Thursday, November 19, 2015

Last Call For Marked By The Beast

Are we surprised that the same Donald Trump calling for an Eisenhower-era "Operation Wetback" style roundup of eleven million Latinos is now calling for a national database to identify and track the country's Muslim citizens?

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump believes that the war on terror will require unprecedented surveillance of America’s Muslims.

We’re going to have to do thing that we never did before,” he said during a Yahoo interview
“Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. 
Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy,” he added. “We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.” 
Trump would not rule out warrantless searches in his plans for increased surveillance of the nation’s Muslims, Yahoo reported Thursday. 
He also remained open toward registering U.S. Muslims in a database or giving them special identification identifying their faith, the news outlet added
“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

Closing mosques, tracking Muslims, perhaps giving them armbands to identify them?  Hey Republicans? This is your current front-runner for President saying this.

And I don't blame Trump for his racist idiocy, I blame the "moderate Republicans" for accepting this and supporting this and the voters for electing Republicans who don't have a problem doing this to fellow American citizens.

Time to reclaim your party and clean house, guys.  Or live with your racist, awful party's consequences.

Riding The Redline in Richmond

Meanwhile, in Post-Racial America(tm)…

Black borrowers in Richmond are less likely to be approved for home loans and refinancing than white applicants regardless of their income levels, according to a study by fair-housing advocates. 
The effect is a continuation of the “redlining” that explicitly denied loans to minorities in the 20th century, according to Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia.
“Certainly lenders and banks tell you money is all the same color and they’re an equal opportunity lender, but when you get down to it, you have individuals who are underwriting loans who have biases,” said Brian Koziol, the nonprofit organization’s director of research and the report’s author. 
The group’s study found that between 2010 and 2013, the most recent year for which mortgage data is available, 13.7 percent of white borrowers had loan applications denied while black applicants experienced a 34.6 percent denial rate.

The report found that Hispanic residents also faced higher denial rates than white residents, but overall were granted loans more frequently than black borrowers.

Koziol said that a lenders’ willingness to finance home purchases directly corresponded to a neighborhood’s racial makeup.

The study found that for each percentage point increase in the minority population of a census tract, 12.5 fewer mortgages would be made.

The neighborhoods impacted are the same ones historically excluded for lending through redlining, and more recently, targeted for subprime loans, Koziol said.

While those neighborhoods have disproportionately high poverty rates, a borrower’s income doesn’t account for the difference: The report found a 9.9 point disparity in loan approval rates among black and white low-income applicants and a 27.5 point disparity among black and white upper-income borrowers.

That’s the best part, really. The higher your income as a black potential mortgage borrower, the larger the disparity in actually being approved for a mortgage. Because a black family making good money is automatically more suspect, you see. They could afford the house in the nicer white neighborhood, but why would the bank want to lower the property value of the houses of their other mortgage clients? Mortgage loan decisions aren’t made by banks, they’re made by people.

Redlining has been going on for decades, folks. It’s been going on not just in the South but all over the country, in red states and blue states and liberal enclaves and conservative strongholds.

And if you don’t think this isn’t happening in just about every decently sized US city in America right now, with the rush to segregate schools and neighborhoods through gentrification and exurban gated communities where “we don’t think it’s a good idea that you move in to this neighborhood, you see”, well I have some property for sale for you that you mysteriously can’t get a mortgage on.

Very little has changed in the last few decades, social media and instant news just makes it more visible.

Post-Racial America Update

This kind of thing happens in America more than we like to admit, and it's racism, pure and simple. Fay Wells is a black entrepreneur in California, and she made the criminal mistake of locking herself out of her apartment in a white neighborhood.

On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. I was in a rush to get to my weekly soccer game, so I decided to go enjoy the game and deal with the lock afterward. 
A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice and what sounded like a small dog whimpering outside, near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. I was surprised to see a large dog halfway up the staircase to my door. I stepped back inside, closed the door and locked it. 
I heard barking. I approached my front window and loudly asked what was going on. Peering through my blinds, I saw a gun. A man stood at the bottom of the stairs, pointing it at me. I stepped back and heard: “Come outside with your hands up.” I thought: This man has a gun and will kill me if I don’t come outside. At the same time, I thought: I’ve heard this line from policemen in movies. Although he didn’t identify himself, perhaps he’s an officer. 
I left my apartment in my socks, shorts and a light jacket, my hands in the air. “What’s going on?” I asked again. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?” 
I said it was only me and, hands still raised, slowly descended the stairs, focused on one officer’s eyes and on his pistol. I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me. In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening, trying to de-escalate. I again asked what was going on. I confirmed there were no pets or people inside. 
I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. I said they had no right to be there. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come. 
Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. It didn’t matter that I went to Duke, that I have an MBA from Dartmouth, that I’m a vice president of strategy at a multinational corporation. It didn’t matter that I’ve never had so much as a speeding ticket. It didn’t matter that I calmly, continually asked them what was happening. It also didn’t matter that I didn’t match the description of the person they were looking for — my neighbor described me as Hispanic when he called 911. What mattered was that I was a woman of color trying to get into her apartment — in an almost entirely white apartment complex in a mostly white city — and a white man who lived in another building called the cops because he’d never seen me before.

Nineteen cops.


I'm desperately tired of this, and there but for the grace of God this hasn't happened to me yet in my apartment building where I live in a 92% white state.

It doesn't matter if you're "one of the good ones", educated, a pillar of society, not wearing baggy pants or tattoos or not flashing gang signs.  If you're a person of color, you are an assumed criminal in your own home if a white person decides so.

So bone-weary of stories like this, because it's only a matter of time.  And if one of those officers had decided Fay Wells was a threat, she'd be dead, and these officers would have told us she was a threat that had to be dealt with, and they would not have been charged with her murder, much less convicted.

I am tired of only being alive because a white person hasn't decided I am a threat yet.


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