The mortgage crisis has done more than just showcase the predatory lending practices, the corruption, and the runaway greed that are hallmarks of the Bush Era. It has also shown us the seamy underbelly of establishment racism.
[T]he storm has fallen with a special ferocity on black and Latino homeowners, the analysis shows. Defaults occur three times as often in mostly minority census tracts as in mostly white ones. Eighty-five percent of the worst-hit neighborhoods — where the default rate is at least double the regional average — have a majority of black and Latino homeowners.
And the hardest blows rain down on the backbone of minority neighborhoods: the black middle class. In New York City, for example, black households making more than $68,000 a year are almost five times as likely to hold high-interest subprime mortgages as are whites of similar — or even lower — incomes.
This holds a special poignancy. Just four or five years ago, black homeownership was rising sharply, after decades in which discriminatory lending and zoning practices discouraged many blacks from buying. Now, as damage ripples outward, black families in foreclosure lose savings and credit, neighbors see the value of their homes decline, and renters are evicted.
That pattern plays out across the nation.
Predatory lenders targeted minorities - that was the whole point of No-Money-Down and derivatives - and didn't much care what would happen to them later because they knew we wouldn't care. And we didn't until the crisis began affecting the white middle class. Minorities were just cannon fodder to the banking industry. They saw a way to make quick $$$ and pass the toxicity on to somebody else, sure that we would blame the victims if they were black or brown.
And we did. Some of us still are.
That's racism, folks, if we're going to quit living in denial for once and skip all the pretty euphemisms so we can call things what they are. Racism has been driven a tad further underground thanks to the despised liberals and progressives who fought against it for so long but it's a long, long way from dead. That's just what the Right wants you to think so they can keep playing on it while denying it exists.
Bob Herbert today catches a major professional sport dissing black players by ignoring them.
I don’t have room to list even a handful of the astonishing basketball feats pulled off by the world-class talent at those colleges and universities. But for some odd reason, despite the undisputed greatness of so many players and coaches, they have not been welcomed into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Players and coaches from black colleges who excelled in the National Basketball Association have made it to the hall (which is not run by the N.B.A.). But those blacks from earlier years who were denied a full opportunity to display their talents because of their color deserve recognition, as well.
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., opened its doors to the greatest players of the old Negro leagues. What’s wrong with basketball? With very, very few exceptions, those doors at the Basketball Hall of Fame have remained closed.
Hall officials, including the president of the board of directors, Mannie Jackson, who is black, have said that they would establish a commission to look at this issue, but nothing has happened yet.
I lived 30 miles from Springfield for 20 years and visited it regularly. It is one of the most bigoted cities in one of the most bigoted and racist areas in Massachusetts. Not openly, but racist talk show hosts like Boston's Jay Severin are big out there, every black on the street is assumed to be a dope dealer or gang banger, and if you're white other white people feel perfectly comfortable about using the N word around you (if you don't look like one o' them Commie students from Northampton). There are large sections of Springfield that are still segregated - the sections closest to the mainly-white suburbs.
West-Central Mass isn't exactly...friendly...to minorities. I'm thinking that's maybe one of the reasons. Mr Jackson is black and knows who and what he has to play to keep his exalted position. Nobody who doesn't and is a member of a minority, survives.
Racism is, O'Reilly and Beck to the contrary notwithstanding, alive and well. In fact, it has just been used to bring the global economy to its knees. Yes, they were greedy and corrupt. The thing is, if they'd been greedy and corrupt to middle class whites whose families have been buying homes for 100 years, they never would have gotten away with it. They might not even have tried.