By Sean Armenta
As we watch the aftermath of the death of George Floyd unfold, we are subject to hearing once again the claim that "America is racist," and it always has been. Much like most countries around the globe, America has an iniquitous history of racial inequality. No one can deny that at one point and time, America was indeed racist. From slave owners to racial segregation in the 1900s, we can all agree that the past regarding racial inequality is evil. In modern America, we watch the same claims every election year, "America is systemically racist" and "class society is racist." Modern American capitalism has created the opportunity to rise above whatever background you came from to become successful. Yet, we still hear the minority group "leaders" in America claim that they are still suffering from inequality.
The NFG (Neighborhood Funders Group) calls capitalism and racism "conjoined twins." Are capitalism and racism correlated? NO. Capitalism is solely responsible for the ending of systemic racism. The 1960s provided a positive systemic change for black America. The Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and Fair Housing Act essentially ended systemic racism as we knew it. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, and it outlawed discrimination and racial segregation. The Voting Rights Act secured the ability for minorities to vote. The Fair Housing Act outlawed discrimination against minorities when purchasing or renting a home, or when applying for government-funded housing assistance. The racial divide in America was torn down in the 60s and has helped minority groups in America flourish.
Before the government lockdowns from the Coronavirus, black unemployment in America was at a record low. In January 2020, the black unemployment rate was a mere 6%. 1 At the end of 2019, another record high of 44% black households owned their home. 2 18.1% of all federal employees are black, making up 13% of the population. More than 4.5 million black Americans hold a college degree (an increase of 13.8 percent since 1996). The NCAA demographics hold black student-athletes at 21% at D-1 colleges. Professional sports are dominated by black Americans. African American athletes are represented by 66% in the NFL, 9% in the MLB, 78% in the NBA, and 25% in MLS. 3 The music and entertainment industry sees black excellence at unprecedented levels. Black Americans are represented in politics, law enforcement, and medical fields. Black America is in the best shape it has ever been 4 and we can attribute the successes of all groups to capitalism. 5
In the current political climate, ideologues retort dogmatic claims that we live in an unjust society for minorities. Illogical Marxist leaders would do anything to lead the masses to believe that capitalism is inequitable. Capitalism does not guarantee success; it guarantees opportunity. Opportunity is defined as chance or given possibility. Americans are not given success; success is earned through failures and hard work. Thousands upon thousands of people from around the world with diversified backgrounds come to America for the opportunity. People leave oppressive governments for the chance to prosper. Capitalism is growth. Capitalism is freedom. Capitalism provides salvation in the individual, not salvation in the falsehood of an unattainable utopian state.
Sean Armenta is a 22-year-old Colorado native. Sean is a father, son, and currently engaged to an amazing woman. Sean Armenta is a Contributing Writer at Young Americans Against Socialism.