History offers some pointers for government regulators
By Robert Henderson and Rebecca Marchiel
The Justice Department recently announced an initiative to combat redlining, the refusal of lenders to issue credit to borrowers in communities of color.
Congress baked the practice into New Deal housing policies and later the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, better known as the GI Bill, after World War II, making it responsible for a massive expansion of homeownership for White Americans in largely segregated suburbs into the 1950s. Meanwhile, Black and integrating neighborhoods suffered from disinvestment and, as Attorney General Merrick Garland recently noted, a substantial and stubborn wealth gap between Black and White families that has persisted. And the whole thing was invisible to most White Americans — epitomizing the racism built into the structures of everyday American life.
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