T Nation

Racial Inequality: What Should Be Done?

So I am looking to discuss your (and my) ideas on racial inequality. Today I read what I thought was an interesting article on 538 about differences in white democrats and black democrats thoughts on what should be done.

It should be noted that the reason democrats only were discussed, is that between white and black democrats, comparison can be made to see common ground or differences between the two. The article mentions that based on polling there is almost no common ground on these issues between white republicans and black democrats (and most blacks identify as democrat).

The article looks at income inequality, education, housing and work place politics (and confederate statues, which I left out of my discussion).

For income inequality, the article looks at differences in white and black democrats opinions on reparations. Not surprising that black people support this idea more.

I can’t come up with good reasons to support reparations for slavery, as I think people paid reparations need to be those directly impacted, and they need to be paid by those doing the harm. That isn’t possible now.

I am convinced that the people who suffered under Jim Crow laws and are still alive should get paid. However, tracking down the people responsible for those laws and holding them responsible seems impossible.

I can’t support general tax dollars being used for reparations, because why should a non involved person foot the bill? It is a punishment on an innocent person.

The next topic was education. Differing views exist on that between white and black on a few of the questions. Of interest to me was black democrats thoughts on race being considered for college admissions, which was much lower than expected and pretty in line with white democrats.

Busing students to different districts was supported more by the black people polled. On this, the question involved forcing students to bus outside of the district for both white and black kids. I don’t think I support that. Seems like it should be a choice, and I would be okay with that.

Housing was discussed next. These opinions matched up pretty well. I was a bit disappointed that the article did not get into white people moving more to black areas (or programs to incentivize that). I have seen many areas in my state get improved with amenities, lowered crime, better schools, just with gentrification. I think gentrification is more efficient at improving the rough areas compared to building low income housing in the burbs, which I think doesn’t do much to improve the rough areas, and ends up making the burbs rougher.

Next was the workplace. Black and white both polled the same on race being a consideration for hiring and promotion, which surprised me. I was thinking blacks being polled would be in larger favor of this. I can’t support an idea like race being considered for hiring or promotions, as it just seems to racist to me.

I guess my main position is that, I don’t support the idea of using racist policies to reverse past racial injustices. I support removing any remaining racist policies, and I support helping unfortunate people in general without regard to race (I feel that this will help reduce racial inequality too).

Anyways this was a long article, and these are just some of my thoughts. Looking to see what other ideas you have. Maybe other ideas not related to the article to reduce racial inequality.

IME gentrification works to make areas safer/better by pricing out the folks who used to live there.

IMO it starts with improving the homelife of kids. Doesn’t matter how good the schools and teachers are if the parents are bad examples, don’t emphasized succesful behaviors, and don’t care for their kids. BUT, I have no good ideas on how to make that happen.


The main problem I have is the assumption that disparity necessitates systematic discrimination. It doesn’t. The disparity you are talking about is multifactoral and racism in the system is at most a small part. None of the people that talk about “doing something” want to have the difficult conversation. Nobody wants to talk about father absence. Nobody wants to talk personal responsibility and individual choices. Nobody wants to talk about the fact that the disparity was smaller in the time of Jim Crowe and has gotten bigger the more more egalitarian the US has become. No one wants to talk about IQ and what can be done to help lower IQ people be successful in the modern world. Basically anything that is easily alterable and one of the driving factors in the disparity is already off the table. Without addressing the largest factors, there isn’t shit that’s going to happen to actually make it better. But those conversations would be too difficult for the slactivists out there.


Going by your summary, I would say the article misses the point. College admissions? That implies the person has done well enough to go to college, maybe not Ivy League, but some college. The issue is getting more black students up to an academic level that makes college a possibility. In one third of Baltimore high schools, not one student is at grade level in math. Easing up on college entrance requirements won’t mean anything to them.

Busing? Fix the community and magically, the schools will be fine. Exporting problems to the suburbs won’t help anyone.

Workplace promotions and hiring? The problem is being employable. If you have what it takes to be considered for a job, then you are far ahead of those who are not qualified and, in the case of the ghetto, who are not employable due to not being able to function in a professional setting. Making things easier for those who are successful doesn’t help those who are programmed to fail.

It has always confused me that the same people that constantly denounce corporate greed also denounce systematic race and gender discrimination in the workplace. Those are 2 demons chained and pulling against one another. A CEO/company that cares only about money wouldn’t discriminate for race or gender. If they could hire women to do the same job for 70 cents on the dollar, they’d hire nothing but women.

This is certainly a criticism I have heard. Are the priced out folks moving to the burbs? Where do they go?

I have seen lots of Minneapolis get in what is my opinion much nicer in the last decade (aside from recent events of course). I think much of it is from gentrification.

Agree here.

Agree again. I thought the idea with the school integration and busing was to have different influences. I think the idea being presented is that the schools are better, but the part people don’t mention is that they are around on average more successful people. Maybe I am off base here.

IMO, it is part of the disparity, which you mention. Quantifying how much of the disparity is from racism is pretty tough in my estimation.

They certainly will on this T-nation thread. Making this post, I was sure it would be reoccurring.

I agree that the largest disparities stem from not from racist policies, but more from cultural differences especially with what the average family looks like. However, if we have racist policies or systematic racism, we should remove those things. We shouldn’t just say, well these are bigger issues, and until they are fixed nothing is worth working on.

I didn’t say don’t fight racism. I abhor all racism. But there just isn’t much evidence of or specific actions to take for systematic racism. The US isn’t a white system built for white people. There are too many counter examples. Whites are 3rd on the list of successful groups. Asians who certainly face plenty of racism do better than whites who don’t. Jews, who have the highest per capita instances of hate crimes do even better than Asians. Meanwhile no one can explain how Blacks (relatively) did better in the 60s than they do now. The US isn’t perfect, but we’ve made huge strides in racism in that time despite the fact that it hasn’t improved the disparity AT ALL. While racism is intrinsically evil and should be fought regardless, I have a hard time believing that it is a significant factor in present racial disparities. Virtually all the disparity can be accounted for in the things I already mentioned.


If you had a magic wand with one wish, and the goal of eliminating these racial disparities, you’d do more good wishing for all black fathers to help raise their kids than totally and completely eliminating all racism from the heart of every person in the world.

1 Like

That won’t matter much if the dad’s don’t prioritize their kids and their development into succesful adults.

The cycle of poverty is vicious and STRONG. If we figure out a good way to break that cycle I bet it works just as well for black folks as white folks.

That said, if there are ways to reduce or eliminate instances of institutional racism, we need to do that.

Agree here. I mentioned in my opening post, that I think we should do what we can to lift people out of poverty. I think in finances, that momentum is a big factor. I make money off of capital gains and dividends, sometimes more in year than what a low income person makes in that same time.

Additionally, I get lower interest rates if I borrow, can buy in bulk, etc… I think helping all poor people makes more sense, than helping a certain race. It is also not racist doing it that way.

I’m all for that when people show specific evidence of it. But in terms of disparity in wealth, income, jail, est. you are stepping over 100 dollar bills to pick up pennies.

I also see this on the reservations. Jobs are scarce, but at the same time many who get them are skipping work on the week of employment. It just doesn’t make sense.

Maybe we need more job focused training in schools?

If folks want hurdles removed from their race lane, I’m not going to argue those small hurdles arent the reason they can’t set a WR. I’m going to remove those hurdles so the race is fair, and their training/ability is exposed for better or worse.

Life is a close race against the other folks around you. I’d be pretty damn pissed too if I had extra challenges someone unfairly put in front of me… even if they were small.

Shitty parenting, and the vicious cycle of poverty is to blame for that IMO.

Agree on that. It certainly seems like a pattern of everyone being poor, obese, and dying young. It is pretty sad to see. I think it is hard to get out of. Most people that are brought up in it, it is the only way of life they know. Leaving means saying good bye to pretty much everyone you know.

I think we should take a long, hard look at cities that have been run by Democrats for years. Cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, NYC, among others. They consistently make false promises to minorities, and as a result, conditions continue to deteriorate.

Is that a democrat problem or big city problem? Aren’t almost all big cites run by democrats? Even in red states, I think most big cities are blue.

As I’ve said that’s fine. I’ll even offer support. There just aren’t many concrete examples anyone is giving to fight against and that fight doesn’t really have anything to do with the disparities in question.

I think you are fine @DoubleDuce. I have heard from several people that it isn’t worth working on the “smaller” racial issues, until cultural issues are addressed. I think that is poor logic.

NYC had a 20yr run of GOP mayors ending in 2013… But that doesn’t fit the narrative.