I would argue that if things continue in the direction they are currently headed, African-Americans will not be the only ones losing their grasps on the American Dream. The increasing turbulence in the housing market and the increased wave of foreclosures will annihilate the American Dream for many, The highlights from this Washington Post story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/12/AR2007111201711.html?nav=hcmodule) demonstrates what is happening:
Nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults, according to a new study -- a perplexing finding that analysts say highlights the fragile nature of middle-class life for many African Americans. Overall, family incomes have risen for both blacks and whites over the past three decades. But in a society where the privileges of class and income most often perpetuate themselves from generation to generation, black Americans have had more difficulty than whites in transmitting those benefits to their children.
Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968 -- a stratum with a median income of $55,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars -- grew up to be among the lowest fifth of the nation's earners, with a median family income of $23,100. Only 16 percent of whites experienced similar downward mobility. At the same time, 48 percent of black children whose parents were in an economic bracket with a median family income of $41,700 sank into the lowest income group.
This troubling picture of black economic evolution is contained in a package of three reports being released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts that test the vitality of the American dream. Using a nationally representative data source that for nearly four decades has tracked people who were children in 1968, researchers attempted to answer two questions: Do Americans generally advance beyond their parents in terms of income? How much is that affected by race and gender?
Julia B. Isaacs, a researcher at the Brookings Institution who authored the three reports, noted that between 1974 and 2004, the median income for men in their 30s actually dropped 12 percent. But because more women entered the workforce, and earned much more than their mothers, median income for women more than tripled during the period, to $20,000. "The growth we've seen in family incomes is because of the increase in women's income," Isaacs said. "Without that, we would not have seen an increase, because men's earnings have been flat and even declined."
Note, that without the income of working women, earnings have NOT increased. Sadly, this is just more of the same when it comes to what is happening to US society, particularly under the reins of the current regime which is utterly and completely out of touch with who typical families live, whether they are gay or straight.