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What White People DonT Know By Joshua Heath

Decent Essays
What White People Don’t Know By Joshua Heath

I’m white, Irish Catholic to be precise. I’ve spent my life around white people, been raised in white schools, and lived in Valencia, a rather white town. And through my experience with this particular class of folks, I’ve realized something fundamental: many of us don’t know what we're talking about in regard to race.

When confronted with the problems facing African Americans, we frequently respond with crude answers that sound something like this: “The Civil Rights Movement succeeded 50 years ago. Blacks are treated pretty much equally. If they don’t succeed, it's their own fault, and that's that!”

While this is a comforting idea on the surface—for if true, I can just sit on my butt and
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Achieving that worthy goal required a raft of new laws from congress, which was then controlled by Southern Democrats, who would only collaborate on legislation if it discriminated against African Americans.

As a result, most blacks were written out of the Social Security Act as well as the new minimum wage and labor protections that were passed. The G.I Bill—which promised returning WWII soldiers massive economic opportunities—was administered at the local level, which gave the South the authority to ensure black veterans received few of its benefits.

And the housing programs that facilitated the massive suburban growth of the 1950s—through a discriminatory system of redlining and restrictive covenants—kept African American homeownership rates to a minimum.

Cumulatively, these policies and others created the racial wealth gap, which ensures that black children today, born in a post-Barack Obama America, will have a much more difficult time succeeding than their white peers. The ghosts of the old South hauntingly live on.

But even if African Americans try to overcome this injustice, they still will face incredible difficulties.

According to Princeton University, blacks with a clean background fare as well in the job market as whites with a criminal record. The reason for this reality is
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