Racial Equity

How One Woman’s Detective Work Uncovered a Racist Tax System

April 2, 2021  • Aspen Ideas to Go

In tax law, most people think the only color that matters is green. But, after more than two decades of research, tax scholar Dorothy A. Brown discovered that America’s tax system is not color-blind. In fact, societal racism is deeply embedded in it. “Regardless of what white and Black Americans do, tax policy subsidizes white Americans and disadvantages Black Americans,” she says. From attending college to getting married to buying a home, Black Americans are financially disadvantaged compared to their white peers. In a conversation with Ida Rademacher, executive director of the Financial Security Program at the Aspen Institute, Brown talks about her book, The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans—and How We Can Fix It.

This conversation was held on March 24th by the Financial Security Program at the Aspen Institute. 

“Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Aspen Institute is nonpartisan and does not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates or parties. Further, the views and opinions of our guests and speakers do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.