From Inequality Media
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, took a knee last week before cameras at a branch of his bank. Larry Fink, CEO of giant investment fund BlackRock, decried racial bias. Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David Solomon said he grieved "for the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other victims of racism."
And so on across the highest reaches of corporate America an outpouring of solidarity with the hundreds of thousands protesting brutal police killings of Black Americans and centuries of systemic racism.
JPMorgan has made it difficult for Black people to get mortgage loans. In 2017, the bank paid $55 million to settle a Justice Department lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against Black borrowers.
Researchers have found banks routinely charge Black mortgage borrowers higher interest rates than white borrowers and deny them mortgages white applicants would have received.
BlackRock is one of the biggest investors in private prisons, disproportionately incarcerating Black and Latino men.
Last week, Frederick Baba, a Black executive at Goldman Sachs, criticized managers for not supporting junior bankers from diverse backgrounds.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes -- in the halls of Congress and the corridors of statehouses, in fundraisers and in private candidate briefings, in strategy sessions with political operatives and public-relations specialists -- the CEOs who condemn racism lobby for and get giant tax cuts and fight off a wealth tax that could bring world-class schools, first-class healthcare and affordable housing to communities of color.
The CEOs resist a living wage and universal basic income. They don't want antitrust laws jeopardizing their market power, thereby requiring all consumers pay more.
They oppose tighter regulations against red-lining or prohibitions on payday lending, both of which disproportionately burden Black and brown people.
Perhaps most revealingly, they remain silent in the face of Donald Trump's bigotry.
Indeed, many are quietly funding the re-election of a president whose political ascent began with a racist conspiracy theory and who continues to encourage white supremacists.
This goes beyond mere hypocrisy. Top CEOs have amassed more wealth and power than at any time since the "robber barons" of the late 19th century - enough to get legislative outcomes they want and organize the system for their own benefit.
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