Because of this country’s racist past, the future for people of color, and the United States overall, doesn’t look too promising.
That was the conclusion of a United for a Fair Economy report. Consider that in 1980, the U.S. population was 80 percent white.
By 2010, the white portion had dropped to 65 percent. The Census Bureau now projects that by 2042, the United States will become a majority-minority nation, eight years sooner than once predicted.
The challenge is America’s history of discrimination has created an enduring legacy of economic oppression for people of color.
There simply won’t be broad enough a base of high-wage, taxpaying young people of color to maintain the U.S. as a superpower.
The continuing racial disparity will be too great to ignore, the report warns. “The country runs the risk of becoming disturbingly similar to apartheid-era South Africa, with a minority of relatively well-to-do whites barricaded in gated communities, using the full force of the law to protect their wealth to the exclusion of others.”
Racial disparities here are older than the republic. They’ve been maintained to advance whites over minorities in income, wealth, education, employment and health while holding a disproportionate share of people of color in poverty and incarceration, the report said. Here are a few findings from the “State of the Dream 2012: The Emerging Majority” report:
• Black and Latino median family income was 57 cents for every dollar of white median family income in 2010. The Great Recession and the continuing economic slump have hit minority families hardest. By 2042, blacks are to make 61 cents and Latinos 45 cents for every dollar whites make in median family income.
For the past 40 years, conservatives have consistently dismissed racism as a key cause of the disparities.
Look where it has gotten us.
Changing the bleak future must start with telling the truth.