The readings from this week allowed me to see race in a different manner. I found the interview with Melvin Oliver particularly interesting. The connection between race and wealth was something that I had considered but in a different manner. I understood that often times it is difficult for people of color to receive the same opportunities as the majority group. This is a vicious cycle that keeps the wealthy wealthy, and the creates a cycle of poverty for many minorities.
Reading from the interview, I learned about the difference that assets make. Although income can be the same for some individuals, when buying houses and choosing schools the total amount of value can be unequal due to lack of assets. Assets are important to have when receiving a loan and making investments. By not having any assets and only income buying a home is a a big barrier. This is why certain neighborhoods are so unequal and have limited diversity. I felt that this situation compares to the concept of “old money” and “new money.” Some groups have been privileged for so long and have built up more savings and assets over that time. While other groups have just recently come into money and therefore do have redeem the same status.
This is where historical racial inequality really comes into play. In the past minorities have been oppressed due to their race. For example, black individuals have faced years of oppression by this country. Although now there are less limitations, we still need to acknowledge the disadvantage because of historical treatment. This has prevented this group from attaining as much money and assets as white individuals. Perhaps the policies and difference between income and wealth need to be reassessed in order to undo some of the inequalities.