Turn the EIDL into a grant for Minority Owned Businesses

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In light of disparities in the black community uncovered by COVID, and the existing economic hardships that we face, the government cannot continue to saddle our fragile community with debt.

Since 1619 when the first slave ships landed on this continent, Americans have confronted race issues.  The first American businessmen were white farmers, which owned African slaves who provided the labor to sustain their agriculture-based enterprises.

The question of slavery in the context of territorial expansion brought on the Civil War and ultimately, the Emancipation Proclamation, amendments to the Constitution, and other federal legislation intended to protect the rights of all citizens regardless of race. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was meant to extend equal protection of the law to all citizens, sharecropping and Jim Crow laws perpetuated the oppression of Black citizens.

The quest for liberty and justice for all in all aspects of life, including economic empowerment, intensified in the 1950s and 1960s, cresting with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, when Equal Employment Opportunity became the law of the land. Passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 sought to bring the ideology of freedom and equal opportunity in all aspects of life to fruition. 

Cumulatively, the passage of these laws has not addressed the economic disparities created by the original institutional design of an agricultural society built on the free labor of blacks.  

Even today, $171,000, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150). Gaps in wealth between Black and white households reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination

Recent numbers indicate that the US has 2.5+million U.S. black-owned businesses which only generate $150 billion in revenue which is a negligible ownership and control over the nation’s productive capacity.

Empowering black owned businesses with grants is the first step to healing our communities and closing the wealth gap.