News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 11, 2020: 13 point 4 % of Americans are African Americans, so …
When The New York Times runs a banner story Thursday that declares 20% of the most powerful individuals in America are NOT White that sounds like real progress …….
To begin with, The New York Times “colored” their story and study by including as the story states: “ Hispanic, Asian, Native American, multiracial or otherwise a person of color, which is fine, except it dilutes the reality of the facts on the ground.
But this is only a secondary issue.
The REAL problem here is in digging deeper into where in the American Power Structure – where we find and not find – these 20%.
Here is how The Times opens its story …
“A review by The New York Times of more than 900 officials and executives in prominent positions found that about 20 percent identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, multiracial or otherwise a person of color”
When you break it down here is where things look good …
“25 people command the largest police forces. 14 are Black or Hispanic.” It appears 9 of the 14 are African American.
29 prosecutors charge people with crimes on those jurisdictions. 12 are Asian, Black or Hispanic.” 7 are clearly African American.
And that is where the GOOD news ENDS in law enforcement, with a deep level of irony even there because all of the larger institutional structures they are part of are still very much White controlled.
Now let’s move on to the very BAD news in the NYT study and where REAL POWER resides in America. It is not in law enforcement!
“Of the people at the top of the 25 highest valued companies, 6 are Asian or Black.” More precisely, just ONE is African American.
“Of the people who head universities ranked in the top 25, 1 is Hispanic.” In other words NO African Americans at all!
“15 people direct major news organizations – 3 are Black or Hispanic.” In reality NONE are African-American.
“The 5 people who have the most influence over book publishing are ALL white.” No need to add anything further here.
“The people who are the editors of the 10 most widely read magazines are ALL white.” Again, nothing more need to be said or written by me.
“14 people oversee most of the music that is produced and played. 2 are Black or Hispanic.” One is African-American, when in fact African American artists are dominant in popular music – beginning with the likes of Beyonce, John Legend and Alicia Keys among many others. They ae the “workers.”
“25 people run the top TV networks and Hollywood studios. 3 are Black or Hispanic.” 2 are African-American.
“Of the people in charge of the 25 highest valued fashion companies, 3 are Asian or Hispanic.” In other words, NONE are African American.
GET YOURELF READY for this one to NO surprise …
“99 people own professional baseball, basketball and football teams. 6 are Asian, Black or Hispanic.” ONLY ONE is African American. Of course, that is Michael Jordan and no one else.
Also, they should have included the 31 NHL teams making the real number above 132 teams, except I guess for the absurdity of including hockey.
“100 people write laws in the U.S. Senate. 9 are Asian, Black or Hispanic.” Just 3 African Americans are in the U.S. Senate today. That number may drop to 2 on Election Day.
In all of American history since the first African American U.S. Senator Hiram Revels in 1870, only 10 African Americans have ever served in the U.S. Senate. And NEVER from prominent large states like New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida, all with sizable Black populations.
“50 people are state governors. 3 are Asian, Hispanic or Native American.” In other words, NONE are African American. In all of American history, only 3 African Americans have been elected state governors.
NOW let me do some very simple math for you, then offer some deeper conclusions to ponder.
Leaving aside law enforcement as I explained above of the other 268, mostly men and some women from this NY Times study in the 10 categories of power groups I list here, a total of 10 are African American or a total of 4%.
The African American population is 13.4% but make up only 4% of the leadership in these 10 power groups in America; and let me add, 5 of these 10 power groups have NO African Americans at all.
This is a very big problem and SPOILER ALERT – it is NOT a Donald Trump problem. It is as much an Obama & Biden problem and a Bill Clinton problem. Nothing significant has changed during Administrations of Democratic Party Presidents, and Joe Biden bashing Trump every day as the Devil and the root of ALL problems does not mean it will be any different if Biden wins.
Sure, there will be more African Americans in The White House and in Cabinet positions as there always are when Democrats are Presidents, but what does that mean in the wider society? NOTHING at all!
The “perfect” (sic) example was the Obama Presidency. After 8 years of the FIRST African American President, (sorry Bill not you), Barack Obama, the numbers cited in this study were as bad, if not even worse.
Here is the much LARGER issue within these numbers – African Americans are the victims along with most other Americans.
INEQUALITY in America is the issue. If you go read the article in The Times, all these WHITE POWER brokers are not WHITE like most of us, they are the beneficiaries of PRIVILEGE based on wealth, education and exclusive circles they travel within.
While this study does not cover the educational background of these 258 White Power Brokers, I assume well over 75% graduated from elite universities and also that many came from above average income families in which they as children had many benefits not available to most others.
So now here is the unavoidable CONCLUSION to this episode …
If there is not a major radical BETTER distribution of wealth in America that provides middle class and poor Americans, Black, Latino, Asian, and yes most WHITE Americans, a fare share of wealth …
Without SHARING the wealth far more broadly, instead of the concentration of wealth and power that continues to increase, and very much so even dramatically more so as a result of Covid-19 ……
WITHOUT some major changes, nothing is going to change except …
GET WORSE in the coming years – whether Biden or Trump is President.
(This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)