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Inequality Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Supporters of American slavery reparations in Washington in 2002.CreditCreditManny Ceneta/Getty Images

Reparations: A Conversation Worth Having

By | Commentaries/Opinions

The debate on when it is relevant to apologize and pay reparations for misdeeds and human rights violations tells us that the past is never dead. By Jorge G. Castañeda, The New York Times — MEXICO CITY — Three weeks ago and 500 years after the arrival of Hernán Cortés in Veracruz, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico sent a letter to the king of Spain. In it, he…

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‘If your anti-racism work prioritizes the ‘growth’ and ‘enlightenment’ of white America over the dignity and humanity of people of color – it’s not anti-racism work. It’s white supremacy.’

Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people

By | Editors' Choice

Too often whites at discussions on race decide for themselves what will be discussed, what they will hear, what they will learn. And it is their space. All spaces are. By Ijeoma Oluo, The Guardian — I was leaving a corporate office building after a full day of leading workshops on how to talk about race thoughtfully and deliberately. The audience for each session had been similar to the dozens…

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Michelle Obama

Succeeding While Black

By | Editors' Choice

Michelle Obama’s new book reduces racial inequality to a matter of psychological impairment that can be overcome through grit and grin. This is a dangerous proposition. By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Boston Review — Michelle Obama’s popularity is a remarkable political feat. Her ascent into the public spotlight, after all, began as a receptacle of rightwing misogynoir. From the suggestions that she was ill-tempered to the hideous portrayals of her as male…

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In Michigan, which accounts for nearly half of all committed federal funds for blight demolition, the average cost paid with federal dollars increased by 90 percent in less than three years.

‘The Divided City’ warns of Detroit’s inequality

By | Commentaries/Opinions

By Bankole Thompson, Detroit News — Despite the revival taking place in cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, they are being turned into “places of growing inequality where small, glittering enclaves of prosperity are ringed by larger areas of decline and where millions are relegated to lives of poverty and hopelessness.” That’s the message historian and author Alan Mallach conveys in his new book, “The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity…

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Juan Guaidó engages supporters in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 2, 2019.

In Venezuela, White Supremacy Is a Key Driver of the Coup

By | Commentaries/Opinions

By Greg Palast, Truthout — On January 23, right after a phone call from Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, former speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself president. No voting. When you have official recognition from The Donald, who needs elections? Say what? I can explain what’s going on in Venezuela in photos. Opposition leader and self-proclaimed ‘acting president’ Juan Guaido (2-L) talks to the press as he holds his daughter Miranda (3-L), next to his wife…

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‘Housing is central to the ‘good life’ in the United States.’

Housing market racism persists despite ‘fair housing’ laws

By | Commentaries/Opinions

In the US, where homeownership speaks to class, African Americans are being denied mortgages at rates much higher than their white peers By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The Guardian — As a new year begins and the 2020 presidential election looms closer, our political focus will start to narrow around the issues thought to be most urgent and likely to mobilize voters. One issue surely to be glossed over, if not completely…

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Young Brazilians Share Their Fears About a Bolsonaro Presidency

Young Brazilians Share Their Fears About a Bolsonaro Presidency

By | Commentaries/Opinions

“I want a country where black people and LGBTQ individuals can walk freely. As a woman, I want to walk around without being afraid I’ll get raped.” By Gislene Ramos, Vice — On Tuesday, October 30, thousands of young people took to the streets of São Paulo, Brazil to protest the far-right ideas of Jair Bolsonaro, the authoritarian candidate who won the country’s presidential elections on Sunday. According to the organizers…

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‘Freeing a Slave from the Slave Stick Jamaica’ circa 1876. From the International Mission

How slaveholders in the Caribbean maintained control

By | Reparations

By Christer Petley, Edited by Nigel Warburton, Aeona — It is no surprise that the whip is synonymous with New World slavery: its continual crack remained an audible threat to enslaved workers to keep at their work, reminding them that their lives and bodies were not their own, and that they should maintain (outwardly at least) a demeanour of dutiful subordination to their overlords. The whip was a cruel and effective instrument…

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People of color, women and the LGBTQ community are just some of the groups who often get slighted with tax reforms.

How American tax laws encourage inequality

By | Commentaries/Opinions

Talk of tax reform always seems to be in the air. By Anthony C. Infanti, The Conversation — Last fall, Republicans in Congress hastily pushed through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, hailing it as “historic legislation” and “once-in-a-generation tax reform.” But that legislation has proved unpopular because it is widely and accurately viewed as tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, with any effort at reform being merely coincidental. Despite the unpopularity of last fall’s effort, this…

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Beyond the Wages of Whiteness: Du Bois on the Irrationality of Antiblack Racism

Beyond the Wages of Whiteness: Du Bois on the Irrationality of Antiblack Racism

By | Editors' Choice

Ella Myers provides an account of W. E. B. Du Bois’s nuanced analysis of the sense of entitlement among whites in the United States. Drawing from Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction and other writings, Myers draws attention to both the concept of a compensatory “wage” that elevates the social status of lower class whites in ways that bind them to white capital, but also to the irrational aspects of antiblack racism….

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