White Americans still own 7x the wealth of Black Americans. Here’s how housing policies like racial redlining have gotten us here.
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In US news and current events today, racial segregation in the U.S. is not in our past. It’s our present.
There’s a crazy wealth gap between white and Black Americans that’s tied to homeownership. White Americans hold seven times the wealth of Black Americans, the same ratio as in the civil rights era. And even though Black people make up nearly 13% of the U.S. population, they hold less than 3% of the nation’s wealth.
Now you have to understand that owning property is the major way American families build wealth. But when state-mandated discrimination stops Black people from owning their homes, the growth of their wealth gets halted, too.
Racially segregated neighborhoods have a grave impact on many realms of American life. Where you live can determine what kind of education is available for your children, how much wealth you can have, your relationship with law enforcement, and even your own family’s health.
How did this happened? Watch this Black History Month explainer to understand how today’s racial wealth gap came to be and how it encourages consistent segregation.
The biggest takeaway from all of this? Racial segregation and the wealth gap in the U.S. is not just due to personal prejudice or private actions. Instead, it’s a direct result of state-sanctioned policies intended to stop Black Americans from achieving success that in many ways continues today.
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