White Supremacy Built An Economic System That Purposely Disadvantages Black People

Man with paint on face
Alyssa Guzik
October 31, 2022

Racism is insidious and pervasive but isn’t always obvious. White supremacy has kept the Black community in a state of economic stagnation that can be traced back to slavery. Structural racism has made life harder for Black Americans.

But it’s also ensured our financial instability.

Race is a social construct used to systematically exploit, marginalize, and exclude, groups of people from succeeding. Unsurprisingly, white supremacy has used this construct to keep Black people from advancing economically for centuries. 

The ways they’ve done this are insidious.

From sharecropping to Jim Crow laws to current wage inequality and job discrimination, we as a community have been unable to attain and pass on wealth to later generations. Adding insult to injury, the racist structures that run this country make it so that it’s twice as hard to earn our financial freedom.

Studies have shown and continue to show that Black workers are paid around a quarter less than white Americans. Our education accomplishments are also ignored, frequently making us underemployed or unemployed altogether. These racist tactics ensure Black poverty and an inability to achieve upward mobility.

Black Americans experience extreme poverty rates, with 21% living below the poverty threshold. To truly achieve financial liberation, we must dismantle the racist structures that have kept us at an economic disadvantage.

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