We know there are systemic inequities that haunt our economies, our laws, our schools, our prisons, our hospitals, even our water supply. And as Dr. Hale said, there is something wrong when African Americans are nearly three times as likely as whites to be denied a mortgage. Or when the median wealth for white families in 2013 was over $134,000 but for black families it was $11,000. Or when the rate of African American unemployment remains stubbornly high while the country as a whole is slowly doing better. And far too many communities struggle to overcome a legacy of poverty and neglect. There is something wrong when African Americans are more likely to be arrested, charged, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white people for doing the exact same crimes. Or when so many encounters between African Americans and the police end up in humiliation or worse. There is something wrong when our schools are more segregated today than they were in 1968.And there is something deeply wrong when people in an American city like Flint, Michigan, have been drinking and bathing in poisoned water for almost two years. They told their state government but no one could be bothered to listen. We know there are more Flints out there. Communities, often poor and black, and often poor and Latino, where kids’ lives and health are at risk every single day. Some of you are from Baltimore. You know, I am sure, that families receive settlements for childhood lead poisoning in Baltimore. Now private companies are trying to get those families to sign away the money they deserve for tiny payouts.
- “The two fastest-growing groups, Asian Americans and Latinos, each grew by 43 percent from 2000 to 2010. African Americans grew by 12.3 percent. White Americans, by contrast, grew by just 5.7 percent.”
- “Each and every day, 7,261 people of color are added to the U.S. population, in contrast to the White growth of 1,053 people.”
- “Roughly 150,000 young people — nearly all U.S. citizens — turn eighteen every month, and 42 percent of them are people of color.”
“Any discussion of the Democratic base must include the acknowledgment that that base is heavily Black,” Phillips writes. “As Barack Obama showed, successful candidacies require a large and enthusiastic Black vote.” And this gets at the thesis of his book. “Progressives cannot win going forward without large and enthusiastic support from people of color,” Phillips argues. “White can no longer be the starting point. We must now begin with Brown, and that is why Brown is the new White.”