The nationwide protests following the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of white police officers has once again shone a spotlight on the long-standing racial divide in the US.

This, along with the coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately killed black Americans, has drawn renewed attention to the persistent inequities in wealth, health and opportunity between blacks and whites despite economic prosperity of recent years.

Those disparities exist because of a long history of policies that excluded and exploited black Americans, said Valerie Wilson, director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning group.

“Racial inequality has become so normalized in this society,” she said. “It’s what we expect to see. That’s the way it’s been for so long.”
The numbers are staggering.

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