A couple of years ago, I wrote a parody song to the tune of Randy Newman’s “Short People,” titled “Pale People.” No matter what the challenges of your actual experience might be, one verse suggested, “All a’ that ain’t nothin’ to the color of your skin.”
Well this is an interesting finding, from the left-leaning Brookings Institution:
… Poor minorities (defined here as blacks and Hispanics) face similar—and often worse—poverty-related challenges than do non-Hispanic poor whites. Yet they are more resilient in the face of negative shocks, less likely to report depression or commit suicide, and significantly more optimistic about the future. Part of the explanation is their higher levels of community and family support. Aspirations also matter. Poor blacks and Hispanics tend to report they are better off than their parents were, while many blue-collar whites are facing a reality of downward mobility. Many of their primary occupations are close to extinction, and family structures have weakened significantly (a trend that is associated with the drop in labor force participation).
That’s not surprising. In the popular culture, which has been taken over by progressive ideology, minorities are to be celebrated. They’re the future. They can accomplish anything, and society should give them special advantages to make it so. Meanwhile, white people, especially white men, are everywhere the villains. They have to “check their privilege.” Anything they accomplish is tainted because they are the beneficiaries of oppression. Government-funded reports insist that the future has darker skin, and we should start changing the communities that government serves now, in preparation.
Based on the interactive graphic on the Brookings page, “poor non-Hispanic whites” in Rhode Island have low optimism relative to the country, high worry, and high pain. Unfortunately, the statistics for minorities are too small for Brookings to rank them in Rhode Island, but Massachusetts is telling. Poor minorities in our northern neighbor have among the lowest rates of worry in the country, while their white peers have among the highest rates of worry.
This shouldn’t be a contest; we should be concerned about all of our neighbors. Unfortunately, progressive identity politics rely on dividing us so we’ll keep handing over power to the truly privileged and powerful.