, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
What people fail to realize is that for most of the history of this country black people were set completely *outside* of the class structure. As non-people, as property, as a tradable commodity, they were classless. Their race meant they had NO class.
And so class developed not just an economic status, but as a racialized one. Whiteness — regardless of income became a class marker in and of itself — and remains so. Blackness became a permanent marker of inferiority in and of itself, regardless of class.
So, please don’t mistake my race analysis for not understand the role of class and how it is linked to race. But understand in this analysis, one must look at WHY black people are SO disproportionately poor and there is just one answer: They are the descendants of the enslaved.
This is why money alone — universal programs that lift black people out of poverty, even though they are crucial and I support them — cannot and will not bring about equality. They still do not deal with the extraction of wealth.
They still do not deal with the fact that rampant housing discrimination means black people can have more money but still not move into higher-resources neighborhoods. Or that black people can go to college but still suffer higher unemployment than white high school grads.
Or the lack of wealth that means black people have the income to buy a home but not the down payment. The lack of wealth that means even middle-class black people are one financial setback away from poverty. Or that forces their children to get loans for college, on and on.
Let me add this final point for emphasis: I am part of THE first generation of black people in the history of this country for whom it was not LEGAL to discriminate against us in housing, employment, public accommodations and education. I am 42. There’s no white equivalent.
That we know this but then say race-specific remedies are not practical and are unfair says everything we need to know about the seriousness about addressing racial inequality.
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