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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.

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  • Richard T.

    Compare the blacks with other ethnic groups and cultures and you will see a very stark contrast. For example, at the beginning the 20th century, most of the Chinese are illiterate (over 90%). With all the wars and revoluions raging on for the first part of the 20th century, China didn’t really start to develop until the 1980s. Now the literacy rate in Mainland China is about 90%. And China has rebuilt from scratch after World War II and all the political movements that brought much destruction in 30 years. African countries, started to develop on their own in the 1960s. And what have they done with all their natural resources? What have they done with all that they have? It is very much worth considering the reason behind why someone is successful and why someone is not.

  • Randy Townsend

    All crap – the truth is simple: Blacks that: 1) get an education, 2) stay away from drugs/booze/gangs, 3) are willing to work to improve their lives do just fine. The victimization mentality has played itself out – it’s nobody’s “fault”, it’s their responsibility.

  • Ubwart

    I generally like your posts but this time you screwed the pooch. Blacks do poorly in this country, and every other country where they occur either naturally like in Africa or are imported like the UK and Germany due to their low IQs and poor impulse control. Racism has nothing to do with their crappy conditions, they just aren’t smart enough to emulate white civilization.

  • guest

    It’s unfortunate that black women sold their husbands, children, culture and souls for welfare gibsmedats. After 50 years of VOLUNTARY slavery and self destruction, I am not surprised that blacks are feral beasts incapable of human logic, reason, or behavior.
    This they did to themselves.
    What we see today was the desired outcome of the ‘great society’.
    You’re welcome to wring your hands and ‘feel’ compassion for the lesser breed. I, otoh, will keep my powder dry, waiting for the pavement apes to start their crap here. Guarantee I won’t be wasting 4 shots (non lethal) hoping to dissuade the groid, I’ll drop 1 in it’s melon.
    I have no pity for democrats or their pets.
    They’re all human garbage to me.


    PLEASE, PLEASE take all of your kind (BLACKS) and get out of the country! We dont NEED you or WANT you here! MalcomX @$$ POS!!!!

  • Black?NOT!!

    It would only be a dream-come-true for the rest of us here if in fact the useless black race was targeted for extermination as you say. Furtheromore, “extermination” is the EXACT term I would use for you F’in miserable COCKROACHES!!!

  • FlogDonkey

    Blacks in the UK do not seem to have the same difficulties as those in the US, therefore, that which afflicts black in the US can be attributed to nothing other than a cultural framework that nearly ensures a life of crime and poverty.

  • flyover country

    You Lie,
    You have been typing hatred for those who live in the Midwest throughout this whole thread. Then have the audacity to say you enjoy speaking with a smart person regardless…of geography… You preen like one of my chickens over your Master’s degree in Librarian science, no doubt typing your vitriol while on the government clock. I am glad I moved from the coast line enough to only see the planes way overhead. Please continue to fly over my small, newly created farm. Your literate lies and hatred are best served elsewhere in the country.

    • Demi Monde

      Thank you for making no sense. hadn’t laughed yet today, all two hours old.

  • Lexxs

    As expected the ignorant and disgusting white racists are posting like crazy.

    • George Blair

      What exactly is “racist” about these posts?

    • guest

      Such an emotional outburst devoid of facts….. I think you missed your nappy.
      Truth isn’t racist / sexist / hateist. Truth doesn’t feel, or rely on emotion. It just is.
      The truth is that majority of blacks are feral beasts. There are a few reasons for that, mostly self inflicted.
      I used to feel badly that they chose unwisely and destroyed their families and culture. I don’t anymore and there are a few reasons for that. Mostly because of my interactions with the feral beasts. Does that make me a racist ? I don’t care. In fact, I chuckle when the likes of you make that charge. The card is dog eared and worn from being overplayed.

  • George Blair

    Poverty, btw is just an excuse. And not a reason. If poverty were the cause behind these riots, then why aren’t the poor, whites of the Appalachian areas rioting? Killing?

  • GoneWithTheWind

    The unemployment rate for African Americnas is high because many of them are unemployable as a result of dropping out of school and/or criminal activity most notably drugs. Another HUGE factor is the welfare system which encourages and rewards unemployment, out of wedlock births, laziness and deception/lying. The single biggest thing we can do to help them is end welfare. The second biggest thing is to end this crazy idea that because someone we don’t even know was long ago was a slave or mistreated by someone else long ago that we also don’t know does NOT make you a victim today. Man up, grow up, take care of yourselves and your families. Stop being a dead wieght. Pay attention in school and actually graduate, then get a job. Stop blaming others for your failures.

    • guest

      “Stop blaming others for your failures.”
      You must admit, it’s easier than trying to better yourself.
      Especially since gov’t sugar throws them a bone occasionally.
      Like at election time when the democrat is giving a speech while cradling a block of cheese like a baby and explaining to them that he /she / it had to wrestle it away from evil whitey, who just wants them to starve.

  • Pete

    Maybe it is the fault of blacks. After all, the continent they came from has never produced a civilization, a written language, or anything of note.

    • guest

      Blasphemer !!!! How dare you try to inject facts into this !!!!
      Besides, we all know that blacks invented everything and us dumber, weaker whites stole it all. Don’t take my word for it, google will help you to ‘know’ da truffs.

  • Dietl

    What B.S. I live in Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky is arguably one of the poorest areas of the country. If the above was true we’d have riots and looting every night. Of course, the poor in Eastern Kentucky are white. Any correlation?

    • guest

      “Of course, the poor in Eastern Kentucky are white. Any correlation?”
      Shhhh, you’re ruining the narrative and…….. It’s rayciss to suggest that dem pooah put upon black folk might eben be partially responsible foa dere conditions whats deys be findin demselfs ins..
      English is rayciss, if youse axe mees, because blacks are incapable of speaking, or understanding it.
      Eastern Kentucky, beautiful country, been there a time or two. Lots of good, honest decent people, I might add.
      From my experiences, poverty hasn’t forced most there to abandon their morals.
      Of course I’m biased, basing my opinion upon my (white) experiences, lying (white) eyes and (white supremacist) priviledge.
      I better go see what pmsnbc’s take on E.K. is so I know what to think…

  • Will-I-Am

    As a Moor, I can tell you all that it’s not really about hating “white” people in general as much as it is about hating white supremacy which is a system/power structure which includes evil factions of all races! White supremacy involves deliberately disenfranchising black people while replacing them with Mexicans who I guess have been elected as the new permanent underclass slaves. I don’t see any homeless Mexicans anywhere, even the illegals can get jobs with no problem, so this leads me to believe that their state is being engineered. Your country is going downhill fast.

  • Joe


    Blacks blame Whites because it’s easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility for their actions. You take a small portion of the blame but then choose to blame White’s for the bulk of the continued suffering of the black race. Please point to one successful black community.

    - Joe

  • Joe


    You blame Whites for destroying these countries but what is stopping blacks from rebuilding them? Keep blaming Whites for your race’s problems.

  • Joe

    Gutter Snipe,

    No ‘Acting White’ is actively discouraged. Can you believe that there are people in the black community that say that young blacks don’t what to study math, history, culture because it doesn’t belong to them. And those same leaders say it’d okay, the system should adapt to them not the other way around.


  • Joe


    The only thing Mike did was prove he has a bleeding heart. It’s a national tragedy when one White kills a black but no one cares when they murder each other.

    - Joe

    • Rob W

      Be shocked when the machine turns on you. I couldn’t care less.

  • Joe


    Go live in Detroit or Chicago and tell me about “anti-anglo prejudice”.

    - Joe

    • Rob W

      Do you think Flint, Michigan, would do, Joe? That’s where I live…

  • Ian

    Why you so mad Joe?

    • Joe


      Not mad, just stating facts.

      - Joe

      • Ian


        The fact is Jesus saved us all from our sinful human nature. All we need to do is acknowledge and receive what He did on the cross at Calvary. So don’t shoot the messenger, bro.

        - Ian

  • sonofseawolf

    hi micheal and ec bloggers,
    took a trip up to the bakken look for work and just to dispel and myths about whats going on up there.
    there is work and skilled work.
    class a makes $25 hour average.
    Walmart in Dickinson pays $16 if I recall or maybe that was the fast food cashier at wally way $14. all full time jobs.
    gas and food prices same as lv which is about the same as
    calcuttafornia prices.
    only att and verison really worked up there
    I found apartments for rent starting at about 1350 a month 13 month lease and the last months free.
    ok first hand account of the bakkan trip.
    Watford city and Williston are nuts w/ this shaleshit.
    don’t bother to look for a storage unit either I had to go to bizmarx to store my boxes. $48 per month for a 7×13.
    anyway another stat I picked up from my education:
    $5 is the typical amassed wealth of the black American woman.
    from your acticle sounds like in 1960 this country should have purged its leadership. off w/ their heads.
    protect yourself at all times 14 5

  • tickle tickle

    That’s a specific type of librarian but thanks for the specifics.

    • Demi Monde

      Moob. It’s for an entry level adult services librarian for a public library. STFU. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • tickle tickle

        You can pull my finger anytime, sweetie.

  • Chester Field

    Thug life.

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