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Sun Oct 25, 2015, 01:34 PM

Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created Ghettos

Powerful interview of Richard Rothstein, a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California Berkeley.

"...We have a myth today that the ghettos in metropolitan areas around the country are what the Supreme Court calls de facto, just the accident of the fact that people have not enough income or - to move into middle-class neighborhoods - or because real estate agents steered black and white families to different neighborhoods or because there was white flight. But the truth is that while those things existed, the major reason we have ghettos in every metropolitan area in this country is because federal, state and local governments purposefully created racial boundaries in these cities. It was not the unintended effect of benign policies. It was an explicit, racially purposeful policy that was pursued at all levels of government. And that's the reason we have these ghettos today, and we are reaping the fruits of those policies.

This was not legal; it was unconstitutional. But this was the policy the federal government followed. As I said, it was once well known. You know, in 1970, George Romney, who was the secretary of housing and urban development under Nixon, the father of the recent presidential candidate, announced that the federal government had created a white noose around African-American neighborhoods - Negro neighborhoods, he called them - in central cities. And it was the federal government's obligation now to untie that noose. And Romney implemented a series of policies designed to integrate the suburbs, to reverse the policies that had been pursued in the previous 20 years. He proposed to withhold federal funds for all kinds of things, sewer projects or water projects or parklands, from any suburban community that didn't desegregate, by repealing ordinances that prohibited the construction of multifamily units or that didn't take their fair share of public housing throughout the metropolitan area or that didn't accept subsidized housing. And he actually - Romney actually did withhold federal funds from three suburbs as his first round of this policy. He called it Open Communities.

And there was such an uproar in the country about it that President Nixon reined him in. Romney was forced to cancel the Open Communities program. He was eventually forced out as secretary of housing and urban development. And we've had nothing since from the federal government that was anywhere near as aggressive in trying to reverse the policies that the federal government had pursued to create segregation."

Transcript here http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=406699264|
Listen here http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=406699264&m=406749329

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Reply Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created Ghettos (Original post)
Kind of Blue Oct 2015 OP
Number23 Oct 2015 #1
gollygee Oct 2015 #5
Kind of Blue Oct 2015 #6
gollygee Oct 2015 #7
BumRushDaShow Nov 2015 #18
Number23 Oct 2015 #8
Kind of Blue Oct 2015 #10
gollygee Oct 2015 #13
Kind of Blue Oct 2015 #9
JustAnotherGen Oct 2015 #2
Kind of Blue Oct 2015 #11
JustAnotherGen Oct 2015 #3
Kind of Blue Oct 2015 #14
JustAnotherGen Oct 2015 #15
MisterP Oct 2015 #4
Kind of Blue Oct 2015 #12
MisterP Oct 2015 #16
blackspade Nov 2015 #17

Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 03:56 PM

1. "we have ghettos because federal, state and local governments purposefully created" them

Tell us something we don't know!

White flight and gentrification are not just fragments of American history. They still very much exist today as is the idea that black and brown people "drive down property values" and that realtors and home owners will do everything in their power to keep black/brown families out of majority white neighborhoods.

I recently posted an article that said that 1/3 of white people in **2015** still think it's okay to discriminate against minorities in housing. http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=6975487 And I bet you alot of that 2/3 that said it was wrong just didn't want to go on record.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 10:33 AM

5. I think it would depend on how you word it

If you said, "is housing discrimination wrong" people would say yes, it's wrong.

If you said, "If your house, in a neighborhood of close friends, was for sale and someone offered to buy it, but you were afraid selling it to that person would make your friends' houses decline in value, would it be acceptable to turn down the offer for that reason?" you'd get more yes votes.

That was an awkward sentence but you get the idea. You need dog whistles and to talk about money instead of race, and then more white people will vote yes, even if it's the same thing.

It's like the question for male college students where they ask if rape is wrong, and the kids say yes, but then they ask if it's ok to force yourself sexually on someone if you've spent money on her, and they say yes.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 02:21 PM

6. I'm a little confused and need help here.

Maybe I'm not reading your reply right. I'm reading the answer to your explanation of the first scenario is "more yes" to turn down the offer. And yes again when talking about money instead of race. Are you saying more white people would still vote yes, even if the question is now about money? If that's not what you meant then please give an example of how you'd rephrase the question. Thanks.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 03:07 PM

7. Well

Generall, when white people refuse to sell to people of color, the reason given has usually been that they are afraid having a black family live in the neighborhood will cause property values to fall. Some are blatant and will outright say they won't sell due to race, but most will use dog whistles - they'll talk about property values, even when the real issue is race. So more people would say "yes" to a question where a dog whistle was used, like "property values."

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Response to gollygee (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 10:54 AM

18. I believe you are trying to illustrate this



Lee Atwater's description of dog whistles - i.e., making what is the "race problem" into a non-entity by retaining the use of racism to gain votes from the white majority community, but going "abstract" with the message by using terms such as what you describe and those terms noted in the above clip like "forced busing", "states rights", "cutting taxes". He even explicitly uses the term "code" to describe this. They can then deny that any of their racist actions are actually "racist", because they have steered the conversation towards "economics" as the reasoning (sounds familiar here on DU... ahem).

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Response to gollygee (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 03:58 PM

8. Even if the "reason" for declining house prices is racism??

"If your house, in a neighborhood of close friends, was for sale and someone offered to buy it, but you were afraid selling it to that person would make your friends' houses decline in value, would it be acceptable to turn down the offer for that reason?" you'd get more yes votes.

Are you saying that even when knowing that the "reason" for the decline in property values is racism, most white people would still say yes??

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Response to Number23 (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 04:07 PM

10. That was my question, too.

I thought we were onto something as far as rephrasing the question for different results. The rape example does not help in understanding.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 04:55 PM

13. I don't think most

I think more people would say yes in that case than if the same question were asked only explicitly stating racism as a reason.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 04:02 PM

9. 2/3rds think it's wrong

yet the survey does not reflect reality. It's easy to say I'm colorblind when we know that the likelihood of facing the decision is remote. I'm reminded of the Texas teen pool party broken up by the police who sat on a 14 year old girl's back. One of of the black girls was repeatedly slapped by a neighbor who, it turned out, works(worked? because she was put on leave) at BofA as a mortgage loan officer, thru a contractor, I think. "Go back to Section 8 housing," was reported as coming from the adults. It's just insidious.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 05:23 PM

2. Wow

He knew and he tried. And they forced him out.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 04:20 PM

11. Yes, a constant down thru

the years of some white people trying to even things out. I've been reading about one professor back in the 1800s, who studied and wrote about African history, he was summarily drummed out of acadamia. I think it's not about politicians or the elites, their work is done. It's about we, the people.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 05:40 PM

3. Read through it twice kindof

Last edited Mon Oct 26, 2015, 10:08 AM - Edit history (1)

You know - my Aunt and Uncle - when he was recruited by Xerox in the mid 1960's . . . Had to look at (to purchase) and move in at night. Rochester NY . . . It was everywhere.

I can't c/p on my iPad from the NPR site - but there is a piece in there about how whites we're "allowed" to purchase the tract home at around 9K . . . They increased in value to 400/500 K. That became - becomes - handed down wealth, sending kids to college, etc etc

I know too many black folks who didn't grow up in a 'house' - and they've worked very hard to acquire the wealth they do have. It's why I get batty about the 'redistribute the wealth' trope.

From whom and to whom?

Can a black family with a home, a vacation home, maybe a few hundred k in their retirement who are first generation home owners/wealth builders be excused fom that?

Because it seems pretty shitty to take something from people who thumbed their noses at America and beat this country at their own game.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 05:00 PM

14. "Can a black family with a home

"a vacation home, maybe a few hundred k in their retirement who are first generation home owners/wealth builders be excused fom that?"

I don't know and surely don't know a lot about economics, but I do know so far unbridled capitalism is unsustainable. I'm not sure if redistribution of wealth would sweep in all at once on a massive scale. I'm thinking, if we do go that way, it will be in phases, a transition. And it's the formulation of new future policies that we'll have to be ever aware of. Maybe others more knowledgeable on economics can weigh in.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 05:32 PM

15. I was sort of being

Facetious.

Easiest way to provide reparations?

Black folks who are middle class and above are excused from the Great Redistribution for the first 5 Generations in this dystopia.



I'm actually giving a freebie of two generations. I should go back to the 1600's but I'm only going back to 1865.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sun Oct 25, 2015, 09:58 PM

4. white line, black line, green line

the burbs, intentionally and otherwise, earned their wages in the urban core and then got to keep it all in the "good school districts"

of course burning all the trolleycars and carefully selling off right-of-ways so any option other than the car would be massively expensive may've done more to geographically dismember cities

(and these were all burbs that a grocery-store manager or GI could afford, covenants didn't catch new immigrants, and not everything was necessarily redlined, especially in the 70s)

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Response to MisterP (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 04:42 PM

12. "not everything was necessarily redlined, especially in the 70s"

I understand. But I think the point of the article is to dispel the myths. It's good when those who know stop being afraid to tell the truth, it's only the beginning of the long road ahead, and at least certain lies can be confronted with facts.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 27, 2015, 01:33 AM

16. the danger is that the segregation was able to continue after redlining and covenants

were attacked: even Proposition 13 in CA was expressly targeted at keeping "certain areas" free of "certain people" (while Jarvis could play himself as the savior of the middle class)

and with the costly new post-1980 homes targeted at Reagan's new gentry, the process continued: you had to be in the more yuppie casino classes for these neighborhoods; the "green lines" were as effective keeping the "certain people" out, and impossible to undo in the courts

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 10:19 AM

17. Great read.

Thanks for posting!

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