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Racial inequality, poor health, the norm for African Americans

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 27: A demonstrator confronts police officers forming a barricade line during a protest near the location where Walter Wallace, Jr. was killed by two police officers on October 27, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Protests erupted after the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Wallace Jr, who Philadelphia police officers claimed was armed with a knife. Mark Makela/Getty Images/AFP== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==

Mass protests across the US following the killing of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of white police officers highlights the long-standing racial divide in America.

The Black Lives Matter movement, along with the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately killed black Americans, has drawn renewed attention to the persistent inequities in wealth between blacks and whites despite the economic prosperity of recent years.

In fact many say racial inequality has become so commonplace in America that everyone has become desensitized to it.

One of the major differences between being a white person and a non white American is how much money you can earn. The typical African American household has accumulated only about one 10th of the wealth of a typical white family; that gap stems in part from lower rates of home ownership and smaller inheritances among blacks, based on an analysis conducted by the Brookings Institution.

The difference is wider now than it was at the start of the century, and the wealth is all the more important these days since it serves as a safety net during economic downturns.

The poverty rate for blacks is in general much higher than white Americans. It’s 20.8 percent for blacks, compared to 8.1 percent for white Americans. Both have trended downward during the economic revival of recent years.

Racial wealth and income inequality come to the fore

I think that the biggest threats are first, the existential threat of high rates of infection, and high rates of death is, issue number one. And then second, on the other side of this is the potential prolonged economic devastation of the African American community. And this is where issues such as racial wealth and income inequality really come to the fore African Americans don't have on average the type of cushion that allow them to weather, these sorts of economic catastrophes. They just do not.

Trevon Logan, Professor of Economics, Ohio State University

Many believe that with the killing of Floyd and all the anti-racism protests in the US, Americans might see an actual change in the future.

Has the legacy of George Floyd and others truly jolted the US system into making a change for the better when it comes to racial inequality in the US, or will this, like many other serious Issues, just fade with time?

Well, of course, all of us pray that it will be different this time around. It has jolted many things that has peeled back the layers so to speak of many avenues of inequality here in American society that has been covered over for a very, very long time. Most recently, the policeman, that killed George Floyd has been released from jail on bail and allowed to leave the state. So that has caused a new x.

Aminah McCloud, Advisory Board Member, ISPU

In other words…

… what has happened with the resistance of African people in the United States, or in response to the murder of George Floyd, which was not an unusual incident, African people are murdered and brutalised and tortured every single day by the police in this country and that has been the case, as long as African people have been in this country. What happened with the resistance is that it exposed the true nature of this social system to the world.

Jesse Nevel, African People’s Socialist Party

The current pandemic has also laid bare the inequities in the US healthcare system. One reason why black Americans have been hit harder is because they are less likely to have health insurance.

Official figures show that African Americans are less likely to have health insurance. This holds true even among the employed. Black workers are 60%, more likely to be uninsured than white workers, along with a lack of coverage black Americans have higher rates of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

All these conditions contribute to making the COVID-19 pandemic all the more deadly for blacks than for whites who account for more than 60%. of the population, but only about 53% of the deaths from the virus. Higher rates of infection and death among minorities demonstrate the racial character of inequality in America.

He “aint black” if he chooses one white man over anther white man

This month saw the first town-hall debate take place, unprecedented in its kind, since it has never been done before like this, replacing the actual one on one presidential debate format.

One of the significant moments was this African American asking a question from presidential candidate Biden.

Besides, you ain't black. What do you have to say to young black voters who see voting for you, as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?

Member of Biden Town Hall audience

In case you don’t know, Biden, in one of his interviews said 'you ain't black' if you're still deciding between him and Trump 

if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black.

Joe Biden, U.S. Presidential Candidate

Joe Biden’s offers insulting down payment to help home buyers

Well it's awful hard to get the money I'm depending on the background, where we're at, we'll let your, your activity or, excuse me your economic background is to get a down payment, so we're going to guarantee first term home buyers a $15,000 down-payment.

Joe Biden, U.S. Presidential Candidate

15 thousand dollars is not a whole lot when it comes to securing an apartment, let alone a house. Anyways, that teen was quite enlightened. His terminology and ideology was more in the league of what some of these independent and 3rd party candidates are saying.

I am everything the Republican Party is afraid of, and everything that Democrats still haven't found a place for. I am a green, and green is the colour of growth of change.

Dario Hunter, Green Party Candidate

Well to Trump supporters I say, you know, I completely understand why you voted for Trump. He came in as an outsider he said I'm a businessman I know how to balance a budget I know how to cut spending. And by the way, I'll bring the troops home as well. And yet he's done none of that. And I would say, I'm the outsider that you were looking for Trump in 2016.

Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian Party Candidate

I look around and I'm concerned by the state of our nation. What happened to the days when we could engage in civil discourse.

Brock Pierce, Independent Candidate

US doctors say they are not surprised by the high number of COVID-19-related deaths among African-Americans.  They say the barriers and biases that laid the groundwork for African Americans to be potentially harder hit in this crisis have been in place for generations.

Now Joe Biden has used the current situation and Trump’s mishandling of the anti-racism protests and constantly talks about his plans to eliminate racial inequality in the US, IF he gets elected. Can African-Americans believe him?

I don't think many people know much about the third party candidates. Unfortunately, so they see Biden as their reluctant, only choice. Um, and I think that bothers a great deal of people, but they know that voting for Trump is a really bad thing.

Aminah McCloud, Advisory Board Member, ISPU

Will the black and ethnic minority automatically swing towards Biden due to Trump’s terrible handling of the racial discrimination protests?

I think what I would say in response to that is, I would point to a black is back Coalition for social adjustment justice, peace and reparations, which has planned a major mobilisation in Washington DC. November 6 through the eighth, they're calling it the black people's march on the White House, and this is a massive demonstration that's being planned right there in the belly of the beast in Washington DC, regardless of who wins the election that will be held the Tuesday prior to that weekend. So whether it is Joseph Biden who comes into that seat, or whether it is Donald Trump who is reelected, the black community in the form of the black is back coalition is planning to come out and resist and wave this demonstration, because regardless of who wins what they're saying is that it doesn't matter African people are going to lose no regardless of whether Joseph Biden or Donald Trump wins. It's the same colonial system. it's the same parasitic capitalist system built on the theft of resources, built on police murder, mass incarceration, genocide, the theft of the land from the indigenous people, from the Mexican people, the mass deportations. The profiteering from, you know, from the COVID-19 colonial virus pandemic that has ravaged the black community. None of this is going to change regardless of who gets elected.

Jesse Nevel, African People’s Socialist Party

Trump refused to condemn white supremacy and armed militia groups

If black Americans are more likely to suffer from a deadly disease like COVID-19, it’s because those ailments are tied to the segregation and concentrated poverty that still mark their communities.

The summer of 2020 has been a season of rage and anti-racism rallies across the United States. The protests were mostly against police brutality and racial disparities in the country.  However, the massive demonstrations attracted another group as well. Pro-Donald Trump armed militiamen hit the streets to confront the demonstrators.

On the night of the first presidential debate, Trump refused to condemn these groups.

The group, Proud Boys that Trump called on during the debate also expressed support for the U-S president.

Militia groups have a long history in the United States, dating back to the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century. But in recent years, a new right-leaning militia movement has been established due to the uncertainty, division and anger sweeping through the U-S.

The fact that the US president refuses to condemn White supremacy and armed militia groups gives these groups an implicit green light to continue causing violence and disruption. Is he seeking to cause division in America?

President Trump seemingly attempting to intimidate voters

Trump’s supporters say that if Joe Biden wins the upcoming presidential vote in November, it means nothing but election fraud. They have even warned that they won’t take it easily and will move forward with open rebellion.

Trump’s comments on voter fraud also fit a pattern of the president seemingly attempting to intimidate voters.

Pro-trump militia groups are saying that a victory by democrats will mean nothing but election fraud. How did they end up thinking like that and how their actions will affect the American society?

I think, I think that these groups are making these type of claims, simply to lead, or to get people to not vote. And when I say people on, they are basically trying to demobilize minority groups. And, which would then help the current president's political party,

Gladys Mitchell-Walthour, Professor of Public Policy, University of Wisconsin

Election fraud or cause for applause?

I fear that we might have a potential of civil war brewing. I fear that we're not going to have a safe transfer of power, or if Trump is reelected.

Kayla Popuchet, Activist and Commentator,

President Donald Trump had previously said he may have to seek residence outside the USA should Biden win.

'May be I'll have to leave the country' if Biden wins.

Donald Trump, U.S. President

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