Press & Guide: Obama didn’t close the racial wealth divide. Can Biden?

Press & Guide, February 7, 2021, Obama didn’t close the racial wealth divide. Can Biden?

This year, as Obama’s former vice president Joe Biden takes office amid a surge in far-right violence, it’s clear we have a long way to go — not just to build a safer country for all of us, but to close the vast racial wealth divide.

This office should develop a government-wide audit to rigorously assess all significant economic policies and programs for how they affect racial inequality. This office should also issue a public report with actionable reforms and legislative proposals for Congress.

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad is the chief of race, wealth and community at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Tyler Bond is an intern at NCRC. This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

Complete the form to download the full report: