News and Tribune


July 9, 2013

BEAM: Unwarranted monochromatic tendencies


According to a 2013 Brandeis University study, the wealth gap between blacks and whites has almost tripled since 1984, mostly due to home ownership, inheritance and income discrepancies. White families had a median net worth of $265,000, compared to $28,500 for black families. Throw in education, health and incarceration disparities and you can start to see a pattern. 

How much is covert racism a factor in these statistics? It’s hard to measure, but many sociologists agree that, over time, the effect contributes to the inequalities. 

Each individual has a chance to change this. Whether Hispanic, Asian, white or black, or any other race, we must acknowledge that racism, no matter how subtle, exists. Openly discussing our differences and working together to overcome them also can help to bridge the gap. 

When all else fails, stop by a gas station on the outskirts of town. It’s amazing what a kid’s small bladder can help you discover about yourself and each other. We didn’t even need a Revolutionary War battlefield for that. 

— Amanda Beam is a Floyd County resident and Jeffersonville native. Contact her by email at

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