Housing Segregation

The Racist Housing Policies That Built Ferguson – The Atlantic

The Racist Housing Policies That Built Ferguson - The Atlantic

The Economic Policy Institute has just released a report by Richard Rothstein that gives some sense of how the world of Michael Brown came to be. It turns out that that world was born from the exact same forces that forged cities and suburbs across the country—racist housing policy at the local, state, and national levels. Rothstein’s report eschews talk of mindless white flight, and black-hearted individual racists, and puts the onus exactly where it belongs:

That governmental actions, not mere private prejudice, were responsible for segregating greater St. Louis was once conventional informed opinion. In 1974, a three-judge panel of the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that “segregated housing in the St. Louis metropolitan area was … in large measure the result of deliberate racial discrimination in the housing market by the real estate industry and by agencies of the federal, state, and local governments.”

via The Racist Housing Policies That Built Ferguson – The Atlantic.

The Language of Segregation Under Social Sanction – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Atlantic

 Ta-Nehisi Coates

Continuing from our conversation around housing segregation and the language employed by those with power I think it’s worth thinking some about the text of this petition:

“As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a closed community … to protect our own.”

The petition was put out in 1957, as Levittown sought to stave off integration. What’s important to note is that we are well into post-war America and there is some social sanction emerging against prejudice and discrimination. What the petition does is effectively endorse prejudice and discrimination while claiming not to. Another example:

“We favor racial integration, but only at such time the negro shows he is ready for it.”

via The Language of Segregation Under Social Sanction – Ta-Nehisi Coates – The Atlantic.