Joseph Cotto, 10/14/2014 [Archive]

The Only Color that Matters is Green

By Joseph Cotto

Race is one of those subjects that never seems to simmer down.

Of course, this means that American politics reflect discord. It doesn't matter if the economy is up or down. Social attitudes can shift left or right, the country can be at war or peace, and yet race relations remain a sensitive, if not tenuous, topic.

As far as politics are concerned, the troubles typically boil down to economic concerns.

Members of this group claim they are being held back by "the system", while those in that group propagate other victimhood narratives. When all is said and done, a great many people want an even greater sum of money via government programs.

It is no surprise that minorities are thought to vote Democratic since they are disproportionately in economic dire straits. Supposedly, these voters hope that if enough Democrats gain power, generous public assistance measures will be created or expanded upon. Is this perspective really true?

"In short, yes," John Derbyshire recently explained on my Internet radio show Cotto & Company. Having made a living in America's conservative commentariat for decades, Derbyshire became a virtual household name in 2012. This was when his longtime post at the National Review was axed.

To make a long story short, Derbyshire's termination came after alleged anti-racist activists took issue with one of his articles. The piece dealt with black race relations and human intelligence. Although it was not published in National Review, the publication's editors let Derbyshire go all the same.

This didn't keep Derbyshire down for long. He remains busy as ever with a strong reader base.

"Dire straits is putting it mildly....dire straits really doesn't meet the case," Derbyshire went on to mention, specifying that "the Pew Hispanic Research Center does periodic reports on wealth; on median net worth of American households. The last figures I got to hand after 2009 [indicated that] the median net worth of non-Hispanic white households was $113,000. For Hispanic households, it was $6,300 and for blacks it was $5,700."

"So if you put it another way, I'm actually quoting from the Pew Research Center here, '(t)he median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households', and if you look at the numbers just for women, it's even worse," Derbyshire said. "There's an outfit called the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and they put out a report two or three years ago about minority women and their net worth and their wealth."

Among other things, the report found that "(s)ingle black and Hispanic women have a median wealth of $100 and $120, respectively; the median for single white women is $41,500." It was also said "(p)rior to age 50, women of color virtually have no wealth."

"So, yes, these non-Asian minorities — you've always got to put the Asians to one side here, you know, because they think differently — but black and Hispanic minorities are in dire straits....The East Asians do much better, although they're a minority too," Derbyshire stated. "South Asians are a bit of a mixed bag because you have to throw in people like Pakistanis and the Hmong, but overall they're doing better than blacks and Hispanics. East Asians and high-caste Hindus actually do better than whites".

So, there can be little arguing that the politics of race, at least in our age, are really the politics of money. When all is said and done, the only color that matters is green.

Republican operatives would be wise to forget about pitching a small government, pro-free enterprise message to folks who not only have next-to-no net worth, but likely come from generational poverty. Instead, the GOP should pursue the hearts and minds of those who make it their business to get ahead; people who want to live the American Dream.

That's where minority support for Republican candidates is all but certain to come from. The votes are out there, but they won't be found by running Spanish-language television ads or opening a field office in Detroit.

The GOP must embrace diversity, and do it wisely.

——-

Copyright 2014 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at joseph.f.cotto@gmail.com.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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