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Redlined, A Legacy of Housing Discrimination

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    Decades of housing discrimination have
    helped create an enormous wealth gap
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    between white and black families.
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    - The enduring legacy of red-lining, the
    legal government sponsored effort to
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    deny mortgages and home ownership
    opportunities to African-Americans and
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    other minorities continues to undermine
    their quality of life. This violation of
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    basic civil rights continues to negatively
    impact education attainment, health
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    outcomes, wealth accumulation,
    self-esteem, mortality rates, and
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    civic engagement.
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    - Home ownership has proved to both the
    doorway and gatekeeper to success and
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    well-being in America. It is at the
    core of todays racial wealth gap.
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    - There's a very powerful myth in this
    country, and that is that residential
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    segregation in this country is something
    we call de-facto segregation.
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    Something to happen by accident.
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    Every textbook that's used in American
    high schools and middle schools today
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    lies about this history.
    It talks about how
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    northern cities were de facto segregated,
    without government involvement.
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    They talk about how the Federal Housing
    Administration, did a wonderful job of
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    creating single family homes in the
    suburbs for working class families
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    without mentioning that the working
    class families they had created these
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    homes for, could only be white.
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    - This began a history of excluding people
    of color from government housing programs.
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    Intended to lower the cost of mortgages
    and increase home ownership.
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    Segregated neighborhoods
    by race using a code system.
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    Outlined minority neighborhoods
    using the color red.
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    Intended to expand the secondary
    mortgage market by securitizing
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    mortgage loans.
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    Community boards often denied
    minority veterans mortgages.
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    Many minority vets could not be
    buried in the same cemetery as
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    whites.
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    It wasn't until 1970 that lending to
    communities of color began to
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    increase.
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    - The way this manifested itself is
    through the drawing of maps.
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    Different neighborhoods were underwritten
    as being riskier or safer and the
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    principle component that determined
    riskiness or safety from a lending
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    standpoint was ethnic
    and racial composition.
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    It was at that point that the real estate
    developers began to drop strings
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    around areas.
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    The local banker could choose
    who would get mortgages, where.
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    So that we could not have gotten
    a loan out in the suburbs because
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    those were whites only.
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    The concept of a middle class black
    only exists in the mind of a middle
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    class black.
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    Everywhere else in the suburbs
    you are that nigger family on the
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    corner of Warren road
    and Boulevard Way.
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    Well the truth is that we've had in this
    country generations of affirmative action
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    for whites.
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    And the sad truth of it is that
    whites don't know that that's
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    happened or they refuse to
    accept it or don't understand
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    the history.
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    And what that leads to is this false
    kind-of narrative that "I did it myself".
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    You know this, racial (inaudible),
    individual responsibility narrative.
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    - They were many federal, state,
    and local policies explicitly racial
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    designed to create segregation in
    every Metropolitan area in the
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    country. And policies that were so
    powerful that they still determine
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    the racial boundaries of
    Metropolitan areas today.
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    The Federal Housing Administration began
    a program to suburbanize the entire white
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    working class population
    into single family homes.
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    - This is Levittown, Pennsylvania.
    A new suburban community of
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    sixty thousand people with its
    giant shopping center, winding
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    lanes named for flowers and
    trees. It is (inaudible) typical of
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    communities all over America.
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    Where families are pursuing the American
    dream to give their children a better
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    chance in life.
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    Nearly all are young people.
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    A large proportion are veterans.
    For many it is the first house of
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    their own and it represents a
    major financial investment.
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    - In August 1957, Levittown,
    Pennsylvania attracted
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    international attention as William Myers
    Jr. and his family moved into the three
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    bedroom house. They are very close
    to the Levittown norm. Except in one
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    respect.
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    William Myers Jr. and his family are
    negroes in an all-white community.
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    If more colored are allowed to move in,
    Levittown is going to go downhill.
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    - The only way that those developers
    could get the capital to do that was
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    by going to the Federal Housing
    Administration. In order to get
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    that approval, they had to commit never
    to sell a home to an African-American.
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    Access to leverage allowed middle-class
    whites to build wealth. The white
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    families who bought those homes were able
    to use their wealth to send children to
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    college. And they use that to bequeath
    wealth to their children, who can use
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    it as down payments for their own homes.
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    Restrictive covenants ensured that
    minorities could not buy into white
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    neighborhoods.
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    Properties shall continue to be
    occupied by the same social
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    and racial classes.
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    - When Karen and I purchased this home that
    was built in 1948 we found some documents
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    in a closet.
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    Neither the whole or any part of
    said tract shall be sold, rented,
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    or leased to any persons or persons
    not of white or caucasian race.
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    - Created greatest growth of the middle
    class in the history of the world.
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    In 1940, 42 percent of white
    families owned their own home.
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    In 2000, 71 percent of white
    families owned their own home.
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    - So consequently those 71 percent,
    72 percent of white home owners
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    who own their own home
    should be thankful to the
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    federal government for providing
    them this opportunity.
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    What did not happen or what
    happened at the same time
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    was that we people of color where
    discriminated against and were
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    prevented from taking advantage
    of those opportunities.
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    - The recent housing and foreclosure
    crisis were a continuation of a form
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    of red-lining.
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    Financial institutions practiced
    unrealistic credit scoring and
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    predatory lending.
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    Subprime mortgages grew nearly 250
    percent. In 1998, subprime mortgages
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    made up 9.8 percent of the mortgage
    market. By 2006, they made up 23.5
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    percent of the market.
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    - And the gap between white home ownership
    rates and black home ownership rates is
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    30 percentage points larger than it was
    back in 1968. In 1968 the typical black
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    family had one-sixth as much
    wealth as the typical white family.
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    Now it is one-tenth.
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    We have gone backwards
    since the civil rights era.
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    - Latinos lost close to a 170 billion
    dollars worth of equity that they
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    had accumulated in the home
    that they purchased many
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    many years before then.
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    - When they come to access products
    the choices that they are given are
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    limited.
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    So you're given, instead of a
    conventional loan, you're given
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    a special loan that have higher
    interest rates or higher fees
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    that again set you up for
    foreclosure or failure as well.
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    - The scandal of your tenure is your
    unwillingness to do your job and
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    enforce the laws that reduce
    housing discrimination.
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    - The housing crisis affected all
    communities but disproportionally
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    devastated minority families.
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    Black and hispanic families lost
    nearly 20 years of wealth between
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    2007 and 2013.
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    Minority home ownership is the
    lowest it's been since 1996.
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    - Red-lining discrimination in the
    Asian-American communities, live
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    and kicking. And in California,
    you'll see that Asians have the
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    second highest probability
    of going to foreclosure.
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    Very comparable to Latinos.
    Latinos were 1.4, for Asians it
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    was 1.3.
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    And so whether it is in home
    ownership, rental, small business,
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    foreclosure, across the
    board there is red-lining.
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    - Between 1934 and 1962, 120 billion
    in FHA and VA loans were issued.
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    Over that period of time,
    98 percent of the loans
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    went to white families
    and less than two
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    percent went to African-Americans
    and other minorities.
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    Using the average Home Price Index
    between 1934 through 2018, those
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    FHA, VA loans equates to at least
    three trillion dollars in current
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    real estate value.
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    Assuming that as loans were paid off
    and excess funds were invested in
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    stocks and other investments
    conservatively, another two
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    trillion were created.
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    This "White Subsidy" is the major
    contributor to the current racial
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    wealth gap.
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    - So many way Americans experience
    this sense of self esteem, a sense of
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    you know superiority, if you will.
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    This sense of mastery, that they
    have created their own destiny
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    in their lives. And they have no
    acknowledgment of this invisible
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    hand that supported them throughout
    their lives and not just them, but there's
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    a legacy of that invisible hand across
    generations that has translated itself
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    from the original affirmative action
    to trillions of dollars of head start
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    ahead of other communities, like
    African-Americans, Latinos, Native
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    Americans, others who don't
    have the same benefit.
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    Children of homeowners are more likely
    to graduate from high school, have less
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    childhood behavioral problems
    and achieve higher college
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    graduation rates.
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    - In segregated housing, and in
    neighborhoods that everybody is
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    segregated that tend to be low
    income neighborhoods.
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    There is the greater likelihood that
    the youngsters will be involved in
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    gangs, or will be recruited
    to be in gangs.
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    - I noticed an absence of hope,
    an absence of light. These kids
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    were barraged with a message
    every single day of their lives,
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    that they weren't valued, that they
    didn't matter. And they internalized
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    that. And that caused frustration
    and anger, and eventually despair
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    and a loss of hope.
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    There is now a very good science
    that shows the sense of not
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    belonging, the sense of lacking
    self-esteem raises cortisol levels
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    in your blood. And cortisol is good for
    you when you're in an extremely
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    stressful situation, but when you're
    constantly bathed in cortisol,
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    because you're constantly feeling these
    stressors of being marginalized and
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    being told that you're less worthy,
    less valuable and being in constant
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    state of really fear and anxiety,
    it changes your physiology
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    completely.
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    It makes you more prone
    to cardiovascular disease,
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    it makes you more prone
    to diabetes, it makes
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    changes in your brain,
    which actually makes it
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    more difficult to engage
    in what we call executive
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    function.
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    This kind of chronic stress which is
    driven by the policies that we've
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    created is lethal as any
    knife or any gun.
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    - Suppose discrimination did end today?
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    How many generations would it take
    to get to rough equality and wealth
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    across races.
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    France was seven generations,
    more than 200 years.
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    - And so when white Americans
    hear about affirmative action
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    for blacks, or for Latinos,
    they're outraged.
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    They think "I've done this
    by myself, why can't these
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    "people. There's something
    wrong with these people."
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    - The same programs that were provided
    to white Americans, that enabled them
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    to accumulate this wealth
    through home ownership,
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    those same opportunities
    have to be provided to us.
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    Imagine where minority families would
    be today if their grandparents had the
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    same access to wealth through
    home ownership that white
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    families had.
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    What would the wealth gap be
    between white and minority
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    families if minorities had the same
    access to wealth through home
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    ownership?
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    Would there be a gap?
Title:
Redlined, A Legacy of Housing Discrimination
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
15:09

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