Goodbye “Race Neutrality”—The Case for Race-Conscious Economic Policy – Non Profit News – Nonprofit Quarterly – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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This article was co-produced and co-published with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

Perhaps the most important lesson the past 50 years should have taught us by now is this: we cannot fix discrimination in housing via an anti-discrimination framework. Conscious race and class measures are needed that tackle the inherent problems of American inequality at their root.

Fred McGhee, Shelterforce

Making a meaningful dent in the level of structural racial economic inequality in this country requires change throughout the US finance system—in our financial regulations, within our financial institutions, and in the lending and investments done by financial institutions. Many of the required changes have been named and identified; it is now up to advocates to build consensus and political power to advance change.

The asset poverty of African Americans, Latinxs, and Native Americans reinforces itself in our current financing system. This racialized asset poverty stems from the theft of Native American lands and chattel slavery of Africans, reinforced through centuries of racist policy and distribution of resources.

In the wake of the civil rights movement, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted. It was one of several important pieces of legislation passed in the late 1960s to early 1970s to address racial economic inequality. CRA was meant to reinforce the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the law McGhee was writing about, which was designed to addres


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