Closing racial wealth gap: What Biden plans to do

U.S. President Joe Biden and HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge arrive at Tulsa International Airport on a visit to mark the centennial anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., June 1, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Carlos Barria

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Biden today marked the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and he unveiled new measures to address the racial wealth gap. They focus on housing and government contracts. Not included are reparations or debt forgiveness. 

The Tulsa Race Massacre is a symbol of stolen potential, according to Anne Price, president of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. 

“Think about the kinds of flourishing businesses in Tulsa that could have been passed down or the wealth from those businesses passed down to future generations,” Price tells KCRW. “You're really talking about stolen wealth. And in that regard, I think that certainly Blacks in Tulsa particularly are owed. But Black Americans are owed more generally, from the wealth that has been taken from them over generations since the beginning of emancipation.”

She says addressing housing discrimination is critical, and reparations could also help chip away at the racial wealth gap. Also, addressing issues of debt and student loans will be critical to help young people build wealth.