Zaid Jilani discusses finding that 80 percent of most powerful people in US are white

Journalist Zaid Jilani on Monday discussed a New York Times report finding that 80 percent of the most powerful people in the U.S. are white, saying it seemed like “an ideological or opinion project.”

Jilani said on Hill.TV's "Rising" that the project did not adequately adjust for age, noting that a higher percentage of baby boomers, who are more likely to have worked their way up to important positions, are white. He said he expects the percentages to change over time and “go from 80 percent to 70 percent over the next decade or so.”

“But I’m not sure that it really tells you that much if it’s really just describing age and demography over time,” Jilani said.

"It's not like we're going to be dropping 19-year-old Black Latino people and making them CEOs of Nike and tech companies and so on and so forth," he said. “Given that demographic changing, it’s going to take time for all these things to happen, which of course is natural, and it should happen."

“But I think a better way to look at the problems they are trying to highlight would be looking at unequal opportunity, income mobility, intergenerational wealth and not just looking at the people on the top, because the people on the top don’t necessarily describe everyone else,” he added.

The Times project concluded that 180 of the 922 most powerful people in the U.S. identified as Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, multiracial or otherwise a person of color.