Did They Cause the Credit Crisis?

went to high-income borrowers, according to data compiled as part of the 2006 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In fact, across all racial groups, as income decreased, the number of subprime loans decreased.

With so much evidence to the contrary, it’s hard to see how minorities and low-income borrowers could be the culprits behind the credit crisis. “It’s easy to blame the victim,” says Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League. “It becomes a perverted justification to discriminate. It’s specious, it’s hateful, and we are going to fight back against this misinformation.” The false allegations could have dangerous repercussions. “If we allow scapegoating to take place,” says Morial, “people will suggest fixing the problem by not lending to African Americans.”

(This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue.)

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