From 1934 to 1968, federal and local governments systematically prevented African Americans and other racial minority groups from getting home loans. In fact, a whopping 98 percent of home loans were given to white families during that period, resulting in a gaping wealth divide. Those discriminatory policies continue to perpetrate racial segregation in neighborhoods and schools and disenfranchise racial minorities to this day–long after those policies were officially taken off the books.
"People tend to think of segregation as an archaic term for Jim Crow policies that led to the Civil Rights Movement," says Nikole Hannah-Jones, who covers civil rights issues for the New York Times magazine. "But the truth is, black children are more segregated now than at any time since the 1970's."
Since schools are funded by property taxes, those in white neighborhoods have much more funding to spend on facilities, teachers, and supplies–further perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Furthermore, racial bias is by no means dead: banks still regularly charge black homebuyers higher rates on loans even when they have the same credit as their white peers, and there are millions of incidents of illegal housing discrimination every year.
Watch Adam from Adam Ruins Everything explain how the suburbs became so white, and how the impact of redlining resonates to this day.
Does anything Adam explains surprise you? How have you experienced the impacts of redlining?