On the link between economic inequality and social injustice

I’m doing a lot more listening and almost no talking this week given what’s going on in this country.

Two things I wanted to share, related to the mass demonstrations across America, deal with the fact that economic realities are often the underlying causes for social injustice. Why does one population get policed one way, while another community is policed in an entirely different way? Often, the difference has to do with the resources available with which a community defends itself, makes itself heard in government. It shouldn’t be that way, but a lot of things that shouldn’t be have been left to stand for too long.

Financial advisor Lazetta Rainey Braxton relays a story of blatant racism from a prospective client that went unchecked at a firm she worked at because money talks…

You may challenge the notion that the experience of one black CFP reflects the complete picture. But there is a reason blacks are underrepresented in the profession. Like all human beings, we seek dignity, intellectual challenge, opportunity for advancement, fair compensation for our work and an environment in which we can flourish. As a profession, we clearly have missed that message.

Out of more than 85,000 CFPs in the U.S., only 1.5% are black; of the more than 550,000 people classified as personal financial advisors by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 6.9% are black.

My colleague Nick Maggiulli wrote his usual Tuesday post this morning and it looks at some incredibly eye-opening statistics…

For example:

the typical White household has 10 times as much wealth ($171,000) as the typical Black household ($17,000) in the U.S.

And

the median Black household with a college degree has a net worth similar to the median White household without a high school diploma.

These two facts alone, along with a lot of the supporting data and charts, make it clear that the racial wealth gap is a major contributing factor to the different experiences of life in America. If you can find a few minutes to read and think about what Lazetta and Nick are pointing out, I think it’ll be worthwhile.

Sources:

 Lazetta Rainey Braxton: It’s past time to advance black advisors (Financial Planning)

How Big is the Racial Wealth Gap? (Of Dollars and Data)