Pub. 1 2020 Issue 3

8 Kentucky Trucker Kentucky Trucking Association Message from Rick Taylor T his issue’s President’s Message is not directly related to the trucking industry, but it is a mes- sage that impacts all of us. I could have taken the easy path and written a message about the new hours of service rule (visit hours-of-service for a great summary) or a message thanking all our professional drivers (Thank you!!!). Instead, I decided to address a subject that should be talked about, systemic racism. In the wake of several deaths of black Americans at the hands of the police, protests of police brutality have sparked conversations about systemic racism or white privilege. What these conversations have revealed, unfortunately, is ignorance around systemic racism and what is meant by white privilege. I took a little time to research this issue because I wanted to educate myself, and I believe others need a better understanding, too. At the same time, I was very uneasy writing this message because I’m afraid I might offend someone, use the wrong language, or accidentally be disrespectful in some way. However, I recognize that if I don’t say something, I’m not doing my part to address the issue. We have to start with definitions. What does it mean to be biased? Or racist? Racial bias is a belief. Rac- ism is what happens when that belief translates into action. For example, a person might unconsciously or consciously believe that people of color are more likely to commit crimes or be dangerous. That’s a bias. An example of racism is when a person crosses the street to avoid walking next to a group of young black men. This is an action based on a belief. What is systemic racism? To understand the meaning, we need to look back in history as it has caused a ripple effect in today’s society. The federal government was not involved in housing until 1934 when the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created as part of the New Deal. The FHA sought to restore the housing market after the Great Depression by incentivizing homeownership and introducing the mortgage lending system we still use now. The government used residential security maps to decide which neighborhoods would make secure investments and which should be off-limits for issuing mortgages. This process was known as “redlining.” Redlined neighborhoods were predominantly black. The result: People of color weren’t allowed to raise their children and invest their money in neighbor- hoods with “high home values.” They couldn’t buy a home because banks and insurance companies would not do business with them, based purely on race. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited racial discrimi- nation in lending. However, unfair lending practices continued in the future. In the 1980s, an investigation into the Atlanta real estate market showed that banks were more likely to lend money to lower-income white families than middle-income or higher-income black Rick Taylor, President Kentucky Trucking Association