The New York Times: Racism Right Before Our Eyes

The New York Times, November 22, 2019: Racism Right Before Our Eyes

Most of our public discourse about racism — when it’s not about violence or monuments or presidential rhetoric — is about White privilege, implicit bias and structural racism. Instead of specific actors, we tend to focus on forces that don’t actually implicate anyone in particular.

Those forces are real. And those conversations are important. Racial inequality is about the structure of our society. But it’s also about more ordinary bias and discrimination.

There are still racist individuals. They still act in racist ways. And in the aggregate, their actions still work to disadvantage entire groups on the basis of race. It’s not as visible as it once was, but it is real, and it still weighs on the lives — and the livelihoods — of millions of people.

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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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