Last week, Zillow released a study that examined the wealth of Hispanics and African-Americans as compared to Whites. It took a deeper look at the role homeownership plays in those comparisons and referenced data that was recently released by the Federal Reserve’s Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances. The highlights of the study were not surprising. Hispanics and African-Americans have a higher percentage of their wealth tied to home-equity than Whites do, primarily because both groups tend to own homes that are relatively less valuable. Whites, on average, have about 51% of their wealth in home equity as compared to 65% for Hispanics and 56% for African-Americans. The study suggests that because they are less diversified, the economic well being of Hispanics and African-Americans is more vulnerable in the event of another housing downturn. NAHREP’s Hispanic Wealth Project identified this issue more than three years ago in its HWP Blueprint. What struck me most from the Zillow study was the median wealth for Whites is vastly higher than African-Americans and Hispanics, but is much less disparate if you control for homeownership. Because Hispanics and African-Americans have homeownership rates below 50%, the median households for both groups are not homeowners and therefore have much less household wealth. This makes a 50% homeownership milestone significant on multiple fronts. For more details download the Zillow study on Why Blacks and Hispanics Rely on Their Homes for Their Wealth.
We hear frequently how Latinos are not a monolithic community. In other words, we are not all the same. We come from different countries, have a variety of political views, and even eat different foods. I get all of that, but I also think focusing constantly on our differences versus our similarities undermines our political and economic power as a community...
This might be my most provocative blog in a while. Let me first state that I am happily married to a beautiful gringa. My kids are half- White and some of my best friends throughout my life have been White, so don’t let the title of this blog throw you.
A few weeks ago, Twitter was blowing up when John Leguizamo spoke out against the recent casting of James Franco as Fidel Castro in the independent film ‘Alina of Cuba’. Leguizamo took plenty of heat for his stance and was ridiculed by some including Bill Maher.