Do you think that race plays a part in wealth distribution today? That was the question CNN Tonight contributor Don Lemon posed to Morgan Freeman on Tuesday night. “No, I don’t. You and I, we’re proof,” said Freeman without hesitation.
“Why would race have anything to do with it? Put your mind to what you want to do and go for that. It’s kind of like religion to me… a good excuse for not getting there.”
Lemon then added that he was “tired” of having to talk about race every day “because it’s in the news cycle.”
“I just get so tired of talking about it, I want to just go, ‘this is over, can we move on?'” he said, to which Freeman interjected, “If you talk about it, it exists… Making it a bigger issue than it needs to be is the problem here.”
In other words, those who are daily facing racism in the workplace, at schools, with housing—they’re just making excuses. Nevermind that a 2011 Pew Research Center survey of American households found that the median wealth of white families was $113,149 compared with $6,325 for Latino families and $5,677 for Black families.
The survey also found that the 2006 housing market bubble and recession between 2007 and 2009 hit families of color harder than any other group.
Whether the likes of Lemon or Freeman want to accept it or not, there is a huge divide between the haves and the have-nots in America. And it’s largely driven by race. How else do we explain why, according to Census data, the median income of whites in America is 72 percent higher than the median income of an African-American household? It was 43 percent higher in 1967.
On the issue of income inequality, it seems as though we’re moving backwards, not forward. What do you think of the Freeman’s statements?