Monday, June 21, 2021

Biden to announce new steps to bridge racial wealth gap on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre


The president will comment to recall the hundreds of black Americans who were killed by a white mob that attacked their neighborhood and burned dozens of city blocks. He will meet living members of the community, visit the Greenwood Cultural Center and outline his administration’s efforts to combat racial inequality in the nation.

One hundred years ago, on May 31, 1921, a white mob descended upon the affluent Black neighborhood known as Black Wall Street and proceeded to burn, loot and murder hundreds of people to death and 35 city blocks destroyed. . Biden on monday Announced May 31, 2021, To be “Remembrance Day: 100 years after the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre” and called on Americans to recommend an end to systemic racism in America.

According to senior administrative officials, on Tuesday, they are expected to announce new steps to help minority-owned businesses thrive and overcome racial discrimination in the housing market.

The president will declare that he will use federal purchasing power to develop federal contracts with small, disadvantaged businesses – many of them minority-owned – by up to 50%. The White House said this would translate to an additional $ 100 billion over five years.

He will also announce new specifics on the $ 10 billion Community Revitalization Fund included in his infrastructure proposal. The fund will be targeted to economically backward and underdeveloped communities such as Greenwood, where the massacre took place more than a century ago.

The fund will help optimize vacant buildings and storefronts to provide low-cost space for services and community entrepreneurs, including health centers, arts and cultural venues, job training programs, business incubators, and community markets. It will also help remove toxic waste to create new parks and community gardens.

The new competitive grant of $ 15 billion will target neighborhoods where people have been cut off from jobs, schools and businesses due to previous transportation investments, Biden hopes to announce. And the American Jobs Plan will also invest $ 31 billion to support minority-owned small businesses.

Targeting discrimination in the housing market

The president is expected to announce a new inter-agency effort to address inequality in home appraisals and aggressively combat housing discrimination.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development will publish two fair housing rules, as well as restore appropriate housing definitions and certifications and restore the department’s discriminatory impact standard.

As Tulsa digs for victims of the 1921 racial massacre, victims say the road to justice is long

According to a senior administration official, the department is moving towards “traditional interpretations of the Fair Housing Act,” and reversing efforts by the Trump administration to undermine its patronage. The official said the purpose of the rules is to allow the department to “more strictly enforce the Fair Housing Act”.

Biden will direct HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge to lead an inter-agency initiative to address inequality in household appraisals. The initiative will include potential enforcement under appropriate housing laws, regulatory action, and the development of standards and guidance in partnership with industry and state and local governments.

The president will announce new specifics on the new neighborhood home tax credit in the American Jobs Plan, which aims to attract private investment in developing affordable homes for low and middle-income home buyers and homeowners.

New details will be announced on the $ 5 billion Unlocking Prospects program – a new grant program that provides funding to jurisdictions that reduce barriers to the production of affordable housing and expand housing options for low- or middle-income people Take steps to do.

The national president of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, was a critic of Biden’s new proposals to advance racial equality. He said they failed to address the student loan debt crisis, which he said was at the core of the racial money gap.

“While many components of President Biden’s budget seem encouraging, when it comes to addressing America’s racial wealth gap, this racial wealth gap fails to address a major issue at the core of the student loan debt crisis. Is, ā€¯Johnson said in one. Statement.

He continued: “Student loan debt continues to suppress the economic prosperity of black Americans across the country. You can’t begin to address the racial wealth gap without addressing the student loan debt crisis. You just can’t do one without the other. Cannot address. Plain and simple. President Biden’s budget fails to address the student debt crisis. “

The White House in response to Tuesday pointed to the president’s proposed investment in historically black colleges and universities.

“The American Family Plan, which is included in the President’s budget, includes a historic $ 46 billion investment in HBCUs, tribal colleges and universities, and minority-serving institutions. These institutions take underrepresented students to the top of the income ladder Important to help get going. White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre told reporters at Air Force One.

“President Biden is calling for a historic investment in affordability through subsidized tuition and institutional and grant expansion,” Jean-Pierre said.

Descendants want justice

The descendants of the Tulsa caste massacre, which have been shrouded in secrecy for decades, are demanding justice and compensation even after 100 years.

The pressure on Capitol Hill to bring justice to these victims has increased. Last month, 107-year-old Viola Fletcher, who survived the massacre, testified before Congress and called for justice and the country to officially accept the massacre.

Fletcher told MPs, “I am 107 years old and I have never seen justice. I pray that one day I will do it.” Fletcher was seven years old when she witnessed the massacre.

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The President’s visit is the same day the city of Tulsa will begin to remove the bodies possibly associated with the massacre. On Tuesday morning, experts led by the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey will begin mapping and preparing the site located in the Oaklon Cemetery.

Today, greenwood is a fraction of the size that preceded the massacre. The wealthy neighborhood was never completely rebuilt and its descendants say that the area was not fully recovered.

The president said in his proclamation on Monday that laws and policies passed in the wake of the massacre have made neighborhood recovery almost impossible. He said the federal government “needs to accept the role it has played in snatching money and opportunity from black communities.”

He reaffirmed his commitment to addressing systemic racism in America, “to advance racial justice through our entire government, and to root out systemic racism from our laws, our policies, and our hearts.” to work.”

The president said his administration has long been addressing racial inequalities by investing in programs to provide capital to small businesses in economically disadvantaged areas and infrastructure projects to advance racial equity and environmental justice. Used to be.

In addition to the American Jobs Plan, Biden proposes the American Family Plan, which will invest heavily in education, paid vacation and child care.

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