Rewriting the Racial Rules: Building an Inclusive American Economy

Monday, June 6, 2016
The Roosevelt Institute

A new report from the Roosevelt Institute argues that, in order to understand racial and economic inequality among black Americans, we must acknowledge the racial rules that undergird our economy and society. Those rules—laws, policies, institutions, regulations, and normative practices—are the driving force behind the patently unequal life chances and opportunities for too many individuals. In the report, Andrea Flynn, Dorian Warren, Felicia Wong, and Susan Holmberg examine the racial rules across six different dimensions: income, wealth, education, criminal justice, health, and democratic participation, making extensive use of work done by William A. Darity, Founding Director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, and Darrick Hamilton, Faculty Affiliate and Co-Investigator of the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) Project. 

"As Hamilton, Darity, and their fellow researchers have shown, the recession had a disproportionate impact on black Americans, who lost 45 percent of their wealth, compared to white Americans, who lost 21 percent. Latinos fared even worse, losing 58 percent of their wealth. Between 2005 and 2009, the average white family lost 16 percent of its wealth, while the average black family lost over half (53 percent) of its wealth."

Read the full report: