Sunday, April 08, 2018

America's Federally Funded Ghettos

On a different note, from the New York Times editorial for today -
Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, showed utter contempt for his agency’s core mission last month when he proposed deleting the phrase “free from discrimination” from the HUD mission statement. Yet Mr. Carson is not the first housing secretary to betray the landmark Fair Housing Act of 1968 — which turns 50 years old this week — by failing to enforce policies designed to prevent states and cities from using federal dollars to perpetuate segregation. 
By its actions and failure to act, HUD has prolonged segregation in housing since the 1960s under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The courts have repeatedly chastised the agency for allowing cities to confine families to federally financed ghettos that offer little or no access to jobs, transportation or viable schools. The lawsuits, filed by individuals and fair housing groups, have forced the agency to adopt rules and policies that have been crucial in advancing the goals of the Fair Housing Act.
It's well worth reading the whole editorial, as it succinctly lays out the case that residential segregation in the US was substantially created (in the North) by government action, and that it's necessary for the federal government to finally start fully enforcing the Fair Housing Act, passed in the 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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