I’m saying this til I’m blue in the face. The New Deal expanded the racial wealth gap because it pumped money into some communities - which afforded large scale prosperity, and not others which ensured stagnation or worse theft of wealth. PPP is replicating this same pattern.
PPP is guaranteeing which businesses do not survive the Great Decimation. And those businesses are disproportionately led by people of color. Any gains our communities have made since the 2008 crash will be wiped completely out. This is a choice.
We are watching real-time as the government actively chooses to create a safety net for some and leave the folks most on a cliff, most unable to amass generational wealth, most impacted by the crisis - to fend for themselves while they put capital in the market for others.
That’s not even leaving the same playing field. That is how you create generational theft.
This. Is. A. Choice.
What kills me is in 10 years when the data is how many PoC businesses failed during the crash, some investor will pontificate about how risky investment in PoC led businesses are. They will make it sound like we are deficient as leaders and use that data to anchor themselves.
Meanwhile, folks will scrape out of the rubble AGAIN. Start over, AGAIN. Face a lack of investment, AGAIN. And it will be because America thought it could leave picking winners and losers to private industry, AGAIN. And private industry will have chosen to try and bury us, AGAIN.
That’s the thing about structural racism, it doesn’t take Machiavellian machinations in a lot of banks to continue it. All it takes is banks picking the same “winners” they’ve always picked to get the same guarantee of loyalty and future return on investment.
All it takes the government is administering programs as if no rules or regulations will make the “worthy” rise to the top.
I keep thinking about the apoplectic fit folks would have had if there had been distribution requirements for banks participating in PPP. Even minimally meeting those would have had news outlets interviewing small white-led businesses about how they were unable to secure loans.
Piece after piece of down on their luck white people closing up shop and blaming it on the equal distribution of funds in all communities would have been a part of our day to day. Yet here we are on the other end of that, and we are not hearing those stories about our people.
The program is underfunded and we won’t understand that as a failure because in many ways, the data about how few PoC-led companies are getting the money, mollifies the American comfort with suffering as long as people of color suffer more.
You can follow @karlitaliliana.
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