The subprime lending debacle should cause massive rethinking among those who have long proclaimed that the route to Black equality is through wealth accumulation. In a report titled, "Foreclosed: State of the Dream 2008," United for a Fair Economy details the catastrophic losses inflicted on Blacks and Latinos in the U.S. at the hands of predatory lenders - "the greatest loss of wealth to people of color in modern U.S. history." With more than half of Blacks in many cities caught in the subprime trap - and with even these usurious financing schemes disappearing in the wake of the bubble-burst - the prospects for Blacks to amass wealth have grown bleaker than at any time in living memory. At the current rate, it will take 5,423 years for Blacks to achieve homeowner parity with whites.
The money-lenders have already sucked the value out of whole communities, urban and suburban. The wealth loss is staggering: People of color have collectively lost between "$164 billion to $213 billion over the past eight years," with Latinos losing slightly more than African Americans. For the average American, wealth is passed on through the value of homes. That dream, as the report concludes, has been largely foreclosed.