The Hidden Cost Of Being African American Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Thomas M. Shapiro discusses and analyzes the differences in assets and wealth in four families in his book The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality. Vivian Arrora, a forty year old single mother with three kids, would best represent the purple player. She has come from a poor background, has been working hard to get herself off welfare, been attacked and raped several times, and she is concerned about crime and safety where her family lives. She dreams of the day she can own a house in a middle-class neighborhood. Next, the green player, Kathryn MacDonald a single mother of one, in her forties, and earning a salary close to the poverty line. She lives in a working-class and middle income community working part time in order to spend more time with her son. Luckily, Kathryn is free of debt as her family paid for her college bills, her brother sends her money each month to help with her son’s education, and most importantly Kathryn has inherited money from her family which helps her get by. Chris and Peter Ackerman would represent the red player. They are middle-class college graduates with three children and a comfortable living arrangement. The Ackermans believe they are secured economically and hold a strong belief that their children have bright futures. Both Peter and Chris work for organizations that promise to pay for college tuitions for any long standing employees. The Ackermans also live in a predominantly white community. The role of the blue player would be given to the Cummings family. The Cummings and their two kids live in a large, historic home while their kids attend private schooling and tutoring which is paid for by Elizabeth’s parents. Although their incomes don’t quite cover their expenses, Elizabeth has already inherited thousands of dollars from her family and claims to have more than a million more waiting for …show more content…
Would it change the viewpoint? Would it be a surprise? Probably not. America has come to see a legacy of handing down racial inequality from generation to generation with differences in jobs, skills, and education being the primary causes of inequality. Just as Vivian came from a poor background which set her up for a financially disadvantaged life, her children will most likely see the same future with their weaker education. The Ackermans on the other hand, chose a segregated, middle-class community, of which their children will grow up with more promising futures. Both the growing concentration of wealth and the growing racial wealth gap have become important public policy issues (Shapiro, 289) which opposes the arguments made by many Americans that racial inequality and discrimination has been “getting better”. Although, the arguments of those Americans may be explained by the fact that discrimination today simply isn’t as apparent as it was years ago, however, it is very much still existent. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva examines the current racial relationships and racial inequalities in the United States, with his ideas of the “new racism” and the “Latin-Americanization” of race. Silva labels the new racism as a “new, kinder, and gentler white supremacy”. New racism is the racial structure that has come to replace the Jim Crow laws of the 1960s and the 1970s. However, this new structure is just as effective as the Jim Crow laws and slavery in maintaining the strata of racial status. New Racism is defined by the covert nature of racial discourse and practices, the avoidance of racial terminology coupled with white claims of “reverse racism”, and the instillation of “safe minorities” in society. For many white Americans, the subject of racism makes them feel guilty or angry as if being personally attacked for

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