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Here’s why the NAACP keeps talking about student loan forgiveness


NAACP President Derrick Johnson

Courtesy: NAACP

The end of May saw the following: word circulatedThe Biden administration was aiming for a $10,000 student loan forgiveness program.

The NAACP officials were furious.

Derrick Johnson (the association’s CEO and president) stated in a statement shortly after news of the cancellation that 10,000 “would be a slap on the face”.

Not unusual for the oldest civil rights group in the country to condemn the actions of President Joe Biden. The organization has declared that the student loan crisis is one of their main concerns and will not accept his promises of narrowing the gap. the racial wealth gapIf he does not reduce the $1.7 trillion in outstanding student debt, he will be punished. A typical Black family in America had a net worth approximately $17 trillion. $23,000 in 2019, compared with $184,000 for the average white family.)

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CNBC interviewed Johnson, 53-years old, recently about why Johnson won’t quit talking about student loan cancellation. Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for clarity.

Annie Nova: The NAACP is so obsessed with student loan forgiveness to reduce the gap in racial wealth.

Derrick Johnson:It is the No. The No. 1 wealth driver is homeownership. However, you won’t be able to qualify for a house if your income-to-debt ratio is too high. Students loans is the largest debt facing African-Americans. Therefore, the only way to reduce the disparity in racial wealth is to address the student loan crisis.

AN: What is the disproportion of Black Americans burdened with student debt?

DJ:In the 20th century, African-Americans have seen a dramatic increase in college attendance. However, this was at the exact time when many higher education institutions increased tuition. States started to reduce taxes and increase costs. This was accompanied by the development of many predatory institutions.

A: What makes you think $10,000 is enough to forgive someone?

DJ: This is like throwing an ice bucket on a forest fire. According to all data, the African-American average debt level is more than $10,000. The minimum amount of cancellation must not exceed $50,000.

AN: What could the impact of student loan forgiveness on Black voter turnout in November’s midterms.

DJ:Our research has shown that the student loan crisis is one of the key factors in energized African-American voters. These are the consistent voters. They include teachers, school administrators and people who work in public service. It begs the question: What can you do to inspire these faithful voters, who turned out in record numbers for 2020?

AN: How do you see the future if no action is taken?

DJ:There are households in which your grandparents and children have student loans. It is a global problem and only getting worse. The mortgage crisis of 2008 is a similar problem. People could also file for bankruptcy to get out of their homes and not be held liable. You can’t do much to help yourself with student loans.

A: Have you ever had student loans?

DJ: Absolutely. Yes. I am first generation, and have completed undergrad as well as law school. My only option was not to go: I didn’t have a family member that could make the check. It was impossible to get a home equity loan.