By Adam Waller

June 5, 2020

William Darity: “It’s important to understand that the racial wealth gap is a consequence of American policies. It is not a consequence of any form of dysfunctional behavior on the part of blacks or poor decision making on the part of blacks. As Darrick pointed out, black heads of households with a college degree have two-thirds of the net worth of white heads of households who never finished high school. And so we have to look specifically at the trajectory of American social policy with respect to race to understand why the wealth gap exists. I would place the origin point or the starting point with the immediate aftermath of the civil war in which the family and slave were promised 40-acre land grants. That promise was never fulfilled. Simultaneously, many, many white Americans received what we could refer to as grand government handouts in the form of 160-acre allotments throughout much of the western part of the United States under the terms of the Homestead Act. That’s the beginning of the racial wealth divide centuries.”

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