African Americans and people of color are the primary victims of redlining. According to the Oxford Dictionary, redlining is to refuse (a loan or insurance) to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a high financial risk. Back in the 1930’s, banks had maps of cities and what the economic status that the area of the city was. The areas in red were the poor areas. Banks did not want to loan to those areas because of high financial risk. Most of the people in these red areas were African American. The act of redlining has been illegal for more than 40 years. In October of 1974, The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) was passed into law. The law states that banks must treat all people equally, no matter what race, ethnicity, economic status or social background they come from. But, despite the law, on January 16, 2017, KleinBank (one of the largest banks in Minnesota) received a federal lawsuit for redlining. The person that complained was very upset. They said the banks discrimination practices were willful and intentional. Though laws have tried to eliminate the practice of redlining, unfortunately, redlining still exists today.
Since redlining was at it's peak in the 1930’s, many groups and laws have attempted to stop it. One group that has helped in recent cases of redlining is The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD is a government agency that oversees home mortgage lending practices. Recently, HUD delivered a 200 million dollar fine to Associated Bank as punishment for their practice of redlining. Associated Bank was accused of discriminating towards African Americans and Hispanics in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. This was a very big victory for HUD because Associated Bank is one of the most popular banks in Wisconsin. This case is very similar to KleinBank's case in Minnsota.These cases show that though there has been laws and government agencies created to stop redlining, it still occurs on a daily basis.
Redlining is serious issue and needs to be stopped. HUD is going to continue punishing banks for redlining but that will not be enough. People need to spread awareness about redlining because lives depend on it. Redlining can prevent the education of youth and can prevent everyone getting equal opportunities. Simple things like talking about it to your family or friends can help raise awareness. Other options are spreading word through social media by simply using hashtags like #stopredlining one can make a difference. Everyone can help save lives and stop redlining.