# Race



Predatory lending perpetuates racial wealth gap

Helen Redding is a Waterloo entrepreneur, business owner and and strong woman of faith. Over the past several years, after opening her salon, Helen has created multiple other businesses with her husband and children.

Going to a bank to get a loan should be an easy process if you have everything ready to go. Getting that loan from a bank, especially when you have business experience, good credit, and references, and proven success should be an easy process, and most banks will tout how easy it is to qualify for a loan too.

Unfortunately, even with advanced qualifications, Black Americans are twice as likely to get denied a loan. Systemic racism has busted the racial wealth gap wide open, and predatory lending practices perpetuate the gap. 

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School "transparency" is a cruel hoax

Gerald Ott of Ankeny was a high school English teacher, and for 30 years he was a school improvement consultant for the Iowa State Education Association.

The Kansas City Star’s editorial board warned its readers on June 2 that “the arch conservative Liberty Alliance has created a Woke Heat Map.” The website is an interactive map of Missouri with dots representing “hot spots” where, as the Alliance claims, “the Woke Agenda … is permeating.” 

The Alliance is a faction of ultra-right zealots who use a website to undermine democracy—and raise money from an easily duped clientele. The Springfield (MO) News-Leader reports one hotspot in its area, and six in St. Louis, three in Kansas City, and one in Columbia with alleged “woke agendas” — “where toddlers are groomed with sexually explicit books.” This was in the first week.

It’s fraud. In nearly all cases, the New-Leader says, the documentation used to designate a “woke” hotspot is based on a tweet, column, or article from a conservative leader or platform.

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The impossible race

ReShonda Young is an entrepreneur from Waterloo and a co-founder of Bank of Jabez.

Imagine a race between two people from New York to California. One person receives a bicycle and the other an airplane. The first to get to California is the winner. It’s a structurally unfair race for the bicyclist.

That’s what the wealth gap is like for Black families in America. It’s an impossible race. White people have a 400-year advantage on wealth, power, and economic mobility. And it bears stating: the system is not broken — it was rigged like this by design. The pervasive, generational inequality is systemic and structural.

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Ten Iowa Democratic legislative primaries to watch in 2022

UPDATE: I’ve added unofficial results for each race.

Iowa Democrats have more competitive state legislative primaries in 2022 than in a typical election cycle. That’s partly because quite a few House and Senate members are retiring, and partly because the redistricting plan adopted in 2021 created some legislative districts with no incumbents.

In most of the races discussed below, the winner of the primary is very likely to prevail in November. However, a few of the districts could be targeted by one or both parties in the general election.

All data on past election performance in these districts comes from the Iowa House and Senate maps Josh Hughes created in Dave’s Redistricting App. Fundraising numbers are taken from the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board’s database.

This post is not an exhaustive account of all contested Democratic primaries for state legislative offices. You can find the full primary candidate list here.

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"Current events do not belong in history class"

Nick Covington taught social studies at Ankeny High School from 2012 to 2022 and became the full-time Creative Director of the Human Restoration Project when his teaching contract ended on June 1. You can follow Nick on Twitter @CovingtonEDU. This article was originally published on May 15 on Medium.

On Feb 25, 2022, I resigned as a social studies teacher at Ankeny High School, a position I have held since 2012, effective at the end of the school year. I will not be returning to the classroom this fall.

I have not told all of this story in one place, but I want readers to understand the full context of my decision to leave in its relation to our nation’s destructive and divisive cultural forever war.

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