Best of 2011: The Failure of Racial Profiling and Other Race-Centered Stories

Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics


The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.

The Pew Research analysis finds that, in percentage terms, the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households, compared with just 16% among white households.

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A recent protest against stop-and-frisk policies inspired to re-post this data on the disproportionate rates with which Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics are stopped by police… and the total failure of this form of racial profiling.  New data is included at the end.

Jay Livingston at Montclair SocioBlog discussed the two figures below (full report here).  The first shows that Black and Hispanic drivers are more likely to be stopped by Los Angeles Police than White drivers.  The second shows that, when stopped, if searched, police are more likely to find weapons and drugs on Whites than on either Blacks or Hispanics.  Conclusion: Blacks and Hispanics are being racially profiled by the L.A.P.D. andracial profiling does not work.  Data from New York City in 2008 tells a similar story.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


For Black Conservatism, the Right Time and the Wrong Candidate

Herman Cain’s improbable rise to the top of Republican presidential primary polls — and the prospect that two black men, including an incumbent, could compete head-on for the White House next year — should be proof that American politics has moved beyond race. Instead, Cain’s candidacy has been marred by empty self-promotion, embarrassing miscues and renewed allegations that may have set back the cause of black conservatism.

The Cain presidential experiment coincides with a period of new gains for black conservatives. “Americans find it hard to believe we’re a diverse group,” says Florida Representative Allen West, one of two black Republicans elected to Congress in the Tea Party wave of 2010. “But when you really understand the black community, it’s quite conservative.” West’s parents may have been Democrats, “but the things they raised me on — faith, education, individual responsibility — are true conservative principles. There are more African Americans out there starting to lean that way. It has nothing to do with party.”

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


Study finds self-esteem levels vary by age, race

By by Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Although Hispanics tend to have lower self-esteem than blacks or whites in the teen years, by age 30 their self-esteem has increased to the point that they have higher self-esteem than whites, a new study suggests.

And in both adolescence and young adulthood, blacks have higher self-esteem than whites. By age 30, whites trailed both Hispanics and blacks in terms of self-esteem, according to the report published online July 4 in theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


Childhood Poverty Among Hispanics Sets Record, Leads Nation

The spread of poverty across the United States that began at the onset of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and accelerated last year hit one fast-growing demographic group especially hard: Latino children.

More Latino children are living in poverty—6.1 million in 2010—than children of any other racial or ethnic group. This marks the first time in U.S. history that the single largest group of poor children is not white. In 2010, 37.3% of poor children were Latino, 30.5% were white and 26.6% were black.

This negative milestone for Hispanics is a product of their growing numbers, high birth rates and declining economic fortunes. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics today make up a record 16.3% of the total U.S. population. But they comprise an even larger share—23.1%—of the nation’s children, a disparity driven mainly by high birth rates among Hispanic immigrants.

Of the 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty, more than two-thirds (4.1 million) are the children of immigrant parents. The other 2 million are the children of parents born in the U.S. Among the 4.1 million impoverished Latino children of immigrants, the vast majority (86.2%) were born in the U.S.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


Hispanic Media: How Hispanics Are Faring In the Media

By Emily Guskin and Amy Mitchell of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The ethnic media play an important role by providing news in both foreign languages and in English about places and issues that are often absent from the mainstream media.  To provide greater depth, this year’s Annual Report on the State of the News Media offers reports on different groups at different times.  To read our earlier report on African American media, click here.

Spanish-language media remain important to a changing, more acculturated, and more U.S.-born Hispanic population in the United States. And in the last year, Spanish-language media tended to fare better overall than their mainstream English-language counterparts.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the nation’s Latino population grew to more than 50 million, more than double its size in 1990, and up 46.3% since 2000.1  It is also the nation’s youngest ethnic group. The median age of Latinos is 27, while for non-Hispanic whites it is 42 and for non-Hispanic blacks it is 32. Among Latinos, a majority are bilingual. However, as births have become more important for Hispanic population growth than the arrival of new immigrants, the nation’s Latino population is also becoming more U.S.-born. All of these factors could pose a threat to Spanish-language media operations. So far though, the contrary has occurred.2

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


Racial/Ethnic Gap in U.S. Homeownership

Sangyoub Park, an Assistant Professor at Washburn University, sent in a link to a story by NPR about the racial gap in homeownership rates, a gap that has worsened during the recession. For instance, while over 70% of White households owned their home in 2010, less than half of African American households did:

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


24% Growth from 2009 to 2010

Hispanic College Enrollment Spikes, Narrowing Gaps with Other Groups

by Richard Fry, Senior Research Associate, Pew Hispanic Center

Driven by a single-year surge of 24% in Hispanic enrollment, the number of 18- to 24-year-olds attending college in the United States hit an all-time high of 12.2 million in October 2010, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of newly available Census Bureau data. From 2009 to 2010, the number of Hispanic young adults enrolled in college grew by 349,000, compared with an increase of 88,000 young blacks and 43,000 young Asian Americans and a decrease of 320,000 young non-Hispanic whites.

As a result of these shifts, young Hispanics for the first time outnumbered young blacks on campus, even though young black college enrollment has also grown steadily for decades and it, too, has surged in recent years. In 2010, 38% of all 18- to 24-year-old blacks were enrolled in college, up from 13% in 1967 and 32% in 2008.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


Segregation at the Beauty Counter: A Case Against Black Beauty Companies

by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

Almost 100 years ago, Madam CJ Walker became America’s first self-made female millionaire of any race by creating hair products specifically for black people. This brilliant entrepreneur took advantage of the beauty industry’s decision to ignore black consumers by instead serving them well. An economic visionary, Walker also created a beauty school that fed a job market for the black women selling her products. Madam CJ Walker’s acumen in the field of beauty was an overall boon to African-Americans.

In the ‘50s Abram Minis, founder of Carson, Inc., made a grip formulating ubiquitous household products like Dark & Lovely. Black entrepreneurs Edward and Bettiann Gardner founded SoftSheen in the ‘60s, the firm responsible for the infamously greasy Care Free Curl. The early ‘70s saw the birth of Fashion Fair cosmetics, launched by the owners of Johnson Publishing to help black women find make-up that matched their skin. Black businesses have been central to the development of products African-American women need to look good.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE



Kelsey C. sent in a some great data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that helps illustrate why variance matters as much as a measure of the average.  The figure shows the median income by race and education level, as well as the typical earnings of each group’s members in the third quartile (or the 75th percentile) and first quartile (or the 25th percentile).  What you see is that the median earnings across these groups is different, but also that the amount of inequality within each group isn’t consistent.  That is, some groups have a wider range of income than others:

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE



Cross-posted at Scientopia.

Dolores R. and Andrew S. let us know about the report “The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings,” by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, based on 2007-2009 American Community Survey data (viaFeministing and Kay Steiger). Not surprisingly, higher education significantly increases lifetime earnings of U.S. workers:

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


Putting an Antebellum Myth to Rest

Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch

WAS slavery an idyllic world of stable families headed by married parents? The recent controversy over “The Marriage Vow,” a document endorsed by the Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, might seem like just another example of how racial politics and historical ignorance are perennial features of the election cycle.

The vow, which included the assertion that “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President,” was amended after the outrage it stirred.

However, this was not a harmless gaffe; it represents a resurfacing of a pro-slavery view of “family values” that was prevalent in the decades before the Civil War. The resurrection of this idea has particular resonance now, because it was 150 years ago, soon after the war began, that the government started to respect the dignity of slave families. Slaves did not live in independent “households”; they lived under the auspices of masters who controlled the terms of their most intimate relationships.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE



The College Board has released data from an initiative with the aim of better understanding the educational pathways of men of color.  Their site includes testimonials from many of these men, in addition to the data below.  And they included Native American men, a group almost always left out of quantitative data analysis because they are such a small percent of total Americans (in a profound and tragic irony).  Here’s the data on what each group of men are doing after high school.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE



Rising Immigration and Intermarriage

Today we see both increased immigration and rising rates of intermarriage. In 1960, less than 1% of U.S. marriages were interracial, but by 2008, this figure rose to 7.6%, meaning that 1 out of every 13 U.S. marriages was interracial. If we look at only new marriages that took place in 2008, the figure rises to 14.6%, translating to 1 out of every 7 American marriages.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


Minorities: The Biggest Casualties of Social Security Battle

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

President Obama is well aware of the devastating impact that any cuts in Social Security, either through direct benefit slashes or a formula change that virtually eliminates or dampens the already abysmally low cost of living increases, would have. In a ringing statement in 2008, then-Democratic presidential candidate Obama flatly said that more than two-thirds of Social Security recipients rely on Social Security for more than half of their monthly income.

But Obama also gave a guarded hint that Social Security might not be the sacred cow that prior Democratic and even Republican presidents have regarded it as. He repeatedly said that his concern was with the long term “solvency” of Social Security. He did not spell out exactly what “solvency” meant or what steps he would take to ensure that solvency. It was apparent that Obama — even then — believed that Social Security was in some danger and that some steps had to be taken to shore it up.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


In CA and Other States, Black Migration Alters the Political Landscape

by Nadra Kareem Nittle

LOS ANGELES—African-Americans once were clustered so heavily in urban areas that the terms “black” and “inner city” came to be used almost synonymously. According to the 2010 U.S. Census results, that time is history.

While blacks have by no means vanished from cities, unprecedented numbers have headed for the suburbs or left the big cities of the North and headed south. As legislative districts are redrawn, nonpartisan groups and both political parties are watching how this unexpected migration will affect local and state elections.

Moreover, redistricting experts say the black exodus from cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia contributed to placing Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania among the 10 states that will lose congressional seats because of reapportionment after the census. With Republican governors in 29 states, the GOP has greater influence over redistricting than Democrats.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


‘The End Of Anger’ In The Black Middle Class

In 1994, Ellis Cose surveyed successful, middle-class African-Americans and uncovered an often unspoken rage. He described his findings in the book The Rage Of A Privileged Class.

Now, 17 years later, Cose has discovered a major change among middle-class blacks: They have become one of the most optimistic groups in America. He reveals his findings in a new book, The End Of Anger.

Cose tells NPR’s Neal Conan that the rise in optimism is not linked to perceived end of discrimination.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE


U.S. Hispanics by Country of Origin

Counts for Nation, Top 30 Metropolitan Areas

Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, and Daniel Dockterman, Research Assistant

Hispanics of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban origin or descent remain the nation’s three largest Hispanic country-of-origin groups, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. However, while the relative position of these three groups has remained unchanged since 2000, the next four Hispanic sub-groups grew faster during the decade.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE

Racial Resentment at Its Root

David O. Sears is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Why do so many Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States, despite all factual evidence? In our 2010 book, “Obama’s Race: The 2008 Election and the Dream of a Post-Racial America,” Michael Tesler and I analyzed the role of racial attitudes in Americans’ voting decisions in 2008, based on two major national surveys with thousands of respondents (the results were almost identical across surveys).

Party identification was, as always, the strongest predictor of candidate choice. But race was central to the vote, too. The most powerful form of racial animus in politics today is often called “racial resentment,” as reflected in anger about blacks’ demands, criticism of blacks’ work ethics, and believing that racial discrimination has largely disappeared. Such racial resentments had stronger effects on candidate choice than in any other recent presidential election. Moreover, everything associated with Obama became racialized.

Racial resentment more strongly affected evaluations of his opponents, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, than it had before the campaign or since. And it more strongly affected evaluations of Obama’s issue positions on taxes and health care than it had before. The campaign in 2008 was the most racialized in recent history, despite little explicit reference to it during the campaign.

For the rest of the story CLICK HERE

The Life of an Average Muslim In America

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