Why so much anger in Ferguson? 10 facts about the massive economic gap between white America and black America

U.S. Map Money - Public DomainWhen people feel like they don’t have anything else to lose, they are likely to do just about anything.  Many in the mainstream media seem absolutely mystified as to why there is so much anger in Ferguson, but as I pointed out yesterday, all of this anger did not erupt out of a vacuum.  Economic conditions in Ferguson, and for African-Americans as a whole, have been deteriorating for years.  Sadly, many white Americans are totally oblivious to any of this.  Many of them have absolutely no idea that the unemployment rate for black Americans is more than twice as high as it is for white Americans or that the average white household has 22 times as much wealth as the average black household.  But these are things that black communities are acutely aware of.  Many African-Americans that live in poor neighborhoods deeply resent the fact that most of the people that live in the “good neighborhoods” are white while most of the people that live in “bad neighborhoods” are people of color.  In fact, in America today a black child is nearly four times as likely to live in an impoverished neighborhood as a white child is.  And when you throw endless police brutality and growing racial division in America into the mix, it is easy to understand why so many black Americans are so angry and frustrated these days.

Things didn’t have to turn out this way.  If we had all learned how to love one another and not judge one another by skin color, we could have had the kind of society that Martin Luther King once dreamed about

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!”

But instead we have allowed ourselves to become increasingly divided.  And I am sure that fact will once again be reflected in the comments following this article.  There is so much anger and hatred in America today, and people seem to love to express their anger and hatred on the Internet.

For white Americans (myself included), I think that it would be good for us to put ourselves in the shoes of the people of Ferguson for a few moments.  For years, the economy of Ferguson has been declining.  The following is how Brookings summarized the current economic situation

The city’s unemployment rate rose from less than 5 percent in 2000 to over 13 percent in 2010-12. For those residents who were employed, inflation-adjusted average earnings fell by one-third. The number of households using federal Housing Choice Vouchers climbed from roughly 300 in 2000 to more than 800 by the end of the decade.

Amid these changes, poverty skyrocketed. Between 2000 and 2010-2012, Ferguson’s poor population doubled. By the end of that period, roughly one in four residents lived below the federal poverty line ($23,492 for a family of four in 2012), and 44 percent fell below twice that level.

And as the New York Times recently detailed, racial tensions have been rising in the city for a very long time

As African-Americans moved into the city and whites moved out, real estate agents and city leaders, in a pattern familiar elsewhere in the country, conspired to keep blacks out of the suburbs through the use of zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants. But by the 1970s, some of those barriers had started to fall, and whites moved even farther away from the city. These days, Ferguson is like many of the suburbs around St. Louis, inner-ring towns that accommodated white flight decades ago but that are now largely black. And yet they retain a white power structure.

Although about two-thirds of Ferguson residents are black, its mayor and five of its six City Council members are white. Only three of the town’s 53 police officers are black.

So it is understandable why a lot of Ferguson residents are so angry and so frustrated.

However, there is absolutely no excuse for the looting and the property destruction that have taken place.

Alternatively, there is absolutely no excuse for how brutally the (mostly white) police have handled peaceful protesters and the media.  The police have been using smoke bombs, tear gas, flash bang grenades, rubber bullets and LRAD sound cannons against protesters that are not even armed.  Meanwhile, the police have been doing next to nothing to stop criminals from looting stores and businesses all over Ferguson.  It has pretty much been a textbook case of what not to do during a period of civil unrest.

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and things will calm down in Ferguson soon.

But that doesn’t mean that the underlying problems will have been fixed.  The truth is that I believe that this is just a preview of what is coming to America in the years ahead.  And much of the anger and frustration that is bubbling just under the surface in our communities has an economic element to it.  The following are 10 startling facts about the massive economic gap between white America and black America that we see in our country today…

#1 For decades, the unemployment rate for black Americans has consistently been more than twice as high as the unemployment rate for white Americans.  In July 2014, the official unemployment rate for white Americans was 5.3 percent.  Meanwhile, the official unemployment rate for black Americans was 11.4 percent.

#2 A report released earlier this year discovered that the “underemployment rate” for African-American workers was 20.5 percent.  But for white Americans it was only 11.8 percent.

#3 A study released back in 2012 found that the average white household has 22 times as much wealth as the average black household.

#4 African-American households make up only about 13 percent of the population, but they receive more than 26 percent of the food stamp benefits.

#5 One study discovered that 82 percent of white students graduate from high school but only 63.5 percent of black students do.

#6 Pew Research found that the income gap between white Americans and black Americans has continued to grow ever since the late 1960s

The difference in median household incomes between whites and blacks has grown from about $19,000 in 1967 to roughly $27,000 in 2011 (as measured in 2012 dollars).

#7 In the United States today, 12 percent of white children live in areas of concentrated poverty, but 45 percent of African-American children do.

#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.9 percent of white children live in single parent homes.  But for black children, the number is an astounding 52.1 percent.

#9 Since 1960, the percentage of white American adults that are married has declined from 74 percent to 55 percent.  But for African-Americans the decline has been even more dramatic.  Since 1960, the percentage of black American adults that are married has declined from 61 percent to 31 percent.

#10 In the United States, the incarceration rate for black men is more than six times higher than it is for white men.

So how do we solve these problems?  People have been debating this for years, but nothing ever seems to actually get accomplished.

Meanwhile, the middle class continues to collapse and things continue to get even tougher for African-American communities.  The following is an excerpt from a recent piece that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote for Time magazine entitled “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race“…

Dystopian books and movies like Snowpiercer, The Giver, Divergent, Hunger Games, and Elysium have been the rage for the past few years. Not just because they express teen frustration at authority figures. That would explain some of the popularity among younger audiences, but not among twentysomethings and even older adults. The real reason we flock to see Donald Sutherland’s porcelain portrayal in Hunger Games of a cold, ruthless president of the U.S. dedicated to preserving the rich while grinding his heel into the necks of the poor is that it rings true in a society in which the One Percent gets richer while our middle class is collapsing.

That’s not hyperbole; statistics prove this to be true. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center report, just half of U.S. households are middle-income, a drop of 11 percent since the 1970s; median middle-class income has dropped by 5 percent in the last ten years, total wealth is down 28 percent. Fewer people (just 23 percent) think they will have enough money to retire. Most damning of all: fewer Americans than ever believe in the American Dream mantra that hard work will get them ahead.

I wish that I could be more optimistic about the future of this country.

I wish that I could believe that we won’t see a tremendous amount of chaos in the streets of America in the years ahead.

Unfortunately, the truth is that what is happening in Ferguson right now is just the tip of the iceberg.  Once we hit the next major wave of our ongoing economic collapse, unemployment and economic despair in our major cities are going to grow rapidly.  This will fuel more anger, more frustration, more protests, more looting and more rioting.

It has been said that desperate people do desperate things.  And in the years ahead, ordinary Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.

I hope that you are getting ready for that.

18 thoughts on “Why so much anger in Ferguson? 10 facts about the massive economic gap between white America and black America”

  1. Snyder says ” If we had all learned how to love one another and not judge one another by skin color, we could have had…” Yet this is counterfactual. Many, many white people did exactly that, and for decades now we have had “Affirmative Action” and other racist pro-minority policies giving them artificial advantages in various areas, with the idea that it somehow compensates for past racism and will allow equity (ahem, “social equity”) going forward. And where it has taken us is the continuation of a large and perpetually poor black underclass, but more isolated and worse off than it has been in at least 50 years, back to a time of legal overt discrimination.

    In US history, there has been concerted, near universal discrimination against a number of perceived groups including Blacks, Irish, southern Europeans, Slavs, Chinese, other Asians, and others. With one glaring exception the various discriminated groups have ceased to be underclasses of criminals and de facto wards of the state. Irish and Chinese suffered particularly intense and long lasting discrimination, yet today they are in numerous positions of wealth, power and prestige, including academic achievement. They got there without the benefit (if it is one) of government assistance or lawful reversed discrimination (or very much of that, in the case of Asians). It does not appear that whatever ails the black community is being fixed by government policies.

    The Left is composed of people who believe in evolution and the heritability of traits, yet they absolutely decry the possibility that heritability of certain traits exists in the context of certain politically favored groups. And they make political decisions based on this hypocrisy, and act puzzled when the results of those decisions don’t turn out the way they had (supposedly) wished for.


  2. “Although about two thirds of Ferguson residents are black, its Mayor and five of six City Council members are white.”

    If they don`t like white representation, they could vote them out of office. They probably don`t trust black politicians they screw everything up worse than the white crooks.

  3. “Ferguson was a nice regular middle class suburb. What has changed? What is different?”
    ——— overthecliff

    Newark NJ was pretty nice in the 50’s as well.


    By the late 1960’s it wasn’t so nice. Yeah, you tell me what changed.

  4. As has been noted, the “10 reasons” listed above are a result of blacks shitting in their own mess kit.

    Why is black unemployment so damn high? Perhaps because nobody wants to hire a tatted-up ex-con with no education and can barely speak English.

    Why is there a wealth disparity? Because of the high unemployment rate.

    Why are over half of black chillins living in ‘single parent’ households? A few reasons – 1) increased welfare for each bastard child you have and 2) “gangsta” lifestyle lionizes those who have multiple bastard chillins and 3) modern feminist dogma preaches that “womyn” don’t need men…

    45% live in “concentrated poverty”… code for “ghettos”. Why do they live in ghettos? Because CITIES ARE WHERE THE FREE SHIT IS LOCATED!

    I could go on, but you get the picture… the whole article is just “Boo hoo… poor us! Pity da po ole nigga!”

    Get the massive chip off your shoulder, unfuck yourselves and things will get better…

  5. Stucky,

    How DARE you speak the truth! DAT BEEZ RAAAYCISS!!

    I noticed something about the above article… most of those reason why negroes are so bad off, are a result of their own actions.

    Their own actions are a result of having no shame whatsoever.

    Until that gets fixed – and the fix has to be internal, coming from negroes themselves – this whole cluster fuck will get worse…

    I was thinking of “no shame” for their abominable behavior… and someone posted here in TBP some footage of some black female shaking her whale-sized ass in a garbage can full of water… when it fell over, some skinny nigger jumped on her and started humping her IN THE STREET.

    THAT’S what “no shame” means… until the negroes fix THAT shit, this will continue…

  6. While most of this article is horseshit, here is the main reason.

    “#5 One study discovered that 82 percent of white students graduate from high school but only 63.5 percent of black students do.”

    How many highly educated successful blacks go back and live in their run down ghetto neighborhoods? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  7. I usually like to read Mike Snyder but this is nothing but more excuses , more enabling or trying to get white people to spend more money on programs for the so called poor.I am 53 years .This shit is as old as I am .I sick and tired of trying to help people who will not help themselves.

  8. For the record, Ferguson was never terribly nice.. especially if you were from some other town, just driving through.

    Back when that place was mostly white, it was one of the easiest places in the St Louis area to get pulled over, and if you even asked why, you’d end up in cuffs.. and you didn’t have to be black to roughed up by the dimwitted gestapo police there. I drove miles west to avoid that place when visiting friends up in Blackjack or Bellefontaine Neighbors. Ferguson was one of a whole list of rubbishy north county burbs with extremely revenue-hungry and ticket happy police that you wanted to avoid.

    What beats me is why white people even stick around because it has been full of ghetto blacks for decades now. I guess these twit police and city councilmen couldn’t come near comparable jobs anywhere else.

  9. Oh Mr. Snyder, me thinks you may be confusing causation/correlation.

    1. Here are the latest stats for federal workers – whom we all KNOW are paid MORE than private sector similarly skilled:

    In 2010 there were 2.8 MILLION federal workers (that doesn’t include the contract workers, which my guess is 3 to 1 “real” employees).

    56 percent were men
    44 percent were women

    Which means the federales have NO problem discriminating against women, but let’s cry race.

    65.4 percent were white
    17.9 percent were black or African-American
    8.9 percent were Hispanic or Latino
    5.9 percent were Asian
    1.6 percent were American Indian or Alaska natives
    .08 percent identified as two or more races,
    0.04 percent were Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

    Now according the the Census Bureau our population consists of:

    72 percent identify as Caucasian
    13 percent black
    16 percent were Hispanic or Latino
    5 percent Asian
    .09 percent American Indian or Alaska natives
    .02 percent Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

    So, tell me again how discriminated against they are? Looks to me like whites, and Hispanics, suffer more discrimination than they do. Especially on the few remaining jobs that will pay you for LIFE on the backs of taxpayers and Ponzi.

    As for the jobs/opportunities, well now Mr. Snyder, when they steal from store owners until they are blind and bankrupted, sue and screw over any other business owner, then REFUSE to open their own businesses utilizing successful business practices, AND burn/loot/pillage/kill what few (stupid) business men stay there, just what in the FUCK do they think is going to happen?

    Do you, Mr. Snyder, really think that some white (or Asian, smarter black, Hispanic) is going to go into debt or risk their life savings to allow these animals another opportunity to steal and destroy the only opportunities they have? Tell you what, you start, if you are not dead, come tell me again how much these people appreciate your sacrifices.

    Meanwhile, most black communities I have been in have MORE churches per capita than the bible belt. Shouldn’t their neighborhoods be nicer, safer, cleaner? After all, nearly ALL their grandma’s and mamma’s are in church every Sunday.


    I am sick to death of all this “we be keeping them down.”


    I started life in a working poor family where I was taught to respect others property, taught how to make a boss happy, and generally taught that if I wanted something, I should set forth to earn it/learn it, then to take care of it once I have it.

    Apparently, the color of my skin gave me these “special privileges” that the black community KNEW and followed, pretty much right up until the time Johnson decided to gift them cash to do less with their lives.

    As for the “racial makeup” of the city council, that is ONE FUCKING HUNDRED PERCENT their OWN doing. Just what would you like us evil, privileged, whities to do about that?

    The reason more of our neighborhoods are “nice” is because we take care of our fucking shit!

    I usually like Snyder, today he can kiss my sick-to-death of being told how great I have it ass.

    The ENTIRE non-government middle class is being eradicated, and he wants me to feel sorry for people that have CHOSEN this?

    Shut the fuck up Snyder. I hold no hatred towards any race.

    I do, however, hate the living shit out of white, rich, liberal-minded, morons, that continue to bang the drum about the status of race in this country, and tell me how “good” I have it and that I need to “do more.”

    F* him, and the freaking horse he rides in on.

  10. Considering I am white, grew up in a poor working mans household, lived on the street for 8 months at the age 21, have worked like a slave in the hot summer sun for the next 30 years, took the time to read, and educate myself, never availed myself to free Gov stuff, deciding being a burden upon society at large to be a crime in itself and finding myself with at the very least a life of peace and quiet, just the way I like it, I cant say I sympathize with there plight, get off your asses and better yourselves, it’s so easy even a stupid poor white boy can do it,

  11. it is a choice, you choose to work and they choose to party with the bros and get laid easy because of the relaxed attitude towards sex. you work they play and the universe is in balance. sorry, i don’t make the rules, i just observe.

  12. I guess I’m on the Crazy Train with TE. Everything she said is unfortunately true.

    As for churches… the ghetto folk sure do gots dere religion. I have never believed for a minute that most religion is a force for the good, and the prevalence of messianic religions among the poor, ignorant, and violent bears me out, for I have never seen a ghetto neighborhood without a storefront church on nearly every block, and you can see all the women-folk in their white dresses and pink church suits filing out of the places every Sunday and after revivals on the weeknights, while their men and boys are in prison, or on the street corners gang-banging.

  13. Nope, not crazy Mr. Chen.

    Sick to fucking death.

    There is NOwhere to get away from the insanity we call a country. Nowhere.

    On most days I can keep my growing fear and discontent in check.

    This past week, I can’t. So bite me.

    And Chicago, you betcha. When I visited Jamaica, it became apparent that there was a church on nearly every major corner, with a (illegal, btw) bar right next door. We had a family from Europe (I believe Sweden, could be wrong, they didn’t stay in the same resort so I never had the chance to ask them), that asked about this.

    The guide pointed out that other than the “positions of power” (her words) within the churches, the pews were mainly filled with the women, while their hubs went next door to drink.

    Reminded me of home, well, not “home” really, but De’toilet for sure.


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