Takeaways from “The Color of Money”

  • “All to often when there is mass unemployment in the black community, its referred to as a social problem and when there’s mass unemployment in the white community it’s referred to as a depression” — MLK 1968
  • 2008 financial crisis wiped out more than half the wealth of the black community
  • “When Wall Street catches a cold, Harlem catches pneumonia”
  • black and white Americans have had a separate and unequal system of banking and credit
  • black nationalists saw black banking as a symbol of resistance and self-determination
  • instead of freed slaves getting land via the Freeman’s Bureau for the land they enriched, they got a northern bank.
  • racism and segregation would limit the effectiveness and eventually be the ultimate demise of localized banking systems in poor and marginalized communities. Housing segregation rippled into banking because loans became risky for example.
  • immigrant banking faced the same issues but none faced systemic repression for the same length of time. The Bank of America was the Bank of Italy.
  • the white suburb is the product of heavy state intervention. Blacks were excluded from government credit infrastructure (ex: guaranteed loans). The red line existed in many ways
  • Sherman’s gave a military order to give southern land to freed slaves so southern states faced punishment for succeeding. It’d be the basis of Lincoln’s policies and the Freedmens bureau
  • The Freedmens Bureau could not survival the post-war violence as southerns fought for economic control.
  • Andrew Johnson who assumed office after Lincoln’s assassination undermined the bureau, didn’t follow through on Lincoln’s promises, and pardoned southern who were to be hanged for their violence
  • Johnson said it was “advantaging blacks over whites” — he spoke of “free trade” as the answer (ffs bitch says slaves who don’t have money should pay for land)
  • Land starts to get confiscated
  • MEANWHILE THE GOV IS GIVING LAND TO RAILROAD BARONS FFS. Gov misdirection
  • Myth of free market principles is politically convenient excuse. Blacks couldn’t even pay market rates for land, the land wouldn’t even be sold to them, or it’d be sold half price to whites
  • Anything but a free market when you have the Black Codes created