Using the SCF data and information from a variety of other sources, we've put together a list of factors that play into this yawning gap. It's a complicated tale, with many causes interacting with each other, but it boils down to a history of discrimination, combined with the many factors that keep poorer Americans (who are disproportionately nonwhite or Hispanic) from getting ahead. - Vox
Addressing the effects of historically unjust policies that denied African-Americans and Latinos opportunities for homeownership, education, and financial security would dramatically narrow the wealth gap between white households and people of color, according to a study released Tuesday.Whites have 12 times the wealth of blacks, 10 times that of Hispanics - Feb. 18, 2015
If black families had the same opportunities as white families to increase assets through investments, retirement plans, and other measures, for instance, it would shrink the wealth gap between the two groups by nearly $45,000, or 43 percent, according to the study, done by Brandeis University and the left-leaning public policy organization Demos. For Latino families, it would reduce the gap by 50 percent.
The typical white family had accumulated more than $134,200 in wealth in 2013, while black families scraped together a little more than $11,000 and Hispanic families $13,700, according to a new Urban Institute report.White high school dropouts are wealthier than black and Hispanic college graduates. Can a new policy tool fix that? - The Washington Post
It's yet another example of how financial inequality is pervading this country and it's is only getting worse. Whites now have 12 times the wealth of blacks and nearly 10 times more than Hispanics. But in 1995, the spread was only 7 times for blacks and 6 times for Hispanics.
Maybe no economic statistic captures the continuing impact of the nation’s history of inequality better than the racial wealth gap. It has left a yawning gulf that separates whites from blacks and Hispanics. And it persists across income and educational levels in ways that have left whites who are high school dropouts with a higher median new worth greater than blacks and Hispanics who are college graduates.How the Supreme Court is about to explode America’s racial wealth gap - Salon.com
These problems are troubling, but, as unlikely as it seems, things are about to get even worse. The Supreme Court is set to decide Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, a landmark case challenging the disparate impact test, which allows a practice to be considered discriminatory if it disproportionately and negatively impacts communities of color, even if a discriminatory intent can’t be proven.
The case involves an excellent example of why disparate impact is so important: Nearly all of the tax credits that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs had approved were in predominantly non-white neighborhoods. At the same time, the department disproportionately denied the claims in white neighborhoods. A federal judge decided that regardless of racial intent, the result had a “disparate impact” and increased neighborhood segregation. As Nikole Hannah-Jones has extensively documented, disparate impact has been crucial in holding banks accountable. For instance, the Justice Department used it to settle with Bank of America for $335 million after it was discovered that a mortgage company purchased by BofA had been pushing blacks and Latinos into subprime loans when a similar white borrower would have qualified for a prime loan. Because there was no official policy that required blacks and Latinos to get worse loans, the case would not have been won but for the disparate-impact statute.
The Supreme Court has already decimated the Voting Rights Act, opening the door for onerous restrictions on voting. They upheld a law banning affirmative action at state universities and have already crushed integration efforts at K-12 schools. Worryingly, as Demos Senior Fellow Ian Haney López told ProPublica, “It is unusual for the Court to agree to hear a case when the law is clearly settled. It’s even more unusual to agree to hear the issue three years in a row.” Given the importance of neighborhood poverty to upward mobility and wealth building, this case had the potential to be the most destructive, dramatically curtailing opportunity and making the wealth gap into a chasm. As Patrick Sharkey notes, “Neighborhood poverty alone accounts for a greater portion of the black-white downward mobility gap than the effects of parental education, occupation, labor force participation, and a range of other family characteristics combined.”