Report Finds King’s “Dream” Looks Bleak Unless New Alliances Converge

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January, 2012; Source: | Should current population-based economic trends continue into the future as the country becomes “majority minority” by 2042, the history and persistence of wealth disparities between people of color and whites in the United States suggests that the country would become even more severely divided.

As the report notes, in 2042, if the current trend since 1980 persists, “the median Black family will still only earn about 61 cents for every dollar of income earned by the median White family. Latino income will decline relative to White income. Latinos will earn 45 cents for every dollar of White median family income. Meanwhile, the Black poverty rate will still be close to double that of Whites, and the Latino poverty rate will be more than two and a half times that of Whites. The potential for racial and ethnic strife will increase as larger and larger numbers of people of color will be in poverty.”

The report goes on, however, to suggest that now is the time to mobilize the political will for economic justice. Calling the concentration of wealth and power in the United States perverse, the report suggests that those building on the renewed national consciousness generated by Occupy Wall Street should do so with a commitment to ending inequalities based on race and nationality, forming alliances that “converge upon social and economic status and value rather than on race or ethnicity.”—Ruth McCambridge