Written By: Barry P. Foley
Copyright © 30 Oct 2022
What is the American Dream? Most folks consider it as that moment when you buy a home. Sounds simple enough. Except when you have a whole system in place to ensure you never get that chance.
That is how is has been for African-American families in since 1935. There was a well-documented and highly visible effort by all the agencies involved in buying a house to ensure they never get to achieve and live the American Dream.
First up is the ever so powerful National Board of Realtors. They didn’t even try to hide their racist practices, to the extent they felt it was their civic duty to ensure there was no Black home ownership. When their exclusion procedures were found illegal by the courts, there retreated and came back with a new plan of making all future home sales contracts had a covenant clause where the new owner can never sell his home to a Negro, or Jew, or Mexican, etc. That practice survived until its death with the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Second was the existence of Sundown Towns, where Negro’s were not allowed within the city limits after the SUN went down. Certainly, can buy a home where you’re not allowed to even be present. Over 10,000 Sundown Towns existed between Maine and California. Almost entirely in non-Jim Crow states!
Third up to bat was the practice of Red Lining. You couldn’t get a loan to buy a home in poor minority neighborhood.
Even after the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the forces of evil continued to find ways to block African American home ownership. So much so that President Bush signed the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 and in 1994, President Clinton signed an Executive Order to expand the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
When the banks finally complied with federal law and started making home loans to Blacks, they were quick to with predatory practices of the cursed Sub-Prime Mortgages. Black were twice as likely as whites to have subprime loans although they were in a higher income bracket. Subprime lending was known for predatory lending activities with excessive fees and penalties.
When the housing bubble collapsed in 2008, 8% of Black families lost their homes to foreclosures, compared to 4.5% of whites.
The banks never lose! But sometimes they do get held accountable. Bank of America was fined $335 million for minority discrimination in 2011. Trustmark Bank paid $5 million in a “Red Lining” fine 2021, 53 years after President Johnson FIXED IT and outlawed Redlining.
The deck that is stacked against the African-American is growing higher and quicker than the government can keep up.
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