The Economist is advocating to black political activists to 'stop thinking so much in terms of race, which is a diminishing problem, and start thinking in terms of class, which, alas, is a rapidly growing one.' Their advice flows from an analysis of politics in the US, whereby black America has never 'been in such a prime political position', with a very credible black presidential candidate, more black people in positions of power, a growing black middle class, but a serious black poverty issue. They say 'the huge gains that blacks have experienced since the Civil Rights Act have been unevenly distributed. A black middle class and a comfortable black establishment have emerged: about 1.1m blacks earn more than $100,000 a year. But a black underclass is also evident: people who are trapped in poverty by failed schools, broken families and endemic crime. Almost half of all black children are being raised by two parents, and a third of them are being brought up in poverty, compared with one-seventh of white children.'
The message of the Economist - which is undoubtedly correct - is that there needs to be a class approach based on enriching the socio-economic groups most suffering in US society:
This means focusing economic aid on the plight of the underclass—black, white or brown—not on blacks in general. Blacks will be disproportionate beneficiaries of this approach because they make up a disproportionate part of the underclass.
A similar approach and argument is needed in New Zealand.