Ishmael Reed is a visiting scholar at the California College of the Arts and the author, most recently, of the novel “Juice!” and the essay collection “Going Too Far.”
DURING Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama declared that “Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding and consumers, patients and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.”
Tell that to black Americans, who were hit harder than the rest of the country by the recession and are having a harder time recovering. That struggle is not a coincidence, or merely a result of past inequality. During the housing bubble, blacks were deliberately targeted for subprime loans: as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said, the big banks committed “systematic discrimination against blacks and Hispanics.”
One would think that Republicans, so eager to promote wealth building, would see an opening. Instead, they blamed blacks for the recession, accusing them, among other things, of taking out risky mortgages they couldn’t afford....