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The Cost of 21st Century Jim Crow!

How the Cost of Climate Change Affects the Ability of The West to Maintain Systemic Racism?

In the US, Black-owned businesses (or Black businesses), also known as African American businesses, originated in the days of slavery before 1865.

In the US, Black-owned businesses (or Black businesses), also known as African American businesses, originated in the days of slavery before 1865. Emancipation and civil rights permitted businessmen to operate inside the American legal structure starting in the Reconstruction Era (1863–77) and afterwards. By the 1890s, thousands of small business operations had opened in urban areas. The most rapid growth came in the early 20th century, as the increasingly rigid Jim Crow system of segregation moved urban Blacks into a community large enough to support a business establishment. The National Negro Business League—which Booker T. Washington, college president, promoted—opened over 600 chapters. It reached almost every major US city with a significant Black population!

By 1920, there were tens of thousands of Black businesses, the great majority of them quite free of debt. The largest were insurance companies. At this time Jim Crow laws a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial oppression were expanded. Named after a Black minstrel show character, the laws—which existed for about 100 years, from the Civil War era until 1970's—were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote, hold jobs, Fair housing, fair business loans, access to medical attention, get an education, or other opportunities. Those who attempted to defy Jim Crow laws often faced arrest, fines, jail sentences, violence and death. The U.S. economy was built on the exploitation and occupational segregation of people of color. While many government policies and institutional practices helped create this system, the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and the New Deal—as well as the limited funding and scope of anti-discrimination agencies—are some of the biggest contributors to inequality in America.

Together, these policy decisions concentrated workers of color in chronically undervalued occupations, institutionalized racial disparities in wages and benefits, and perpetuated employment discrimination. The United States abolished slavery in 1863, but this action did not coincide with the opening of all occupations to liberated Black workers. On the contrary, federal officials within the Freedmen’s Bureau—established by the federal government whose stated mission was supposed to help formerly enslaved people transition to freedom—encouraged Black people to stay in the South and enter into contracts doing the same work for the families that previously enslaved them.

In the South a government of men called the Freedmen’s Bureau, which lasted, legally, from 1865 to 1872, but in a sense from 1861 to 1876, and which sought to settle the so-called "Negro problem" in the United States of America. Under the Freedmen's Bureau abandoned lands were leased so long as they remained in the hands of the Bureau, and a total revenue of $400,000 derived from black tenants was earned. Some other lands to which the nation had gained title were sold, public lands were opened for the settlement but only to blacks who had tools and capital. the rest were given promises and oppressive laws.

The Bureau built hospitals for the freed slaves and gave direct medical aid to more than 1 million of them. The greatest successes of the Freedmen's Bureau were in the field of education. More than 1,000 African American schools were built and staffed with qualified instructors. Education had transformative power: families who gained access to schools after slavery made significant and long-lasting economic progress even when they lived under restrictive Jim Crow regimes. Upon seeing the speed of the economic growth of the newly freed slaves the terrorist violence began.

African Americans in the 1920s found themselves in several important struggles throughout the country. Voting rights, including fair access to polling stations and practices meant to bar Black people from voting eligibility, were a significant issue, as was organized violence against African Americans that were perceived as prosperous and a threat to white economic dominance. In 1933, faced with a housing shortage, the federal government began a program explicitly designed to increase — and segregate — America's housing under the New Deal a "state-sponsored system of segregation". The government's efforts were "primarily designed to provide home ownership opportunities to white, middle-class, lower-middle-class families," while African-Americans and non whites were forced out of the suburban communities — and pushed into rental housing projects.

Racial covenants were obligations inserted into property deeds that typically forbade persons not of Caucasian descent from occupying or owning the premises. The use of racial covenants accelerated rapidly through the 1910s and 1920s and continue in some places to this day. Racial covenants, still on the books in virtually every state, are hard to erase Racial covenants made it illegal for Black people to live in white neighborhoods. Now they're illegal, but you might still have one on your home's deed. And they're hard to remove. Historically in the United States, access to capital for individuals and business owners is uneven based on race.

There are stark contrasts in access to credit for African Americans: Interest rates on business loans, bank branch density, local banking concentration in the residential mortgage market, and the growth of local businesses are markedly different in majority Black neighborhoods because white Bankers routinely base their decisions on race not income and credit standing. For decades, U.S. banks denied mortgages to Black applicants—and those belonging to other racial and ethnic minority groups—who lived in certain areas redlined by a federal agency called the Home Owners' Loan Corp. (HOLC). Although HOLC has been defunct since the 1950s, those practices still exist and inform Banking in America today.

The Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the economic attrition through segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods — a policy known as "redlining." At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites — with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans. When it comes to risky investments and predatory financial products, Black communities are often singled out because there is less of a chance authorities will do anything to protect Black communities.

Payday loans, high-fee check-cashing services and outright scams find fertile ground in a community still affected by generations of discrimination and lack of access to traditional financial instruments. “Black people have long been targeted for these types of predatory services. We can look not that far in the past at the subprime mortgage boom that targeted Black and Latinx communities in particular,” ( Jacob Faber, Professor of sociology New York University).

A major bank has done a study putting a price tag on how much the US annual economy loses each year as a result of discrimination against African Americans: $16 trillion. The United States leads the ranking of countries with highest military spending with a minimum annually of 800 billion U.S. dollars dedicated to the military. That constitutes nearly 40 percent of the average total military spending worldwide each year, which amounts give or take a trillion to 2.2 trillion U.S. dollars. So we as a nation spend ten times more stopping Black Americans from equal access to economic power than we do protecting the country from war!

Climate Change Costs the U.S. Roughly $150 Billion Each Year, New Report Finds. A new federal report released this week finds that extreme climate events cost the U.S. $150 billion each year, an estimate that doesn't account for loss of life, healthcare-related costs, and damages to ecosystem services. The National Climate Assessment shows America is warming faster than the global average with climate change impacting nearly every facet of life including population and birth rates.If you were born in the US this year, climate change could wind up costing you around $500,000 over the course of your lifetime. That’s according to a new study commissioned by Consumer Reports and conducted by consulting firm ICF.

The study counts up higher bills for climate-related calamities that drive up housing, food, and healthcare costs, for example. On top of that, there’s the prospect of higher taxes and lost income over the years in a warming world. The biggest climate-related costs, according to the study, have to do with housing. Climate change is intensifying storms, floods, and wildfires, for instance. In that reality, repairing and maintaining a home gets more expensive. Then, there are skyrocketing costs for insuring a home. Altogether, ICF finds that added housing costs could amount to $125,000 over the life of a person born in the US this year. The forecast prompted many investors to buy up affordable housing and cheap land in expectations they will have a future population of permanent renters who if unable to pay rent will be inducted into the prison industrial modern slavery system,

Since 1880, average global temperatures have increased by about 1 degrees Celsius (1.7° degrees Fahrenheit). Global temperature have already warmed by about 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7° degrees Fahrenheit) and are expected to reach 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 directly due to fossil fuels and greed. New calculations suggest that the world already passed 1.5⁰C of warming by around 2010, with temperatures now around 1.7⁰C above pre-industrial levels. The authors have called for countries to urgently accelerate their net zero plans to limit global warming to less than 2⁰C.

Since 2000, U.S. gross domestic product lost 16 trillion as a result of discriminatory practices in a range of areas, including in education and access to business loans, according to a new study by Citigroup. It's not an insignificant number: By comparison, U.S. GDP totaled $19.5 trillion in 2023

And not acting to reverse discriminatory practices will continue to exact a cost. Citigroup estimates the economy would see a $5-6 trillion boost over the next five years if the U.S. were to tackle key areas of discrimination against African Americans.


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