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13 Apr, 2023 20:45

White House says racism cost US $16 trillion since 2000

Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice claimed closing ‘racial gaps’ would boost GDP by $5 trillion
White House says racism cost US $16 trillion since 2000

Anti-black racism has cost the US $16 trillion since 2000, White House Domestic Policy Council chief Susan Rice told Al Sharpton’s racial justice advocacy group National Action Network on Wednesday. 

“The US had a GDP shortfall of $16 trillion due to discrimination against black Americans” between 2000 and 2020, Rice, who was shortlisted for the vice president post in President Joe Biden’s cabinet but passed over for Kamala Harris, told the audience. 

“If we closed our racial gaps, we could add another $5 trillion to GDP over just the next 5 years,” she continued, without elaborating on what was meant by “racial gaps.”

Reassuring cheering onlookers this was “not my math,” Rice attributed the claims to Citibank, which published a report in 2020 titled “Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps; The Economic Cost of Black Inequality in the US.” 

The Citi report claimed that “closing the black wage gap could have added $2.7 trillion in income available for consumption or investment,” while “facilitating easy access to higher education for black students could have increased lifetime incomes $90-$113 billion.” Meanwhile, “improving access to housing credit might have added an additional 770,000 black homeowners,” equating to $218 billion in spending, it continued.

Most impressively – according to Citi – simply “providing fair and equitable lending to black entrepreneurs might have resulted in the creation of an additional $13 trillion in business revenue and potentially created 6.1 million jobs per year.” The statistics are sourced to “Citi Research,” with no further discussion of their origins.

Continuing her speech at Sharpton’s event, Rice called for the audience to “stand together in defense of facts, truth and history,” warning that “we’re seeing bans on innocuous children’s books just because they feature prominently black or brown characters” and “black history erased from our classrooms and textbooks.”

“Make no mistake, those who are doing this are trying to tell us that we do not count, that we do not matter, and that perhaps we should not exist,” the former Obama national security adviser declared, without going into detail on who that might be. 

Citi’s report recommended that the government “provide guaranteed wages, income and jobs” in order to close the “racial gaps.” While urging the government to beef up the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an authority tasked with protecting against racial discrimination in hiring, the bank also called on corporations to favor racially diverse candidates in seeming violation of the EEOC, describing this as “the right thing to do.” 

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