THE U.S. GOVERNMENT CREATED AND/OR PERPETUATED SEGREGATED HOUSING – WITH MALICE AND FORETHOUGHT

 

holc-scan-small2_custom-8531e66ab54655b6e42a854bf157a7acee06928c-s800-c85
The original HOLC map of New Orleans. High “risk” black areas in red.

A Book Review

by Ellen Isaacs

 

“Racial segregation in housing was not merely a project of Southerners in the former slaveholding Confederacy. It was a nationwide project of the federal government in the twentieth century, designed and implemented by its most liberal leaders….Until the last quarter of [that century}, racially explicit policies of federal, state, and local governments defined where whites and African Americans should live….The policy was so systematic and forceful that is effects endure to the present time.” These quotes are from the preface to The Color of Law, a new book by Richard Rothstein, that presents a wealth of evidence in support of his thesis. The general ignorance of the history of de jure (by law) segregation is so profound that Chief Justice John Roberts could get away with saying that since residential segregation “is a product not of state action but of private choices, it does not have constitutional implications.” Such ideas inhibit legal remedies for the consequences of housing segregation, such as segregated education. The author also shows how racist housing laws contributed to income differentials, the large differences in wealth between blacks and whites, and prevented interracial cohesion. Continue reading “THE U.S. GOVERNMENT CREATED AND/OR PERPETUATED SEGREGATED HOUSING – WITH MALICE AND FORETHOUGHT”

RACISM IS A SCOURGE ON THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH

by Ellen Isaacs

CAN THE U.S. AFFORD TO REMEDY THE RACIAL DIVIDE?

            Most articles verifying the effects of racism on health attempt to suggest solutions, ranging from combating provider bias, to changing the insurance system, to reducing income inequality. However, we start by asking a fundamental question: Is it possible to erase the racial differences in health and health care in our capitalist system? Continue reading “RACISM IS A SCOURGE ON THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH”

RACISM IS THE BASIS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE U.S.

by Bill Sacks

While pointing the finger at terrorists as wanton murderers (which they are), the US is among the one-sixth of the world’s nations that still use the death penalty, almost exclusively against the working class; five out of six nations have abolished it. Besides those whom the courts officially execute, US police unofficially (extra-judicially) execute even more – far more than in any other country. Police act on the street as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, all within seconds.

In contrast, following judicial sentencing, official executions occur decades later, with most spending their entire lives on death row without execution. This varies wildly across the US. Twenty states have abolished the death penalty, and, of the other thirty, many execute maybe 1%, while others execute as many as 70%. This alone indicates the unfairness of the death penalty that, along with public sentiment opposed to capital punishment in the early 1970s, prompted the US Supreme Court to abolish the death penalty in 1972, only to bring death back to “life” in 1976.

Capitalism, particularly in the US, aims the death penalty almost exclusively at the working class, and at men. White collar crime often has far greater consequences – for example, the tobacco company executives who lied for years about the deadly effects of smoking, the politicians who sent working-class soldiers to kill and be killed in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq, and even the bankers’ responsible for the 2008 crash that wiped out pensions and better- paying jobs. But rarely does white collar crime result in an indictment, let alone end in conviction – and never in execution.

The unequal application of the death penalty, confined only to the working class, also occurs largely along racial lines. This is traceable to the US history of slavery, Jim Crow racism (slavery by another name), and rampant lynch mobs in the 1900s. Such extrajudicial lynchings were only terminated by the government’s saying in effect to the racist mobs, “You can end your vigilante practice, since we (the state – federal and state governments) are going to take over the practice officially.” Cops, however, are the lynch mobs by another name, still permitted to kill with impunity.

From 1882 to 1964, the more than 4,700 lynchings killed far more black than white (mainly) men – roughly 3 to 1 – with many whites lynched for associating with black friends (http://law2.umkc.edu/Faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingyear.html). Judicial executions, on the other hand, victimize far more white workers than black – 56% have been white, and 35% have been black since 1976. But in proportion to their respective portions of the population, a white worker is only one-eighth as likely to be executed as a black worker, though there are roughly equal numbers of black and white men on death row awaiting executions that may never take place. Workers of Latin, Native American, and other ethnic groups suffer fewer executions.

Until execution for rape was outlawed in 1977, almost 9 out of 10 of the 455 men executed for rape between 1930 and 1967 were black, almost all for raping white women, with undetermined numbers innocent of the crime. When black women were the rape victims, regardless of the color of the rapist’s skin, rarely was the death penalty applied.

 

Continue reading “RACISM IS THE BASIS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE U.S.”

IMMIGRATION POLICY IN THE US: IT’S ALL ABOUT RACE

Tanya Golash-Boza

The current debate over immigration policy in the United States revolves around how many immigrants we should let in and what we should do about those immigrants that are here without authorization. Continue reading “IMMIGRATION POLICY IN THE US: IT’S ALL ABOUT RACE”

From MICRO Aggression to MACRO Oppression

By the Editors

The Charlotte NC chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), an organization for white antiracists, just called for disbanding in order to build solidarity among all groups. This is a very significant step forward. Continue reading “From MICRO Aggression to MACRO Oppression”

It’s Capitalism: Racism and Sexism Win With Any President

by The Editors

Trump’s election signaled a victory for racism and sexism that is not reserved just for Republicans and open fascists.   These ideas and practices also flourish under liberals like the Clintons and Obama, who supported wars against people in Iraq and Syria, gutted welfare programs devastating women and children, and deported millions. Continue reading “It’s Capitalism: Racism and Sexism Win With Any President”

APHA: Police Violence IS a Public Health Issue

by The Editors

Police Violence IS  a Public Health Issue at APHA

An exciting victory in the fight against racist police violence was won at the American Public Health Association convention on November 1, 2016.  Over 10,000 largely progressive health workers meet annually to present public health data and program outcomes.  Members may also propose policy resolutions to represent the organization’s agenda. The cautious and conservative leadership review them and recommend approval or rejection, although a representative membership body votes to accept or reject them. Continue reading “APHA: Police Violence IS a Public Health Issue”