‘We must level the playing field’

Published: 6/22/2020 3:23:14 PM

Recently a local bank had a full page ad, in the Recorder,on its steps to address racism. Microaggressions were highlighted and this can be seen as a first step. But in America, business frameworks are built around assumptions about financial worth, which negatively impact people of color and the working poor.

Businesses need to look deeply at their entire system to find the subtle or not so subtle means by which they discriminate. For banks, it means looking at the credit scoring system, which may discriminate against a conscientious renter vs a conscientious homeowner. It also means looking at balloon loans where a person won’t be able to afford the payments when the interest rate rises. And also looking at high penalty fees for work done by a computer with the blink of an eye. Look and you will see more examples.

These things are regressive in that they make life more difficult for people of color and the working poor. And this has been going on for generations, setting those affected further and further back, while those with more “commercial worth ” continue to gain.

Businesses need to do a deep dive with the assistance of those who can spot these impediments more easily, to root out these systemic practices. We must level the playing field, so that all can benefit.

Cass Russillo


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