April 12, 2021
Episode 106

Racism in the Tax Code and the Whiteness of Wealth with Dorothy Brown

April 15th is normally Tax Day in America, and while COVID has prompted the IRS to extend the deadline this year, we wanted to take a look at inequities in the tax code. Dorothy Brown, Law Professor at Emory College and author of the new book “The Whiteness of Wealth” studies exactly this issue, and joined Alyssa Milano to share her insights. Praise For The Whiteness Of Wealth: How The Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans–And How We Can Fix It
“This enlightening book is a vital companion to The New Jim Crow, The Color of Wealth, and Evicted, for how it reimagines everything you thought you knew about U.S. social policy.”—Tressie McMillan Cottom, MacArthur Fellow and author of Thick: And Other Essays
 
“This book is a tour de force. With clarity and conviction, Dorothy Brown reveals how U.S. tax policy sustains and deepens the wealth gap between black and white Americans. As I read The Whiteness of Wealth, I found myself shaking my head as I eagerly turned the pages and shouting ‘damn’ with each revelation. If we are finally to address the long history of racism in this country, we must grapple with the arguments of Brown’s powerful book. This is a MUST read for these troubling times.”—Eddie S. Glaude Jr., New York Times bestselling author of Begin Again and Democracy in Black
 
“I couldn’t put it down! Dorothy Brown skillfully weaves her analysis of the racial bias in tax law with compelling personal stories of both Black and White taxpayers as well as policy recommendations for how to bring equity to our tax system.”—Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
 
“At once passionate and analytical, The Whiteness of Wealth is a bracing contribution to the history of policy racism that takes us to the heart of taxation’s effects on patterns of economic distribution.”—Ira Katznelson, author of When Affirmative Action Was White

Listen:

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Sources for audio clips

Intro
What is the Racial Wealth Gap? | Robert Reich https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD-_apYzFMQ&t=44s
Racial Inequality Is Rooted in Denial of Home and Land Ownership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG_qtJkHXBs
Rigged for the Rich: The Inequality of America's Tax System I Heather McGhee and Robert Reich https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPzdV1cQgEo&t=40s
How The Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans And How To Fix It | Morning Joe | MSNBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa5YbDY_O2A

George Floyd
Former police supervisor testifies about Chauvin's use of force - CNN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL7sSohfX8g

Donald Duck
Disney War Propaganda - Donald Duck Tells You To Pay Your Taxes (1943) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4lFj2wp8do

2017 Tax Reform
Paul Ryan says GOP tax plan "levels the playing field" - CBS News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_zDyguuYVY

Black vs. White Home Ownership
Black CA couple lowballed by $500K in home appraisal, believe race was a factor - ABC7 News Bay Area https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI48hPRDaYo

Further Home Ownership Disparities
Black Home Ownership - If You Don’t Know, Now You Know | The Daily Social Distancing Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEKYqsIZMn8

Racial Income disparities
The Racial Wealth Gap in America - Urban Institute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5BvZllI9-U&t=14s

Outro
Racial Inequality in the Tax Code with Professor Lily Batchelder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuMJv_0cOes&t=53s

Show Credits

Host: Alyssa Milano
Executive Producer: Alyssa Milano
Associate Producer: Ben Jackson
Editing and Sound Production: Natasha Jacobs
Music by: Josh Cooke & Eleisha Eagle