Data Viz: Tracie’s Bonus

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Since leaving home to attend college at age 17, Tracie has slowly amassed tens of thousands of dollars of family support.

That support came from her grandfather’s wealth, which grew from the GI Bill (which heavily favored whites), ownership of a home with a racial covenant (which prohibited non-Caucasians from living in the house), and wage discrimination in favor of whites. Her support also came from her parents’ incomes, which were higher because they were white and because they had attended college. College was cheaper for them, because whites broadly supported public higher education through the 1960s. Then, as the pool of students became less white, white support for public education–and the taxes that paid for it–plummeted. Because Tracie’s family support so clearly grew out of racist policies, that support is her “family bonus.”

That family bonus in turn, gave Tracie stable footing to enter the world of work. There, racism in her favor–her “social bonus”–often made the difference between progress and failure.

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