Addressing Racial Inequality in Central Texas: Politicians Take Action

Racism has been a long-standing issue in Texas schools, and the Legislature is taking steps to address it. Structural racism in the U. S. housing system has caused a huge gap in wealth and financial well-being between black and white households, with the average black family taking more than 200 years to accumulate the same amount of wealth as their white counterparts.

To combat this, legislators must take affirmative steps to expand access to prosperity for all Americans, including disinvesting in communities of color, rural communities, and communities facing persistent poverty. This year, Texas is making progress in addressing institutional and systemic racism with HB 3979. True racial equality cannot be achieved without “radical structural changes in society”, according to a sociology professor at Texas A&M University. The growth of the white population in Texas is relatively stagnant, yet white voters will largely determine who will fill the two new congressional seats the state won due to its overall growth. This year is the first time in nearly half a century that the Legislature has drawn new political districts without federal oversight, known as prior authorization.

Mónica Martínez, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in the history of Latinos, discussed how racial formation has developed in Texas through the racialization of Mexicans and the history of anti-Mexican violence. During the redistricting process, Texans had limited capacity to comment on the new maps. By devising political maps to maximize their tenure in power for another decade, Texas Republicans laid the foundations for a crucial argument they might need to defend their work in the face of multiple legal challenges that they claim to discriminate against Texans of color. To combat this issue, federal agencies are addressing their historic role by systematically disinvesting in communities of color, rural communities, and communities facing persistent poverty.

Additionally, policies must be enacted to expand access to prosperity for all Americans. This will not correct centuries of injustice in the housing market; however, it would represent affirmative steps toward racial equity in the United States.