If America is so racist, why is this happening?

I saw a video that featured teenagers and their reaction to racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of the George Floyd protests and riots. Listening to some of their testimonies was heartbreaking as they likened the USA to a third world country run by demagogues and storm troopers. When the video finished, I asked myself, “If I were a black immigrant with the entire world as my option, would I choose to live in a country that would oppress me at every turn?” Of course, I would not, yet millions of black immigrants flow into the USA everyday and they prosper. How can that be when America is so racist?

This is the first in a series of episodes defending America against the accusation that its a racist institution profiting on the exploitation of minorities. More will come in the future. Tune in to this one and share your thoughts?

Music in this podcast:

Hip Hop Rap Instrumental (Crying Over You) by christophermorrow
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: http://bit.ly/2AHA5G9
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/hiYs5z4xdBU

Autumn 2011 by Loxbeats https://spoti.fi/34tPBBO
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/autumn-2011
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/r4twe3BxxX8

So, the other day, I saw a video promoting a news special on PBS. It was entitled, “WATCH: Young people respond to racism in America.” The description of the video reads like this…

Teens across the U.S. have responded to the recent conversation around racial injustice and police brutality with fear, hope, and resolve to make lasting change. Their perspective comes as part of PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs call out for student responses to recent uprisings sparked by the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in police custody.

Here is a clip from that video. {video plays}

As I listened to the testimonies and very real fears these young people have about living in the United States, I could not help but wonder why anyone would want to move here. If I were an immigrant, with the entire world to choose from, would I choose a country filled with racism and systems designed to keep me oppressed? Of course, I wouldn’t, which is why so many immigrants, black immigrants – in particular, make their way to America. In fact, the number of black immigrants to America has grown exponentially in the past few years. After this brief word from my sponsor, I’m going to share some VERY interesting statistics with you. Stay tuned.

Sponsor: Black History Quiz

In 2018, NBC News reported that 64 percent of Americans say racism is a major problem. Here’s a quote…

A majority of Americans say racism remains a major problem in American society and politics, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll. Overall, 64 percent said racism remains a major problem in our society. Thirty percent agreed that racism exists today, but it isn’t a major problem.

The poll coincided with an MSNBC town hall airing Tuesday night titled “Everyday Racism in America,” where hosts Joy-Ann Reid and Chris Hayes addressed the complex issue of racial bias in America and what can be done to address it. The town hall took place in Philadelphia, where two black men were arrested while waiting for someone in a Starbucks last month, prompting days of protests and accusations of racism against the coffee chain, and on the same day the chain closed 8,000 stores nationwide for “racial bias training.”

If you watched the debates of the Democratic Presidential candidates last year, racism was mentioned frequently. Listen to this clip to get an idea of how popular the topic was.

And according to a Pew research on Twitter conversations, between Jan 2015 to March 2016, there were over 30 million twitter posts about racism.

With so much talk about racism in America and the fear of being oppressed in America from racists systems, why would anyone want to immigrate here? A better question, why would black immigrants want to live here? And yet, they come here by the millions and are prospering. Here are some stats from the Pew Research Center.

  • The black immigrant population has increased fivefold since 1980. There were 4.2 million black immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, up from just 816,000 in 1980, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Since 2000 alone, the number of black immigrants living in the country has risen 71%. Now, roughly one-in-ten blacks (9%) living in the U.S. are foreign born, according to 2016 American Community Survey data, up from 3% in 1980.
  • Much of the recent growth in the foreign-born black population has been fueled by African migration.Between 2000 and 2016, the black African immigrant population more than doubled, from 574,000 to 1.6 million. Africans now make up 39% of the overall foreign-born black population, up from 24% in 2000. Still, roughly half of all foreign-born blacks living in the U.S. in 2016 (49%) were from the Caribbean, with Jamaica and Haiti being the largest source countries.
  • When compared with other immigrant groups, blacks are more likely to be U.S. citizens or to be proficient English speakers. Roughly six-in-ten foreign-born blacks (58%) are U.S. citizens, compared with 49% of immigrants overall. And given that many black immigrants are from English-speaking nations, black immigrants ages 5 and older are also more likely than the overall immigrant population to be proficient English speakers.
  • Overall, black immigrants earn college degrees at a slightly lower rate than Americans in general, butthe share of foreign-born blacks from Africa with a college degree is higher than that of the overall U.S. population. About one-quarter (26%) of foreign-born blacks ages 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013, which falls somewhat below that of the overall U.S. population, at 30%. However, black immigrants ages 25 and older from Africa have high levels of educational attainment – 35% have a college degree, a higher share than Americans overall.
  • There are some distinct differences between U.S.- and foreign-born blacks when it came to age, education, marriage and income. In comparison with U.S.-born blacks, foreign-born blacks are older, with a median age of 42 versus 29 for U.S.-born blacks, according to 2013 figures. Among those 25 and older, a higher share of immigrant blacks have a bachelor’s degree or higher (26% vs. 19%). They’re also much more likely to be married – nearly half (48%) of black immigrants ages 18 and older were married in 2013, compared with 28% of U.S.-born blacks, a difference that may be tied to the foreign-born blacks’ higher median age. Black immigrants are in general faring better economically than blacks born in the U.S.  Household incomes for foreign-born blacks are on average $10,000 higher than U.S.-born blacks, and black immigrants are less likely to live in poverty (20% vs. 28%).

If America is such a racist country as reported in the media, echoed by politicians and is accepted as a given by the majority of Americans, then why do so many black immigrants – African immigrants in particular, do better than the African Americans who were born here?  Maybe, just maybe, the African immigrants were so focused on being successful that they did not allow racism to hold them back.  And to be clear, I did not say that racism did not exist or hamper them in some way. What I am saying is that in the big scheme of things, it did not matter.

Follow me on Social Media: