“Residential Segregation, Title VIII & Homeownership Reparations for African Americans in Oakland, California”

Redlining Oakland

Homeownership is a powerful force to building wealth in the United States.  Yet research finds one startling conclusion: building wealth through homeownership in the United States was never devised for African Americans.  Sadly, the historical snapshot of homeownership for African Americans in the United States is instead the long history of federal, state, and local policies used to establish and maintain residential segregation.  The evidence of “de facto segregation (private practice)” and “de jure segregation (law and public policy)” in the City of Oakland, California unveils a systemically-engineered operation of racial discrimination in housing and racially divided communities. The deep-rooted residential segregation housing policies, such as zoning and redlining, were designed and used against African-American Oaklanders to exclude them from American’s legacy of wealth-capitalist-homeownership — the American Dream. A dream for White America.

The historical planning practices used to establish and maintain residential segregation was zoning, and disinvestment creating the urban ghetto — are evident and continue to thrive today.  In a study on residential segregation, Douglass S. Massey and his colleagues have documented high levels of residential segregation in major metropolitan regions like in the United States.  Successively, its damaging effects embodies a long-held reality that the mechanism used for segregation locked African Americans out of the prosperity ensued in The American Dream, homeownership.

Understanding the grim historical byproducts and outcomes of residential segregation is “a  way to gain a larger sense of civil rights, the enforcement of the Fair housing Legislation law in pursue homeownership opportunities, which will be the vehicle to wealth building for African Americans in the United States,” said Floyd May, who built his career as a civil rights practitioner, was the former General Deputy Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and founded the National Fair Housing Academy (NFHA).

Yet, historically, racial residential segregation is a product of an institutional mechanism of racism that was designed to protect whites from social interaction with blacks.  May recounts how, at the age of five, he experienced a harsh reality of social interactions between African Americans and whites.  “My dad worked for the railroad and called to ask my mother to bring the lunch to the roundhouse.  I ran down the step and didn’t know what door to enter, one on the left or right.  I opened the door to the left and there sat a room of white men in overalls, behind a long table with fluorescent light.  They cursed me and ask what I wanted, and told me to get the hell out.  I told them that I was looking for my daddy, and he said: “he is in there with those other color boys, and get the hell out.”  I entered the door and there was my father sitting behind one card table with a 25-watt bulb. I immediately did not like it, and from there I began asking probative questions and began to understand discrimination and joined the NAACP.”

A Brief lesson on History of Residential Segregation in Oakland

In spite of the lives lost and sacrifices made in the fight for housing equality in America, our nation is still assembled and structured in combination with racism, as evidenced by an inequitable delineation of the black and white housing.  The power of racism and the mechanism used to enforce white_flightit is directly linked to the shift from an agrarian society into an industrial society.

Early in the 20th century, the racial, social, economic, and political landscape of American cities changed.  American cities turned into industrial centers, taking advantage of the railroad, port facilities, and the need for unskilled labor.  The demand for workers in the industrial cities stimulated The Great Migration of thousands of blacks from southern racial oppressive states, who were looking for work, a better life, and housing.

Oakland expanded with automobile manufacturing facilities — Chevrolet and General Motors, the Durant Motors, the Durant Motor Company, and Caterpillar Tractor — and Del Monte fruit canning. The demand for workers during and after World I stimulated the migration of hundreds of thousands of southern blacks into industrial cities, chevolet plant oaklandincluding Oakland.  According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census surveys, 1,770, African Americans lived in Oakland in 1944 and by 1950 the population numbered 42,355.

This massive increase in African-American population created a housing crisis, and racial tension, so urban planners devised zoning ordinances. Zoning ordinances are land-use policies that establish a hierarchy of uses. CSO-Gospel-Choir-Great-Migration-300x300They are governed by urban strategists and local city councils.  With the housing crisis identified, zoning ordinances were used as the main tools for creating and maintaining segregation of neighborhoods.

This was often successful because the federal government financed housing developments in the suburbs specifically for whites to partake in the American Dream.  The American dream agenda was geared towards buildup wealth through ownership of land and single-family homes.  These zoning ordinances led to discriminatory underwriting criteria in which loans were to be given to those that would not pose a threat to community harmony — and racial covenants identified Black and Jews.   Ultimately, these ordinances were used to move our metropolitan regions towards segregation, keeping African Americans from being white families’ neighbors.  These mechanisms also undermined the wealth building capabilities for African Americans in the United States.

For instance, in Oakland, these zoning ordinances were used loan practices and in propaganda to stimulate “white flight” — whites moving to the suburbs for fear of a decrease in property value. They also led to redlining in Federal Housing Authority mortgages, prohibiting returning African-American War veterans the opportunity to obtain GI loans for single-family homes in suburbs.

Angie Wilson Hajjem, housing discrimination testing coordinator of Eden Charity for Hope and Opportunity, explains, “After World War II, people were coming back from war to rebuild their lives. The government gave GI low-interest loans to military folks to get housing. They didn’t give it to the black people that were coming back from fighting. They didn’t give it to the black people living communities that needed housing. So we saw, you know back in the 40s, only white Americans able to access low-interest loans and buy homes. And you know I think that home ownership is such a critical way of building wealth in your family. And because so many black people and people of color didn’t have access to get the loan to buy homes, they were left out. They were [left] out of this whole wealth-building entity that homeownership brings. So it was discrimination that was embedded in our government you know with not loaning black people money. So it’s a horrible legacy that we have in this country.  People don’t realize how institutional racism has impacted African Americans so drastically.”

Subsequently, these discriminatory practices set into motion a degenerative series of divestment in the urban interior, which created a social and economic environment that disenfranchised, impoverished, and marginalized people of color.  Implicit in this is the fact that jobs moved out of central cities due to white flight.migration 1

In addition, the development of suburban communities during the two decades between 1930 and 1950 changed the demographics of cities.  The new housing opportunities in suburban communities stimulated the mass exodus of whites from the cities. These new, all-white, suburban towns lured manufacturing jobs away from the inner city with cheap land and low taxes, leaving poor minority families and the increased tax burden behind.  When minority families tried to pursue the housing opportunities in the suburbs, they found few affordable housing opportunities and often encountered government condoned racism which made relocation to the suburbs impossible. Prohibiting African Americans in these newly developed suburban communities, they were forced to reside in an urban core; economically, socially, politically, and environmentally disenfranchised. Massey and Denton (1993) Rothstein (2017, Krysan & Crowder (2017).

Floyd O. May acknowledges that these issues “still permeate in much of the fabric of our society today.” He says, “What we are witnessing in today’s marketplace in housing is very concerning when we have an administration who has made the decision to eliminate discrimination in its mission.  It causes me great pain and great concern.  But, fortunately, I believe in the law. And notwithstanding the current administration’s lack of will and desire to carry lack of their responsibility, I am encouraged and engaged with organizations and people who are not going to allow these decisions to go unchallenged. And with that in mind, I am on the National Housing Committee for NAACP, We are leveraging with other organizations to address our concerns about the departments and the government’s lack of will to address discrimination in housing. “

Patterns of residential segregation have been linked to homelessness, the concentration of persistent poverty, racial differences in household incomes, educational attainment, and the lack of homeownership opportunity, according to Massey and Denton (1993)

The Inequality of Homeownership for African Americans in the United States:

Historically, the inequality of homeownership for African Americans in the United States is the story of Dream Deferred. This has clearly impacted the current crisis and state of African American today, with home ownership, education, employment, and wealth lagging behind.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Legislation, but discrimination in housing continues and homeownership still declines for African Americans.  A recent study from the Urban Institute illustrates homeownership opportunities are dismal. The Urban Institute is asking, “What has happened to black homeownership?”  It has “declined to levels not seen since the 1960s when private race-based discrimination was legal.”  The authors say that, in the three decades following passage of the Fair Housing Act, black homeownership rose by almost 6 percentage points, reaching 47.3 percent. However, the rate dropped to 41.2 percent from 2000 to 2015.

070f5e39262de6ca95720b10fdaae780--black-people-black-powerResearch continues to show that homeownership is the greatest asset in the American economy and a driving force to building wealth.  According to the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finance, nationally, the primary residence represents the largest asset accounted on the balance sheet (as shown in Figure 1 below).  At (24%), the primary residence accounted for about one-quarter of all assets held by households, surpassing business interest (20%) and retirement accounts (15%).

Not only does homeownership provide entry into the American Dream, it is the driving force for a better life, neighborhood, and community. “When you have a home that you buy, you are investing … in your schools, your social services, and the community at large.  When you own you know that you have a piece of the pie.  There’s something about home ownership—you’re emotionally tied to your community…Homeownership really allows for the neighbors to know each other. It allows a building of community and it allows for people to feel more connected. And when you don’t have the homeownership… it has a real impact on your family and your children and health, and everything that you do,” says Angie Watson-Hajjem.

It’s The Law: The Federal Fair Housing Act-Title VIII:

Housing discrimination and segregation are serious problems in this nation, and they are directly the impediments to wealth building for the African American.  Disenfranchisement is deeply entrenched and continues to persist in our Nation’s urban cities.  However, The Fair Housing Act is the federal law that addresses discriminatory practices and policies, promotes residential integration, and ensure that every neighborhood is a place of opportunity.  It prohibits a wide range of discriminatory practices: the refusal to rent or sell housing on the basis of race or other prohibited status: discrimination in the terms of sale or rental (including requirements for deposits, down payment, or credit checks); discrimination in the advertising of housing sales or rentals: and discrimination in the terms of mortgagee or home improvement financing.  It reads:

  • Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act) prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VIII was amended in 1988 (effective March 12, 1989) by the Fair Housing Amendments Act, which:
  • expanded the coverage of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on disability or on familial status (presence of child under age of 18, and pregnant women); established new administrative enforcement mechanisms with HUD attorneys bringing actions before administrative law judges on behalf of victims of housing discrimination; and revised and expanded Justice Department jurisdiction to bring suit on behalf of victims in Federal district courts.

In light of the grim historical byproducts and outcomes of residential segregation, the Federal Fair Housing Act Title VIII is the law and the direct remedy from the federal government to eliminate the most blatant and historical discriminatory practices of racism in housing. Homeownership-hands-517x545This is the law that promotes a solution for African Americans in Oakland who are descendants of those who were unconstitutionally denied access to the affordable, assessable, or sustainable housing during the economic expansion for white America only.

Homeownership: Facing the Truths & Remedying the Past:

How do we redirect and remedy the past and attend to the future state of African-America?  It is by facing the truths and remedying the past through reparations to African Americans who have been historically excluded from homeownership.  Admittedly, I agree with Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. He writes, “Reparations are not meant for a one-time monetary distribution.”  But rather, reparations for the dissemination of land, or subsidies whereby, African American are given a preference in the homeownership funding.

Black+Home+Ownerhsip picture.pngGiven that my modus operandi is to protect and serve the remaining African-Americans homeowner in Oakland, I recommend reparation solutions geared towards correcting the constitutional violation with public subsidies for qualifying African American to purchase homes in any neighborhood of their choosing.  A reparation housing policy might be doable with the Measure A1 funds.  These same criteria can be given to renters as well.  MeasureA1 bond funds the creation of permanently affordable rental housing, help moderate-income households afford home ownership and make existing housing for low-income seniors and people with disabilities safe and accessible. $460 million of the funding would create rental housing, and $120 million would go to support homeownership programs. Let’s consider adding to the measure native African Americans in Alameda County who are descendants of families who were directly affected by the unconstitutional federal, state, and local housing policies.

I recommend reparation solutions geared towards correcting the constitutional violation with public subsidies for qualifying African American to purchase homes in any neighborhood of their choosing.  A reparation housing policy might be doable with the Measure A1 funds.  These same criteria can be given to renters as well.

Alanna McCargo, vice president of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute, offers three solutions. First, she believes it is imperative that we reduce the loss of homeownership among African Americans who already own homes but risk losing them.

Second, she says we need to offer young African American (all Americans, really) a pathway from their teen years to their forties that includes a much more systematic effort to build financial health, including opportunities to get access to a decent mortgage when they’re ready to buy homes.

Third, she advises that we make supportive reforms that will stabilize and improve housing markets in communities where African Americans live. This includes assuring that rents are affordable enough to allow young people to save for a down payment and establish a good credit record, as well as investing in communities so that home values don’t decline further. This also includes reforms and enforcement to curtail corrupt and predatory practices that deliberately strip assets from African Americans.

Anne Price, president of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, suggest that we need to look at the very low levels of homeownership rates among late Gen Xers and early millennials that are lagging behind previous generations.  We cannot continue to rely on homeownership as the primary vehicle of wealth accumulation for blacks. Public-sector intervention is needed supports the proposal for young adult trusts (baby bonds), a program that is analogous to a Social Security plan that would provide substantial capital finance for young adults.

Homeownership is such a critical way of building wealth in your family. Because so many people of color didn’t have access to get the loan to buy homes, they were left out of this whole wealth building entity.

There is no limit to the creative ideas, recommendations, and strategies on this issue.   An Emergent Attention is necessary and needed to the world as housing is a human basic right for survival on the planet earth, which is “just housing.”

 

 

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“Frederick Douglas & Shredding the “Science of Race Theory:” DNA Exposes How Race is A Social Construct and it’s All Made Up”(Revised Assignment 7)

PRELUDE: Imagining a matrix experience on the planet Earth epic-center Oakland, California- Temescal District.  In this district, there is a diverse representation of intergalactic beings, from all eight plants in the solar system-Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.  In the heap of galactic urban nerd pride, you will find radical liberal intergalactic beings, the travelers looking for the entertainment, drink, wine, and food the district brings.  On this day, the intergalactic beings are in the districts to check the museum exhibit celebrating & featuring Frederick Douglass & Shredding of Race Theory of the Past… 

“Frederick Douglass & Shredding the “Science of Race Theory:” DNA Exposes How Race is A Social Construct and it’s All Made Up”

Shred

THE SCENE: INTERGALACTIC EPIC CENTER IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA…

Oakland, California, April 16, 3118, setting in on the lecture in the Temescal District Museum, alongside her 60+ intergalactic conscious, radically liberal, culturally engaged and passionate working-class homeowner friends, Sadie Rose receives a text message from Morphis alerting her that she must immediately leave to go to ice cream parlor in the art alley across the street.  It was time for her to unplug.  She had been located.  She thought this a short assignment, as the Oracle suggested she attend because it was time for her shred the concept of race.  Sadie Rose, exits the museum grasping her St. Martin de Porres necklace, for solace in a safe return to the hovercraft-Nebuchadnezzar. She looks to her left, only to see Mr. Anderson exiting the Uber Black Intergalactic Suburban…

THE SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENT…1000 YEARS EARLIER

Frederick Douglass argues that the Egyptians were not White but African.egyptian picture

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), a multifaceted intellectual, an escaped slave, abolitionist, writer, orator and advocate of the women’s suffrage, was correct when he denounced the Science of Race theory. Frederick Douglass disproved Samuel Morton claim that “black and white people were created separatelyFrederick Douglass picture and black people were inferior.”

Samuel Morton, a leading scientist during the antebellum era, argued that people could be divided into five races and that these represented separate acts of creation. The races had distinct characters, which corresponded to their place in a divinely determined hierarchy.  This hierarchy measured in “craniometrics” showed, that whites, or “Caucasians,” were the most intelligent of the races.  East Asians—termed “Mongolian”—though “ingenious” and “susceptible of cultivation,” were one step down.  Next, Southeast Asians, followed by Native Americans.  Lastly, Blacks, or “Ethiopians,” were at the bottom. Morton authenticates his race theory argument by referencing the bible as the source of “truth,” —The Egyptians in bible experienced greatness because of they white.”

Conversely, Frederick Douglas clarifies his position by declaring through personal research, and travels to Egypt, that the Egyptians were African and that race “did not exist” contextually in the bible. The popularity and prominence given to the science of race theory were used during the antebellum era, only to condone slavery.

THE VERDICT & PROOF:

Genetic sequencing scientist proven all human being are African.

Fast forward into to the 21st Century, pioneer genetic sequencing researchers have found truth in Frederick Douglass appeal “that at the” genetic level the whole category of race is misconceived.  In June 2000, it was announced at a White House ceremony, that “The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.”

IT’S TRUE…

All humans are closely related…

Genetic scientist finds two deep truths about people. The first truth is that all humans are closely related—everyone has the same collection of genes. Secondly, studies of this genetic diversity have allowed scientists to reconstruct a kind of family tree of human populations. That has revealed the deep truth: In a very real sense, all people alive today are African.”


THE GREAT NEWS ABOUT GENETIC SEQUENCING-THE EPILOGUE:

“Genetic sequencing, which has allowed researchers to trace the path of human migration and now allows individuals to trace their own ancestry, introduces new ways of thinking about human diversity.  DNA testing provides a deeper notion of one ancestry, only to find a common thread that binds all humans together—the African descent.  This, in turn, opens up a conversation about “race as a human construction.

Sadie Rose made it to the Nebuchadnezzar.  Strangely, she remembers the quote she read at the museum by Fredrick Douglass.  “A smile or a tear has not a nationality; joy and sorrow speak alike to all nations, and they, above all the confusion of tongues, proclaim the brotherhood of man.”

Target audience: 60+, radical liberals that are economical, politically, socially and environmentally engaged citizen, passionate advocates for humanity with a special interest in dogs and cats.

Target publication: East Bay Express: Example check herel

“A Memoir: Homeownership As A Norm & Goal for All African-Americans–“A Dream Deferred.”

Gen X pic 4As a GenXer and descendant of African-American parents who migrated from the southern states of Texas and Oklahoma, growing up in Oakland, California was everything my dad wanted for his children “to live in a microcosm of how the real world should be.” This is what my father provided.   Ironically, in my family of educators, real estate agents and real estate developers, racial discrimination in housing and homeownership was a norm.  In fact, my childhood memory of being in the single-family homes of family, friends, and neighbors.  At five years old, I remember my first travel outside of California, to Texas and Oklahoma, staying in single-family homes owned by relatives.  In Crockett, Texas, our annual family homecoming gathering was inside my great grandmother’s home on twenty-eight acres of farm and cattle land. I also remember chasing chickens for dinner, and the tire swing on the tree.Farm Picture

(The home of Rosie Washington, Crockett, Texas, 2014)

It wasn’t until my graduate study in fair housing legislation that I learned about race dominance usage as a resource in the city and suburban infrastructural design for African-Americans. The sole purpose of race dominance for housing was to fully implement government housing policies that unconstitutionally prohibited African-Americans from social, economic, political and environmental participation in the American capitalist agenda—the American Dream.  The American Dream was a fully financed wealth-building nation commissioned for and by white America for guaranteed entry into homeownership.  Alternatively, it built and fueled a strategic inferno of poverty in an urban core called the “ghetto” for African-Americans. The inferno destroyed infinite finance possibilities for African-Americans through race and real estate discrimination. Yet, it goes deeper, African-Americans never received the promise of forty acres and a mule after the Emancipation Proclamation. It never materialized because it was never intended for African-Americans to be part of the wealth legacy.  It has become, to African-America, the “American Dream Deferred.”

This was successful because the federal government financed housing developments in the suburbs specifically for whites to partake in the American Dream.  The American dream agenda was geared towards building wealth through land ownership—single-family homes.  Its underwriting criteria specifically provided that loans were to be given to those who would not pose a threat to harmonious neighborhoods—non-whites.  Racial covenants identified inharmonious neighborhoods with African-Americans and Jews.  These mechanisms undermined the wealth-building capabilities of African-Americans in the United States.Gen X pic 5

Historically, the inequality of homeownership for African-Americans in the United States is that story of a “Dream Deferred.”  So when I think of how the housing crisis in America is disproportionately affecting African-Americans, I understand how racial discrimination has been used solely to decimate a people.  There was never a reason to fully integrate the African-American into the American Dream—a capitalist quality and standard of wealth. In fact, the development of racial theories (Darwinism-the survival of the fittest) resulted in the argument that the African-American populace would eventually disappear. Therefore, with reason, there is no question about the current crisis and state of the African-American today. The crisis exists in the decline of homeownership, as well as disparities in education, employment, and wealth.

The year 2018, marks the 50th Anniversary of federal Fair Housing Legislation; yet discrimination in housing continues for African-Americans, for whom homeownership still declines.  A recent study from the Urban Institute (UI) illustrates how dismal homeownership opportunities are.  The Urban Institute has asked, “What has happened to black homeownership?”  It has “declined to levels not seen since the 1960s when private race-based discrimination was legal.”  The authors say that, in the three decades following passage of the Fair Housing Act, black homeownership rose by almost six percentage points, reaching 47.3 percent, but from 2000 to 2015 the rate dropped to 41.2 percent.

2017_2D00_2_2D00_23-ui1

How do we remedy the past and attend to the future of the state of African-America?  By answering the truths through reparations to African-Americans, who have been historically excluded from homeownership. I agree with Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America that “reparations are not meant for a one-time monetary distribution.”  Rather, reparations should take the form of dissemination of land, or subsidies whereby, African-Americans are given a preference in homeownership funding.  Preferentially, given my modus operandi is to protect and serve the remaining African-Americans homeowners in Oakland, California, I recommend reparation solutions geared towards correcting the constitutional violation with public subsidies for qualifying African-Americans to purchase homes in any neighborhood of their choosing.

My memories catalyze my personal quest for knowledge on residential segregation and homeownership for African-Americans in Oakland, California–The final paper topic for this scientific journalism writing class. (Assignment 5)

Racial Responsiveness, Zoning & Residential Segregation

 

 

exclusion1

In spite of the lives lost, and sacrifices made in the fight for housing equality in America, our nation is assembled and structured in combination with racism; an inequitable delineation of black/ whites housing.  The power of racism and the mechanism used to enforce it is directly linked to the shift from an agrarian society into an industrial society.

Early in the 20th century, the racial, social, economic and political landscape of American cities changed.  These changes resulted from an agrarian America into an industrial America.  American cities turned into industrial centers, taking advantage of the railroad, port facilities and the need for unskilled labor.  The demand for workers in the industrial cities, stimulated The Great Migration of thousands of blacks from southern racial oppressive states, looking for work, a better life, and housing.   Growing out of the unmet promises-forty acres and a mule, set forth as a provision of The Emancipation Proclamation—the abolishment of slavery.

Searching for better opportunities in the urban center, an influx of African- American migrants move to the urban industrial center.  The massive increase in population created a housing crisis, and racial tension, such that urban strategist and planners resolve this crisis by devising zoning ordinances.  Zoning ordinances are land-use policies that established a hierarchy of uses.   Govern by urban strategists and local governmental body-city councils.  With the housing crisis identified, social scientist zoning ordinance was used as main tools in creating and maintaining segregation of neighborhoods, communities and housing discrimination.  A racial geographical configuration of cities—a black/white life, neighborhoods, and community.

images (1)

Zoning and racially divided communities were planned by white male planners who established the middle-class value system and standards-The American Dream.   In Baltimore, St. Louis passed zoning ordinances that prohibited African-Americans from moving onto blocks that were majority white.   Thus, this model fueled planners around the country into devising racially segregated communities.

In the 1920’s, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover orgnized an advisory committee on zoning, whose job was to persuade every jurisdiction to adopt the ordinance that would keep low-income families out of middle-class neighborhoods. Jurisdiction began to adopt zoning ordinances that were exclusive on economics standards, but the real purpose was to exclude Africans- Americans.   Landmark zoning cases The Village of Euclid v Ambler Realty Company, supported exclusion towards African-American and European, irrespective of the fact that Buchanan v Warley declared racial zoning unconstitutional in 1917.

Sadly, this historical snapshot of the foundational planning mechanism used to establish and maintain residential segregation continues to thrive.  According to a study on residential segregation (2016) Douglass S. Massey and his colleagues have documented, high levels of residential segregation in major metropolitan regions in the United States.  A dynamic and long-held reality that zoning and segregation locked African-Americans out of the prosperity ensued in The American Dream.  But rather, A Dream Deferred, identical to the unmet promises from the Emancipation Proclamation.

This historical lesson on zoning and residential segregation serve as the reason to formulate zoning ordinance infused in racial equality; that fiercely attacks racism.

“Frederick Douglass Shreds the “Science of Race Theory:” DNA Exposes How Race is a Social Construct and it’s All Made Up”

When Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), a multifaceted intellectual, an escaped slave, abolitionist, writer, orator and advocate for the women’s suffrage, publicly denounced the science of race theory, he did not know that 200 years later, his argument would be validated through genetic sequencing and research.

Frederick Douglass disproves Samuel Morton claim that “black and white people were created separately and black people were inferior.” Samuel Morton, a leading race scientist during the antebellum era, argued that there are five separate races in acts of creation. The races had distinct characters, which corresponded to their place in a divinely determined hierarchy, states Katherine Kolbert, author and a staff writer for the New Times.  “Morton’s “craniometrics” showed, that whites, or “Caucasians,” were the most intelligent of the races.  East Asians—termed “Mongolian”—though “ingenious” and “susceptible of cultivation,” were one step down.  Next, Southeast Asians, followed by Native Americans.  Lastly, Blacks, or “Ethiopians,” were at the bottom,” states Kolbert.  Morton authenticates his argument by referencing the bible as the source of “truth,” —Egyptians in bible experienced greatness because they were white.”

Conversely, Eric Herschthal (2018) shares how Frederick Douglas clarifies his position through personal research, and travels to Egypt, that the Egyptians were African and that race “did not exist” contextually in the bible.  Morton’s science of race was used to condone slavery.

Frederick Douglass pictureFast forward into to the 21st Century, genetic sequencing researchers have found truth in Frederick Douglas appeal “that at the” genetic level the whole category of race is misconceived,” said Craig Venter, a pioneer of DNA sequencing.  In June 2000, he announced at a White House ceremony, that “The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.”

Most importantly, “genetic research has revealed two deep truths about people,” states Kolbert.  “The first truth is that all humans are closely related—everyone has the same collection of genes. Secondly, studies of this genetic diversity have allowed scientists to reconstruct a kind of family tree of human populations. That has revealed the deep truth: In a very real sense, all people alive today are African.”

“Genetic sequencing, which has allowed researchers to trace human migration and now allows individuals to trace their own ancestry, introduces new ways of thinking about human diversity,” hopes Anita Foeman, Director of the Project DNA Discussion, West Chester University.  The DNA Discussion Project provides participants DNA testing and discussion about their genetic background.  Participants discuss preconceived notions of their ancestry, only to find a common thread that binds all humans together—the African descent.  This, in turn, opens up a conversation about “race as a human construction that we don’t fall into different groups or there’s no variation,” Foeman says. “But if we made racial categories up, maybe we can make new categories that function better.”

The research was published March 4, 2018, entitled “There’s No Scientific Basis for Race—It’s a Made Up Label, The Race Issue, National Geographic.

Tackling the “childcare-conference conundrum”

Scientists Talk Funny

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem

Attending conferences is a critical part of professional development, particularly for early-stage academic researchers. At these meetings, scientists further their careers by presenting their research discoveries and networking with potential collaborators, employers and funding agencies.

However, many early-stage researchers are moms who are primary caretakers of their children, which makes it difficult to attend conferences that lack childcare accommodations. Recently, a group of women scientists came together to address this “childcare-conference conundrum.”

The group, called a Working Group of Mothers in Science, was spearheaded by Rebecca Calisi, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis. Last fall, she reached out to other women scientists after attending a large neuroscience conference — including Stanford’s Erin Gibson, PhD, a research scientist in neurology, and Lauren O’Connell, PhD, an assistant professor of biology — and this led to the formation of the group of…

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Residential Segregation & Title VIII (Revised)

 

 

In the seminal work entitled, “The Color of the Law,” Richard Rothstein argues that “de facto segregation” and “de jure segregation” in the United States contributed to a systemically engineered operation of racial discrimination in housing, and racially divided communities.   The distinctness of ““de facto segregated” is a result of private practices not from law or government policy, whereas “de jure segregation” is due to law and public policy,” states Richard Rothstein, research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of NAACP. These racial separatist interpretations created residential segregation in the United States.  In a pivotal 1988 paper, Massey defines residential segregation.

Historically, in large cities, residential segregation is fueled by the mass exodus of white Americans, termed “white flight.” White flight is when white Americans move from the urban cities to suburban communities because they fear property value will decrease by African-Americans moving into the neighborhood.    This white flight was driven by federal housing policies, which allowed the construction of new homes for whites in the suburbs.  Prohibiting African-Americans in these newly developed suburban communities, they were forced to reside in an urban core; economically, socially, politically, and environmentally disenfranchised.  Massey and Denton (1993), Rothstein (2017), Krysan & Crowder (2017) document government policies that exacerbated the transformation of ethnic neighborhoods into residentially segregated communities.

One phenomenon afflicting inner city communities is the affordable housing crisis, which stems from a new generation of inner-city residents being unable to afford equal access to adequate, sustainable and affordable housing.  The current affordable housing crisis in part results from housing policies that promote segregation along racial lines — intensifying homelessness and persistent poverty.

The best way to understand the causes of concentrated urban poverty and the affordable housing crisis is by investigating the historical developmental of residential segregation in the United States.  An investigation into its dismal effects will provide:

  • The historical racial planning strategies in the United States used in World I and World War 11, which shaped the modern era of racially segregated neighborhoods and cities.
  • The examination of three postwar periods; the era of public housing, urban renewal, and consolidation of the ghetto.

Hope remains in the historical analysis where the enforcement of the federal Fair Housing Act—Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and its 1988 Amendment will combat residential segregation by promoting a more racially, economically and sustainable integrated society.