Profound economic, health and judicial disparities help explain the fury over George Floyd’s deathJun 3rd 2020ON THE EIGHTH day of protests against
ON THE EIGHTH day of protests against the killing of George Floyd, Donald Trump boasted about his record on reducing black poverty and unemployment and passing criminal-justice reform. “My Admin”, he tweeted, “has done more for the Black Community than any president since Abraham Lincoln.” Is that true? Are African-Americans better off under Mr Trump, and what does that have to do with the protests?
According to the Census Bureau, African-Americans earn barely three-fifths as much as non-Hispanic whites. In 2018 average black household income was $41,400, compared with $70,600 for whites. That gap is wide. In Britain, where race relations can also be tense, blacks earn 90% as much as whites. The American gap is narrower than it was in 1970, when African-Americans earned only half as much as whites. But all the improvement happened between 1970 and 2000, and since then things have worsened again. The black income gap has been eased somewhat by post-covid federal spending increases. But it may soon yawn wider because African-Americans have many of the low- or unskilled jobs that could be most vulnerable to a coronavirus recession.
Income numbers understate the real economic disparities because they only describe people who are in work. According to a study by Patrick…