Wow! Those are some pretty sobering statistics about the net worth of African-Americans in the United States of America (“Economics, Not Politics, Is the Real Source of Power” by columnist William Reed on the Business page, Feb. 23-March 1 edition). Mr. Reed says that the median household income for African-Americans is a little over $7,000, while the same statistic for the average white household is $111,000. This sounds like something one would expect from a long past era in the history of our country. Particularly sad is the fact that African-Americans spend so much of their paltry household income, which in turn helps to keep that wide gap between our net worth and white net worth. If we could support our own businesses and stop putting every dollar we earn into the hands of those who don’t need it, maybe we could begin to shrink that disparity between our net worth and theirs.
Green the True Color of Gentrification
I was reading the comments on your VIEWPOINT page on the topic of gentrification. I wholeheartedly agree with the points made by one of them: Maryam Foye. Ms. Foye looks at gentrification through the lens of language. The word gentrification, as she explains, means “to beautify,” generally speaking. Here in D.C., gentrification has taken on the added connotation of kicking people out so others can beautify the space. Unfortunately, it’s always those who can least afford to relocate who are being “kicked out” by gentrifiers who come to town with deep pockets and their sights set on making lots more money. Every time I drive through once-familiar neighborhoods in this city, I find myself a bit disoriented because familiar landmarks such as apartment buildings and small businesses have been demolished to make way for pricey condos and ridiculously expensive apartments. Ms. Foye is absolutely correct when she says that “the people being impacted the most are [people] of color…” Such a sad state of affairs in the most powerful city in the world!