Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: How racist exclusion led to predatory inclusion for Black homeowners
Princeton professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has just released her long-awaited book “Race For Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Home Ownership.” It confronts the subject of discriminatory real estate practices in the U.S. following the ratification of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, which banned housing segregation and redlining. Taylor explains that while the federal government outlawed racial segregation, it failed to deal with the underlying issues of racism and exploitation. Taylor says the Fair Housing Act — and more widely the liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s — was premised on the notion that “America is basically a good society.” The problem is, she says, the inclusion of Black Americans in the housing market without grappling with the racism embedded in those institutions exposed families to “predatory” lending practices. “We need to look at the institutions themselves and the practices themselves to determine whether or not this is the best way to increase social mobility for Black people,” she says.
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