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Economic Equity - Jobs

Question #1. How does this institution/system (e.g., Mental Health System) contribute to/perpetuate racism and racist violence and other daily atrocities visited upon people of color?

Table Facilitator, Group 1

“Without a viable means to become economically stable, this institution remains a condition of servitude.”

“The US economy has a base of slavery and manifest destiny.” To have our current economy rest on this bias it perpetuates this bias through saracity and lack of opportunity, it perpetuates itself.

  • The hierarchy we see jobs. Lower skilled is considered less worthy.

  • Protocols of hiring in Seattle perpetuate these structures. For example, it costs money, to buy things you need.

  • The top earners are the ones who make the decisions about the salaries and jobs of the bottom 3/4.

  • The idea in our culture that wealth equals goodness.

  • The wealthiest 400 Americans have more wealth than all the Africa-Americans in the US.

  • Very few people of color in the tech sector. There’s a gap in economic opportunity.

  • Concern about the Supreme Court and its upcoming hearing of affirmative action.

  • White people who are not part of the ruling class feel cheated of their own birthright and angry about what they believe black people are taking from them.

Table Facilitator, Group 2

  • Opportunity to earn a living wage, system based on profits before people, foreclosing the opportunity and the hope and continuing the cycle of poverty with economic status becoming class and segregation and the fear of aristocracy. Perpetuating violence from above as well as below. Wealth = voice and influence, attacks on unions.

Violence in systematic oppression, violence as rooted in violence and discouraging success for people/students of color, inadequate education leading to job difficulty, early disenfranchised, lower pay and less benefits. With white supremacy, fully integrated into society, there is an “economic system” behind education.

Table Facilitator, Group 3

1. Prison system set, incarceration vs. rehabilitation and discrimination after time is served.

2 Corporate economic system, keeping people out of jobs and economic disparaging treatment.

3. Race and criminal background factors in getting entry level jobs. Stereotypes and presumption of criminality

4. Racism is at the core of many area’s job education, race plays a factor over qualifications.

5. Skin color being equated with criminology, historical perspective with regards to race.

6. Thinking about the illness and not just the symptoms.

7. Race does not exist, race definition.

8. Defining institution.

Table Facilitator, Group 4

  • Institutions don’t listen, want to teach but not listen.

  • White privilege conference taught the history of measures taken to exclude blacks and others from jobs, education access to wealth and whites have benefitted from other groups being pushed down.

  • Hard to pull yourself out when your family has been in poverty for generations.

  • We’ve only made a tiny bit of progress since slavery.

  • Need jobs to get power, success and to thrive.

  • Even applying for jobs, the typical African American name versus a white name have different rates hiring for the same qualifications.

  • Who is at your workplace? It perpetuates racism when it looks like the hard workers made it this far, but all those people are white, it affects how you see non-whites elsewhere.

  • Starting a business, how to influence the system so more people of color can build businesses and build equity.

  • Tim Weiss talks about white privilege, most white people only encounter a black person through TV, and they are sports players or in trouble with the law. Working with stereotypical images means you see those when you are hiring, you don’t need an athlete or a thug!

Question #2. What should have been done before the massacre in Charleston – what are the signs that we missed/are missing as a community in this area (e.g., Mental Health System)? Why does it take a massacre for so many white allies to recognize everyday racism and stand up to speak against it?