By Kevin Palmer
In January 2016, the Huffington Post newspaper published an article titled, America’s Financial Racial Divide: The Racial Breakdown of U.S. Wealth in Black and White, by Antonio Moore, Esq. According to the article, “There are about 120 million households in the United States. In terms of race there are 83 million white households and 14 million Black households. Also, out of the 83 million white households, 23 million had more than $356,000 dollars in net assets, while only 700,000 black households had more than $356,000 in net assets.”
Moreover, the article goes on to say, “The median white family has a net worth of $116,000 which indicates 41 million white households across the nation. In comparison, nearly 40 percent or 5.6 million African American homes in the U.S. have zero or negative net worth.” That means 5.6 million Black households in America are treading water financially and should not be donating to any charity or any nonprofit organization’s fundraising campaign. Indeed, Black people with a zero net worth must understand they are their own charity.
Ultimately, what this means is that wealthy Americans, especially whites, are not stepping up to pay their fair share of taxes or charitable contributions. Russian writer Leo Tolstoy described the attitude of the rich toward the poor. He wrote, “I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means, except by getting off his back.” It is this type of attitude by the rich which prevents the racial wealth gap to close.