Photo by REUTERS/John Gress
For the last few years, few outside of the conservative blogosphere paid much attention when anyone from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rumbled about the 1968 Fair Housing Act. So long as most Americans are concerned, the way cities, towns and the rest of the fruited plain shook out when it came to racial patterns since the landmark legislation barring discrimination in real estate and mortgage practices is largely voluntary.
However, the rumblings got louder in the last couple months with headlines screaming that Obama wants to desegregate the suburbs, and that the Administration was going to force cities and towns to accept low income housing whether they wanted it or not. Megyn Kelly of FoxNews was furious in this exchange.
During the great week of Supreme Court destruction in late June, the case that caught many people by surprise and was not widely publicized was “ Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., a case where a “non-profit” community group sued a state giving out affordable housing grants and tax credits, because the majority of the grants in one metropolitan region (Dallas, in this case) resulted in “disparate impacts.'” (SOURCE)
What were the “disparate impacts”? Well, due to the economics of upper middle class and middle class people with enough money moving to the suburbs, they seem to be disproportionately white. So are the suburban school districts perceived to be monochromatic. For the Obama Administration, a group that is heavily into community organization, this is a problem since neighborhoods and towns higher up on the economic food chain tend to have better schools, more libraries, nicer parks, etc. Those people leaving the cities and not investing in poorer neighborhoods have a “disparate impact” even if there is no intent of racial animosity.
On Wednesday, the Obama Administration followed through on the threat to attempt to integrate cities and towns throughout America all but by force. The approach? The same carrot and stick deal that gave us ObamaCare, and the Michelle Obama lunch program. Cities and towns applying for federal funds will be required to look for patterns of racial bias within their borders every 3-5 years. This new final rule was put into place by HUD Secretary Julian Castro with the 377-page Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, which seeks to answer all questions raised during the public comment period.
Preempting the announcement of the rule from Chicago, The Washington Post published a lengthy, but triumphant apology of why this rule must be put into place whether the upwardly mobile want it or not.
Now, on Wednesday, the Obama administration will announce long-awaited rules designed to repair the law’s unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore. The new rules, a top demand of civil-rights groups, will require cities and towns all over the country to scrutinize their housing patterns for racial bias and to publicly report, every three to five years, the results. Communities will also have to set goals, which will be tracked over time, for how they will further reduce segregation.
All for federal block grants. As Stanley Kurtz of National Review put it, this is an attempt to even out the economic playing field using race as a proxy for economic strata or class. One cannot compare the two adequately as money does not buy class, and there’s no telling if the guy next door living in a bungalow with the equivalent of a junk yard on his lawn is really a millionaire who just doesn’t spent his money.
The new rule stands little chance of being confirmed in Congress. In addition, there are a number of liberal hawks who recognize that an incoming Republican administration will most likely reverse the rule. However, this rule does represent the dangerous transformation that Obama envisioned for this country. What the White House regime ignores is that upwardly mobile people with money have been moving to greener pastures for centuries and that isn’t going to change just because of a HUD rule that smacks of envy and greed.