Follow this graph to find out which economic class you will end up in:
Note: Stragglers = lower class. Thrivers = upper class
CNN Money has an article titled, “What is middle class, anyway?” Which breaks down the range of middle class, throughout all states, based on income, wealth, and consumption. It goes on to show a diagram which asks about your age, race, and level of education. Then, it tells you which “class” you most likely fall into. In this graph, it is impossible to move beyond the middle class if you are “black / hispanic.” Further, the other outcomes are labeled as “thrivers and stragglers.” Here, the only way to become a “thriver” is to be “white / asian.” At the same time, the only way to become a “straggler” as “white / asian” is to not complete high school. While there is an aside to note that the graph does not hold true in all cases, is it not the ultimate display of social inequality and “othering” of “non-white” people? Further, wouldn’t this diagram be used to simply reify white supremacist views?
With the inclusion of eight words, “Does your demographic make up the middle class?” this diagram goes from supporting racism to identifying and clearly showing how racism persists in society. Eight words can make all the difference – mimicking the concerns raised during class about Thurston’s How to be Black. So, how can our words not be used against us?