Hello Mr. Ferguson,
I wanted to point out certain conclusions which I believe many POC’s will perceive as significantly different from your perception. I will try to list these, as you’ve listed them:
- Asian-Americans are the most successful group. POC’s of all races and ethnicities are forced to deal with white privilege at all levels of success. I personally believe that, given our history, African Americans and Native Americans have the greatest number of obstacles. But all POC”s deal with some degree of oppression as a result of white privilege: what elevates white people at baseline hurts anyone non-white.
Thus, POC”s often perceive POC success as requiring EXTRA effort and higher performance on the part of the POC in order to gain equal (if not less) than any white person at that same level. So, POC’s view Asian-American success as a matter of much higher performance and stamina than a white person at the equivalent level.
You frame the discussion as if you have made the assumption of equal opportunity; thus, comparing the success of Asian Americans as a group to white people indicates equivalent effort. As a POC, I disagree: I believe that for ANY POC or POC group to be equivalent or more successful than a white group indicates HIGHER PERFORMANCE AND EFFORT, not an equivalence.
Equivalence cannot exist because equality hasn’t: white privilege gives things to white people at the expense of people of color. The opportunities are vastly different.
2. Missing 18 Million white Americans that live below the poverty line: This is sad, indeed. It’s sad that anybody lives below the poverty line. But by percentage, the poorest people in this country are the groups that were deliberately disenfranchised by Europeans: Native-Americans and African-Americans. This fact is expressed in reality: these groups are the poorest as groups — poorer than white people are as a group — and continue to express this in poorer medical outcomes. That is, their bodies show it. On a collective level, these groups are poorer, have more medical problems and higher mortality than white people as a group. No other group divides themselves into rich and poor; most POC understand that the overall impact of race is at least as important as economics.
All countries since the beginning of time have had rich and poor people. No group that I know of has working class people at the top and intellectuals below them, at least not for any sustained period. Thus, we would expect that the invention of race took a group of white people who would otherwise have been socially at the bottom — the working class ones — and set them, through race, above intellectual black ones who, in any other economic context, would have been socially ‘above’ the working class white person. The assumption that the focus should be on economics only is absurd: if we look at groups of POC’s, is there any other group which has better overall outcomes than white people as a group? Even Asians, who you mention above, have worse medical outcomes in, for example, breast cancer.
White privilege doesn’t go away just because money does. In other words, why not compare these poor white people with other poor people of color? In that case, you would see that the POC’s are, in fact, poorer. Why not focus on them?
3. ‘WOKE’ people tend to be wealthy. I have very little evidence of this. I see that people with the views you express are typically less wealthy POC’s who are either immigrants or first-generation — and have watched their parents work a lot harder than the white people around them for a lot less — or are poor to working class black people. Rarely do I see highly educated or wealthy people illustrate these ‘woke’ views, which from what I can gather fall under the general rubric of critical race theory; wealthy people tend to support color blind racism when they call themselves liberal.
Bringing people together will not work if it will be business as usual, because business as usual hasn’t worked for most POC’s for a very long time. If the compromise for being ‘nice’ and ‘coming together’ is the sort of color blindness POC’s have been forced to tolerate for centuries, then this is not a coming together at all: it’s just more dominance.
Thanks for your thoughts, regardless. I ask that you consider that at least some POC will perceive at least some aspects of these as inaccurate.