What was the relationship between racism and economic struggle or hardship during the Great Depression?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Racism helped to make things worse for minorities than for whites during the Great Depression.  Of course, racism had made it so that minorities had it worse than whites even before the Depression.  When the Depression hit, minorities were hurt more than whites, partly due to racism.

When the Depression hit, for example, minorities tended to be fired from their jobs before whites did.  For example, the unemployment rate for black Americans was as much as twice that for white Americans.

In addition, racial minorities, especially in the South, were discriminated against in New Deal programs.  President Roosevelt knew that he needed the votes of Southerners in Congress and so did not push to ensure that the programs helped minorities equally.  For this reason, programs like the TVA and the CCC did not really do much to help blacks get ahead economically.