Thursday, April 05, 2018

We did this on purpose

Gentrification is a deliberate policy choice.
In “Rigging the Real Estate Market: Segregation, Inequality and Disaster Risk,” a team of academics and fair housing advocates go through the history of laws and legal rulings that prevented black residents from buying homes or living in white neighborhoods to make the case that segregation was a deliberate policy choice that continues to have ramifications.

“It’s important to understand that segregation, racial residential segregation, is not the product of individual whims, but that it was socially engineered by government and it has real consequences in terms of access to opportunity, wealth and environmental health risks,” said Stacy Seicshnaydre, the report’s lead author.
Is there, like, a German term for what it feels like when the thing you've been shouting about for years and years is taken up and explained by some people with legitimate authority?  It's kind of like what the Take Em Down activists went through when they woke up to discover Mitch got rid of the monuments all by himself.  Mitchstatueumkippen?

Anyway, last year the local press spent an inordinate amount of time asking if the monument removal would be the thing Mitch is ultimately most remembered for.  It's not even in the top 10. Here is Mitch's legacy.
“The rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans could have reversed residential patterns of racial segregation, given the sheer magnitude of the destruction and the billions in recovery dollars that followed,” according to the report. “Unfortunately, many policy decisions made during the recovery repeated or amplified existing patterns of separation and inequality."
Four years ago, as Landrieu began his second term as mayor, I took a long look at the direction he appeared to be taking the city and suggested that it was in fact a very different direction from what his own rhetoric pretended.  In his speech that day, Mitch told us this was his goal for his second term.
Our mission is to create a City of peace where everyone can thrive and no one is left behind. Four years from now may seem a long way away, but time flies. Those 1460 days will pass in a second. And what will we accomplish in our short time together? What will we have done to open the circle of opportunity and prosperity to all?
Well there are fewer days now and it doesn't look like we made it there.  Were we ever really trying?

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