Fair Housing, Obama Style
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the U.S., was, until Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama came along, considered as the worst president in U.S. history. But Jimmy Carter, to his credit, in 1976, did say, "I am not going to use the federal government's authority deliberately to circumvent the natural inclination of people to live in ethnic homogeneous neighborhoods. I think it is good to maintain the homogeneity of neighborhoods if they've been established that way." So chalk one up for Carter.
Too bad (for us) that Obama can't (or won't) say the same. Obama, through Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is pushing "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing," (AFFH) a program to "... allow the feds to track diversity in America's neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory."
Guess who gets to decide if discrimination is present. Why, HUD, naturally. This is the definition of a "self-fulfilling prophecy."
The AFFH program will require HUD to try to remedy what it considers segregation and discrimination in neighborhoods through data collection and the use of a massive database. Data from this so-called "discrimination database" will be used with transportation and infrastructure planning, housing financing policies, and zoning laws to alleviate what HUD deems as discrimination and segregation. Just what America needs: another government database. Can anyone say "NSA"?
According to HUD, AFFH will "... provide HUD program participants with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968," which "...directs HUD's program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all."
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan introduced this plan in July at the NAACP convention. Donovan said:
Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child, even her lifespan, is determined by the zip code she grows up in. This is simply wrong.
OK, Donovan, start a pilot program in Detroit, the Mecca of Democrat rule, and see how well AFFH works there. Or perhaps Chicago. Or perhaps New Orleans. Or perhaps Atlanta. All of those cities are Democrat strongholds, all with numerous zip codes, all with (reverse) discrimination and segregation. See how successful AFFH is there before spending the money necessary to go nationwide.
HUD and Donovan are reverting to the old and well-worn Progressive/Democrat/Liberal playbook of comparing apples with oranges in an effort to get their way, to try to gather data that will support their position so HUD (and Obama) can act as it desires, to impose his will upon us.
HUD blames poverty on zip codes, something that studies have not supported, rather than other socio-economic factors that studies have shown to contribute to poverty. For example, Dr. David Hilfiker, in his book Poverty in Urban America: Its Causes and Cures, says: "Causes of poverty are always multiple, interrelated, and mutually reinforcing. It is the combined, intertwined effect of these various factors that is so intractable." Hilfiker lists several causes:
- Racial Discrimination: "... the history of discrimination helped to create the ghetto environment."
- Segregation: "Continuing, imposed, severe segregation of African Americans from the rest of society is the single most important cause of urban black poverty" (emphasis mine).
- Education: "Because elementary and secondary schools are primarily funded through local taxes, cities with large numbers of poor people have fewer resources per child and are therefore less able to fund decent education" (emphasis in the original).
- Health Care: "Poor people, therefore, cannot afford to purchase insurance on their own, so they remain uncovered, spending significant percentages of their income on doctor or emergency room visits, especially if they have young children."
- Criminal Justice System: "Since ex-cons find it much harder to get jobs, the impact of the criminal justice system on poverty is doubly harsh."
Whether you agree with Hilfiker or not is not at issue here. The fact is, Hilfiker's list does not include zip codes. For HUD, it's all about the acquisition of power.
Hilfiker concludes by stating, "As long as ghettos exist, most of the people who live there will be poor." Gosh, I didn't realize that ghetto-creating segregation was imposed on anyone. Did I miss something here? I thought that imposing segregation was unlawful. I guess that AFFH, by imposing HUD's will, will be able to eliminate ghettos one zip code at a time. Imposing segregation: bad; imposing AFFH: good. Or so HUD thinks. Consistency is not one of HUD's strengths.
Of the AFFH program, Edward Pinto, of the American Enterprise Institute, said:
This is just the latest of a series of attempts by HUD to social engineer the American people. It started with public housing and urban renewal, which failed spectacularly back in the 50's and 60's. They tried it again in the 90's when they wanted to transform house finance, do away with down payments, and the result was millions of foreclosures and financial collapse.
For HUD, history and past performance doesn't count.
And from Rob Astorino, of the Westchester County Executive (the head of the executive branch of the Westchester County NY government), we get this perspective:
What they [Donovan and HUD] are trying to do is to say discrimination and zoning is the same thing. They are not. Discrimination won't be tolerated. I won't tolerate it. Zoning though, protects what can and can't be built in a neighborhood.
As Marilyn Assenheim says, "Call AFFH what it is; it is: the Lyin' King [Obama]'s recreation of America."
We are losing our freedoms one step at a time. AFFH is just the latest manifestation of that loss.
On a tangential note, where do Carter and Obama rank as presidents? Interestingly, in a poll conducted by Siena College, and published by US News and World Report, two hundred thirty eight presidential scholars ranked Barack Obama as 15th. But the poll's validity can be questioned, as the scholars ranked Obama as 6th in imagination, 7th in communication ability, 8th in intelligence, and 10th in ability to compromise. I guess that the "presidential scholars" were hand-picked by Siena College for their ability to ignore what Obama is currently doing and provide the rankings it sought. By the way, the poll ranked Carter 32nd.
Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University. He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making. He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired. Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.