Saturday, December 29, 2007

NPR Interview on Black Family Wealth

As a finance professor, I see regular misconceptions in media about black people, black families and black wealth. America somehow has chosen to believe that the reason for wealth disparities in America is that African-Americans have simply chosen to be lazy and engage in the practice of bad money management. They also cite the fact that black families are not married as regularly and that this is a reason for poverty in the black community.

I could not disagree more.

The reason for the wealth disparity between blacks and whites is very simple: For 400 years (a very long time), America had a clear tradition of not allowing black people to pass wealth onto their children. As a result, all the big buildings in Manhattan, all the major media companies, and all the large corporations in America are owned, run and controlled by the white community. Period. Most wealth is inherited wealth and we were not allowed to inherit.

Black people choosing not to get married is no worse nor better than the fact that many families in America choose to get divorced. Honestly, I think divorce is far more devastating to the life of a child than not getting married. If one throws in the fact that non-custodial parents are obligated to pay child support, then the income gap, in a perfect world, should disappear. One can argue that two parents are better than one, but at the same time, 3 parents would be better than 2, and 4 parents would be better than 3. You could make this argument forever, and to use the one vs. two parent disparity as the fundamental basis to explain America's commitment to racial inequality is ridiculous.

Bottom line: Love is what matters, and if you look at the lives of Al Gore's son and kids in the suburbs who engage in just as much deviant behavior as kids in "the hood", you will see that a parent's decision to get married or not can be good for the child or bad, depending on the circumstances.

In other words: I get sick of people trying to say that black families are immoral or culturally inferior. Our culture is just fine thank you. Also, racial inequality and wealth gaps are due to one thing: historical discrimination. If you want to talk about creating a fair america, then you must first correct the huge imbalance created by racist ancestry. Trying to be fair from this point on (as Ward Connerly tries to argue) is like a lifelong crook stealing billions and then promising not to steal anymore. A fix must be applied to past wrongs before you can move forward in fairness.

I did this NPR interview on the topic not too long ago. It was done with Farai Chideya, a woman I had a huge crush on during my time in graduate school. Don't tell her I said that (haha!).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Michael Vick is Not a Monster!

In this episode, I talk about Michael Vick. I did a few media interviews about Vick recently and I have made some of these points very clearly:

1) I find it amazing how people have no problem throwing away the life of a black man over some damn dogs. Would we do the same thing to a hunter who shoots animals in the head and stuffs them on the mantle? No we would not.

2) Michael Vick is a young man who deserves a second chance. He has time to make up for his mistakees and they should allow him to do so. This notion that committing a crime means that everyone has the right to take everything from you, including your ability to vote or make a living is nothing more than a modern day lynching (recall, when black men were lynched, it was not because they were black. It was because someone had convinced others that he was a bad person).

3) The ease with which we imprison this man is reflective of the fact that America has a sick epidemic when it comes to the incarceration of black men: there are more black men in prison in the US than all over the entire world. Ronald Reagan, in his efforts to destroy this country, led to massively expanded incarceration rates for black men that are destroying our nation. This is a SICKNESS.

4) If you think that Vick is any worse than Paris Hilton, the consistent drunk driver who could kill an entire family after one night of partying, then something is wrong with you. What is most ironic is that when she went to jail and cried, they let her out. The same would probably not work for Michael Vick or any black man in America. This is reflective of the fact that white females have, by far, the lowest incarceration rates in America. They are protected and black men are exterminated.

Racism is written all over this case. I don't blame you if you don't see it, because like HIV, racism is a disease that most carriers do not know they possess, and they easily infect others. The difference is that this is also an intergenerational infection.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My response to the fans of Dog The Bounty Hunter

This is my response to all the people who are fans of the show "Dog the Bounty Hunter". In case you didn't hear, he was accused of saying some pretty jacked up stuff about black people. I responded in the way I normally do, which led to thousands of his fans sending me email. I did an earlier episode on this topic, and I decided to have a second one, since the fans were actually pretty kind and polite in their appeal to me. At the same time, while I forgive Dog for what he said, I don't think that means he should have his show back. There are thousands of talented black women who deserve opportunities on major networks, and while it might be unfair for Dog The Bounty Hunter, Don Imus or Bill O'Reilly to get temporary bans for what they say, the truth is that black women have received lifetime bans from major network TV for doing NOTHING. I propose that we replace Dog The Bounty Hunter with Shaquanda The Hair Weave Killer. We need some diversity in TV.