NAACP president: Racial wealth gap ‘single greatest barrier to realizing Dr. King’s dream’ 

Courtesy of NAACP

NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson said the racial wealth gap is the “single greatest barrier” to realizing the civil rights dream of the late Martin Luther King Jr.

“From voting rights and police reform to the ongoing fight for economic justice, there is much work left to be done to fully realize Dr. King’s dream. Today, the racial wealth gap in America continues to be the single greatest barrier to realizing Dr. King’s dream,” Johnson said in a statement on Sunday ahead of the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

“We have the tools required to begin to address the racial wealth gap through comprehensive student debt relief and now millions of Americans are depending on our elected leaders to have the courage to act,” Johnson said. 

Research indicates that the racial wealth gap between white and Black Americans has been widening in recent years: The net worth of an average white household in the U.S. was about 10 times that of an average Black household before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Though the U.S. has made strides in racial equality in many arenas, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the country and the administration have much more to do to combat racial inequities in the economy. 

“As we look to the new year, the NAACP will continue to push forward in the fight to cancel student debt, champion efforts to dismantle white supremacy, and ensure justice for all,” Johnson said.  

President Biden spoke Sunday at the Atlanta church where King preached to pay tribute to the late civil rights activist, underscoring the country is at an “inflection point” in its fight for democracy and its battle against racism, inequality and other ills.

“The battle for the soul of this nation is perennial. It’s a constant struggle. It’s a constant struggle between hope and fear, kindness and cruelty, justice and injustice. Against those who traffic in racism, extremism and insurrection,” Biden said.

Tags Biden Derrick Johnson Derrick Johnson Economy Janet Yellen Martin Luther King Jr Martin Luther King Jr. NAACP racial wealth gap

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