Sure, those terms sound like something from a George Orwell or Ayn Rand novel. But unfortunately, they are very real. The Future of Freedom Foundation fills us in on the latest antics by Big Brother in DC:
A new type of social engineering is poised to descend on American communities: diversity mapping and the rectification of any racial inequities the mapping reveals.
The campaign is meant to stamp out “geospatial discrimination.” The term refers to the fact that affluent neighborhoods tend to be dominated by whites and Asians. What government calls “protected minorities,” especially blacks, are relatively absent from such communities. To the Obama administration, their absence constitutes prima facie evidence that such neighborhoods are discriminating against protected minorities by denying them equal access to safe communities and good schools. The social engineering aims at rectifying the alleged discrimination through the use of law, policy, and tax dollars. It is a form of affirmative action for neighborhoods, and its stated purpose is to raise minorities up into the middle class where they can share in the American dream. […]
Can you see where this might be heading? If not, the good folks at the FFF will fill us in further:
[…] On July 16 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan delivered a speech at the 104th annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He claimed that blacks were being denied “choice and the benefits of full citizenship” by being denied access to the “strongest neighborhoods.” Specifically, they were underrepresented as homeowners and renters in the suburbs.
Donovan explained the first step in remedying the situation. In conjunction with the Census Bureau, HUD was “providing data for every neighborhood in the nation, detailing what access African American families, and other members of protected classes, have to … community assets.” Donovan pointed to HUD’s enhanced “enforcement techniques” through which the agency was initiating “investigations on our own without waiting for individuals to file complaints.” The enhanced enforcement tools include two anti-discrimination laws that were strengthened in early 2013: the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It is now illegal for housing or home-credit policies to produce results in which minorities receive disproportionately less housing or fewer home loans than whites. It doesn’t matter if the housing and credit policies are race-neutral in content and in implementation. If the results are not racially balanced, then discrimination has occurred and civil rights have been violated. This is the theory of disparate impact, in which all that matters are the results.
The newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the brainchild of that Marxist shrew, Massachusetts senator, and potential Democrat presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren — is apparently stepping up to take the lead in this insidious effort:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has expanded its staff in order to “map” every credit record by race and report back to HUD on whether it is racially balanced. The “diversity mapping” of neighborhood housing will identify similar sorts of imbalance or “geospatial discrimination.” Armed with maps, HUD intends to assist neighborhoods in understanding “integrated living patterns” and in overcoming “historic patterns of segregation.”
The actions being discussed include new rules requiring communities that receive federal funds to “affirmatively further fair housing” for minorities and to encourage suburban landlords to accept Section 8 housing vouchers, which the federal government gives to private landlords to subsidize the rent of low-income tenants.
Section 8 housing has been actively promoted in the suburbs for years. But the proposed new HUD program is a considerable acceleration. The Fair Housing Acts of 1968 and 1988 protected renters and home buyers from discrimination based on race, sex, disability, and sexual orientation. Those HUD policies used force unjustifiably to prevent exclusion of protected classes; the new ones demand active and presumably — sooner or later — the forced inclusion of protected classes. “Make no mistake, this is a big deal,” Donovan told the NAACP. “With the HUD budget alone, we are talking about billions of dollars.”
This is where all of those toxic mortgages and foreclosed properties, purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the height of the housing crisis, come into play:
Without dismissing the variety of motives that underlie measures against racism, it is useful to point out some political and economic advantages that diversity mapping offers to those in power.
Through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the federal government controls a huge pool of foreclosed and empty properties. Many of them are unsalable and constitute a straight loss. If they were to be occupied by protected minorities, then the Section 8 benefits offered to occupants would turn the properties into moneymakers. Through taxation or inflation, the government could subsidize a sizeable portion of the rent while collecting the remaining balance from occupants.
Another big advantage for Big Barry and his fellow Democrats is that shifting these populations around creates an under-the-table form of redistricting — turning swing or red-leaning jurisdictions a lot more blue. A lot like the current shenanigans involving the folks rushing our border with Mexico.