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Although we have come a long way in America in response to racial discrimination, there is still a lot of work to be done. The racial wealth gap continues to affect ethnic minority groups due to systematic racism. However, plenty of organizations works together to help fight the wealth inequality within the nation. There is hope to bridge the gap – it may just take time.
What is the Racial Wealth Gap?
The racial wealth gap measures the wealth between white and ethnic families in America. The wealth included savings, investments, property ownership, etc. Today, white families own eight times more wealth than black families, five times more than Hispanic families, and more wealth than other diverse groups.
What Caused the Gap?
There are varying elements that contribute to the racial wealth gap. Racial discrimination against ethnic groups in America has been going on for hundreds of years. Mostly white families have benefited from systems of power more than others. Even though various laws prevent discrimination, the damage was done. White Americans continue to grow in wealth while ethnic minorities barely change each year.
Slavery was abolished in 1865. However, even though slavery ended, the discrimination continues today. The government passed many acts that directly discriminated against black and racial minorities, such as the Homestead Act and Redlining. Because of these barriers, Black Americans are trying to catch up, but white Americans received a monumental head start.
How to Close the Gap
There are various methods to close the gap. The first is to eliminate existing policies that continue to improve the gap. There are still policies today that discriminate against ethnic minorities. The laws that encourage discrimination must end first before there can be any real change. Likewise, it’s crucial to create new laws that help invest in ethnic communities to enhance education, create jobs, and improve housing.
Secondly, even if laws change, the gap grows for most white families. One way to bridge the gap is to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Not only will this help ethnic minorities, but it also helps every American below the poverty line.
Lastly, financial education for ethnic minorities helps them succeed in a white-dominated society. Kevin Cohee, the owner of OneUnited Bank, claims that financial literacy is essential for black Americans to thrive. Ethnic communities must band together, learn, and advance in the world to tighten the wealth gap.
Although we have come a long way, ethnic minorities still need help with their financial futures. It will take generations to bridge the gap. However, we must start today. Changing laws, educating communities, and sticking together is a sure way to end the racial wealth gap.
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