Category Archives: Migrate

But That Was Then, This Is Now: Part 4: The Racial Wealth Gap

dsc_0024.jpgOkay, so African Americans were segregated at almost every level until the Civil Rights Movement. But since then they have no excuse for being less well off, and white people haven’t done anything to hold them back since then, have they? And what about white people? Aren’t they just as badly off as poor blacks?

Well, it just so happens that several studies were recently done on the subject, on which I will heavily rely for this post. But first a few things that made getting ahead harder for blacks before the Civil Rights Movement. Continue reading

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 3 A Little Property History

plantation houseThis is the third post in a series that started because of a white person’s question on Facebook: What have whites ever done to blacks —  after slavery — to keep them from succeeding? Don’t they have exactly the same opportunities as we?

Read the introduction to the series here.

(For this post I rely heavily on Ned and Constance Sublette’s eye-opeing book: The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry.)

In America, one of the main ways to build assets is through home ownership. In the previous post I already laid out the many ways government on every level, together with the housing industry, kept African Americans segregated from whites, how they kept them out of middle-class neighborhoods and how they refused to give them mortgages. A century of segregated neighborhoods, racially restrictive covenants and redlining have left African Americans far behind where home ownership is concerned.

If we’re going to talk about real estate, though, to really understand the scope of the injustice done to African Americans, we need to go back to the very beginning of white land use in America. Continue reading

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 2 Housing Inequality

redlining

Image: HousingWire.com

The first African-American disadvantage I want to address is housing, because housing determines access to education, healthcare, jobs, fresh vegetables, even, and the ability to build assets.  (For an introduction, see the previous post.) A lot of white people think, or like to think, that de jure segregation, i.e. based in law — the official segregation of blacks and whites — was something of the Deep South and the distant past, and that the segregation we see today ‘just happened’, because of black people’s personal choices and circumstances — that it’s voluntary, de facto segregation. Continue reading

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 1 Introduction

DSC_0072A while ago I saw someone ask, somewhere on Facebook, “But what have whites done, since the Civil War, to prevent blacks from succeeding? Why do we owe them anything?” So I got to work, thinking I’d write a post in which I’d neatly sum up, chronologically, all the ways whites have worked to systematically exclude blacks from the American dream. Continue reading

From Facebook to Flipboard: How I Avoid the Information Bubble

flipboard logo

Image: commons.wikipedia.org

So, Facebook is in the doghouse for letting Cambridge Analytica steal information from some fifty million people. This information may then have been used to manipulate voters in the 2016 presidential election. It’s not clear at this point to what degree that has happened, but this is what’s supposedly possible: Facebook has so much information on you, from all the little quizzes you take and from all the things you read and share and “like”, that when an analytics company gets its hands on that info, it can form a pretty detailed psychographic profile of you. Continue reading

Salsbury’s Slavery Spectacular!

Black America Show poster

Image: newyorkhistoryblog.org

I’m reading Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History, by Kurt Anderson. He gives an inventory of all the ways (white) Americans have been more prone than Europeans to believe in big dreams, in get-rich-quick schemes, the supernatural, cure-alls, conspiracy theories, UFO sightings and other “alternative facts” from the beginning of white colonization up to the Trump presidency and America’s current “post-factual” society. It’s fascinating, and it confirms that I’m right when I argue with my American husband that UFO sightings are really mostly an American thing. Continue reading

Covert Centralization?

iCE arrest

Image: motherjones.com

Today’s writing prompt: Suspicious.

I recently finished reading Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Whitman. The Germans, being the methodical bureaucrats they’ve always been, had transcripts of several of the most important meetings where the tools for the Nazi state were forged, where the Nazi ideology was translated into jurisprudence.  Continue reading