By Brentin Mock
U.S. fair housing laws passed in the 1960s and ‘70s were supposed to help bring racial parity to a housing market that since its beginning confined Black homebuyers to the cheapest forms of housing in the most undesirable neighborhoods. But since those laws were passed, the disparity in the appraised values between homes in majority-white and predominantly non-white neighborhoods has widened dramatically, according to a new study.
This disparity can’t be fully explained by past racially discriminatory practices in the real estate industry, such as redlining, conclude University of Pittsburgh sociologist Junia Howell and University of New Mexico sociologist Elizabeth Korver-Glenn (Read more).
By Adedayo Akala
Nationwide protests have cast a spotlight on racism and inequality in the United States. Now a major bank has put a price tag on how much the economy has lost as a result of discrimination against African Americans: $16 trillion.
Since 2000, U.S. gross domestic product lost that much as a result of discriminatory practices in a range of areas, including in education and access to business loans, according to a new study by Citigroup. It’s not an insignificant number: By comparison, U.S. GDP totaled $19.5 trillion last year (Read more).
By Elie Mystal
Now comes the part where white people abandon us. Now comes the part where the white majority impatiently demands a return to normalcy. Now comes the part where white people say, “I believe that Black Lives Matter, but…” Now comes the part where white people start literally telling Black people to stop protesting because some “bad” people are also protesting.
In the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, white people seemingly joined Black people in their calls for justice and change. But that support was always soft. It was entirely predictable that most white people would abandon the movement long before justice was done or change achieved. It was so predictable that I, in fact, predicted it back in June. I knew a majority of white people would revert to form and regress to their mean, because a majority of white people were always going to value their own comfort over justice for Black people (Read more).
By Elizabeth Gulino
On Wednesday, August 5, Detroit Governor Gretchen Whitmer officially signed an order declaring racism a public health crisis, reports The Detroit News. The Michigan city joins 19 states, including Texas, Colorado, and California, and a growing number of cities and counties across the U.S. that have also pointed to racism as a determinant of health, according to the American Public Health Association (Read more).
By Althea Legaspi
By Vidya Rao
When Tina Sacks worked for the Centers for Disease Control years ago, she and her Black female colleagues would make it a point to wear their government IDs when going to the doctor for checkups, to telegraph that they were professionals who understood medical terminology, and had good health insurance — all so medical staff would take them seriously. “In other words, we were playing against a type,” Sacks wrote in her book “Invisible Visits,” which looks at the biases middle-class Black women face when seeking health care.
Sacks, now an assistant professor at the Berkeley School of Social Welfare, says that not much has changed since then. The 30 women she interviewed for her book echoed the experiences of many of the women we interviewed for TODAY’s “Denied” series. Their concerns about their bodies are dismissed or ignored; they are often met with suspicion from doctors; they have to “prove” they are in pain and not seeking drugs; they aren’t thoroughly examined; and they aren’t told about the full array of treatment options available to them (Read more).
By Monica C. Bell (The Appeal)
The catalogue of recorded moments when white people call the police to report Black and brown people for no good reason is so large, and growing so fast, that the response has become routine: A video is posted on social media. There is an explosion of comments and shares. A crowdsourced search for personal details about the caller begins alongside a parallel crowdsourced examination of the call’s target for blameworthy details. Then, depending on the results of those investigations, a ritual of “cancellation” ensues, perhaps resulting in the police-caller losing her reputation, her livelihood, and in a recent case, briefly, her dog. The police-caller’s victim may gain recognition for a short time but otherwise, nothing. This is internet justice.
For those who commit racist acts, internet justice may produce justified negative consequences, but it does little to help those who have been harmed. Its focus is too narrow, its reach too short. It emphasizes individual “blame and shame” and detracts from shared accountability for these routine racist acts. It’s a “bad apples” reaction to racist harm that ignores the “rotten trees.” (Read more)
By Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights leader who served in Congress since 1987, has died after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer, Friday. He was 80.
Lewis was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on December 2019 and underwent treatment while remaining in office. Lewis would become one of President Trump’s fiercest opponents—right up until his death—in a political and civil rights career that began some 50 years ago.
Lewis’ life reads like a fictional movie character created to span the entire civil rights movement through one person. He was born on February 21, 1940, to Willie Mae (née Carter) and Eddie Lewis, both of whom were sharecroppers (Read more).
By Paloma Esquivel, Howard Blume
More than 50,000 Black and Latino middle and high school students in Los Angeles did not regularly participate in the school system’s main platform for virtual classrooms after campuses closed in March, a reflection of the deep disparities faced by students of color amid the COVID-19 pandemic and of the difficulties ahead as L.A. Unified prepares for continued online learning.
The numbers, reflected in a first-of-its-kind report by Los Angeles Unified School District analysts examining student engagement during campus closures, paint a stark picture of students in the nation’s second largest school district struggling under the new pressures of online learning (Read more).
By The Takeaway
In the midst of a nationwide push for racial justice, public media is having a reckoning of its own.
Across the country, journalists and staff are speaking out at public radio stations about failed attempts at diversifying newsrooms and troubling stories of racism in the workplace going back decades and stretching into the present day (Read more).