Economic and social gaps between between whites and African-Americans have widened over the last few decades amid massive spending by federal and state governments, according to a Pew study released for the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King’s most famous speech.
The Aug. 22 report also shows that hopes for racial harmony have dramatically faded during the presidency of the President Barack Obama, a self-described progressive.
Only 26 percent of African-Americans, and 35 percent of whites, say the situation of black people is better than five years ago, according to the Pew report, titled “King’s Dream Remains an Elusive Goal; Many Americans See Racial Disparities.” That’s down from 39 percent and 49 percent in early 2009.
Only 32 percent of blacks say the country has made “a lot” of progress “toward Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality.” said the report. That’s one-third less than the 48 percent of whites who see a lot of progress. Seventy-nine percent of blacks, but only 44 percent of whites, say a lot more is needed to achieve “racial equality.”
The drop-off in hope and the racial gaps are matched by other polls.
Only 52 percent of whites and 38 percent of blacks have a favorable opinion of race relations in the country, according to a July poll by Hart Research Associations and Public Opinion Strategies. That’s a sharp drop from the beginning of Obama’s first term, when 79 percent of whites and 63 percent of blacks held a favorable view of race relations.
According to Pew’s study, the gap between whites’ and blacks’ median household income has grown by 50 percent to $27,414 and the median household wealth gap has expanded by 10 percent to $84,960, partly because fewer blacks and that whites are getting married. The gap between whites’ and blacks’ marriage rates has almost doubled to 24 points, said the Pew report.
The report did not discuss the role of federal welfare, regulatory, immigration, tax and education policies in growing those gaps.
The gap between white home-ownership and black home-ownership has expanded by 16 percent to 30 points, partly because of the disastrous federal housing and bank policies that were cheered by progressives, including Obama.
School and college education gaps have narrowed, as has life expectancy, says the report.
The black-white gap was eliminated in the only category that is crucial to the Democratic Party’s machine — election-day turnout.
In 2012, a higher percentage of African-American voters turned out than whites, by 67 percent to 64 percent. Prior to 2008, African-Americans had a much lower turnout than whites.
That high African-American turnout, coupled with their bloc vote for President Barack Obama, helped Obama win reelection last November, regardless of the huge economic damage inflicted on African-Americans by federal policies.