Melissa Harris-Perry: Wealth gap reflects racism's legacy
VIDEO - America will be a majority-minority country with the growing Hispanic population, but one of a third of African-American and Hispanic households are facing personal debt crisis...
In the next few decades, America will be a majority-minority country with the growing Hispanic population. One of a third of African-American and Hispanic households are facing personal debt crisis.
According to a Pew Research Center study, white households’ wealth is 20 times more than that of African-American households and 18 times more than that of Hispanic households.
WATCH MSNBC’s WEALTH GAP COVERAGE HERE
[MSNBCMSN video=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640″ w=”592″ h=”346″ launch_id=”43904424″ id=”msnbc71f1f6″]
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
According to Melissa Harris-Perry, there is a wealth gap because choices made by the government. Historically, black people could not own property because they were property. In post-World War II, policies that successfully created a middle class also shut out black people.
“Wealth grews… if you are shut out at the beginning, it is nearly impossible to catch up later on,” Harris-Perry said.
Dr. Thomas Sharpiro focuses on structural reasons behind the wealth disparities based on public policy. He said If we get a really good handle on what has driven the increase in the racial wealth gap in the United States then we start to have some tools on public policy to make a redress.
“There is a lot that Washington has not done in terms of financial regulation that puts some kind of control… in the business that was going on first in communities of colors and then, spreading out through other segments of American society,” Sharpiro said.