Whites possess roughly 12 times the wealth of African Americans; in fact, whites near the bottom of the income distribution possess more wealth than blacks near the top of the income distribution (Oliver & Shapiro 1997, p. 86). Given that home ownership is one of the most significant sources of wealth accumulation, patterns that affect the value and viability of home ownership will have an impact on wealth disparities overall. Accordingly, the majority of work on discrimination in credit markets focuses on the specific case of mortgages.

Available evidence suggests that blacks and Hispanics face higher rejection rates and less favorable terms in securing mortgages than do whites with similar credit characteristics (Ross & Yinger 1999). Oliver & Shapiro (1997, p. 142) report that blacks pay more than 0.5% higher interest rates on home mortgages than do whites and that this difference persists with controls for income level, date of purchase, and age of buyer.
—  Devah Pager and Hana Shepherd, “The Sociology of Discrimination: Racial Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Credit, and Consumer Markets” [pdf]
Black men w/ no criminal record applying for jobs treated same as white men fresh out of prison


Even if a black man is never called a nigger in the job application process, racism is alive and well in today’s competitive marketplace. In a powerful editorial for the NY Times, it’s made clear that the deck is stacked firmly against African Americans in ways that are incredibly destructive.

The sociologist Devah Pager, a Harvard professor who has meticulously researched the effect of race on hiring policies, has also shown that stereotypes have a powerful effect on job possibilities. In one widely cited study, she sent carefully selected test applicants with equivalent résumés to apply for low-level jobs with hundreds of employers. Ms. Pager found that criminal convictions for black men seeking employment were virtually impossible to overcome in many contexts, partly because convictions reinforced powerful, longstanding stereotypes.

The stigma of a criminal record was less damaging for white testers. In fact, those who said that they were just out of prison were as likely to be called back for a second interview as black men who had no criminal history at all. “Being black in America today is just about the same as having a felony conviction in terms of one’s chances of finding a job,” she wrote in her book, “Marked: Race, Crime and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration.”

Are you getting that?

A black man with no criminal history or record whatsoever is as likely to get called back for a second interview as a white man fresh out of prison! Damn, that’s ugly. So ugly.

I won’t even get into the vicious cycle that is created when any one segment of the American population is consistently discriminated against in the job market. What’s clear is this - racism is alive and well in America and must be confronted head on.

What are your best ideas for how racism in the job market can be addressed?

Shaun King


Shaun says the right thing. I’m not sure that this problem can be solved immediately, but we should start solving it immediately. We should express our thoughts on racism openly and widely. Each white American should realize the scale of challenges in lives of black people. Our work is to spread the message that we are humans. And we got to demand the support of the White House. They have means and influence on educational institutions.

Employers would rather hire a white person WITH a criminal record than a black person WITHOUT.

By Gwen Sharp, PhD

Having a criminal record negatively affects the likelihood of being considered for a job. Devah Pager conducted a matched-pair experiment in which she had male testers apply for the same entry-level jobs advertised in Milwaukee newspapers. She gave the assistants fake credentials that make them equivalent in terms of education, job experience, and so on. Half were Black and half White.

One tester from each pair was instructed to indicate that they had a past non-violent drug possession offense. Pager then collected data on how many of the applicants were called back for an interview after submitting their fake applications.

The results (above) indicate that getting a job with a criminal record is difficult. Having even a non-violent drug offense had a significant impact on rates of callbacks.

Race actually turned out to be more significant than a criminal background. Notice that employers were more likely to call Whites with a criminal record (17% were offered an interview) than Blacks without a criminal record (14%). And while having a criminal background hurt all applicants’ chances of getting an interview, African Americans with a non-violent offense faced particularly dismal employment prospects. Imagine if the fake criminal offense had been for a property or violent crime?

In addition, according to Pager, employers seemed to expect that Black applicants might have a criminal record:

When people think of Black men they think of a criminal. It affects the way Black men are treated in the labor market. In fact, Black testers in our study were likely to be asked up front if they have a criminal record, while whites were rarely asked…

African American men face a double barrier:  higher rates of incarceration and racial discrimination.

Gwen Sharp is the Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.

Although there have been some remarkable gains in the labor force status of racial minorities, significant disparities remain. African Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed as whites (Hispanics are only marginally so), and the wages of both blacks and Hispanics continue to lag well behind those of whites (author’s analysis of Current Population Survey, 2006). A long line of research has examined the degree to which discrimination plays a role in shaping contemporary labor market disparities. Experimental audit studies focusing on hiring decisions have consistently found strong evidence of racial discrimination, with estimates of white preference ranging from 50% to 240% (Cross et al. 1989, Turner et al. 1991, Fix & Struyk 1993, Bendick et al. 1994; see Pager 2007a for a review).

For example, in a study by Bertrand & Mullainathan (2004), the researchers mailed equivalent resumes to employers in Boston and Chicago using racially identifiable names to signal race (for example, names like Jamal and Lakisha signaled African Americans, while Brad and Emily were associated with whites). White names triggered a callback rate that was 50% higher than that of equally qualified black applicants. Further, their study indicated that improving the qualifications of applicants benefited white applicants but not blacks, thus leading to a wider racial gap in response rates for those with higher skill.
—  Devah Pager and Hana Shepherd, “The Sociology of Discrimination: Racial Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Credit, and Consumer Markets” [pdf]

Woah! It’s another Witch Dump! In fact, this is the LAST of the 5 covens in Harvest! If you’ve missed our other covens, check out our art tag by clicking here! We hope you you’ve enjoyed our covens thus far. Without further delay, here’s the California Coven!

Meet Wendy! Wendy is the young and often underestimated leader of the California Coven. She’s cute, bubbly, and an all around clumsy disaster at times. Despite this, she’s probably one of the most feared leaders in North America.

Meet Devah! Devah really acts her age! She loves to talk, run around, and always insists that she’s right. She doesn’t like to share and doesn’t take ANYTHING seriously. She loves working her magic on candy. She’s got quite the sweet tooth!

Meet Theodore! Theodore really doesn’t act his age! He loves to come across as someone who’s very sophisticated. He enjoys the finer things in life. He loves to flirt with boys and then ignore them for not being on his level. As far as magic… let’s just say Teddy’s magic is a little hot!

Meet Larissa! Larissa is probably the coolest person you’ll ever meet. She’s confident and very into herself. You can’t tell Larissa anything about herself. Despite this, she can be quite silly. Larissa is a ballerina, and her water dancing is quite magical.

Meet Ja’von (she//they)! Ja’von is probably the funniest person you’ve ever met in your entire life. She’s always got a hilarious comeback. She’s witty, stubborn, and knows how to defend herself. The best way to describe her magic? Don’t throw stones at (not in) glass houses! Based off of the wonderful @gaptoof!

Meet Neeraja! Neeraja tries her best to be the most benevolent person you have ever met. Neeraja has autism, and this can sometimes prevent her from understanding those around her. Nature is her one solace, and for Neeraja, the power of touch is nothing short of a potent ability.

Meet Momo (they//them)! Momo is… strange. The kids of the coven often think that Momo is an alien rather than a witch. They have a very hands off approach as the coven’s overseer, considering Wendy does a pretty good job. The biggest question is… how old is Momo really? Based off the wonderful @capacity!

We can’t tag people for some reason! It might have to do with the fact that we’re currently using an older computer to post this! Regardless, we hope you enjoy this coven! Until next time! Happy Harvesting!

EDIT: Momo’s pronouns were correct in their description but we forgot to explicitly state said pronouns! So sorry!
Employers Prefer White Felons Over Blacks With No Criminal Record; So, How Will Blacks Feed Their Families? - Rolling Out

You may remember the 2003 University of Chicago study by Devah Pager that sent young white and black “testers” with randomly assigned “felony convictions” to apply for low-wage jobs. The study found that whites with felonies were more likely to be called for interviews than black applicants without criminal records.

Eight years later, black male unemployment has hit the highest rate since the government began keeping track in 1972. It is estimated that only 56.9 percent of black men over age 20 are working, and the prospects for them to earn an honest living anytime soon in this crumbling economy are not good.

While Obama battles the GOP over raising the debt ceiling and preserving “sacred cow” tax cuts and entitlement programs, the unemployed poor are becoming increasingly desperate. Of particular concern is the reality that the once-supportive family members who used to serve as safety nets for struggling felons are now losing their jobs and homes in record numbers. The safety net exists no more.

According to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute in 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median black net worth had fallen 83 percent to $2,170.  And, no, that is not a typo.  Algernon Austin, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy describes the wealth gap like this, “In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents.”