OBG: b&b 138 Dedrick Asante-Muhammad on how to take action against the racial wealth divide
This week’s Oldie-but-Goodie. Happy Black History Month!
If average Black family wealth continues to grow at the same pace it has over the past three decades, it would take Black families 228 years to amass the same amount of wealth White families have today. For the average Latino family, it would take 84 years to amass the same amount of wealth White families have today—that’s the year 2097.
We sat down with Dedrick Asante-Muhammad the Director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development) to discuss the facts surrounding the ever growing wealth gap. What are some effective ways we can get involved?
Featuring music by:
- Devine Carama (Martin Luther King’d Me)
- Sense (Martin Luther King Boulevard)
- Top Billion (Martin Luther King)
Dyalekt: The prepaid cards take a fee out every time you make a purchase. Pam: Every time you swipe. And, if you take cash out they take a really big fee. So, if you’re getting paid through a prepaid card, than you shouldn’t take cash out of it.
Dyalekt: And, if you’re getting charged every time you make a purchase, you wanna limit your purchases to simple, big purchases. That’s not really having control over your money.
Dyalekt: As usual, time is not money, but if you do not have the money, you’re going to have to spend time.
Dedrick: Wealth is the foundation of economic inequality, and economic inequality is the foundation of racial inequality in this country.
Dedrick: We celebrate Civil Rights History when we celebrate the victories, when we don’t celebrate the defeats. And the defeats was the economic empowerment that King was talking about. The Poor People’s Campaign. The Freedom Budget of 1967. All of that aspect was not enacted.
Dedrick: It’s amazing too, the way we’ve looked back in history about the Civil Rights movement like it was victorious, without people who lived through it, like my mother, my father, they thought they lost. I mean, King was killed. The Black Panther party was put down…A lot of these organizations were pushed down and repressed. They didn’t feel like they came into victory. We then re-write it later as victory.
Dedrick: The American Middle Class, which is the American White Middle Class, was created in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and massive investments was created for that. We haven’t had that type of investment in Black population, in the growing Latino population, even the growing Asian American population…We have to re-create an American Middle Class economy. If we don’t do that because of racial resentment, then we’ll just have an economy more and more so of growing economic inequality where the middle class is being wiped out slowly but surely.
Pam: The American Dream was government subsidized. It wasn’t a bunch of people suddenly pulling themselves up from their bootstraps and saying, “We’re gonna do this now, individualism is the way to go!” It’s the government saying, “Oh, no. We literally have to create a middle class.”
Dedrick: Wealth is long term, just like economic insecurity. It’s long term. It’s not next week. It’s not next month. You have goals next week, next month. But it’s building up over years, decades, what have you.
Pam: It’s the difference between being poor and being broke. Broke is temporary. Poor is a generational thing.