How Cuts Will Change the Black Middle Class

Michael C. Dawson, New York Times, July 25, 2011

We are entering a period when for blacks there is a dangerous and growing confluence of severe economic hardship and dashed hopes.

{snip}

{snip} Public opinion data collected by my colleagues and me over the past 20 years demonstrated that black disillusionment with the prospects for racial equality had grown from the early 1990s to the point that by 2005, four out of five blacks believed that racial equality would not be achieved in the foreseeable future. After two decades of growth, this percentage declined by 30 percentage points by October 2008 and the eve of the election of Barack Obama. For the first time since we started collecting data on this question, more than half of blacks believed that racial equality for blacks would be soon achieved or had already been achieved.

This relative level of euphoria was short-lived and plummeted with the onset of the economic crisis. Once again, half of all blacks believe that racial equality either will not be achieved in their lifetimes or not at all within the U.S.

The combination of blocked roads to social mobility, continuing economic crisis, the near unanimous belief among blacks that racism remains a major problem in the United States, and the consequent widespread and growing despair about the prospects for racial equality provide the grounds, if not the inevitability, for an ever more volatile and conflicted racial landscape.

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    four out of five blacks believed that racial equality would not be achieved in the foreseeable future.

    How do they define racial equality? Obviously, it means material equality, but to demand racial equality means that all genetic distinctions must be wiped out. Only way to do that is outlaw Whites making White babies. Only mulatto babies should be allowed, then all babies would be racially equal.

  • Anonymous

    an ever more volatile and conflicted racial landscape

    Bring it on! Whatever makes it harder for Whitey liberal elites to claim that “Diversity is our strength” is good for us.

    Robbery, rape, and murder, all claimed to be caused by “lack of racial equality” will eventually wake White Humanity up to the racial realities that surround and threaten us.

    We await the rise of a hereditary chieftain who will say what we all crave hearing: “You rob, rape, and murder, and then demand racial equality? No, you can’t be given equality- you must earn it, and the first step is to give us the names of all the criminals you are harboring, and secondly is to stop the violence. Until then, we give you nothing but the solidified contempt that you deserve for wasting and destroying all we’ve given you in the past.”

    Folk, you can feel it. We are headed toward something big. A city will go up in flames, but this time, White Humanity won’t tolerate another hostile and dangerously anti-White Kerner Commission Report.

    The revolution will be televised on youtube. Until they shut the Internet down, they won’t be able to say that racism is the cause of TNB.

  • Anonymous

    This article is a tad out of date. Recent stats reveal that forced cuts to state hiring have reduced black middle class wealth by over 80%. In essence, there no longer is a black middle class.

    Dawson is being a bit disingenuous with his article. The US is looking at the end of the welfare state as we know it. What will blacks do? What will whites do? Who knows. One thing is certain, blacks will continue their hundreds of years long pattern of not caring for themselves. Likely, that will mean starvation in a white society who no longer sees them as their responsibility.

  • b.b.shaw

    They’re finding out that jobs obtained through Affirmative Action are a financial liability to their employers. Downsizing is a good time to get rid of the non-productive chaff and dross.

  • Chicagoan

    This article by Mr Dawson sounds like a veiled threat. The solution, to buy peace, would probably entail sending more money his way. President hope and change apparently hasn’t done enough yet.

  • Anonymous

    When will African-Americans and Asian-Americans achieve racial equality on the baskettball court? Never, because Africans and Asians are not racially equal.

    When will there be racial equality between Asians and Africans in academic achievement, career success, and income? Never, because Africans and Asians are not racially equal.

    When will Europeans and Africans achieve racial equality in lactose tolerance? Never, because Africans and Europeans are not racially equal.

  • Reality

    Blacks have just as many opportunities as Whites. The problem isn’t that they’re being “held back” by Whites, but rather by themselves. Maybe they should get off their lazy butts and start to do for themselves instead of sitting on their lazy butts all day whining and waiting for Whitey to hand them everything.

  • ice

    “We are entering a period when for blacks there is a dangerous and growing confluence of severe economic hardship and dashed hopes.”

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe that blacks are not benefitting from the community organizer’s election.

    Everything this man does has a pro-black agenda or some kind of intent behind it to promote blacks and black causes some way.

    Surely his health care bill and his out-of-control spending is causing a huge shift of wealth to blacks. Too, the expansion of government resulted in hiring thousands more blacks for various positions.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this NYT piece was interjected into the public debate as some kind of diversionary tactic.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with the authors that the future does not look good for blacks. The males used to be able to get factory jobs making a decent living. Those jobs are gone and now you have to have an education to make a decent living.

    So many black men have criminal records, no education, bad attitude, they are doomed.

    Working for the government is their only hope.

  • Middle American

    What a bunch of nonsense.

    It’s the usual ebonic double-talk.

    Here is the truth – in the brackets below:

    From the article:

    The combination of blocked roads [laziness, low IQ, dysfunctional families, criminal behavior] to social mobility [affirmative action], continuing economic crisis [inability to live within a budget or desire work], the near unanimous belief among blacks [herd mentality] that racism remains a major problem [unwilling to be held accountable for personal actions] in the United States, and the consequent widespread and growing despair [no more entitlements and giveaways] about the prospects for racial equality [wanting what others worked for] provide the grounds [excuses], if not the inevitability [expect no changes in uncivilized behavior], for an ever more volatile and conflicted racial landscape [permanent underclass].

  • Tom Iron

    It’s my opinion cuts won’t affect the supposed black “middle class” in the least, in that it was always an illusion, held in place by massive governmental interferance in every day life of the country.

    Tom Iron…

  • WR the elder

    Racial equality will never be achieved because the races aren’t equal. Duh.

  • Question Diversity

    8 Ice:

    Not only do I agree, but I think all this talk all of a sudden about “Obama’s poll numbers declining among blacks and liberals” is a similar diversionary tactic, or rather, a bait and switch game. The objective of which I think is to make Obama appear moderate. What are these blacks and liberals supposedly upset with Obama going to do? Vote for a Republican?

  • Strider

    The bad news is in — the NFL lockout is over. I was fervently hoping the season would be canceled. It would have been amusing to watch that overwhelmingly black gang of thugs — most of whom have likely never saved a dime out of the megabucks they’ve been paid over the years — try to find actual jobs that they were actually qualified for. Even more important, the white zombies whose lives revolve around the exploits of those thugs might have woken up and realized just how irrelevant their obsession had been.

  • Anonymous

    “… unanimous belief among blacks that racism remains a major problem in the United States …” And non-blacks believe that among blacks that the EXCUSE of racism remains a major problem in the United States. Or for that matter anywhere in the world.

  • Marc B

    The title of this article is among the main reasons I support the Tea Party and some of their candidates. I may not like all of their rhetoric and pandering to conservative NAM’s, but I do like the end results of their proposed spending restrictions on government.

  • Tim in Indiana

    The combination of blocked roads to social mobility

    “Blocked roads?” And who exactly blocked these roads?

    growing despair about the prospects for racial equality

    “Growing despair?” Then articles like this had a lot to do with it. Create a false hope in people, blame all problems on “racism” and stifle debate, and the result is a “growing despair.”

  • Nick

    I applaud Professor Dawson for his cogent essay. Indeed, the outlook for black America at this point looks disconcertingly bleak, and I truly believe this is something all good Americans who truly care about their country, regardless of one’s race (and regardless of one’s attitudes toward blacks) should be deeply concerned about. Nobody should take pleasure in or be proud about anyone’s suffering.

    However, Black America needs to look long and hard in the mirror at itself and come to realization that virtually all of its current problems are strictly of its own creation. I do not dislike blacks personally, but I truly despise what black America conceptually has turned into. I deeply loathe its value systems and allegiances. If you (a) have children outside of wedlock (or when you’re 16), (b) drop out of high school, (c) commit criminal acts, (d) continue to have even more children,(e) adopt a hostile attitude toward education and achievement, and (f) refuse to make any effort whatsoever to save money for the future, you WILL live in poverty. It’s just that simple. If you refuse to conform to civilized society by dressing and talking in ways that decent people consider crude, idiotic, and barbaric, you’re never, ever going to make it here, socially or economically. If you walk around with a chip on your shoulder thinking that the world owes you something, you’re never, ever, ever going to get the respect you feel you deserve.

    The good professor can talk all he wants to about “economic hardships,” “dashed hopes,” and “blocked roads to social mobility,” but nothing is EVER going to change unless black society begins to show a willingness to shoulder some of the blame for the miserable shape it’s in and makes a conscientious effort to do things a little differently. I really wish that would happen.

  • Antidote

    There has never been a large, politically and economically significant Black middle class. Sure, a few owned grocery stores, funeral parlours, and prayer chapels, but these were the exceptions. There is not today and there never was in the past a black rising middle class.

    A real middle class has a foundation of granite because it is based upon generations of work, saving, family cohesion, and education. Even if a deluge sweeps away the house, the foundation will remain.

    But the Black boojwahzee was entirely artifical. All the money and goodies came from gubmint checks, set asides and quotas. It was middle class affluence which was not earned by education or achievement—but handed on a silver platter through “racial justice.”

    The children of the middle class have a very good chance of entering the middle class themselves; the children of the black middle class can only enter the middle class with as much “racial justice” as their parents received.

    The black boojwahzee is a social construct.

  • jdavis

    unless you have prepared to take advantage of opportunity when it arrives, then the opportunity will make you look foolish.

    Tell me again how millions of blacks have prepared for any opportunity? apart from whining and learning nothing, they’ve done nothing. They look foolish and deservedly so. Even with the legs of the ladder of opportunity sawed off (achievement is lowered), they can’t reach up and grasp it.

  • kgb

    four out of five blacks believed that racial equality would not be achieved in the foreseeable future.

    You have to read between the lines. When you see an angry African in Detroit or elsewhere demanding their “equality,” what they really want are white slaves that they can whip with impunity. The slave doesn’t want freedom. The slave wants revenge…except that the Africans in America today were NEVER SLAVES to anything except their own destructive impulses.

    We’ve paid enough.

  • Great White Observer

    Strider #14 is so right, it was also my wish. Just what causes adult men to sit around, cheer, and get so emotionally involved with people who wouldn’t give you the time of day? I wish somebody would pay money to watch me work. The absolute worst have to be the White columnist’s and host’s of radio and TV talk show’s. It is sickening to read or hear these so called men salivate and slober over a bunch of thug’s, mostly of the NFL and NBA variety. The NY Post which is supposed to be right wing has probably the largest collection of sniffers of Black Jock Straps on the planet.

  • idareya

    “Once again, half of all blacks believe that racial equality either will not be achieved in their lifetimes or not at all within the U.S.”

    Fifty percent of a group that is given special privileges, based on race, over another group feels they have not achieved “racial equality”.