Document Type


Publication Date



Black Lives Matter signs pepper our rural, middle class neighborhood. The lawn signs raise a fundamental question: if Black Lives Matter, what will it take to reverse the longstanding trend that has left many dead and so many others, perhaps all others, suffering? What will it take to create some semblance of equality and equity across racial lines in America?

Part I of this essay discusses race and Covid 19. It reviews and updates statistics on Covid deaths and race, and discusses some of the reasons for the racial disparities in Covid deaths. Part II briefly reviews the stratification of income and wealth along racial lines. Part III provides background and texture on how this problem of unequal income, credit terms, and wealth arose in the first place. It describes economic racism and violence by private citizens, as well as governmental racism, credit discrimination, displacement, and segregation.

Part IV considers solutions directly related to the wrongs committed by our government against Americans of color, particularly Black Americans. The momentum of Black Lives Matter movement and other similar societal sentiments can help reduce American racial violence, racism, and discrimination, but only if we have concrete policies in place to right past wrongs. While physical racial violence is front and center in today’s Black Lives Matter discussions, including systemic changes designed to end policy brutality, addressing economic racism and disenfranchisement is just as important in remedying the explicit segregation policies the U.S, a legacy tied directly to poverty, police brutality, and death.

Publication Title

Montana Law Review





First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.