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FDR -- Federally Dictated Racism

NPR had a great piece a few days ago about how New Deal policies created racially segregated neighborhoods where none had existed.

Fifty years after the repeal of Jim Crow, many African-Americans still live in segregated ghettos in the country’s metropolitan areas. Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, has spent years studying the history of residential segregation in America.

“We have a myth today that the ghettos in metropolitan areas around the country are what the Supreme Court calls ‘de-facto’ — just the accident of the fact that people have not enough income to move into middle class neighborhoods or because real estate agents steered black and white families to different neighborhoods or because there was white flight,” Rothstein tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.

“It was not the unintended effect of benign policies,” he says. “It was an explicit, racially purposeful policy that was pursued at all levels of government, and that’s the reason we have these ghettos today and we are reaping the fruits of those policies.”


On how the New Deal’s Public Works Administration led to the creation of segregated ghettos

Its policy was that public housing could be used only to house people of the same race as the neighborhood in which it was located, but, in fact, most of the public housing that was built in the early years was built in integrated neighborhoods, which they razed and then built segregated public housing in those neighborhoods. So public housing created racial segregation where none existed before. That was one of the chief policies.

On the Federal Housing Administration’s overtly racist policies in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s

The second policy, which was probably even more effective in segregating metropolitan areas, was the Federal Housing Administration, which financed mass production builders of subdivisions starting in the ’30s and then going on to the ’40s and ’50s in which those mass production builders, places like Levittown [New York] for example, and Nassau County in New York and in every metropolitan area in the country, the Federal Housing Administration gave builders like Levitt concessionary loans through banks because they guaranteed loans at lower interest rates for banks that the developers could use to build these subdivisions on the condition that no homes in those subdivisions be sold to African-Americans.

The party of slavery, the KKK, and Jim Crow is also the party of racist housing policy. Good work, Democrats!

Thursday Open Thread

On this date in 1924, University of Chicago students Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a “thrill killing”. Loeb was killed in prison in 1936 and Leopold was paroled in 1958 dying in 1971.

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Now everything is easy ’cause of you…

Monday Morning Mashup (Wednesday Edition)

Duff and Krist, you mad geniuses!

Wednesday Open Thread

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald. (The Crack-up — Esquire Magazine 1936)

A two-fer

“Government resting upon the will and universal suffrage of the people has no anchorage except in the people’s intelligence.”

Pres. Grover Cleveland (1896 speech at Princeton)

I’d add virtue to Cleveland’s speech.

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Motley Crue. I’m on my way…

Tuesday Open Thread

On this date in 1609 William Shakespeare’s Sonnets were first published.

Put him in, coach

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Guns N’ Roses. Are you blind?

Fighting Hard Against Malaria

It’ll help with your symptoms but there may be some stiffness.

With over 584,000 deaths due to malaria each year, fighting the mosquito-transmitted disease is a major world health priority. Now, reports Popular Science’s Alexandra Ossola, there’s a new ally in the fight against malaria — Viagra.

A new study shows that Viagra can increase the spleen’s ability to filter malaria from the blood. Ossola explains that once Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, hits the human body, it “spends one very important [developmental] stage in human red blood cells found in bone marrow.” These blood cells are soft and malleable, which allows them to elude the blood-filtering spleen, which looks for firm or dead blood cells instead.

By bypassing the spleen’s filtering abilities, malaria is able to spread through the blood. But researchers were able to put a stop to that process with Viagra when they learned that the enzyme inhibitor that gives the pill its popular effects stiffens infected blood cells, too. In the lab, they used an artificial spleen to filter infected, Viagra-stiffened blood cells — and learned that they were “less likely to circulate through the spleen.”