If It’s Not Racism, What Else Could It Be?

Greenville     Why bend over backwards anymore trying to figure out some rational reason that Washington politicians and policy makers are enacting some of their new policies and rollbacks?  If it quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, it is probably a duck.  If some of these policies are not blatant racism, what else could it be?   The cases, one after another, are marching in lockstep behind each other.

The House of Representatives joined the earlier Republicans in the Senate in rolling back an Obama-era rule that had prevented racial discrimination in auto loans.  You understand what I’m saying, they just made it legal to charge African-Americans and others higher interest rates when getting auto loans than they charge white families.  How is that not racism?

Fair housing groups both nationally and in Texas have been forced to sue Ben Carson and HUD to get enforcement of an Obama-era rule that had been promulgated after two years of hearing that amended the 50-year old Fair Housing Act that would mandate that housing recovery money be spent for those in the most need and without discrimination.  Suspending the rule has allowed Hurricane Harvey money to not be spent by those guidelines in Houston’s recovery.  How is that not racism?

President Trump has ranted for months about a caravan of families that assembled in Central America in a march that more than 200 successfully completed in order to petition for asylum in the United States because of violence and attacks against them in their countries.  Trump spoke of this as an “invasion” in order to stoke the anti-immigrant bias and hate from his base.  Now the Justice Department is calling for criminal prosecution of all border crossers and breaking up families.  Trump’s director of Homeland Security called for immigrants to go to recognized ports of entry to appeal for asylum, which is exactly what the caravan walkers had done.  How is that not racism?

I’m not saying it’s a surprise.  We all knew this was coming.  What’s shocking is how blatant it all is.  The level of impunity is amazing.  Watching the clock turn back more than 50 years in front of our eyes is devastating.

Recently I’ve been hearing the advice, “When someone shows you who they are, listen to them.”  I’m listening and looking, and there’s no denying who they are.  The question is increasingly how we stand together against them when it is pure and simple racism?

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Please Enjoy Matthew Logan Vasquez’s Sierra Blanca.

Thanks to KABF. 

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Terrible Idea of the Day: Evict Public Housing Tenants!

New Orleans     Almost everyone else in America knows that we have a national affordable housing crisis.  Maybe someone in Washington could take a minute out of their day pop by or send an email to Dr. Ben Carson, the head of Trump’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) operation responsible for housing and give him a clue about the housing dilemma facing lower income families that is his responsibility by law.

Not having a clue, Carson is now proposing to take several draconian steps to punish the poor in public housing.  On one hand he is trying to time-limit public housing so that it is a temporary benefit rather than long term based on income.  This proposal affects millions of low income families.  Work requirements would be part of the package.  On the other hand, Carson wants to triple the rents of the poorest of the families in public housing or benefiting from section 8 housing support vouchers in private housing by raising the minimum rent from $50 to $150 over a period of time.  This proposal over time would hurt 750,000 people according to HUD.

I have to wonder where Carson and HUD, along with their governmental pushers and enablers, think that people will go if they are priced or timed out of public housing? Perhaps the streets?  No, that wouldn’t work.  The rich and politicians don’t like vast and increasing numbers of homeless on the streets.  The only thing certain is that they will hope and pray that the poor are invisible to them, which seems the only policy that has their full commitment.  But, wait, I must be pretending that they care about the consequences of these policies rather than allowing them to be purely vindictive.  My bad!

The puppet master for this proposal now being mouthed by Carson seems to be budget director Mick Mulvaney.  Yes, Mick Mulvaney, the same public servant who is doing double duty trying to destroy the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.  He rivals President Trump these days in dominating the news cycle.  Today he was not only trying to destroy public housing supports, but he was also trying to block public access to the CFPB’s popular database of complaints from consumers.  Even better he was revealing his “pay to play” policy while he was a congressman by meeting with lobbyists first and foremost if they had donated to his campaign.  He offered this obvious insight to a group of bankers about why they needed to put more dollars into buying other congressmen if they wanted to gut the CFPB and Dodd-Frank.

There’s a lesson here of course.  After decades of dismantling public housing, millions stuck on waiting lists around the country for section 8 vouchers which are not an entitlement, the crash of the real estate construction market after the housing speculation bubble burst, the creation of the credit desert and slowdown of construction financing for affordable housing, rising rents and record eviction rates, the problem turns out to be that these damn poor people didn’t pool enough money and food stamps together to pay lobbyists and bribe politicians like Mulvaney with campaign contributions.

Darned, why didn’t we think of that!

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