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Redlined, A Legacy of Housing Discrimination

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    Decades of housing discrimination have
    helped create an enormous wealth gap
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    between white and black families.
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    - The enduring legacy of red-lining, the
    legal government sponsored effort to
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    deny mortgages and home ownership
    opportunities to African-Americans and
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    other minorities continues to undermine
    their quality of life. This violation of
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    basic civil rights continues to negatively
    impact education attainment, health
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    outcomes, wealth accumulation,
    self-esteem, mortality rates, and
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    civic engagement.
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    - Home ownership has proved to both the
    doorway and gatekeeper to success and
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    well-being in America. It is at the
    core of todays racial wealth gap.
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    - There's a very powerful myth in this
    country, and that is that residential
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    segregation in this country is something
    we call de-facto segregation.
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    Something to happen by accident.
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    Every textbook that's used in American
    high schools and middle schools today
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    lies about this history.
    It talks about how
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    northern cities were de facto segregated,
    without government involvement.
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    They talk about how the Federal Housing
    Administration, did a wonderful job of
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    creating single family homes in the
    suburbs for working class families
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    without mentioning that the working
    class families they had created these
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    homes for, could only be white.
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    - This began a history of excluding people
    of color from government housing programs.
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    Intended to lower the cost of mortgages
    and increase home ownership.
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    Segregated neighborhoods
    by race using a code system.
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    Outlined minority neighborhoods
    using the color red.
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    Intended to expand the secondary
    mortgage market by securitizing
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    mortgage loans.
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    Community boards often denied
    minority veterans mortgages.
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    Many minority vets could not be
    buried in the same cemetery as
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    whites.
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    It wasn't until 1970 that lending to
    communities of color began to
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    increase.
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    - The way this manifested itself is
    through the drawing of maps.
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    Different neighborhoods were underwritten
    as being riskier or safer and the
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    principle component that determined
    riskiness or safety from a lending
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    standpoint was ethnic
    and racial composition.
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    It was at that point that the real estate
    developers began to drop strings
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    around areas.
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    The local banker could choose
    who would get mortgages, where.
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    So that we could not have gotten
    a loan out in the suburbs because
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    those were whites only.
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    The concept of a middle class black
    only exists in the mind of a middle
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    class black.
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    Everywhere else in the suburbs
    you are that nigger family on the
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    corner of Warren road
    and Boulevard Way.
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    Well the truth is that we've had in this
    country generations of affirmative action
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    for whites.
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    And the sad truth of it is that
    whites don't know that that's
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    happened or they refuse to
    accept it or don't understand
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    the history.
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    And what that leads to is this false
    kind-of narrative that "I did it myself".
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    You know this, racial (inaudible),
    individual responsibility narrative.
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    - They were many federal, state,
    and local policies explicitly racial
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    designed to create segregation in
    every Metropolitan area in the
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    country. And policies that were so
    powerful that they still determine
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    the racial boundaries of
    Metropolitan areas today.
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    The Federal Housing Administration began
    a program to suburbanize the entire white
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    working class population
    into single family homes.
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    - This is Levittown, Pennsylvania.
    A new suburban community of
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    sixty thousand people with its
    giant shopping center, winding
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    lanes named for flowers and
    trees. It is (inaudible) typical of
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    communities all over America.
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    Where families are pursuing the American
    dream to give their children a better
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    chance in life.
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    Nearly all are young people.
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    A large proportion are veterans.
    For many it is the first house of
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    their own and it represents a
    major financial investment.
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    - In August 1957, Levittown,
    Pennsylvania attracted
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    international attention as William Myers
    Jr. and his family moved into the three
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    bedroom house. They are very close
    to the Levittown norm. Except in one
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    respect.
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    William Myers Jr. and his family are
    negroes in an all-white community.
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    If more colored are allowed to move in,
    Levittown is going to go downhill.
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    - The only way that those developers
    could get the capital to do that was
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    by going to the Federal Housing
    Administration. In order to get
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    that approval, they had to commit never
    to sell a home to an African-American.
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    Access to leverage allowed middle-class
    whites to build wealth. The white
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    families who bought those homes were able
    to use their wealth to send children to
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    college. And they use that to bequeath
    wealth to their children, who can use
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    it as down payments for their own homes.
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    Restrictive covenants ensured that
    minorities could not buy into white
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    neighborhoods.
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    Properties shall continue to be
    occupied by the same social
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    and racial classes.
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    - When Karen and I purchased this home that
    was built in 1948 we found some documents
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    in a closet.
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    Neither the whole or any part of
    said tract shall be sold, rented,
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    or leased to any persons or persons
    not of white or caucasian race.
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    - Created greatest growth of the middle
    class in the history of the world.
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    In 1940, 42 percent of white
    families owned their own home.
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    In 2000, 71 percent of white
    families owned their own home.
Title:
Redlined, A Legacy of Housing Discrimination
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
15:09

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