A recent research report found that the racial wealth gap in America is more dire than we ever could have imagined and might take hundreds of years — if ever — to be corrected.
According to “The Ever Growing Gap,” researchers from the Corporation for Economic Development and the Institute for Policy Studies found that if the current trend of wealth persists, it will take a whopping 228 years for Black families to accumulate the same amount of wealth as whites. For Latinos, it will take 84 years.
The data also showed that over the past 30 years, the wealth of white families grew 85 percent to an average of $656,000, while African-Americans only grew a measly 27 percent to $85,000 and Latinos 69 percent to $98,000. Their findings fall in line with a 2016 Huffington Post report that stated that the poorest Black families are much poorer than low-income white families. Of the poorest 25 percent of Blacks, they have less than $5 dollars in their savings, compared to the poorest whites that had $375 or less. These are serious gaps. But why is the case?
The report points out that the racial disparity in housing and homeownership plays a huge role in who has wealth and who doesn’t, but other factors such as “employment discrimination, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, housing segregation and unequal access to educational opportunities,” all exacerbate this problem too.
But, how can this be made right?
The report’s authors suggest reparations, reforming the tax code, fixing unfair tax programs that ensure households of color can build wealth and demanding that the government do a better job of understanding the role their policies play in this problem.
Now, time will only tell if the powers that be will actually listen to these recommendations, but it’s clear that it’s up to us to ensure that we’re heard, the report stresses.
“Together, we demand an end to the wars against Black people. We demand that the government repair the harms that have been done to Black communities in the form of reparations and targeted long-term investments. We also demand a defunding of the systems and institutions that criminalize and cage us,” its authors wrote.
With the 2016 election approaching, it’s more important than ever to use your power to vote for candidates that will support these issues and uplift the community.
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