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  •  Inherited poverty - the disownership society (4.00)
    For generations Blacks were systematically denied access to mechanisms that many whites used to create and hold on to wealth. May whites have created wealth over time via property/estate wealth. Buy a house sell a house.  Work your way up the housing food chain.

    The opportunity to amass wealth has been systematically blocked for African Americans, contributing to the levels of poverty and disenfranchisement today. New Orleans is a visual example of the trickle-down effect of race policy. (Please note that this is NOT just a southern affliction. These policies affected northern blacks too.)

    As cotton prices plummeted, black farmers defaulted on their farm loans, crippling 30 ofthe 55 independent black-owned banks, the first of which was founded in 1888. In a domino effect, the crippled banks shut down and black farmers lost their life savings.
    Hordes were unable to recover, their lives devastated and uprooted by poverty. The Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916, which promised to provide credit to farmers at reasonable rates, systematically discriminated against black farmers, cutting them off from aide that was rightfully theirs.

    Also in 1933, Roosevelt created the $500 million Federal Emergency Relief
    Administration (FERA) to help poor, rural Americans. Black farmers applied for relief but did not receive it as often as whites. In June 1934, for example, there were 84 applications from blacks and 49 from whites. The FERA accepted 24, all from white farmers. The average total relief for whites was $19.51 and for blacks, $15.17.
    Preferential treatment of white farmers was endemic throughout the South; the rationale was that blacks could survive on less.

    A 1964 study exposed how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) actively worked against the economic interests of black farmers. The USDA's loan agencies, such as the Farmer's Home Administration (FHA), denied black farmers ownership and operating loans, disaster relief and other aid. One practice was to deny credit to any black farmer who assisted Civil Rights activists, joined the NAACP, registered to vote, or simply signed a petition.


    In the 1920's and 1930's Many Blacks left the farm for opportunities in and around the city. Wealth discrimination continued in the cities as well:

    As a number of historians have pointed out, suburbanization was closely related to the making of race and class identities in the postwar period. Federal entitlements such as the GI Bill and mortgage insurance programs made it possible for millions of Americans of European descent to attain key symbols of middle-class status, such as a college education, proprietorship of small businesses, and ownership of a new home.

    ...whites created a gauntlet of discriminatory practices that limited African Americans' access to the housing market.

    Similarly, white financial institutions almost uniformly refused to lend money to African Americans to buy property outside "established Negro areas," and they charged a premium for credit inside as well. Further, white home builders took the view that racial segregation was a "social problem" not a "housing problem," staunchly defending their right to refuse to sell or rent homes to African Americans and other minorities.

    As the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded, housing discrimination involved the "deliberate exclusion" of blacks and other minorities "at all levels of the housing and home finance industries."

    Source: Places of Their Own - "Forbidden Neighbors" White Racism and Black Suburbanites, 1940-60

    John Roberts- You can't book a judge by his cover.

    by digital drano on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 08:55:33 AM PDT

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    •  Am I enough of a tinfoil hat wearer... (4.00)
      to see the longterm advantage for agricultural corporations to displacing the essentially indigenous farmers and farm workers with a shifting population of migrants?

      Thanks for the Black Farming and Land Loss tip. I have much to learn.

      In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. Dalai Lama

      by leolabeth on Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:56:27 PM PDT

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