Racism remains an economic anchor that holds back African-Americans and other minority groups, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Thursday.
The still-sluggish economic recovery overseen by the Obama administration has benefited whites more than blacks and Hispanics, Biden told a National Urban League conference in Washington. And he said “institutional racism” is a big reason why.
“Despite our successes, the recovery hasn’t been equally shared,” Biden said of his and President Barack Obama’s seven years of economic stewardship . “We’ve come a long way, but more has to be done.”
He said African-Americans and Hispanics economically “lag way behind their white counterparts,” pointing out that the collective wealth of white families is seven times that of African-American families.
Over half of black children who are born poor stay poor, a rate he said is “double” that of poor white kids. And it is “destructive” to minority families and communities that many non-whites are unable to obtain mortgages, Biden said.
He singled out “institutional racism … that most people don’t even see” as the root cause, arguing it often is baked into American society.
“We’re only slowly beginning to acknowledge it,” he said, making “no apologies” for highlighting the issue.
“Sometimes it’s uncomfortable” to talk about racism, Biden acknowledged, “but these are uncomfortable times.”