tv William Julius Wilson on Race in America CSPAN September 13, 2017 12:45am-1:52am EDT
thrown to the floor because there must've been 100 place in that basement that sunday morning. >> watch our photojournalist interviews. sundays at 7:00 p.m. eastern on american history to be on c-span three. >> harvard sociologist gave a talk about race in america. focusing on income and residential segregation. this was recorded in june at stanford university in california. this is just over an hour. >> there's no way to introduce bill, given his incredible accomplishments and undisputed status is one of the u.s. leading public intellectuals. unfortunately a dying breed.
but, i'm going to try to introduce soon. to catch you from the remarkable and lengthy biography the communications director broke from a. it was hardly a brief. if i used all the info he provided me i would be speaking longer than the minutes assigned to bill himself. so i cut it down considerably. bill has a 56 page cv. it's not packed with anything trivial. i'll come back to his scholarly him policy contributions. i miss start with a few of his titles and honors. sociologist is the louis p and london kaiser professor at harvard. at the time of his appointment in 1995 national media covered his addition to harvard stream team of african-american
intellectuals including skip gates. i met bill when he was at the university of chicago and a major force there as he has been everywhere. i was a slightly younger scholar than and he was incredibly supportive as he is. as a mentor. he started his teaching in 1965 at the university of massachusetts amherst. charlotte before completing his phd in sociology at washington state university. it was a major program at the time is the recipient of 46 honorary degrees. past president of the american sociological association macarthur prize fellow, american academy of sciences, institute of medicine, national academy of education, tradition academy,
and also the recipient of the national medal of science. high scientific honored was stored in the united states. who among us, certainly i do not know anyone in this room has been named among time magazine's most influential people in the united states? other than bill? bill has published three red and controversial works of scholarship on different dimensions of race, class, and the urban poor. the declining significance of race, the disadvantaged and when work disappears. even though it hasn't quite reach the pinnacle you more than just race i would add that's his most recent one he challenges the liberal orthodoxy about causes of a permanent structural
in her class in society and conservative use that attributes the state of -- on cultural deficiencies. his help shape academic discourse and public policy debate. a requirement of the sage buys. he's appeared on television, testify before congressional committees et cetera. he's been advisors to mayors, presidents, and to people in the political space. notably its document is booked a truly disadvantaged influence the politics of barack obama. and clinton told time raising, bill clinton that wilson's book made me see race and poverty and the problems of the inner-city in a different light.
here's a fact that i at least had not known before, the truly disadvantaged inspired much of the writing that went into season two of the series, the wire his work was also a major influence on jd vance and hillbilly elegy. his spread beyond politics and academics and into the public culture. the truly disadvantaged examined the flipside of rising black prosperity. inner-city blacks with poor training and limited education and welfare enrollment and shrinking prospects were getting out of poverty. the book is awesome and its impact on policy. was largely written here which makes me like it even more and why am emphasizing that among many books. some of his other books are just
as important and i still use all of them. this makes it especially dear to me. the truly advantage remains relevant today. i think he agrees, regrettably so. in the second edition of the book he meticulously demonstrates how the conditions described in the first edition are not different 25 years later. his reflections yielded a new 60 paid afterward. that's a significant scholarly contribution in a cell. i'm almost done. and this is what a cut.
bill is a very senior scholar, and i swear same his over 80, but he still going strong in his contributions keep coming. in october 2016 harvard's hutchins center received a $10 million grant from its namesake foundation. the research project dual fund blood by wilson is a longitudinal purple study of what he calls multidimensional inequality. in cumulative adversity, people in neighborhood suggested to multiple reinforcing and simultaneous racial and economic hardships. it will dig deep into the life-support residence that better understands interconnecting disadvantages that perpetuate poverty.
the ultimate goal is to collect solid data to generate insights that will influence public policy. speaking to the harvard gazette wilson said here's my problem, how to wi-fi pessimism. i find it all the time, i try to keep thinking that eventually we will come around to addressing our problems. so how is that going? it's been a tough day? were about to find out. her 2017 award winner, william julius -- [applause] [applause] >> hello. that was quite an introduction. it is a real honor to return to
the center and deliver this lecture. i'm especially pleased that sarah -- is in the audience. this is a frustrating time in our history. i thought it would be good to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the issues regarding race in america that are very much on my mind. in november, shortly before the presidential election i received an e-mail from my harbor colleague, henry louis gates junior, skip gates as we call him. he was also a member of the
center for advanced studies. he sent me an e-mail and he said he had to do accorded to the hbo television series, black america after mlk junior. to bring it up to date. and he asked me if i was optimistic or pessimistic about the future of our people. he said he heard a guy on anderson cooper's cnn news show say this is the worst time in the history of our people. and skip gates added this is surely not true, but he would love to get my thoughts about it. and i said, i completely agree,
that it cannot be true. anybody says this is the worst time in the history of african-americans does not have a sense of history. and nothing today compares of slavery or jim crow segregation. however, i also pointed out that it would be accurate to say that since the death of martin luther king jr. conditions for poor blacks have deteriorated while the conditions a better off blacks have indeed improved. this is clearly seen in the growing income inequality in the black community in the growing
income inequality in the black community as reflected in a major of income inequality that ranges from zero perfect equality, to one maximum inequality. now, this figure discloses the increasing household income inequality across the american population as a whole, rising from a low of 0.3919720.48 in 2013. follow the blue line. more interesting however is a high level of of intragroup among black households.
although the absolute level of black income as well below that of whites, blacks nonetheless display the most intragroup income inequality reaching household gini index of 0.49 in 2013 followed by whites as your .47 and hispanics of 0.45. indeed, one of the most significant changes since doctor king's passing is a remarkable gains and income among more affluent plaques. when adjusted for inflation to $2014, the percentage of black americans making at least $75000
more than double from 1970 until 2014 to 21%. those making $100,000 or more nearly quadruple to 13%. in contrast, white americans are less impressive increase from 11 to make 26%. on the other hand, the percentage of black americans with incomes below 15000 only declined by four percentage points to 22% now, research reveals that income inequality is related to income segregation. this next figure presents data on income segregation by race
and metropolitan areas with population of more than 500,000. the source for this figure is a 2014 study by the sociologist published by the russian sage foundation. this figure reveals that income segregation has grown rapidly in the last decade and particularly among black and hispanic families. it is notable set were as black americans in 1970, that's the purple line, it is purple, right? i suffer from a little bit of colorblindness. . .
chances, the differences in the quality of one's life between residing in a predominantly affluent neighborhood neighborhr neighborhood are huge. and it's important today to note poor black families have fewer black middle-class neighbors than they had in 1970. the rising segregation is driven both by the group of affluent blacks and a deteriorating condition i will soon discuss. these upstate in the declining significance of race entitled
segregation among the neighborhoods, quality of primary and secondary education, enrollment and highly selective colleges and even life expectancy. one of the themes of race and class are made black person's life trajectory has been extended to all groups in possum's book and i wish i could share these figures with donald trump, the figures on changes in the black class lecture with donald trump who tends to talk about a disadvantaged group that has made little progress.
this black communities are in the worst shape ever, "-end-double-quote, as if there is no good news to talk about in the community. and i should say that racial tensions and antagonisms seem to have increased after he decided to run for the presidency which is probably one of the reasons this is the first time [inaudible] the spike in racial tensions shouldn't come as a big surpri surprise. we must understand that as products of situations.
they do not fully understand the complex forces that have increased their economic woes, the declines in the google family income, changes in the global economy, industry location and so on. economic insecurities create conditions that are breeding grounds for racial and ethnic tensions. when i was writing my book the right-wing messengers were more concerned with controlling blacks and immigrants and donald trump supporters highlighted the negative traits of immigrants
and their threat to american society. implicitly the view that blacks were undeserving of special treatment from the government and high rates of welfare were due to shortcomings including a lack of work ethic. using these contentious messages in gaining control of the united states congress and congressional election of 1994 suzuki employ another set of
messages in the successful presidential campaign of 2016. let me get back to what i was saying about the good news and in order to keep things in proper perspective it's important not to overlook the racial disparities for example the report in the economic policy research revealed before the great recession, there is only a 1.4 percentage point difference in the unemployment gap 20 to 27. however, after the economic
downturn the gap surged to 7.5 percentage point difference. there's obviously a fact to play because historically immediately after downturn. the issues involving race are complex because with the same amount of schooling they usually attend better high schools and colleges an into half an inch on the criteria. there are periods of higher unemployment. also researchers released data
showing that the median financial wealth of white households in 2013 exceeded the by almost $131,000. despite the sharp increases in,e disparities remaining huge and must always be kept in mind in the interracial differences. and i will repeat the conditions have been deteriorated overall sincover allsince the death of r king jr.. it's a blanket statement that is totally unwarranted but skip
affirmative-action contributed to the conference retreat from this donation policies they were erased during the years of the reagan administration. it would have an adverse effect on african americans in particular. they've revealed significant differences and family background and neighborhood environment that are understated from the standard measures of social economic status are employed. even when the race on the same income, white parents have more
assets. flightwhites with the same amouf schooling usually attend better schools and colleges. furthermore, children's test scores are associated not only with a social economic status of the past but affected by the social economic status of their grandparents and this means it could take several generations before it produces the full benefits. if we work through life solely on the standard, even more children from black middle-income families would be denied admission in favored for
their pretense to score higher on these conventional tests. the success of younger educated blacks remains independent with the evaluation is used to gauge potential to succeed. implicit in this argument, noticed inotice that i said flee merit-based criteria. implicit in the argument is the view that the remedy doesn't consist of numerical guidelines. it's a different set of
criteria. more flexible but merit-based criteria that's more accurate than the conventional test and gaining the actual potential to succeed, criteria that captured such important attributes as perseverance, motivation, interpersonal skills, reliability and leadership qualities. policies like affirmative action will be required for the foreseeable future to ensure the continued ability. affirmative action programs are not designed to address the problems.
but they talk about a few things that make me pessimistic but getting to the education in public schools. research giggles schools with high portions of black students although it shows gaps, the key dimension driving his students and classmates who are poor in fact the poverty rate. they may have fewer resources
overall and we need more research to help explain the impact of concentrated poverty and public schools. such schools may experience greater difficulty in attracting and maintaining competent or schoolteachers they have fewer resources and that would be beneficial to their children and academic achievement. this may result in the school offering less advanced curriculum. low performing classmates may have an adverse affect by learning authoring instructional processes in the classroom. moreover, the colleagues and i'm
quoting from the study shows residing in a severely disadvantaged neighborhood cumulatively in p. the development of academically. furthermore the indirect effec effects. from this advantage they are less likely. we have to factor in other conditions. these factors are important. i have the impact of lead contamination on poor children, living in divided into buildings, the fact of home
evictions. my colleague talks about the. they contacted the psychological trauma. it's difficult to deny the proposition that school segregation continues to the achievement gap and what isn't clear is how they are interrelated. the schools are relatively close to home. residential segregation is a major factor but we should distinguish between the two types of residential segregati
a higher level of income segregation. they tend to seek the neighborhoods with the best schools and i think this hypothesis applies to higher income families in the community as they tried to escape on the neighborhoods where they suffer from the competition. lewith a focus on such neighborhoods. people are buying additional information. many of you are probably familiar with a stor the story e great migration of
african-americans which seemed to offer only from the jim crow segregation. it did improve the outcome as reflected in the growth of working and middle-class families as well as the reduction of poverty overall. but the great migration are abruptly ended by 1970 because industries in the major cities, relocated to the suburbs and overseas destinations.
those in the northeast and then asked to take a midwest change from densely packed areas that had constantly seen the arrival of new migrants from the south. this was caused by two developments that occurred simultaneously. hiring blacks i highlighted in my book the truly disadvantaged. that meant the ranks of the income migrants are no longer
the once elusive these such as drug trafficking, crime, prostitution and form of gangs. such neighborhoods have a much more difficult time controlling the behavior of their adolescence. i should also point out that some neighborhoods are improving because of gentrification. there seems to be increasing for many couples especially childless couples to live in the
central city as opposed to the suburbs. long commutes are increasingly inconvenient and many creative industries and other growing sectors, research and so on are available in cities such as boston, new york, san francisco and seattle however, the cost is increasing sharply in many of the cities and couples that are seeking modest accommodations are ready to relocate to. the neighborhood resources
improved including the creation of shopping centers and grocery stores and as they become more desirable places to live, the cost of housing, taxes and rental properties increased that results in a displacement of many who can no longer afford to live there. such has fueled the poverty as low-income families cannot respond to the rising cost of living in the city by relocating to areas beyond the urban cores, areas that have seen rapid growth of concentrated poverty. suburban poverty is increasing, three quarters, 74% of high
poverty neighborhoods and metro areas are located in big cities. those that are able to be maintained in tax abatement benefit from improvements that in the climate i have no reason to feel hopeful of their inner-city neighborhoods particularly those that experienced depopulation will do so in the near future. this the future of privileged
blacks like other groups wit wih optically good. it looks bleak and nowhere is this more apparent in the blight of unskilled black males. it's one of the legacies of historic segregation and discrimination. however, aside from the cost by employer bias they've contributed to the correspondingly low incomes and
ointothe globalization of econoc activity and growth of service industry where most of the new jobs are concentrated and given time constraints i'd like to focus on the last factor associated with the jobless rate of low skilled black men into the gradual shift from manufacturing to service industries and this shift has created a new set of problems because those industries feature jobs and is still relevant many employers have come to populate
the pool over males for entry-level service jobs. employers and service industries felt consumers perceive them to be dangerous or threatening because of their high incarceration rates. in the past african american men have to demonstrate. today they have toward in the service sector where employers are less likely to hire them because they are unable to sustain but they maintain that they like the softer skills and the jobs require.
to be responsive to the request however demanding more unreasonable they may seem. consequentially there's rising rates of retraction combined with minorities living in inner-city areas of concentrated poverty to limit the access they have to in formal job networks so people think that this can pass along information about employment prospects. this is another problem since
the first one through an acquaintance or were recommend recommended. only a small percentage are hired through advertised job openings. importance of knowing someone with the bond as illustrated in the comments about a young black male they take a look at him into the list time by neighbors that i've used in the few days coming is good then i said i'm going to take a chance. other than that who knows for the most part you see a black
this image has been created by cultural shifts and attitudes that reflect concerns they symbolize violence and so far wall and watered resulted in a punitive criminal justice system and dramatic increase in black male incarceration. and a high incarceration rate or very much connected to the jobless rates. being without a job can encourage moneymaking activities which increases the risk of incarceration and upon release a prison record carries a stigma
anin the decreases the possibily that it will be resulting in a greater likelihood of even more. there's a significant number of offenders to create the office. if they change even more and therefore in country even greater discrimination when they search for employment. this reflects the plummeting possession and changing.
the black wives matter movement has dramatically called attention to. given the very circumstances they are more likely to have confrontations with the police which reinforces the negative perceptions they have garnered. americans have now become more aware of these incidences that occurred at similar levels in previous decades but were under the radar so to speak. it would be good to expand the focus of the movement then refer
them to ordinary residence who are often innocent victims of criminal offenses and have called for more police protection and to repeat these people are not reference when we talk about black wives matter of. several decades ago when chicago's offside a string of bullets had killed her son who was not a gang member.
his death wasn't reported in any of the newspapers, tv, radio, electronic media and i remembered her saying nobody cares that my son was killed. no one cared. and as i pointed out previously when it is coupled with segregation, a vendor it includes exposure to violent crime. take a look at this figure. in 1978 roughly 45 to 48th
some people are reluctant to talk about the rates because that might distract and runs the risk of providing ammunition to those who resist the criminal justice reform efforts regarding police seemed. it raises another issue. she served at a relatively low priority placed as reflected in the woefully inadequate resources provided to homicide detectives.
the thousands of poor families whose loved ones have been killed tend to be disregarded or ignored even by the media and ad although the nation's consciousness has been aroused by the repeated brutality it is seen in the distress, trauma and pain many families experience a close relative and also deserves our special attention. claimed by my former student to the university of california berkeley could help.
when i wrote the rich over the racial divide at the university press i was hopeful we could create a climate in the united states that could lead to a dialogue of problems associated with the disappearance of work in certain segments of the population to be addressed including problems that result in neighborhood violence and traumatizes the residence.
i am the bus felt they should be discussed. middle classes of althe middle s share this including turns concerns, job security and unemployment, escalating medical and housing costs and availability of child care programs and they also argued in my 1999 book they created despite being rescheduled but disproportionately benefit that they would also benefit the
segments of the remaining population including the white population. and i stated that they should be cognizant of the fact that the groups often seen as adversaries are potential allies because they suffer from a common problem economic distress caused by forces outside their control in this argument is true today as it was when i wrote the bridge over the racial divide in 1999. it's being repeated by some of the post election in an attempt to mobilize people of color