Biden Aims To ‘Narrow’ Racial Wealth Gap On Centennial Of Tulsa Massacre

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the East Room of the White House on May 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden addressed criticism from Republicans after a weaker than ... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the East Room of the White House on May 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden addressed criticism from Republicans after a weaker than expected April jobs report. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 1, 2021 8:19 a.m.

President Joe Biden will announce plans on Tuesday to narrow the racial wealth gap and invest in Black businesses during his visit to Tulsa commemorating the centennial of its horrific massacre of hundreds of Black residents in its Greenwood district.

Marking 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre that left hundreds dead and destroyed businesses in the historic district known as “Black Wall Street,” the Biden administration said it will take steps aimed at reinvesting in communities that it said have left behind by failed policies.

“The destruction wrought on the Greenwood neighborhood and its families was followed by laws and policies that made recovery nearly impossible,” the White House said in a statement announcing the plans early Tuesday.

The White House said it was “chronic disinvestment by the federal government in Black entrepreneurs and small businesses” that had denied Black Wall Street a fair chance at rebuilding.

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According to the Tuesday statement, the Biden administration will use federal purchasing power to grow federal contracting with small, disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent. The White House said that effort will translate to an additional $100 billion over five years.

The administration also announced plans to launch a multiple-agency effort to tackle inequalities in home appraisals and to issue new rules to fight housing discrimination.

The White House said the effort led by HUD secretary Marcia Fudge would seize on all levers at federal disposal to chip away at discriminatory housing practices “including potential enforcement under fair housing laws, regulatory action, and development of standards and guidance in close partnership with industry and state and local governments, to root out discrimination in the appraisal and homebuying process.”

Biden will also announce on Tuesday new details on the $10 billion community revitalization fund included in his infrastructure proposal. The fund will be geared toward supporting community-led civic infrastructure projects and has been highlighted by the White House as part of Biden’s efforts to support communities of color.

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