The overall main idea in The Hidden Cost of Being African American by Thomas M. Shapiro is that White Americans have a advantage in terms of economic status compare to African Americans because White America not only have “Wealth” but also “Income”. Whereas African Americans only have “Income”. Shapiro uses three key arguments to support this overarching idea. The first one that he examines is how family inheritances adds on to racial discrimination by separating Whites and Blacks in terms of home, school, and job districts. By having this separation, it leads to a huge wage gap for African Americans. The Second argument reveal that wealth creates different starting lines in life. Different starting lines means that different rules for success and different rewards, which all leads up to the idea of inequality. Lastly, Shapiro argues that the way white “ families use head start assets” make it possible for them to not only accumulate even more wealth in the future but also have a better homes, community, and school quality for their family.
Supporting evidence for that argument
-African Americans, since the beginning of history has never accumulate as much wealth to pass on to future generations compared to Whites. Even after World War II when the economy was booming for the whole nation but still, “Black boomers will inherit 13 cents for every dollar inherited by white boomers. The mean white baby bloomers’ lifetime inheritance will be worth $125,000(in 2000 dollars) at age 55, as compared to only $16,000 for black baby bloomers. This proceeding generation of whites inherited around $70,000. The back-white inherited gap is larger than the non inherited -wealth gap among baby boomers (67). Not only do Africans...
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...ificances of the argument
The significance of these three arguments that Shapiro uses is that one can not denied that these restrictions against African American has created a life time of unavailable wealth for them. This leads African Americans to live in a society that bound them to lower status, income, and education. Even when lucky few who are able to break this barrier, they still have to work exceedingly more than White’s while having no wealth to fall on when income fails them. The hidden cost of being African American simply reveals how African Americans definitely paid the higher price in society, but are enjoying a cheaper quality of life. Thus, it is important for America to open up their eyes and realize that this invisible net that prevent African Americans to gain wealth will be a continuous cycle unless, some changes will be made in the near future.
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