Yesterday night I finished the excellent Akata Witch audiobook, and this morning listened to the last of my giant podcast backlog, so when Apple News introduced their new audio stories feature I was set right up to make best use of them. Of the articles I listened to through the day today, Racial Repression Is Built Into the U.S. Economy by Peter Coy stood out to me from this passage:
The reviewers who serve as gatekeepers for academic journals in economics seem to believe that the African-American experience is sui generis, “a special case from which we cannot generalize,” says Lisa Cook, a black economist at Michigan State University. It took her 10 years to find a publisher for a paper showing that patenting by African Americans declined during historical periods of lynching and white race riots. Economists from other countries—including China, Israel, and Russia—immediately saw the wide applicability of the research, she says.
The Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery but not the maltreatment of blacks. To this day, testers have found that résumés with black-sounding names are less likely to earn interviews than ones with white-sounding names. Black Americans are steered into costlier home and auto loans. They get worse health care than whites and suffer worse outcomes, especially from Covid-19. They have chronically higher unemployment rates—although ironically the gap has narrowed during the pandemic because more black than white employees have kept working under risky conditions, because their jobs are deemed essential.
The full article is heartbreaking, and a welcome reminder that we all need to make sure our spaces, workplaces, and lives are as diverse and inclusive as possible.