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“Why has there been so little progress in racial economic equity in the 57 years since the Civil Rights Act?” “Why do most Americans so vastly overestimate racial economic progress?”

I construct a conceptual framework that identifies dynamics that repeat over our history of racism. White resistance to racial progress—not just explicit white backlash but also covert resistance such as ‘opportunity hoarding’—has led to the recurring reproduction of racism in new forms, the stymying of initiatives to repair historical discrimination, and the development of greatly overestimated myths of racial progress. Throughout our history, outlawed forms of racial discrimination have repeatedly been reproduced in more legally and morally acceptable forms: ostensibly “race-neutral” policies that have racially disparate impact. These policies have racially disparate impacts because they are based on either geography or wealth, which are products of historical discrimination and thus act as proxies for race.

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