A study reveals a painful truth behind a story about Chris Rock's neighbors.

Why are Chris Rock's only black neighbors also big-time celebrities?

Back in 2008, Chris Rock shared a story about the neighborhood he has the privilege of living in today.

Rock lives in Alpine, New Jersey, a town boasting one of the nation's richest zip codes.


Here are a few of Zillow's featured real estate listings in Alpine. Non-multimillionaires need not inquire.

He was among dozens of prominent African-Americans interviewed for the "The Black List," an HBO documentary that was created in response to "the persistent taint that western culture has applied to the word 'black.'"

In his story, Rock puts some of his neighbors on blast, namely his black neighbors.

You've probably heard of a few of them. Of course, there are very few of them in Rock's neighborhood.



GIFs from "The Black List."

Then he turns the spotlight to the guy who lives right next door to him.


As a comedian, Rock delivers the story with plenty of levity. But a few breaths after he finishes, a kind of heaviness sets in when you get his point and start to wonder:

Why are the only black people who live in Rock's neighborhood people who got rich through phenomenal achievements?

Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

A June 2015 study by Stanford University peers down that rabbit hole and finds what they call a "neighborhood affluence gap."

According to the researchers, "black and Hispanic families effectively need much higher incomes than white families to live in comparably affluent neighborhoods."

Job seekers wait in line for a Chicago career fair. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

On average, black households earning $50,000 a year live in neighborhoods where the median income is $42,579. White households earning the same income live in neighborhoods where the median income is $53,000.

That's a neighborhood affluence gap of roughly 25%. With incomes at $100,000 a year, the gap is 20%.

And it's even worse for poor families. The neighborhood affluence gap between white and black households earning $13,000 a year is 40%.

The result is that blacks and Latinos are more likely to live in communities where it's harder for people to succeed.

Those neighborhoods are marked by underfunded schools, higher crime rates, fewer job opportunities, and a slew of other social woes stemming from poverty and inequality.

And when you consider, for example, that the black unemployment rate is more than twice the white unemployment rate, it gets clearer how steep the uphill climb really is.

With that in mind, is it so surprising that black families are rare in Chris Rock's neighborhood?

Because even if Rock himself were a successful dentist, like his neighbor, he probably wouldn't be living there.

This was a great interview. Read it here. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

More

The great thing about American democracy is the separation of powers. The federal government has rights, states have rights, counties have rights, cities have rights, and we, as people, have rights, too.

Heck, even animals have some rights in the good ol' U S of A.

The president of the United States is not a king or a dictator so a team of U.S. mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking to go over his head to negotiate directly at next month's UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Amanda Williams

It can take time to feel comfortable in a new home, especially if you think there are scary monsters lurking about, which is why six-year-old Hayden Williams had trouble sleeping in his new room.

Hayden used to share a room with his 15-year-old sister, but when the Eldridge, Iowa family moved, each kid got their very own. While his sister was excited for the change, Hayden was having a hard time adjusting to the new arrangement.

"My little man has been having severe anxiety since we moved into the new house…I've tried everything under the sun to get him to sleep in his own room. Nothing is helping," his mom, Amanda Williams, wrote on Facebook.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Capital One

It was around Christmas 2018 and Jean Simpkins, 79, was looking out the window of her new three-bedroom apartment. Eleven floors above Washington, D.C., the grandmother of two gazed out at the lights of the city and became overwhelmed with gratitude. "The only thing I could say," Simpkins remembers, "was 'Thank you, Father.'"

Almost a year later, Simpkins still can't help but look at the apartment as a miracle — one she desperately needed. Fifteen years ago, when her grandson was born, she became his primary caregiver. Six years later, when her granddaughter was four, Simpkins was awarded full custody of her, too. She's spent the time since trying to give her grandchildren the life she knows they deserve, which has been difficult on a fixed income. On top of that, Simpkins worried that the neighborhood the family resided in wasn't the best influence on her kids. Something had to change.

Then she learned about Plaza West, a new development created by Mission First housing that would reserve 50 of its apartments specifically for families in which a grandparent or other older adult was raising children who were related to them. The waiting list, Simpkins says, was daunting. There are a great deal of grandfamilies in the D.C. area and she was sure it might be years before she got the call. But soon after applying, she was offered a choice between a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom apartment. She accepted the latter, sight unseen. She knew that each of her grandchildren needed space of their own.

Keep Reading Show less
Future Edge
True
Capital One
via Pixabay

Ninjas are black-clad assassins that date back to the days of feudal Japan. They are skillful, secretive fighters who have mastered the element of surprise, espionage, and clandestine tactics.

Ninjas weren't held to the Bushido code like the samurai, so they could be mercenaries who did the lord's dirty deeds without worrying about their honor. A ninja's most important power is the ability to be stealth and sneak into castles or homes to take their targets by surprise.

Keep Reading Show less
popular