Tag Archives: The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow – The Paper Bag Test and School Suspensions

Not really surprised about the stats on how minority children are expelled at rates from 3-15 times greater than white kids. That seems par for the course depending on educational district and mindset. And with School “Resource” Officers arresting black and Hispanic kids at double digit rates higher than white kids – that follows pretty much with the police criminalization of minority youth.

What is interesting is within the minority groups – Who is expelled. It hearkens back to the Jim Crow days.

Guess who gets expelled…

Lessons in Brutality

It’s shocking to watch a black student violently arrested in school. What is more shocking is how common it is.

…Since 1995, juvenile incarceration has dropped by more than 40 percent. In the same time frame, however, out-of-school suspensions have increased 10 percent, doubling the total from 1970. As reporters Dara Lind and Libby Nelson explain for Vox, this stems from several trends.

The crime waves of the 1980s and early 1990s sparked deep concern in schools across the country. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Gun-Free Schools Act, which mandated specific penalties for carrying weapons in schools. Zero tolerance was national policy, and school districts devised their own codes meant to stop minor incidents before they blossomed into major ones, a public school analogue to the “broken windows” policies in places like New York City. What’s more, crime fears—as well as the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado—led to more police officers in schools as well: The number of “school resource officers” increased 38 percent to more than 13,000 in 2007, up from 9,446 in 1997…

In public school districts around the country, arrests have increased with the presence of school resource officers, even as juvenile crime rates have decreased. Even adjusting for poverty—which tends to correlate with safety—the total arrest rate in schools with officers was almost three times the rate for schools without them. “About 92,000 students were arrested in school during the 2011–2012 school year,” notes Vox. “And most of those were low-level violations.”

As is often true, from the war on drugs to mass incarceration, the brunt of this punitive policy falls hardest on black and Latino Americans. From 1972 to 2010, the school suspension rate for whites in middle and high school climbed from 6 percent to 7.1 percent. For Latinos it climbed from 6.1 to 12 percent. For blacks it more than doubled from 11.8 percent to 24.3 percent…

In 2007, 70 percent of in-school arrests were of black and Latino students. Overall,according to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students, 16 percent versus 5 percent. This is true for all ages: “Black children,” notes the DOE, “represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, but 48 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.” White students, by contrast, “represent 43 percent of preschool enrollment but 26 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.” Students of color with disabilities are also more likely to be restrained or suspended: Black students constitute 21 percent of all students with disabilities, but 44 percent of those subject to mechanical restraints.

In some states, suspension rates are almost unbelievable. In the 2011–2012 school year, Missouri suspended 14.4 percent of its black elementary students, compared with just 1.8 percent of its white students. Florida suspended 5.1 percent of its elementary students and 19 percent of its middle and high school students. And Wisconsin suspended a mind-blowing 34 percent of all enrolled black students in a single year.

It should be said that, echoing the incident at Spring Valley High School, black girls—and dark-skinned black girls in particular—are disproportionately punished in schools. “Black girls in public elementary and secondary schools nationwide were suspended at a rate of 12 percent, compared with a rate of just 2 percent for white girls, and more than girls of any other race or ethnicity,” writes the New York Times, adding that “black girls with the darkest skin tones were three times more likely to be suspended than black girls with the lightest skin.”

You might look at this and wonder if it’s behavior. Do black and Latino students act worse than white ones? Do black girls behave worse than white ones? The answer is no. “Despite higher rates of school suspensions for black, latino, and Native American students, there appear to be few racial differences in the offenses most likely to lead to zero tolerance policy violations,” write researchers at Indiana University. Instead, these students are referred for less serious and more subjective offenses.

In general, notes the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University, “Research suggests that when given an opportunity to choose among several disciplinary options for a relatively minor offense, teachers and school administrators often choose more severe punishment for black students than for white students for the same offense.” In fact, according to one study of Texas schools, 97 percent of suspensions were the choice of administrators, as only 3 percent of students had broken rules that required such punishment. But the weight of those discretionary suspensions fell on black students—they were 31 percent more likely to be suspended, even controlling for a host of other variables.

At all ages, black students are perceived as more dangerous and unruly. And to that point, at least one analysis shows that teachers hold lower expectations of black and Latino children compared with their white peers. When mixed with zero-tolerance discipline and school police officers, you have a recipe for wide disparities in treatment. A 2011 study of North Carolina schools from the National Education Policy Center found that 32 percent of black students were suspended for first-time offense of cellphone use at school, compared with just 15 percent of white students. For a first-time offense of public display of affection, almost 43 percent of accused black students were suspended, compared with about 15 percent of white students…Read the whole article here

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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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The War on Drugs? No – The War on Black People

Former DEA Agent lays it out…Between whitened juries, inability to pay for legal defense, the forced plea bargain deals – the War on Drugs has been the biggest carceral system imprisoning black folks since slavery.

DEA Agent Was Told Not To Enforce Drug Laws In Rich Communities


In a new video by Brave New Films, Matthew Fogg, a former US Marshall and DEA Agent, speaks out about his time on the task force which specialized in fighting the “war on drugs”.

Fogg first speaks about his time as a teenage volunteer for his local police department, saying he used to park their police cruisers and drive them around the block. He said he knew then law enforcement was his destiny. He started as a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency and earned the nickname Batman, because he felt like he was policing Gotham city.

We were jumping on guys in the middle of the night, all of that. Swooping down on folks all across the country, using these sorts of attack tactics that we went out on, that you would use in Vietnam, or some kind of war-torn zone. All of the stuff that we were doing, just calling it the war on drugs. And there wasn’t very many black guys in my position. 

So when I would go into the war room, where we were setting up all of our drug and gun and addiction task force determining what cities we were going to hit, I would notice that most of the time it always appeared to be urban areas. 

That’s when I asked the question, well, don’t they sell drugs out in Potomac and Springfield, and places like that? Maybe you all think they don’t, but statisticsshow they use more drugs out in those areas than anywhere. The special agent in charge, he says ‘You know, if we go out there and start messing with those folks, they know judges, they know lawyers, they know politicians. You start locking their kids up; somebody’s going to jerk our chain.’ He said, ‘they’re going to call us on it, and before you know it, they’re going to shut us down, and there goes your overtime.’

Drugs are something that affect all races. Drugs are everywhere. For the DEA to only target urban areas (which are typically predominantly Black populations), something far more polarized is taking place.

Since the DEA was formed in 1986, the agency reports a total of 847,553 people have been arrested. There is also a total absence of demographic information on their website, which means there is no oversight on racial bias in targeting drug crime.

When a black female attorney for the Pentagon was stopped by DEA agents in an airport for suspicion of narcotics use, this prompted the inspector general (IG) for the Justice Department to review the DEA’s practices regarding “cold consent.” Cold consent is when a DEA agent approaches a person based on no particular behavior, or based on suspicion the person is using drugs. The IG found that no demographic data was collected on cold consent interactions. This means the DEA could be stopping people based solely on their race and no one would know.

But Fogg knew:

What I began to see is that the drug war is totally about race. If we were locking up everybody, white and black, for doing the same drugs, they would have done the same thing they did with prohibition. 

They would have outlawed it. They would have said, ‘Let’s stop this craziness. You’re not putting my son in jail. My daughter isn’t going to jail.’

If it was an equal enforcement opportunity operation, we wouldn’t be sitting here anyway. It’s all about fairness, man. And understanding ‘How would I want to be treated?’ Whether I’m on the one end or the other end. How would I be treated if everything was done equally?

After Fogg retired from law enforcement, he went on to file an EEO and Title VII racial discrimination complaint with the U.S. Justice Department in 1998 claiming he worked in a “racially hostile environment” that did not promote black people fairly and was awarded $4 million. In 2011, Fogg formed the Bigots with Badges group and became their President. He was invited by the CATO Institute on C-SPAN to discuss police misconduct. He continues to this day to fight racial bias in the Justice System.





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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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Racial Wealth and Education

Valerie Thomas: Physicist, NASA Scientist and inventor of the Illusion Transmitter Inventing anything is a feat of engineering—especially when it involves brand new technology! Valerie Thomas attended Morgan State University where she was one of just two women majoring in physics. Thomas then went on to work as a data scientist at NASA, where she gained the skills and experience to develop the Illusion Transmitter. The Illusion Transmitter is a “device for displaying the three-dimensional illusion of an object—without using a laser.” Her invention is still used in NASA labs today!

The issues facing our “Post Racial” society are a lot more complex than just black communities relationship with Police and the corrupt Judicial System. The New Jim Crow is a pervasive system of inequities which operate almost on every level of American society, constitute a “Black Tax” almost at every economic and educational level stage. Whether making it more difficult for young black people to rise out of poverty, to access to hi-level jobs for the educated and experienced, that “Tax” is interwoven into the basic structure and society of America.

A while back I discussed the fact that Hi-Tech Firms claimed a qualified Engineering shortage in America as the basis for more H1B VIsas to bring folks in from overseas to take American jobs…While black Graduate students and advanced degree holders languished without jobs.

On average, just 2% of technology workers at seven Silicon Valley companies that have released staffing numbers are black; 3% are Hispanic.

But last year, 4.5% of all new recipients of bachelor’s degrees in computer science or computer engineering from prestigious research universities were African American, and 6.5% were Hispanic, according to data from the Computing Research Association.

The USA TODAY analysis was based on the association’s annual Taulbee Survey, which includes 179 U.S. and Canadian universities that offer doctorates in computer science and computer engineering.

“They’re reporting 2% and 3%, and we’re looking at graduation numbers (for African Americans and Hispanics) that are maybe twice that,” said Stuart Zweben, professor of computer science and engineering at The Ohio State University in Columbus.

Nothing breeds success like success. Go to any playground in America, and you will see kids trying to be just like “Mike” or Lebron. Go to any Library…And you will see increasing numbers of minority kids trying to be like those who have succeeded in the technology fields.

Not helping those kids motivation to succeed is this…

Racial Wealth Gap Persists Despite Degree, Study Says

Even with tuition shooting up, the payoff from a college degree remains strong, lifting lifelong earnings and protecting many graduates like a Teflon coating against the worst effects of economic downturns.

But a new study has found that for black and Hispanic college graduates, that shield is severely cracked, failing to protect them from both short-term crises and longstanding challenges.

“The long-term trend is shockingly clear,” said William R. Emmons, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and one of the authors of the report. “White and Asian college grads do much better than their counterparts without college, while college-grad Hispanics and blacks do much worse proportionately.”

A college degree has long been recognized as a great equalizer, a path for minorities to help bridge the economic chasm that separates them from whites. But the report, scheduled to be released on Monday, raises troubling questions about the ability of a college education to narrow the racial and ethnic wealth gap.

“Higher education alone cannot level the playing field,” the report concludes.

Economists emphasize that college-educated blacks and Hispanics over all earn significantly more and are in a better position to accumulate wealth than blacks and Hispanics who do not get degrees. Graduates’ median family income in 2013 was at least twice as high, and their median family wealth (which includes resources like a home, car and retirement account) was 3.5 to 4 times greater than that of non-graduates.

But while these college grads had more assets, they suffered disproportionately during periods of financial trouble.

From 1992 to 2013, the median net worth of blacks who finished college dropped nearly 56 percent (adjusted for inflation). By comparison, the median net worth of whites with college degrees rose about 86 percent over the same period, which included three recessions — including the severe downturn of 2007 through 2009, with its devastating effect on home prices in many parts of the country. Asian graduates did even better, gaining nearly 90 percent.

College Doesn’t Guarantee Security for Minorities Among minorities, a college education has not been a guarantee of financial security in recent decades. In contrast to white and Asian households, the net worth of college-educated black and Hispanic families fell significantly between 1992 and 2013, while their debt hit high levels even before the financial crisis.

To understand just how disappointing these results are, look at the impact during this period on comparable groups without college degrees. Blacks without degrees, in large part because they had much less to lose, experienced a 3.8 percent drop in wealth. Whites who didn’t graduate from college lost nearly 11 percent. The wealth of Asian nongrads fell more than 44 percent.

There is not a simple answer to explain why a college degree has failed to help safeguard the assets of many minority families. Persistent discrimination and the types of training and jobs minorities get have played a role. Another central factor is the heavy debt many blacks and Hispanics accumulate to achieve middle-class status….More

The Employment and hiring disparity has many causes – but report after report supports its existence.

Including Name Discrimination

Looking at Unemployment and Underemployment


Posted by on August 18, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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Resegregation and Purposely Failing Schools for Black Kids -Pinellas County, Florida

This one is jaw dropping. A County in FLorida which intentionally voted to re-segregate schools, and then intentionally denied basic benefits to the newly created poor schools.

This one is the New Jim Crow.

This Florida School District Is Failing Black Students at a Shocking Rate. That’s Exactly What It Chose to Do.

Last week, the Tampa Bay Times published a report of its sobering yearlong investigation of the Pinellas County School District, which is home to five of the worst elementary schools in the state, despite the county’s relative affluence. The school crisis in Pinellas County—on Florida’s west coast on Tampa Bay—is a familiar story of court-ordered integration followed in short order by devastatingly thorough resegregation.

But what happened in Pinellas offers an even more dramatic cautionary tale, and not just because the changes have taken place so precipitously: Just eight years ago, the school district voted to ditch integration by ending busing and reinstituting a “neighborhood schools” policy that amounted to de facto segregation. In the years since, the five elementary schools spotlighted went from good to middle-of-the-road to homogenously awful. One school that had had an “A” rating is now the second worst elementary school in the entire state of Florida. Students are failing at eye-popping rates, with 8 out of 10 kids failed at reading, and 9 out of 10 in math. Altogether 95 percent of black students are failing reading or math at these schools, which the story memorably labels “failure factories.” See also this powerful graphic account of “Why Pinellas County is the worst place in Florida to be black and go to public school.”

So what went wrong? Is it simply that Pinellas County—in particular the southern part of its largest city, St. Petersburg, which has been predominantly black since the 1930s, when discriminatory housing policies ghettoized minorities there—is afflicted with an irreparably poor, damaged student population? Not at all, and that’s precisely why this story is so disgusting, and so important. As the piece points out, while “there are places in Florida where deep generational poverty, runaway crime and rampant drug use make educating children an extremely difficult task,” Pinellas County isn’t one of them.

Statewide, Pinellas County is right in the middle when it comes to poverty rates, median household income, college graduation rates, and single-parent homes. More from the Times:

Poverty doesn’t explain Pinellas’ problems. One hundred eighty-four elementary schools are as poor or poorer than Pinellas’ worst schools. All but seven outperformed the Pinellas schools in reading and math.

The rate of failure in the five elementary schools is unlike anything that occurs elsewhere in Florida.

The reporters make a very convincing case that the kids in Pinellas are failing not because, as the school board members would have it, they’re trapped in a “cycle of poverty” but because the school district is setting them up for failure with at best do-nothing and at worst malevolent policies.

When the board voted to resegregate in December 2007, it vowed to pour more resources into what would become overnight-majority-poor and -black schools: more counselors and social workers, beefed-up after-school and summer programs. It did none of these things. Funding was erratic, and unlike other districts with high-poverty schools that have made efforts to invest in minority students (a computer tracking program in Broward County, a teacher-incentive bonus of up to $20,000 in Duval County), the Pinellas County board just shrugged off the plummeting scores and skyrocketing reports of behavior problems, and actively ended any attempts at intervention. More than half of teachers in the five schools requested transfers out in 2014, and some classes had up to 12 different teachers in a single year. The teachers who stayed were often the most inept and inexperienced.

Even after community calls for change, the school board members continued to attribute the abysmal state of their county’s black schools to the “cycle of poverty,” absent any influence from them.  “This is a nationwide thing, not just us,” the piece quotes school board member Peggy O’Shea, who voted for resegregation in 2007 and continues to defend her stance today, as saying. You get a good sense of her sympathies when she goes on to say, “We only talk about it in black schools, but we resegregated white schools as well.”…



Posted by on August 18, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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Stacking Juries Against Black Defendants

The American Legal System is stacked against the poor, and persons of color. Whether the case is Civil or Criminal, a minority defendant pays a “Black Tax” on the outcome of the trial proceeding based on the sometimes intentional, and often subconscious bias of the jury. As such a Jury Trial is not the shield for the innocent it is for white defendants.

The process of racial Jury “stacking” has been exposed before, and addressed by the Appellate and Supreme Court. Yet it continues. Perhaps, in addition to the focus on Law Enforcement, BLM and other organizations need to attack the system at it’s very roots – the Judicial.

The Old Jim Crow Jury

Exclusion of Blacks From Juries Raises Renewed Scrutiny

SHREVEPORT, La. — Here are some reasons prosecutors have offered for excluding blacks from juries: They were young or old, single or divorced, religious or not, failed to make eye contact, lived in a poor part of town, had served in the military, had a hyphenated last name, displayed bad posture, were sullen, disrespectful or talkative, had long hair, wore a beard.

The prosecutors had all used peremptory challenges, which generally allow lawyers to dismiss potential jurors without offering an explanation. But the Supreme Court makes an exception: If lawyers are accused of racial discrimination in picking jurors, they must offer a neutral justification.

“Stupid reasons are O.K.,” said Shari S. Diamond, an expert on juries at Northwestern University School of Law. Ones offered in bad faith are not.

In Louisiana’s Caddo Parish, where Shreveport is the parish seat, a study to be released Monday has found that prosecutors used peremptory challenges three times as often to strike black potential jurors as others during the last decade. That is consistent with patterns researchers found earlier in Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina, where prosecutors struck black jurors at double or triple the rates of others. In Georgia, prosecutors excluded every black prospective juror in a death penalty case against a black defendant, which the Supreme Court has agreed to review this fall.

“If you repeatedly see all-white juries convict African-Americans, what does that do to public confidence in the criminal justice system?” asked Elisabeth A. Semel, the director of the death penalty clinic at the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.

As police shootings of unarmed black men across the country have spurred distrust of law enforcement by many African-Americans, the new findings on jury selection bring fresh attention to a question that has long haunted the American justice system: Are criminal juries warped by racism and bias?

Some legal experts said they hoped the Supreme Court would use the Georgia case to tighten the standards for peremptory challenges, which have existed for centuries and were, until a 1986 decision, Batson v. Kentucky, considered completely discretionary. (Judges can also dismiss potential jurors for cause, but that requires a determination that they are unfit to serve.)

But many prosecutors and defense lawyers said peremptory strikes allow them to use instinct and strategy to shape unbiased and receptive juries. “I’m looking for people who will be open, at least, to my arguments,” said Joshua Marquis, the district attorney in Astoria, Ore.

Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s elected public defender, said peremptory challenges promote fairness. “You’re going to remove people who are biased against your client,” he said, “and the district attorney is going to remove jurors who are biased against police officers or the government.”

Another Courthouse Guarded By a Confederate Memorial

Reprieve Australia, a group that opposes the death penalty and conducted the Caddo Parish study, said the likelihood of an acquittal rose with the number of blacks on the jury. No defendants were acquitted when two or fewer of the dozen jurors were black. When there were at least three black jurors, the acquittal rate was 12 percent. With five or more, the rate rose to 19 percent. Defendants in all three groups were overwhelmingly black.

Excluding black jurors at a disproportionate rate does more than hurt defendants’ prospects and undermine public confidence, said Ursula Noye, a researcher who compiled the data for the report. “Next to voting,” she said, “participating in a jury is perhaps the most important civil right.”

‘It Dashes Your Hopes’

Prospective jurors arriving at the courthouse here walk past a towering monument to the Confederacy, featuring grim likenesses of four Confederate generals.

Carl Staples, a 63-year-old African-American, recalled how the monument made him feel when he reported for jury duty. “It dashes your hopes,” he said, taking a break at the gospel radio station where he works as an announcer. “It has its roots in the ideology of white supremacy.” He said much the same thing during jury selection in a 2009 death penalty case, and that played a part in his dismissal for cause.

‘It Dashes Your Hopes’

Prospective jurors arriving at the courthouse here walk past a towering monument to the Confederacy, featuring grim likenesses of four Confederate generals.

Carl Staples, a 63-year-old African-American, recalled how the monument made him feel when he reported for jury duty. “It dashes your hopes,” he said, taking a break at the gospel radio station where he works as an announcer. “It has its roots in the ideology of white supremacy.” He said much the same thing during jury selection in a 2009 death penalty case, and that played a part in his dismissal for cause….Read the Rest Here

The New Jim Crow – Just Like the Old Jim Crow…Just sneakier

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Posted by on August 16, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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They Just Lost Texas!

Republican control of Texas is almost totally dependant on Voter Suppression, and Gerrymandering. Which is one of the reasons this one may have a massive impact in turning the State Blue.

The New Jim Crow, just like the Old Jim Crow – just craftier.

Federal Appeals Court Rules Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act

A federal appeals court on Wednesday found that Texas’ strict voter identification law violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in a victory for civil rights groups who had challenged the law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit did not make a determination as to whether Texas legislators had a discriminatory purpose in passing the legislation, and sent that issue back to a lower federal court to re-evaluate the determination that it was purposefully discriminatory. But the appeals court did find that the Texas voter ID law would have a discriminatory impact, in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

In declining to find Texas legislators had a discriminatory purpose in passing the legislation, members of the appeals court said they recognized “the charged nature of accusations of racism, particularly against a legislative body,” but they also acknowledged “the sad truth that racism continues to exist in our modern American society despite years of laws designed to eradicate it.”

Because it found a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the federal appeals court declined to decide the question of whether the strict voter ID law violated constitutional rights under the First and 14th Amendments, and dismissed the claims. The court also suggested that a lower federal court could either reinstate voter registration cards as documents that allow someone to cast a ballot, or allow someone to sign an affidavit saying they do not have an acceptable form of identification before they were allowed to vote.

“We urge the parties to work cooperatively with the district court to provide a prompt resolution of this matter to avoid election eve uncertainties and emergencies,” the appeals court wrote.

Texas, which had originally been prevented from passing the law in 2011 under Republican Gov. Rick Perry, was able to quickly enact it in 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the VRA, which required the state to submit any changes to its election laws to the federal government or in federal court.

In October, a federal judge called the law an unconstitutional “poll tax” that was intentionally discriminatory and an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. But the Supreme Courtallowed the law to be in effect for November’s midterm election, even though more than 600,000 Texans lacked a valid form of government-issued photo identification….(More)

MLK and President Johnson Meet to Discuss Civil Rights and the Voting Rights Act

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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in The New Jim Crow


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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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