Blacks, on average, are doing poorly compared to almost every other racial category. Specifically, according to a report by Pew, compared with whites, in 2014 black income was about 61% white income. Blacks are also doing considerably worse than whites in terms of wealth, money saved at retirement, poverty, and unemployment.
“More than two-thirds of blacks surveyed (70%) said racial discrimination was a major reason why some blacks have a hard time getting ahead in the U.S.” But is that really the reason?
To find out why blacks are earning less than whites on average, the obvious question to ask first is whether there is a difference in qualifications between blacks and whites. The level of education makes a big difference in earnings, as do cognitive skills.
Since cognitive skills are a very good predictor of economic success, let’s take a look at how blacks compare with whites in various measures of cognitive skills:
According to a 1998 article by the Brookings Institution, “The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the nation’s report card on what American students attending elementary and secondary schools know. Those tests show that African-American students, on average, are alarmingly far behind whites in math, science, reading, and writing. For instance, black students at the end of their high school career are almost four years behind white students in reading; the gap is comparable in other subjects. A study of 26- to 33-year-old men who held full-time jobs in 1991 thus found that when education was measured by years of school completed, blacks earned 19 percent less than comparably educated whites. But when word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetical reasoning, and mathematical knowledge became the yardstick, the results were reversed. Black men earned 9 percent more than white men with the same education—that is, the same performance on basic tests.
“Other research suggests much the same point….”
So, more than two decades ago, blacks were paid more than whites with similar cognitive skills. Even back then, black income was lower than whites due not to racism but to the gap in cognitive skills.
This is the crucial piece of evidence that SJWs don’t want us to know, because it blows their claims right out of the water. Time after time, we can see articles written by seemingly intelligent yet confused people, bemoaning the fact that blacks with the same education level as whites are earning less, and scratching their heads and wondering why. Then the inevitable: “Gosh, it must be racism!” No, it is not. It’s the gap in cognitive skills. Employers are actually paying a premium to hire blacks, compared to what they would be paying whites with similar cognitive skills.
According to Heather MacDonald, “The average black score on the math SAT was 428 in 2015; the average white score was 534, and the average Asian score was 598. The racial gaps were particularly great at the tails of the distribution. Among top scorers—those scoring between 750 and 800—60 percent were Asian, 33 percent were white, and 2 percent were black. At the lowest end—scores between 300 and 350—6 percent were Asian, 21 percent were white, and 35 percent were black. If the SATs were redesigned to increase score variance—that is, to spread out the scores across a greater range by adding more hard questions and more easy questions—the racial gaps would widen.”
Many people blame poverty for poor academic performance. However, “[t]he usual poverty explanations for the SAT gap don’t hold up. In 1997, white students from households with incomes of $10,000 or less scored better than black students from households with incomes of $80,000 to $100,000.”
Some people blame the test. However, the same general results are found no matter what test we look at. On the LSAT (specifically for law school admissions), “94 percent of whites do better than the median black.”
According to the Coleman Report, prepared by the US Office of Education, in 2013, “[i]n math, … the average black 12th-grade student [is] at only the 19th percentile of the white distribution. In reading, … the average black student scores at just the 22nd percentile of the white distribution.”
So, what accounts for this very persistent gap in academic achievement? Why are black students so far behind white students? Continue to Part 2….