Michelle Singletary: Structural racism helps schemers attract Blacks to pyramid scams, August 13, 2020: Michelle Singletary: Structural racism helps schemers attract Blacks to pyramid scams

Institutional racism has created such a huge wealth gap in America that pyramid scheme promoters are able to persuade Blacks to put aside common sense with promises that they can have a piece of their denied American Dream.

Widely circulating in the Black community is a new version of the chain-letter pyramid scheme in which people are recruited and then encouraged to bring in others with assurances that they can all make three-digit returns in a matter of weeks.

Except the large payout is simply money collected from recruits. There’s no wealth building – only the shifting of money to people who got into the scheme earlier. Eventually, the enterprise collapses when not enough folks can be persuaded to join, which stops the flow of money.

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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

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