Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the imageLawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and keynote speaker at the Civil Rights Breakfast.
White convicts make more money than Black college graduates. Being college educated boosts median income for Whites by almost $56,000, while Blacks receive a little under $5,000 for their investment, according to Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“This is not accidental,” said Arnwine. “This is all a result of racial subordination, and it requires us to think about it.”
Arnwine’s comments were made at the Baltimore city’s 26th annual civil rights breakfast, where she served as keynote speaker, and touched on a number of alarming racial disparities in income, wealth, education, and homeownership. Arnwine also came armed with a bevy of policy proposals that might address the gaps she highlighted during her talk.
For example, on the wealth and homeownership front (a home being one of the principal assets making up the wealth of most households), Forbes has reported that Black families have a 45 percent homeownership rate, while White families enjoy a rate of 73 percent.
Moving forward, Arnwine suggested that legislators in Maryland should work to create more jobs, increase investments in education, and raise the minimum wage well beyond the $10.10 that is slated to take effect in 2018.
“There are five aspects of criminal justice reform,” said Arnwine. “De-policing. We over-police Black communities. Decriminalize. We put people in jail for things that no other country puts people in jail for. . . .We need to de-incarcerate, we over incarcerate people. We know that we have five percent of the world’s population, 25 percent of all the inmates in the . We need to de-prosecute, we over prosecute people who are poor, and people who are racial minorities. We need to de-collateralize, so that when people come out of jail there’s not an unending stigma.”
Arnwine also stressed the need for the city to enforce its wage laws, especially where wage theft is concerned. She also chided Maryland governor Larry Hogan (R) for failing to sign into law the expansion of felon voting rights passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2014 legislative session.
“There is an estimated 40,000 to 63,000 in this state who are not allowed to vote,” said Arnwine. “That fight is not over. The time is now for that fight to be won. The legislature did what it needed to do. The governor needs to hear from us that he needs to take our will much more seriously.”