A senior Biden administration official claimed Wednesday that racial discrimination against black people cost the U.S. economy $16 trillion over 20 years.
“In the last 20 years, the U.S. had a GDP shortfall of $16 trillion due to discrimination against black Americans,” Susan Rice, director of the United States Domestic Policy Council, said during a speech at the National Action Network convention. “If we closed our racial gaps, we could add another $5 trillion to GDP over just the next five years. And in case you’re wondering, that’s not my math, that’s according to Citibank.”
The Citibank report, entitled “Closing The Racial Inequality Gaps: The Economic Cost of Black Inequality in the U.S,” claimed that $2.7 trillion would have been available for consumption while business income would have increased by $13 trillion, creating 6.1 million new jobs a year if “racial gaps” for black Americans were closed.
Rice made the remarks nearly two months after President Joe Biden signed an executive order establishing “Agency Equity Teams” on Feb. 16, a follow up to an order he signed on his first day in office. Among the provisions in the February executive order is a requirement to ensure that the use of artificial intelligence by government “advanced equity.”
Other attendees at the conference, which the National Action Network website says runs through Saturday, include actress Kerry Washington, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, attorney Benjamin Crump and Al Sharpton, according to the New York Daily News.
The Biden administration has not stated whether it supports reparations, and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre ducked the question during a March 21 press briefing.
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas introduced legislation, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act or HR 40, to study reparations Jan. 9. A similar bill was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee on April 14, 2021.
“We all benefit when every community has the chance to thrive,” Rice said.
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