According to the above May, 2015 Washington Post article, White people have seven times as much wealth as Black people. That includes things like houses, stocks, and money in the bank.
At the same time — if we take in the number of people with zero or minimal wealth, account for the People of Color who are in this category, and add the number of Whites needed to bring it up to 60% — then the figure of 100 million White people without assets in the United State is a conservative estimate.
So we have to take both of these truths into account as we plan for justice. How do we end the race/wealth divide? How do we bring together people of all races who are suffering economically to fight the wealth divide? Because that kind of coalition would be unstoppable.
Which is why White people at the top want to perpetuate the idea of “reverse racism” so poor White people blame people of color for their woes and not them.
Poor white people do not experience the same kind of discrimination in housing , employment, and the judicial system and policing. And when it comes to receiving safety net assistance — African-Americans, — 22 percent of those who are under the poverty line ( different figure from wealth) , received 14 percent of government benefits, while Whites — 42 percent of the poor — receive 69 percent of government benefits.
So poor and indebted White people — 100 million of them — have reason to be angry about their own economic state of being, but their liberation is dependent on finding solidarity with African Americans and Latinos facing greater impediments to justice. Misplaced anger is part of what is killing low income whites in increasing numbers.
Sounds complicated, but if we all follow this easy rule — focus our protest on those with the most power over us — we can protect ourselves from being divided and conquered.
Anne Winkler-Morey Ph.D. Writer, educator, activist.