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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Maintaining Systemic Poverty Through Credit

One of the ways young black folks who do all the right things are held back is by a system of predatory credit based on race. In America it is virtually impossible to generate Generational Wealth without credit as the principal vehicle for the middle class gathering that wealth has been their homes.

Back when I was a youngster making very good money in my first professional job, as well as bankable money in several side enterprises. I wound up at 22 years old with about $6k in savings  – which was a fairly tidy sum in the early 70’s for a guy just starting out. Now, my parents, despite being homeowners, never taught me about how to buy a house – but I recognized, with the advice of friends what a tremendous investment it could be. I owned an old ’75 Mustang I had bought used, and which ran pretty well. A fairly fancy new car at that point was about $3500 – and in terms of Pony cars that was one with a few upgrades in terms of horses. Working a side job as a DJ in the emerging Disco scene, I noticed the previously run down portion of town (Georgetown for those who know DC) was undergoing a transformation as hip white adults began to buy up the old Townhouses. Prices on the main drag were far beyond my reach – but 3 blocks off, there were a group of unrestored – dilapidated townhouses, which had been cut up into rentals.

The owner held the entire block. Most of the residents were black, which for white investors presented a problem in terms of doing anything less than taking out the whole block. Asked the owner if he would consider selling a smaller portion of the property. He agreed on a block of 3 houses for $21,000 or two for $17,000. I had $6k, and anyway you look at it that is nearly a 30% down payment on the block of 3. I would have to decide what to do with them – and decided, being handy with tools, I could renovate them and sell them while living in one.

Could not get a loan. Really didn’t matter that I made $12k a year in my “day job”, 30% or better down… Nyet!

Very few banks loaned to black folks in those days…And the few that did didn’t loan money to us 22 year old tech upstarts, because they had no comprehension that I would double my income in less than 2 years. No way to raise the money before he sold those houses as a block to a developed… They sell for about $2 million per house now.

Seems that things haven’t really changed. Meanwhile US Home ownership has dropped to its lowest level since 1967.

Getting a Home Loan Is Expensive—Especially for Black Women

A recent study in the Journal of Real Estate and Finance Economics finds that black home loan borrowers are charged higher interest rates than their white counterparts—and that black women pay the highest rates of all.

The three finance professors who authored the study analyzed the mortgages and demographic characteristics of more than 3,500 households during the height of the housing boom—2001, 2004, and 2007—using the Federal Reserve’s triennialSurvey of Consumer Finances. They found that on average, black borrowers were charged between 0.29 and 0.31 percentage points more in interest than whites, even after controlling for their debt and credit history.

The racial disparity was most pronounced for subprime borrowers who couldn’t qualify for low-interest mortgages (the left side of the chart above), with black borrowers paying interest rates that were at least 0.4 percentage points higher than whites in the same group.

Within this group paying the highest interest rates, black women paid the highest rates of all, at an average rate of 7.9 percent. But a statistically significant disparity persisted even among those who paid lower interest rates (the right side of the chart), the study notes. In this group, black borrowers paid interest rates between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percentage points higher than their white counterparts.

Over at Quartz, Melvin Backman explains how these disparities translate into dollars: According to Freddie Mac’s mortgage cost calculator, a $200,000, 30-year mortgage would cost a black man about $3,000 more than a white man over the course of the loan. A black woman getting the same loan would pay nearly $9,000 more than a white woman.

The study adds to a body of research showing that black mortgage applicants aremore likely to be denied credit than white applicants, and are more likely to be charged higher interest rates than whites. It also appears to confirm the racial disparities identified in lawsuits against several of America’s top mortgage lenders, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America’s Countrywide, which faced hefty payouts in a slew of discrimination lawsuits following the housing-market crash. The lawsuitshad even prompted the Obama administration to set up a new unit in the Department of Justice’s civil rights division to deal with the caseload.

But the new study also suggests more granular disparities between black and white borrowers. Among black borrowers, for example, younger homeowners without a college education paid some of the highest interest rates. And among those paying higher interest rates, black women, who already face stiff obstacles to economic mobility, were likely to be charged interest rate premiums two to three times that of what black men were charged. While they do not speculate about the causes of these racial and gender gaps between borrowers, the authors conclude, “it is the more financially vulnerable black women who suffer the most.”

Another Dream Deferred…

 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Confederate Flag Auto Plates

In my state there are at least 200 different License Plate designs you can choose from. It is a good deal for the State, which tacks on an additional $10 a year fee to purchase the plate. Most States have followed suit, vanity plates being an easy source of revenue.  One of the Virginia Plates, , the “Sons of Confederate Veterans” Plate has come under attack in the state post Charleston.

My view of the SCV is that it is a legitimate organization. A lot of what they promote is historical reinvention and falsehood (which any of my more savvy readers can suss out with a quick glance at their Web Page) but, in the spirit of “Live and let Live” – I really don’t care about what they want to do, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights of other people. These are the guys who historically are more likely found dressing up in the Grey for a historical reenactment than driving their pickup trucks adored with the confederate flags through black neighborhoods. Unfortunately, they have been invaded by the racist whackjobs , and there is contention over the direction of the group. They, as a group wholeheartedly buy into the Southern Myth.

9 States, all except Maryland in the South offer plates with the SCV Logo. Florida offers a “confederate Heritage” Plate, which is a bit more questionable in my view.

Poll: Virginians Split on Confederate Flag License Plate Option

Virginia voters are divided 46 – 45 percent on whether the Confederate flag should be removed from state license plates, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released Monday morning.

In Virginia, support for eliminating the option of ordering a license plate with a Confederate flag is 73 – 19 percent among Democrats and 48 – 42 percent among independent voters, with Republicans standing by the Stars & Bars 71 – 24 percent.

Black voters say 73 – 16 percent eliminate the Confederate flag option, while white voters say 55 – 37 percent keep it.

The plate I personally have the most problem with is this one…

There is no Republican, or Democrat, or Green plate – why exactly should there be one for the Tea Party?

 

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Black Folks Group Guilt…White Folks Individual Craziness

Racial Stereotyping is a Box Office Business in the US. From the media to the political theater, these stereotypes drive our politics, out Justice system, and our interaction with Law Enforcement…

Recent Mass Murderers

We blame minority groups for individual crimes. Why do white conservatives get a pass?

When will we start holding racism and misogyny accountable for the violence they rationalize and inspire?

The man who opened fire in a Lafayette, La., movie theater showing of the arguably feminist film “Trainwreck” was, by all accounts, a far-right ideologue. “He was anti-abortion,” a radio host who knew shooter John Russell Houser said. “The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights.” He reportedly encouraged “violent” responses to abortion and the idea of women in the workforce. A bar Houser owned reportedly flew a Nazi flag out front as an anti-government statement. He lashed out against “sexual deviants.” He posted comments against immigrants and the black community. Plus, he ranted against social service programs and “had lot of anti-tax issues,” another person who knew Houser said.

Houser was steeped and stewing in right-wing xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist and racist hate. He was obviously crazy. It’s generally safe to assume everyone who commits mass murder is. But Houser was crazy and held some beliefs that were variations of more mainstream conservative beliefs. The roots of some of Houser’s political views are hard to distinguish from ideas espoused by many, if not most, of the candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

I want to be very clear here: I am NOT saying any of them would endorse or remotely condone Houser’s violence or the extremities to which he took his beliefs. Period, full stop.

Still it’s naïve, not to mention counterproductive, not to acknowledge that what ensnarled Houser’s singular mind grew from seeds of a widely sowed ideology. Houser was a bad seed, of course. And he fell far from the tree. But he was of it.

Look at Donald Trump saying that Mexican immigrants are mostly rapists and drug dealers. Or Rand Paul saying paying taxes is tantamount to slavery, or Mike Huckabee calling gay marriage a “perversion” and Ben Carson calling women who take birth control “entitled.” Not to mention the GOP repeatedly encrusting anti-gay and anti-woman policies into its official platform while consistently working to block everything from comprehensive immigration reform to basic non-discrimination laws to equal pay. Again, to say this rhetoric causes tragedies like those in Lafayette would be too simplistic. But to say there’s no connection at all is downright stupid.

When there’s evidence that a mass shooting suspect who’s Muslim espoused anti-American, pro-radical Islamicist views, we  tie that suspect to the broader ideology. Consider the shooter in Chattanooga, Tenn., for instance, whom conservative politicians linked not only to radical Islam but to ISIS specifically, despite the lack of evidence for that link and even some evidence to the contrary.

Black Americans are presumed to bear blame as a group even when they’re the victims of violence. This weekend, after a national gathering in Cleveland, leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement were tear-gassed by police. Some online instantly implied that the activists must have done something to provoke the police — reflecting the inherent bias about which Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in warning to his black son that “you must be responsible for the worst actions of other black bodies, which, somehow, will always be assigned to you.” We automatically pathologize all black people whether they’re perpetrating violence or the victims, regardless of the facts.

And yet when white men shoot up movie theaters or black churches, they’re given the benefit of individuality. We don’t automatically assume that they represent some disease within all, or even a subset of, other white men. Even in the face of evidence such as espoused racist, misogynistic views and participation in organized hate groups, we still resist drawing any broader conclusions about any white men other than the shooter. Meanwhile, most mass shooters are white men. Communities of color or of minority religions, as a whole, are rarely given the benefit of the doubt of collective innocence. White men, and white people in general, always are. That white privilege extends even to white mass murderers shows just how insidious it is….More...

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Guns for Toddlers

In response to the recent theater mass shooting in Louisiana, on the 237 Republican clowns residing in the Clown Bus came up with “More guns in civilian hands is the solution!”

How that works…

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, the National Rifle Association proposed putting more guns in schools. After a racist shot up a Charleston prayer group, an NRA board member argued for more guns in church. And now predictably, politicians and gun rights advocates are calling for guns in movie theaters after a loner killed two people at a theater in Louisiana.

The notion that more guns are always the solution to gun crime is taken seriously in this country. But the research shows that more guns lead to more gun homicides — not less. And that guns are rarely used in self-defense.

Now a new study from researchers at Mount St. Mary’s University sheds some light on why people don’t use guns in self-defense very often. As it turns out, knowing when and how to apply lethal force in a potentially life-or-death situation is really difficult.

The study was commissioned by the National Gun Victims Action Council, an advocacy group devoted to enacting “sensible gun laws” that “find common ground between legal gun owners and non-gun owners that minimizes gun violence in our culture.” The study found that proper training and education are key to successfully using a firearm in self-defense: “carrying a gun in public does not provide self-defense unless the carrier is properly trained and maintains their skill level,” the authors wrote in a statement.

They recruited 77 volunteers with varying levels of firearm experience and training, and had each of them participate in simulations of three different scenarios using the firearms training simulator at the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland. The first scenario involved a carjacking, the second an armed robbery in a convenience store, and the third a case of suspected larceny.

They found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, people without firearms training performed poorly in the scenarios. They didn’t take cover. They didn’t attempt to issue commands to their assailants. Their trigger fingers were either too itchy — they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough — they didn’t shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at…More

And if you are wondering about that open carrying a gun while black thing…

Now, those of you who know BTx3 know I am not anti-gun…But I am anti-stupidity. I grew up with relatives in the mountains and farming community, who owned guns and used them in hunting. So having guns in the house was no big deal. Having guns safely stored in the house, out of the reach of the little ones was. Wasn’t unusual to see a shotgun mounted on a rack above the back door in rural homes, especially by the older folks for several reasons. One, protection of the farm animals from predators such as foxes, hawks, and snakes, second for protection from the local KKK whack jobs real or imagined threat.

Carrying a gun on the street is a whole different animal. Just as the guys in the country were better hunters than we “city-slickers”, Cops are better at it than some jumped up civilian exercising his questionable “Constitutional Rights”. The simple reason is training …Not just once in a Concealed Carry Course..But over and over again in situational mock ups. Despite all of that, Cops still make numerous mistakes. I can’t imagine the carnage some John Wayne wannabe would unleash trying to confront a crazy shooting up a movie theater.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Hitting Bottom – Bill Cosby

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for America’s former favorite Jello man …You know it’s going to be a bad day when…

 

‘I’m No Longer Afraid’: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being * Hackers have for some reason taken this site down although it likely will be back up again soon.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Domestic terrorism, Nawwwwww!

 

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President Obama Cuts a Step in Kenya

The singers are a group called Sauti Sol, and the song is Sura Yaku. Sauti Sol is a hugely popular group in Kenya, whose music is now reaching across the region into Uganda, Tanzania, and throughout eastern Africa. The dance is called the Lipala, and historically it has been a pre-wedding dance. Sauti Sol has turned it into the latest Kenyan dance craze.

Another major hit this year has been Neria, which I believe is a marvelous demonstration of these guys incredible vocal talents…

 

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2015 in Africa

 

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Some Lives Just Matter More

This guy was the former Attorney General under “Governor Gifty”, our former Governor who is now spending time in jail for corruption. The “Chuch” as he is nicknamed also ran for Governor… He lost.

Ken Cuccinelli Says ‘Black Lives Matter’ Insults White People

A panel discussion on CNN got heated Sunday when former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) argued that “Black Lives Matter” is a poor message because it makes white people feel less valued.

After former South Carolina Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) explained that as a black man, he was “the only person at this table whose next interaction [with law enforcement] may cause them to be a hashtag,” Cuccinelli suggested that the “Black Lives Matter” slogan and hashtag should be amended, according to CNN footage shared by Raw Story.

“Adding t-o-o at the end puts it in a context that makes sense,” he argued. Sellers answered that message is already implicit in the slogan.

“Well, you may say that,” Cuccinelli told Sellers. “And there’s plenty of reason to understand that. But I don’t think every American hears it that way. They hear, ‘Here we are. Yes, we have this political motivation that we’re separating out this one category of Americans and saying they matter more than everybody else.'”

Sellers tried to reframe the message for the former attorney general.

“We’re saying stop killing us,” he said.

“I understand that,” Cuccinelli replied, “but that’s why you have the retort, ‘No, all lives matter.’ We’re not leaving these out.”

The push to adopt the “All Lives Matter” message has been widely criticized as ignoring data that shows black Americans face the greatest risks when confronted by law enforcement. Young black people are 4.5 times more likely to be killed by police than any other age or racial group, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and while black Americans comprise just 13 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 26 percent of those shot by police.

 

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