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Deliberate Inequality: In America, the Ghetto Is Public Policy

Liz Dwyer

How did we end up with the black-white wealth gap? And how do black ghettos emerge? Ta-Nehisi Coates says we tend to think of Jim Crow as "an archaic system in which people irrationally decide to separate from each other just based on skin color," but in reality, "the import of mid-20th century housing policy--along with private actions (riots, block-busting, contract lending, covenants)" has had a lasting negative impact on black Americans. And it transferred considerable wealth to whites.

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