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Free «Black versus White Americans» Essay Sample

Differences between black and white Americans have been in existence over decades, and this situation is unlikely to change soon. Currently, despite the introduction of integration in the American society, white Americans still enjoy more privileges and favors than blacks. It is ironical that, despite white Americans being the first group to come up with the idea of integration, they do not comply with its requirements (Weller and Fields). On the contrary, it is black Americans who have complied as they integrate with white schools, neighborhoods and churches. Only a small number of whites in America today attend black churches, schools and neighborhoods. The idea of integration was that black Americans would integrate into the white society, and the whites would do the same; however, conformity to this has never happened even in the present times. Integration made white Americans control the black leaders and regulate their businesses instead of promoting harmony in the state. Today, blacks have to read the whites’ literature, acknowledge their art and listen to their music, while this is not applied to whites. This write up presents an analysis of the differences between black and white Americans from the year 2000 to present.

Cultural Differences

In many American public schools with blacks as the predominant race, there is a lot of peer pressure among students that leads to low academic achievements. In addition, the students who have a commitment to education are targets for persecution and violent acts (Weller and Fields). Many black Americans join local gangs and end up in jail or die due to gun violence. On the other hand, a majority of white Americans value education more than  blacks and those who practice gang activities do it far away from their neighborhoods. Researches indicate that black Americans have problems in racial unity. This is because they have hatred among themselves hence they do not work together and assist each other to build one another (Feagin 252). There are no black Americans in the news media that have the courage to speak out when there are reports of an injustice act in the media. However, the black media personalities just concentrate on reading the news instead of speaking out for their people.

The white American news personalities speak out about the issues that other white Americans face. This shows that  white Americans work together to build their counterparts and come together to achieve a common goal. On the contrary, black Americans believe that every man should support himself/herself. For instance, this situation is common in the black Hollywood where there are many black personalities including directors, actors, award winners, and theater owners. They write, direct, produce, distribute and create their own film industries.

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Despite being in the industry, black Americans directors complain that their films do not get financial backing or considerable amounts of work. The lack of opportunity among the black Americans may be due to longstanding cultural conditions, but, one of the biggest problems they face is the lack of unity. Both black and white Americans have a lot of negative attitudes, but the main difference between them is that blacks are not ready to assist each other. There are various misconceptions that lead to cultural differences between black and white Americans including slavery, racism and prejudice (Feagin 256).

Economic Differences

Currently, the rate of unemployment among blacks, based on education, age and gender, is increasing more than among white Americans (Weller and Fields). This unemployment rate especially augmented after the great recession of 2007-2009 in America. During the economic recovery, studies indicate that this rate of employment among blacks remained high even as it dropped among  whites. In the first few months of the year 2011, black Americans recoded a substantial increase in the rates of employment, but in the past few months, the job growth stalled.  It is clear that black Americans are still facing employment problems. According to Weller and Fields, policy makers in America should address the overarching issue on unemployment.

There are distinctive structural obstacles preventing black Americans from fully benefiting from the labor and economic market growth. These obstacles deserve considerable attention when to counter the high rates of unemployment among black Americans. Regardless of America’s economic climate, the unemployment rate among  blacks doubles that of white Americans. In April, May and June 2011, the black Americans unemployment rate was averaging at 16.1 percent as compared to 7.9 percent for the white Americans during the same period. This showed that the black Americans’ unemployment rate was twice as high as the white Americans’ two years before the recovery period in America. This situation is similar to the period at the beginning of the great recession in 2007’s fourth quarter (Weller and Fields).

The rate of unemployment for black Americans was averaging at 8.4 percent compared to the whites’ at 4 percent. This unemployment gap between white and black Americans also rose during the great recession period and then resulted to weak recovery in the labor market. From 2007’s fourth quarter to 2011’s second quarter, the unemployment rate among  black Americans rose by 7.7 percent (Weller and Fields). The gap in the unemployment rates between white and black Americans continues across various population groups. Stark differences are clear in the labor market proficiencies of black and white Americans, notwithstanding gender, age and education of these two groups.

For instance, the unemployment rate among  black women was 14.1 percent in 2011’s second quarter as compared to 7.4 percent among white women within the same period. Correspondingly, the rate of unemployment among black men was 18.3 percent compared to 8.3 percent among white men. In addition, the differences in the unemployment rates between white and black Americans cannot cite educational attainment differences as the cause. The black Americans’ unemployment is relatively higher than the white Americans’ at all educational accomplishment levels. For instance, in the second quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate of black Americans without high school diplomas was 26 percent compared to 12 percent among the whites with the same educational qualifications (Weller and Fields).

Similarly, the rate of unemployment among black Americans with high school diplomas, but without post-secondary education was 15.9 percent in comparison to 8.4 among the whites’. Lastly, the rate of unemployment for black college graduates was 6.9 percent, while among  white Americans with the same qualification it was 3.9 percent. In addition, America experiences differences in the rate of unemployment between whites and blacks across age groups. When there is a dry up in employment prospects, it is exceedingly difficult for young black people to obtain employment. This makes many of them unappealing in the labor force (Weller and Fields).

In the second quarter of 2011, the rate of employment among the black youths was 41.3 percent compared to the white youths’ that was 22.3 percent. Correspondingly, the rate of unemployment for blacks in the working ages between 35-44 years was 12.6 percent compared to 6.5 percent among whites in the same age bracket. On the other hand, the rate of unemployment of  blacks aged 65 and above was 9.4 percent as opposed to 5.9 percent among blacks within this age bracket (Weller and Fields).

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There are various barriers that affect the employment of black Americans. This is true judging from the low rates of the unemployment across all subgroups in America. Various researches conducted show that the rate of unemployment among black Americans increased significantly faster than that among white Americans, irrespective of age, education and gender (Weller and Fields). The relationship between levels of unemployment among white and black Americans remained firm over the great recession period. As a result, more whites than blacks remain holding job positions in America.

There are many differences in entrepreneurial rates involving black and white Americans. Entrepreneurial predispositions across black and white Americans indicate biased perceptions and subjective differences. Black Americans have optimistic perceptions that they will own businesses in future, but they express more fear in starting their own businesses than whites. Differences between the business ownership rates among black Americans and white Americans is striking because nearly 11.6 percent of white American workers have their own businesses and are mostly self-employed (Robb and Fairlie 102). On the other hand, only 3.8 percent of black American workers own businesses and are self-employed. Recently, the studies conducted have revealed that the dearth of black owned enterprises is due to low education and assets levels in starting businesses.

Even though, the results from the studies are useful in explaining business ownership, they have not revealed why firms owned by black Americans lag behind those owned by whites. The businesses owned by blacks register lower profits and revenues, employ fewer staffs and have higher chances to crumple than those owned by whites. On the other hand, black Americans are making little progress in owning businesses  compared to whites The dismal achievement of black Americans’ businesses is a significant concern among policy makers in the U.S (Robb and Fairlie 105). This is worrisome, since ownership of businesses has been a route to economic improvement for the disadvantaged groups.

Despite considerable gains in earnings, civil rights and education among blacks during the twentieth century, they have not achieved tremendous progress in their businesses over the past decade. Currently, the ratio of white to black Americans who are self employed is 3 to 1. Inadequate experience and low levels of education among blacks are the main problems that have led to low business ownership rates. As Robb and Fairlie (108) state,  white Americans have more experience in the businesses they own than  blacks. Additionally, white Americans are more likely to be self-employed than blacks because their family lineage was self-employed. Black Americans in businesses have limited capacity to acquire specific and general business human capital (Robb and Fairlie 110).

According to Weller and Fields, there are many structural problems that prevent blacks from full labor market gains. One of the obstacles results from the industries and sectors that offer black Americans employment. The manufacturing zone, which mainly employs black American men, cut off many jobs during the great recession period. Between November 2010 and April 2011, the manufacturing sector created 1,064 extra jobs. In June 2011, the jobs grew by 6000, after reducing the number by 2000 in May. Additionally, as local and state governments continued in cutting their spending, the processes affected black Americans excessively as they lost most of their jobs. In June 2011, local and state governments lost almost 25,000 jobs and previously, when the recovery period started in July 2009 they shed more than 5000 jobs, a majority of which belonged to blacks.

Social Differences

Researchers conducted a study to establish the relationships between social interaction for the white and black Americans. According to Myers and Jackson (166) the study addressed three main concerns including the role of social relations, differences in the associations across white and black Americans and effects of negative and positive social relations among the groups. The study publicized that, despite the similar pattern of relationships and factor structure among adult black and white Americans, there are differences in the interrelationships among these two groups of people. Personality did not play a vital role among black Americans and personal control to sociability (Myers and Jackson 166).

Further, this study, as a direct test of negative social interaction and social support, shows that the consequences and personal control among these two groups are different. For black Americans financial strains did not affect family support.  On the other hand, for white Americans this difficulty affected family support. As a result of the significance of family support among  black Americans, they help family members regardless of difficulties in life. It is relevant to note that social support has a favorable impact on white Americans because they relate well with one another compared to blacks.

Correspondingly, financial strains mainly lead to negative interactions among white American families. Conversely, financial strains are normative happenings among black Americans hence they do not create unhealthy relations within their families. Relationships that involved stress, negative and positive interactions were unique for both, black and white Americans (Myers and Jackson 168).

 
 
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Social support did not cushion financial strains among black and white Americans. On the other hand, social support did little to protect people from these events’ impacts. White Americans with financial problems report more negative interactions and less supportive exchanges with their family members than the blacks. This is a clear indication that stressful events may compromise supportive resources among whites. This is, however, different among black Americans because, neither negative interaction nor social support arbitrates financial strain’s impact on psychological distress. According to Myers and Jackson (172), black Americans use social networks for financial problems support.

Psychological Advantage Differences

For black Americans, personality accounts for the connection between psychological distress and negative interaction. Financial problems among white Americans were partly because of less support from their families than among blacks. Currently, whites report higher levels of traumatic events than  black Americans. This is in contrast to various researches conducted asserting that black Americans are more likely to experience traumatic events than whites. In addition, according to Myers and Jackson (172) white Americans have higher psychological problems because they record more traumatic events such as disasters, robberies and physical assaults than black Americans. These traumatic events had indirect and direct effects on psychological distress among both white and black Americans. Whites may be more exposed to distress than blacks due to loss of family support because of the many traumatic events in their lives (Myers and Jackson 173).

Myers and Jackson (175) state that negative interaction among white Americans has had a direct influence on psychological distress. For black Americans, there are few cases of psychological distress due to positive interaction even during financial strains. In addition, negative interaction worked through personal control so that it could influence psychological distress in an anticipated manner. However, for white Americans, support from families reduced psychological distress indirectly by strengthening personal control feelings. However, among black Americans, negative family interactions amplified psychological distress by eroding personal control feelings.

Music Differences

Music preferences significantly differ between e white and black Americans.  Black and white Americans reveal the values of their race by listening to different music. Many white American youngsters listen to rock and roll music as their preference. They also listen to white American Rhythm and Blues (R&B) and country rap. On the other hand, black Americans are more committed to rap music than rock and roll. This is because they consider rap music as more life affirming than the whites’ music. It is essential to point out that some whites tend to like the rap music that many people consider a black affair.

The awards and event organizers have increasingly recognized black American musicians from the year 2000 to present. Compared to earlier years, this trend is remarkably different because most awards and recognitions went with white American musicians. Grammys, Bet and MTV music awards have recognized the hard work by both white and black musicians. The current Grammy awards have revealed that black Americans are scooping more awards than whites (Grammy.org 2012). This is because black American music is widespread and has listeners all over the world.

White Privileges

Over history, many white Americans had more opportunities in accumulating wealth. White Americans had exclusive access to some of the institutions dealing with the creation of wealth among the citizens of America. Currently, whites continue to accumulate more wealth than blacks because it is hereditary. Consequently, whites continually accrue wealth as a result of these advantages. Many white Americans get financial support from their guardians to help them purchase vital assets that accumulate their wealth (Kendall 16).

A survey conducted by Department of Justice in 2002 found out that the police did not search white drivers and racers   more frequently than black Americans. Additionally, young white Americans who broke the law received lighter punishments than black Americans (Kendall 20). The rate of incarceration among black Americans that the police arrest for possessing drugs is considerably higher than among the whites. Further, the general incarceration rate in 2007 was higher among blacks than whites. Other white privileges according to Kendall (20) include employment opportunities and quality jobs with decent earnings in the market.

On the other hand, the housing sector favors whites because it offers them more housing units than blacks. It is also easier for white Americans than for blacks to own homes. This is because it is more difficult for black Americans to obtain a home loan or mortgage. Financial institutions often turn down requests from blacks. Whites may also get financial support from their families if they do not have enough to buy a house. Another housing privilege that white Americans get is payment of lower interest rates on mortgages than black Americans.

The education guidelines that America nowadays has increased white privileges (Kendall 22). White schools get more qualified teachers and superior technology to ensure they get a better education than blacks. This reveals how whites get privileges in accessing quality education system and eventually, they become more educated than blacks. The system also considers whites as more intelligent than  blacks. The main reason behind this is because whites perform the roles that the society prefers.

Kendal (20) explains that the use of skin whitening treatments among blacks is a convincing evidence of white privileges. The color mentality and colorism explain the connection between skin whitening and white privilege according various theorists. Whites also have access to better medical care than blacks. This is partly because there are many competitive and skilled white doctors (Kendall 26).

Conclusion

The whites and blacks in America have many differences because other than having different socialization behavior, they live in different neighborhoods and listen to different types of music. It is apparent that black Americans have allowed whites into their economic and political lives. On the other hand, this is not the case among  whites because they concentrate on running their own affairs. Despite racial integration, discrimination will take time to come to an end, and one way of doing this is through blacks developing their own economic base. They may do this by investing together and saving money to boost the welfare of their community (Feagin 265). Black Americans need to elect to public offices people who will be accountable to their community in the same way as practiced by whites.

American culture still supports racism and discrimination in various ways, key among them: it gives more privileges to whites than to blacks. On the contrary, many Americans do not admit that racism still exists. Blacks have no equal opportunities with the whites in the job market and their involvement in businesses is relatively low.

As noted in this research, the media are more likely to describe black Americans as violent; the police always treat them with suspicion and often take them to prison (Feagin 267). Despite the country making a lot of progress from civil rights movements, America has a long way to go to ensure equality among its citizens.

   

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