LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Deconstructing Systemic Racism

A woman experiencing homelessness sleeps on a bench in front of the Canadian Embassy. (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)

News Source: The Washington Informer

Throughout much of the 20th century, the Federal Housing Authority’s Redlining Policy kept people of color out of the emerging suburbs while undermining growth in inner cities. Redlining yielded disastrous results. Today, African Americans experience homelessness at a much higher rate than other groups. Some figures estimate that African Americans make up 40 percent of the U.S. homeless population, despite being only 13 percent of the overall population. With real estate an important part of wealth accrual in this country, the impact of housing policies has been significant through generations, resulting in a disproportionate number of African Americans living in poverty. Redlining constitutes a form of social engineering that changed the social fabric of our society through the separation of neighborhoods. To end systemic racism, we need to understand our history better. We need to decrypt ideologies, make courageous moves and undo the injustices of the past.

Jean-Michel Giraud
President and CEO, Friendship Place

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