, now impossible to identify whose government denied them the opportunity, in violation of constitutional rights, to purchase suburban homes and then benefit from equity appreciation.
But in principle, we can calculate some consequences of our racial history. Kennedy quotes Martin Luther King Jr.
Wage losses stemming from exclusion of identifiable African Americans from federal minimum wage or collective-bargaining protection might also be determined. But repayment to these workers or their heirs of such losses is politically if not practically inconceivable. In this context, extending small college-admission preferences to otherwise qualified descendants of slaves and those subject to Jim Crow laws is a modest step.
Sander concludes that affirmative action perversely reduces the supply of black lawyers.
Assume there would be more black lawyers overall if more attended lower-ranked schools and fewer were plucked by elite institutions. Which are more needed — a greater number of black lawyers doing wills, divorces and criminal defense or, even with a lesser total of black lawyers, more judges, corporate executives and cabinet members who can lead and inspire others to follow?
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This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Cary Nelson Readers Respond: Ernst Benjamin Readers Respond: Emily Budick Readers Respond: Kenneth Waltzer Readers Respond: Marcus and Sitara Kedilaya Readers Respond: Peter Haas Readers Respond: Chad Alan Goldberg Readers Respond: Ferguson and Jodi Melamed Authors Respond: Wednesday 19 September What is affirmative action in American universities?
On Wednesday the Supreme Court will consider ending "affirmative action" — a policy designed by JFK to encourage more minorities into higher education Protesters hold signs supporting the affirmative action policy in front of the U. What is "affirmative action"? Getty In the early days, affirmative action helped the young Sonia Sotomayor, who grew up in public housing to become a Supreme Court judge, and the young Michelle Obama, whose parents did not go to university.
So what is the problem? Eight states in the US have since banned affirmative action. Why is it being discussed now? Getty "The top 10 per cent plan has proven to be a more effective mechanism for creating a diverse campus at UT than did race-based affirmative action," said Edward Blum, whose Project on Fair Representation fights affirmative action and backed the latest case. What do educational experts say?
And the case which has been backed by other educational specialists across the country. More from the web.