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Old 05-24-2014, 07:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
often due to "infiltration" by "subversive elements" (meaning, some of the people there aren't white.)
Might want to try out for the Olympic summer games. That was a great long jump!

With absolutely no evidence to this point, you took an otherwise excellently researched post and pasted in a conclusion that was not supported.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:00 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Who weren't considered "white" at the time. Ethnic white neighborhoods were also redlined, as well as Asian and Mexican ones.
You're using "white" in some sense other than the literal meaning here.

Another quote of yours:
"The Irish became white a bit before the Italians. One of the rules of the club of being white is you have to stop the next guy from getting in the door. I have Italian ancestors too--but they came to the US a couple of decades later, and according to Italian and Portuguese families of their era I have talked with, they weren't considered white--or, at best, a step or two above Blacks, Asians or Mexicans but quite a bit below "the Teutonic races." One thing that often gets missed is that the United States actually grew more racist in the early 1910s/1920s--racial covenants, national immigration quotas, and redlining all came from the early 20th century."

Teutonic? Germans? There has been plenty of discrimination against Germans, and not just during WW I and WW II. German American Corner: 1848 in America, part 3, http://gharding7269.wikispaces.com/H...+in+America%3F
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
In that case you're misreading the OP. It isn't that African Americans couldn't get an FHA loan--it's that nobody, regardless of race, get an FHA loan in African American neighborhoods, or poor Italian neighborhoods, because they were redlined. It was the place that was discriminated against--not the lender.
I'm not misreading anything. I read the article you linked to and I'm familiar with 'TNC' and it says pretty plainly - "the FHA explicitly refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people. As TNC puts it, "Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived."

And this isn't true. The FHA, as a rule, didn't dole out loans in neighborhoods that were "mixed". It didn't stop people in neighborhoods that were 90% AA from getting FHA guarantees and it certainly didn't stop people borrowing from local banks without the FHA guarantee. After all, the majority black neighborhood right next to mine has a homeownership rate of around 60% and it's been that way for 2 or 3 generations.

Quote:
A lot of old neighborhoods were thus doomed to decay because homeowners or aspiring businesspeople couldn't get a loan to reinvest and repair those properties, unless they already had enough capital or credit, and thus probably didn't live in a poor black neighborhood.
No, a lot of old neighborhoods were doomed to decay because the housing was obsolete, was of poor construction because it was thrown together hastily to house workers, because the neighborhood was full of poor people, the federal government was fully disinvesting in cities, and all while industry was in rapid decline

Again, I agree on the stated outcome, that the policy was racist but I disagree with the premise that places were redlined simply because black people lived there. This just isn't true. Places were redlined because they were full of poor people and obsolete housing - and back then people were much more likely to blame one's economic status on their ethnicity - and thus terrible places to invest on an individual level.

I don't think most people appreciate just how terrible some of these neighborhoods were 60 or 70 years ago or just how many houses lacked running water or indoor toilets.
https://archive.org/details/PlacetoL1948_2

Quote:
The Irish became white a bit before the Italians. One of the rules of the club of being white is you have to stop the next guy from getting in the door.
This is part of the problem with the left's go-to narrative about racism. The Irish didn't just become white all of the sudden. If you were an Irish protestant then you were always white. Irish Catholics and Italians were accepted into the mainstream as ethnic groups when people stopped being afraid of Catholics and when those two groups stopped being associated with ghettos . . . a process that took 50 years but one that was ultimately reached because they were . . . white.

Quote:
I have Italian ancestors too--but they came to the US a couple of decades later, and according to Italian and Portuguese families of their era I have talked with, they weren't considered white--or, at best, a step or two above Blacks, Asians or Mexicans but quite a bit below "the Teutonic races." One thing that often gets missed is that the United States actually grew more racist in the early 1910s/1920s--racial covenants, national immigration quotas, and redlining all came from the early 20th century.
I'm well aware that the Klan reached its zenith in the 1920s. It was especially big in NJ as much for its anti-catholic and anti-semitic tendencies as for it's anti-black "activism".

But there's a big difference between being treated like an immigrant and thus culturally distinct and being treated as a "non-white" in 1920s America. Italians and portuguese were treated like the former, not like the latter. Italian artisans, who made up the bulk of Italian immigration before 1890, had none of the troubles of the later waves of unskilled Italian peasants. Italians had things a bit differently because of the rise of the mafia in the 1920s but outside of southern New England (where they clustered in ethnic ghettoes) the Portuguese had no such reputation.

Quote:
Take a look at the tract by tract reports from Oakland:

http://salt.unc.edu/T-RACES/data/oak/ad/ad0117.pdf

"This area is similar to C-19 in appearance, but infiltration of Negroes necessitates hazardous rating."

http://salt.unc.edu/T-RACES/data/oak/ad/ad0110.pdf

"The majority of people in this district are of Latin extraction: Italians, Portuguese, etc...However, Negroes have not settled to any great extent in this area, and there are practically none north of University Avenue. There are a great number of Orientals, however, scattered over the entire area...Loans in this area should be upon a highly restricted basis."

Race of the neighborhood wasn't the only factor--other factors like mixture of businesses and residences, small lot sizes, and old houses could cause a neighborhood to be redlined. But it was a key factor that resulted in redlining of neighborhoods that were otherwise not in physical decay or risk. This report from Sacramento is instructive:

http://salt.unc.edu/T-RACES/data/sac/ad/ad0060.pdf

"Maintenance is high-grade for type of neighborhood. Is the "bon ton" Oriental and Negro residential district of the city. A steady demand for dwellings for purchase and rent exists."
By the reviewer's judgment, even the part of town considered fancy for nonwhites was given a "high red" grade due to its "subversive racial elements."
You really cherry picked to take this last one out of context. The reviewer wasn't saying that he was giving it a "high red" because it was full of blacks and asians but because the construction was cheap, the houses were high maintenance, the lots were small, too many single-family houses had been converted to apartments, a low rate of home ownership, and it was too close to an industrial district. In his recommendations at the end he doesn't even mention race except to say that it was the "bon ton" district.

You didn't link to a source for these and there isn't one printed on any of the pages but these appear to but put together by a consultant for a local bank.

Having read them I see banks concerned with the same stuff that they're concerned with today - a uniform housing stock, good quality of housing, a good distance from industry and major sources of pollution, and solid demographics.

I'll get to the latter in a minute but they state pretty explicitly that overcrowding is a concern, too many rental units, proximity to noxious fumes from industry, etc. These things are all concerns for investors today. The racial aspect seems to be just another point on the list, not the defining factor (unless it was the only factor) and again, "subversive racial elements" was another way of saying that the neighborhood was trending italian or black which was another way of saying that it was trending poor. No one is allowed to discuss race, ethnicity, income, religion or even crime when talking about real estate (not professionally anyway) but if you were buying a house and you saw that the neighborhood was trending poorer and crime was on the rise how quick would you be to look for a house elsewhere?

Again, i'm not trying to say that any of this stuff wasn't racist - just that I disagree with the premise that people couldn't get loans in these neighborhoods because they were black (or asian or italian) because not only did they get loans but the reviewer in these docs even references that "loans are made freely."
I'd imagine that a lot of people who lived in the poorer (not "bon ton") neighborhoods did have trouble getting a loan. In a poor neighborhood with a 30% homeownership rate I'd imagine a lot of people wouldn't have much access to credit from a bank at all.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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One thing that tends to be overlooked with these policies is how they were used to support suburban sprawl starting after WW2. It was definitely in the builders best interest to have large areas of existing housing stock declared unsuitable, so housing demand had to be met through new construction. If you're in the business developing land and building new homes, the last thing you want is for people to refurbish old homes - there just isn't as much money in it for large construction companies.

New houses in previously undeveloped areas spur construction of new roads, schools, shopping centers, public facilities etc. If you're in the business of building, it's in your best interest for the old stuff to decay and become obsolete - which is exactly what these policies supported. Institutionalized bigotry is just a means to this end.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:53 AM
 
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The linked pages are all from the T-RACES site--there is an interactive page that lets you pull the report from census tracts in selected cities.

At the time, people were allowed to discuss race, ethnicity, income and even religion when talking about real estate. And I'm not trying to say that race was the only factor in redlining--it was a major factor. Sounds like we're trying to argue past each other while not realizing how much we actually agree on, and you obviously know this subject well, drive_caerphilly.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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I haven't had a chance to read this article yet, but housing policy (and the related wealth creation) is a key reason for this argument for reparations.

The Case for Reparations - The Atlantic

Also, the new book by Ben Ross, Dead End, about the rise if suburbia in the US is a good primer on all of our policies that shaped the suburbs, from zoning to financing. It is a well researched read (a little biased but packed with good info).
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:37 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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Quote:
No, a lot of old neighborhoods were doomed to decay because the housing was obsolete, was of poor construction because it was thrown together hastily to house workers, because the neighborhood was full of poor people, the federal government was fully disinvesting in cities, and all while industry was in rapid decline
^^This. It is hard for some to believe, but a lot of these homes were dumps. This book The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the '68 Racial Divide: Steve Marantz, Susie Buffett: 9780803234345: Amazon.com: Books is mostly about basketball, but also about racial tensions in Omaha in the late 60s. It describes some of the homes these basketball players lived in, and it was appalling! Some lived in homes with dirt floors covered by cardboard. The book says that these "homes" using the term loosely, were formerly occupied by other immigrant groups such as the Swedes (a big group there in Omaha). [Every heard the term "Dumb Swede"?] The book also talks of Omaha tightening up its building codes in later years. Mind you, this book is set in 1968, possibly within the lifetime of some posters on here.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,371 posts, read 5,994,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^This. It is hard for some to believe, but a lot of these homes were dumps. This book The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the '68 Racial Divide: Steve Marantz, Susie Buffett: 9780803234345: Amazon.com: Books is mostly about basketball, but also about racial tensions in Omaha in the late 60s. It describes some of the homes these basketball players lived in, and it was appalling! Some lived in homes with dirt floors covered by cardboard. The book says that these "homes" using the term loosely, were formerly occupied by other immigrant groups such as the Swedes (a big group there in Omaha). [Every heard the term "Dumb Swede"?] The book also talks of Omaha tightening up its building codes in later years. Mind you, this book is set in 1968, possibly within the lifetime of some posters on here.
Actually it is not that hard to believe at all because I've been in a lot of those older homes.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:20 AM
 
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This article gets into this a little bit in terms of government aspect: http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articl...AR-II-ERA.html
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:32 AM
 
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"Dumps" are in the eye of the beholder--the difference between an "uninhabitable firetrap" and a "priceless landmark" is often just a matter of rehab and repair, but if you can't get a home loan, you can't reinvest and repair a building. Also note that redlining meant that it wasn't just the buildings in poor repair that couldn't get loans, but also well-maintained homes in the same neighborhood. Demolition by association. I live in a 107 year old house in a neighborhood that was once redlined (well, technically, in the "yellow" category in 1938, but thus considered unsuitable for home loans) that was considered "hazardous" from a single-family dwelling standpoint, due to the intrusion of apartments, lack of deed restrictions, and the presence of foreign-born families and blacks (even though they are reported as "few" in the standardized fields on the form for both. Today, my neighborhood is a "historic district" and old firetraps like my house are considered extraordinarily beautiful and rare, selling for as much as suburban homes twice their size on bigger lots. But back then, my house was nothing special--the home of an Italian immigrant blacksmith.
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