Highlights: White House, FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Build Black Wealth and Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap, JUNE 01, 2021
In this announcement, President Joe Biden reminded the world that one hundred years ago, the thriving Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as “Black Wall Street,” was ruthlessly attacked by a violent white supremacist mob. An estimated 300 Black Americans were killed and another 10,000 were left destitute and homeless. The death, pain and injury brought on by the destruction of the Greenwood neighborhood and its families was followed by laws and policies that made recovery nearly impossible. The streets were redlined, locking Black Tulsans out of homeownership and access to credit. Federal highways built through the heart of Greenwood cut off families and businesses from economic opportunity. And chronic disinvestment by the federal government in Black entrepreneurs and small businesses denied Black Wall Street a fair shot at rebuilding. These are the stories of Greenwood, but they have echoes in countless Black communities across the country.
The president used an analogy that will be resonant with me for some time to come. He said, “Because disparities in wealth compound like an interest rate, the disinvestment in Black families in Tulsa and across the country throughout our history is still felt sharply today. The median Black American family has thirteen cents for every one dollar in wealth held by White families.”
Another way of looking at this is that the median net worth of white households today is approximately eight times as much as the net worth of Black households, a racial wealth gap that grew wider during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Biden-Harris Administration announced new steps to help narrow the racial wealth gap and reinvest in communities that have been left behind by failed policies. The Administration is expanding access to two key wealth-creators – homeownership and small business ownership – in communities of color and disadvantaged communities.
Notably absent from Biden’s remarks were any concrete actions on two issues at the heart of the debate over how to advance racial equity in the U.S. economy: student loan debt forgiveness and reparations for slavery. These would be direct payments to descendants of America’s African American slaves.
A summary of what Biden-Harris Administration promised:
Take action to address racial discrimination in the housing market, including by launching a first-of-its-kind interagency effort to address inequity in home appraisals, and conducting rulemaking to aggressively combat housing discrimination.
Use the federal government’s purchasing power to grow federal contracting with small, disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent, translating to an additional $100 billion over five years, and helping more Americans realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
The Administration is also releasing new information regarding President Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposals to create jobs and build wealth in communities of color:
A new $10 billion Community Revitalization Fund to support community-led civic infrastructure projects that create innovative shared amenities, spark new local economic activity, provide services, build community wealth, and strengthen social cohesion. $15 billion for new grants and technical assistance to support the planning, removal, or retrofitting of existing transportation infrastructure that creates a barrier to community connectivity, including barriers to mobility, access, or economic development.
A new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit to attract private investment in the development and rehabilitation of affordable homes for low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners.
$5 billion for the Unlocking Possibilities Program, an innovative new grant program that awards flexible and attractive funding to jurisdictions that take steps to reduce needless barriers to producing affordable housing and expand housing choices for people with low or moderate incomes.
$31 billion in small business programs that will increase access to capital for small businesses and provide mentoring, networking, and other forms of technical assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged businesses seeking to access federal contracts and participate in federal research and development investments.
Get More Details at: Highlights: White House, FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Build Black Wealth and Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap, JUNE 01, 2021| https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/01/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-new-actions-to-build-black-wealth-and-narrow-the-racial-wealth-gap/
CNBC, Biden Unveils New Effort to Narrow Racial Wealth Gap as he Commemorates Tulsa Massacre, Christina Wilkie , JUN 1, 2021, | https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/01/biden-to-announce-new-efforts-to-narrow-the-racial-wealth-gap-.html