In the United States, different ethnic groups have varying socioeconomic standings. The assertion that there is a correlation between race and inequality covers such notions. Historical evidence suggests that the unequal treatment of racial minorities in the United States dates as far back to the start of colonization. In the early days of European settlement of the Americas , European explorers encountered a group of people who appeared radically different from them. American Indians were discriminated against because their beliefs and practices were perceived as being “savage.”

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Other minority groups have also been discriminated against in the United States. Hispanics, Asian Americans, and people of Middle Eastern descent have also been subject to racial discrimination, stereotype, and unequal treatment. 

The income of racial minorities has increased with the reduction of racial discrimination in the labor market. As a result, the hourly wage gap between minorities and Whites has narrowed. While this suggests that the various races are competing in a somewhat level playing field, it is challenged when wealth is taken into account.

Dating to the inception of slavery, government policies prohibited blacks from beginning businesses. Federal Housing Authorities made it difficult for African Americans to obtain loans and mortgages. While racial and ethnic minorities were legally denied opportunities to accumulate wealth for future generations, most whites did not encounter these same obstacles. Perpetuations of these practices for centuries attest to the wide wealth inequalities among Whites and minorities.

How do we create a just society in which lower-wealth persons and communities of color can achieve economic security and community prosperity? Join Wendy Wright and Geoff Smith from the Woodstock Institute this Saturday at 1pm to find out. Talk just got interesting!

Wright On The Edge, Saturday from 1-3pm on WOL and streaming live at


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