It is common for many people to think that California is the best state. This state is and was supposed to be the beacon of hope for the Americans. It has started in 1849 when people from the whole world rushed in for gold. The rulers of the state welcomed Argonauts.
Hard to believe but this „welcoming” state is the most xenophobic in the US for all of its existence. It is also number one in inequality and poverty in the US. Recently, the legislature has become pro-immigrant. This is probably an attempt of redemption for the predecessors’ sins.
How did the legislature succeed so far? Let’s analyze the racial and financial situation in California and make our conclusions.
Racial Gaps In Education
There were roughly 200,000 willful defiance suspensions in 2014. It is worth noticing that the majority of students accused of willful defiance were the ones of color. A proof of the racial gap is a story of eighth-grade student Dwayne Powe Jr. He didn’t commit a crime or abuse someone. He just asked for a pencil during the class. Yet, the teacher made him leave the class.
“White people should realize that black people fear for their lives every day”
California Department of Education tries to solve this problem peacefully. Instead of traditional ways of punishment, they created a model called “restorative justice”. It’s all about building relationships between students and teachers.
Carl Pinkston, an activist of the Black Parallel School Board, claims that this issue is the expression of what takes place in society. Despite the fact that slavery was abolished more than 150 years ago, there are still indicators of inequality in California.
Each year since 2011, 20% of African-American students were accused of willful defiance suspensions, despite accounting for roughly 6% of student enrollment. 20% of white students are also accused of willful defiance, but they comprise 25% of all the students. These numbers are more distorted at the district level.
One can observe discrimination not only at schools but on the street as well.
- In July, Nia Wilson, a teenager of color, was killed in California. The cause of death was the stab in the neck.
- Carlos Rojas, the local police officer, stated that the attack on the girl resembled of a prison yard assault. The murderer attacked quickly and ran away without giving a chance to react.
- Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland stated that this attack on two Afro-American girls shows that the US still suffers from a deeply racist history.
An actress Ann Hathaway expressed her condolences and claimed this death is unspeakable and mustn’t be met in silence. She wrote that white people should realize that black people fear for their lives every day. It has been like that for generations. White people do not feel this fear of violence. She encouraged everyone to think about how decent our actions or lack of them are.
The same month, the resident of Oakland Shamiek Sheppard was driving his home from Vallejo in California. He noticed a woman driving close to him on the eastbound Interstate 80 freeway. She was driving erratically, and Shamiek Sheppard tried to change lanes to keep the distance. Yet, the woman changed lanes and started yelling racial profanities and making rude gestures.
“20% of white students are accused of willful defiance, comprising 25% of all the students”
Mr. Sheppard captured her on video and posted it on Twitter. He listed the license plate number of this woman and wrote: „Twitter do your thing”.
The Twitter community found the woman and her employer. In several days, she got fired.
Wage Inequality = Racism in America
Workers in California earn 11% more than their counterparts on the national level. Yet, this money is not enough to pay for mortgage and rents that are 44% and 36% higher than the nationwide average.
In 2012, 56% of Californian citizens could afford to buy a middle-class home. Today, this percentage has dropped down to 28.
Joel Kotkin, Chapman University demographer, has been trying to attract attention to this crisis for years. He notes that purchasing a home was a usual way for the working class to become the middle class. As for today, the net worth of homeowners is 35-45 higher than the net worth of renters.
For approximately 40 years from 1930 to 1970, families of black people were denied loans and channeled into renting rooms. In the meantime, white people were encouraged to purchase homes. It happened not because of discrimination, but because of unaffordability.
In San Francisco, the median income of black households is three times lower than of white households. It is worth noticing that the racial disparities in housing are more considerable in San Francisco than in any other Californian county.
“Workers in California earn 11% more than their counterparts on the national level”
After housing costs, white renters usually keep roughly $57,000 in income, unlike Latino and Asian renters who keep $30,000. These data are taken from the interactive site called Race Counts, launched by Advancement Project California.
Donald Trump, the US president, is going to cut down on the number of immigrants. But it’s a fact that liberal immigration laws had a positive effect on the state of California. They benefit from the pressure put by immigrants with low skills on the wages for cleaners, restaurant workers, drivers, and gardeners.
As a result, these allegedly positive policies create the most racially unequal society in the US. While the progressive leaders claim to be anti-racist, low-salary workers suffer because of the state’s taxes, regulatory and housing policies.
So what will happen with California in the future? Probably, one more recession. Tax revenues in the Golden state are lopsided toward income. Especially towards one percent of the richest ones, whose income depends on the stock market fortunes.
The top accountants of the state predict that over the next three years there will be a $55 billion shortfall. This amount is small in comparison with $366 billion that debt taxpayers owe in healthcare and pension benefits to public employees.
If California continues living up to its ideals, the change should come from within the progressive movement itself.
Here is the List of Organizations Fighting Against Racism:
- Race Forward;
- Racial Health Equity;
- Allies for Racial Equity Mission;
- California Conference for Equality and Justice;
- Embrace LA;
- Catalyst Project;
- Equal Justice Society;
- Showing Up for Racial Justice;
- Racial Equity Here.
Make sure you contact these association in case you are being bullied.