Thursday, August 20, 2009
It looks like the “social engineers” are at it again. (Or should we just come out and say, the “socialist engineers”?)
Westchester County, an up-scale suburb of New York City, has been pressured to settle a lawsuit brought by liberal activists over "affordable" housing, a plan that the Obama administration feels should be a "template" for the rest of the nation.
The lawsuit alleged that Westchester had accepted federal housing funds but failed to reduce segregation in some of its wealthier communities, such as Scarsdale and Chappaqua, home to Bill and Hillary Clinton. In February a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Westchester's integration efforts were insufficient, and, after striking a deal with HUD, the county will construct or acquire 750 homes or apartments, 630 of which must be located in areas that are less than 3% black and 7% Hispanic.
This isn’t new. “Block-busting” has been tried in some form or another since the 1940s. It peaked in the 1960s and 1970s at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The blocks in a neighborhood were “busted” by convincing one white owner to sell to an African American family. Property values would fall, “white flight” would follow, and more minorities would move in.
Integrated neighborhoods were supposedly the intended goal. These neighborhoods should have included integrated schools and churches and should have spelled the end of bias, bigotry and discrimination. The actual results were usually the opposite; divided communities, racial tension, the deterioration of property, and a loss in the economic viability of the area. The “reality” of the Bunkers and the Jeffersons rarely occurred, as “block-busting” was seen primarily as a means to increase Democratic votes in an area.
The problems were never in the idea. The problems were always in the methods. Community organizers, social engineers, courts, and other governmental entities forced integration. It didn’t come about because of choice. (Even Wallace's famed stand in the "school house door" at the University of Alabama was carefully orchestrated by Bobby Kennedy.)
Most people believe in integrated neighborhoods provided they're a consequence of genuine choice. History shows that racial and ethnic minorities have incurred far less resistance when they move into neighborhoods where they can all afford to live. Natural integration by people with similar incomes, mores, ethics and values is the best way to build community solidarity and forge friendships. When forced, integration takes from some to give to others, just like every policy the Obama administration favors. It is called socialism.
My neighborhood is upper middle class and integrated. Everyone here shares the same values. We all worked hard, saved money, made wise decisions about our money, and did our best to put our families in a safe neighborhood with good schools. When our children were young and “running” the neighborhood, we often visited in each other’s homes, served on committees at church or school together, and worked on projects at school or in scouts together. Every yard is cut and clutter free. Every garage has a nice car. Every house has great “curb” appeal, as everyone has pride in their homes, their families and their neighborhood.
Socialists with hidden agendas to “engineer our choices” need to recognize that most people will do the right thing IF ALLOWED TO CHOOSE IT.
People are good. Leave us alone to find each other.