In Tulsa, Biden takes step toward justice but stumbles on wealth gap

President Joe Biden’s pledge to close America’s racial wealth gap – made in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday – represents an important step in the direction of justice. The city is where a white supremacist mob destroyed the prosperous Black neighborhood of Greenwood, killing nearly 300. And Biden, as he stated during his speech, is the first president to call out the horrors of those two days 100 years ago, while visiting the city in which they happened. 

His plan includes new measures to combat racial discrimination in housing, which remains one of the key drivers of wealth disparities. Homes were demolished by the hundreds during many massacres in U.S. history. Through redlining and other racist housing practices, governments and businesses denied Black people a major path toward homeownership and wealth. 

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