When I first saw the headline of this press release, I was pleased and sort of proud…
But then I read the leader graf:
Need a loan? You appear to have an advantage if you’re an African-American female. According to a study by University of Iowa sociologist Sarah Harkness, lenders perceive African-American women just as favorably as white males, and would lend them as much money. The reason: African- American females are generally perceived as single mothers who are industrious and hardworking.
Oh…just gets more interesting.
As predicted, the study showed that education factored prominently into how lenders viewed borrowers and thus their decision to lend. However, ―it didn’t wipe out the impact of gender and race, said Harkness. Some cultural stereotypes consistently influenced how much money the study participants were willing to lend.
For example, African-American men were viewed as least competent and received the least amount of funding, followed by white women. In comments, the lenders reported they had held these two groups to a harsher standard, and perceived them more negatively. This meant being less forgiving of small errors such as typos. It also meant making unfavorable assumptions about the nature of the applicants’ employment (whether it was temporary versus permanent, for example) and their level of intelligence.
Yet the lenders’ perceptions of African-American females and white males were predominately positive, albeit based on stereotypes. ―There was an assumption that the African-American woman was on her own raising a family and was, therefore, a motivated, hardworking, and self-confident breadwinner,‖ Harkness explains.
Congratulations, STRONG BLACK WOMAN!!! You are now on par in “responsible provider” status with WHITE MEN!! Doesn’t that make you feel good? Doesn’t it just do your heart proud that your Herculean and masculine efforts to keep your family afloat are being recognized by big business?
Of course it’s a relief that the world recognizes the black women work damn hard to support their families. However, it’s soul-crushing that the greater society at large deems virtually ALL black women as struggling single mothers. You see roles reversed, where you would expect that white women are deemed less dependable because they can cry their white girl tears and default on a loan, it’s sad that black men seem to fall within the same category with their swaggerlishous version of “white girl tears.”
In that regard the study says this:
In contrast, when evaluating a white female borrower, the lenders tended to be distrustful. Harkness explains this could be due to the fact that the hypothetical lenders were focused primarily on gender stereotypes (e.g., women are less capable and assertive than males) and less on race.
The chickens have come home to roost. The lopsided responsibility quotient in the black community is complete. We are now, “the men.”
*Hearing the hoofs of the “Blame Whitey” brigade to assert that this is some conspiracy by ‘The Man’ to further divide the black community…*