Discrimination

U.S. Cities With the Worst Record of Housing Discrimination

 

Downtown Atlanta

(Photo Credit: Thrillist) 

 

While legislation and policies like the Fair Housing Act and the Housing and Community Development Act have criminalized housing discrimination, it is still a subtle but stark reality in today’s market. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that, on average, minority tenants are informed about 10% to 12% fewer units than white tenants. Furthermore, the homeownership rate is 30% higher for white Americans than black Americans. A report from the National Fair Housing Alliance found that about 1 in 5 formal complaints about housing discrimination are race-related. It is second only to disability-related claims, and the number of race-related claims is thought to be low because many incidents are not reported.

Tenant screening, whether systemic or subconscious, is a real issue that not only affects the ability for minorities to access housing but also has a market effect. With all other qualifications being equal, studies show that prospective minority tenants are shown fewer options than prospective white tenants. Based on a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report, the cities below have the worst track record when it comes to tenant screening-related metrics:

Detroit

7.3% more white tenants than non-white tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.23% fewer available units.

Atlanta

5.4% more white tenants than non-white tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.46% fewer available units.

Miami

2.3% more white tenants than non-white tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.11% fewer available units.

Houston

1.55% more white tenants than non-white tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.3% fewer available units.

Dallas

1.5% more white tenants than nonwhite tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.23% fewer available units.

New York

1.1% more white tenants than non-white tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.155% fewer available units.

Chicago

0.95% more white tenants than non-white tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.14% fewer available units.

Riverside

0.8% more white tenants than non-white tenants were told any units were available. On average, non-white tenants were informed of 0.17% fewer available units.

Conclusion

Discrimination is an ugly thing, and recent years have seen more than their fair share. But there is reason to be optimistic! As more and more neighborhoods integrate and neighborhood bonds form across racial bounds, ties of understanding and acceptance will continue to be forged. It’s important that we engage each other with civility and understand our shared goals as we seek to further these conversations.

References

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/Publications/pdf/HUD-514_HDS2012.pdf

http://www.jdpalatine.com/services/tenant-screening/

http://time.com/money/4665272/mortgage-homeownership-racial-gap-discrimination-inequality/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/business/economy/discrimination-in-housing-against-nonwhites-persists-quietly-us-study-finds.html

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Advertisements

Make Racism a Bankrupting Phenomenon: The Donald Sterling Case

Donald Sterling

(Photo Credit: Salon)

The odious, hurtful and racist comments uttered by Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, warranted the immediate action taken by the National Basketball Association (NBA).  NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life from the NBA. He cannot have any association with the Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA, and he’s not allowed to attend any NBA games.  Silver gave Sterling the highest fine possible, and Silver has vowed to do all that he can do to have Sterling voted out as owner of the Clippers.  The Clippers’ players have cleverly protested the hateful remarks of their racist owner, and several businesses and sponsors have withdrawn their associations with Sterling and the Clippers.  NBA fans and the American people in general have expressed their great outrage in response to the racist comments made by Sterling.  The collective response to the Sterling case offers a promising window of opportunity to move us closer to making those who choose to be racists suffer tremendous economic losses, bankrupting them if possible.

Donald Sterling is a horrible human being, and the things he said evince that he has a slave master mentality.  If Black people and other minorities are going to weaken the power of racism, then they must use a case like the Donald Sterling case in subversive ways to launch potent attacks on the enduring post-slavery racism and remaining vestiges of Jim Crow that are deep and powerful parts of the American political, economic and social system.  Without the collective outrage of minorities and Whites conveyed throughout the country in response to Sterling, the likelihood of Commissioner Silver rendering the decision he did yesterday would have been slim to none.  Although many people want to characterize the vociferous groundswell of national opposition to Sterling as insufficient, and many have harshly criticized the Clippers’ players for not doing enough to protest Sterling’s racism, these critics fail to see the strong utopian energies at work in the collective response to Sterling.  Before Mr. Silver’s decision, the collective response to Sterling was primarily communicated through words only.  The verbal outrage divulged by numerous Americans across the nation and NBA players, including the Clippers’ players, served robust and important functions: it made racism even less desirable and it placed intense pressure on Mr. Silver to reach the type of decision he did.

This collective outrage primarily communicated through words must transition to a collective language of resistance that then materializes into impactful collective action.

Those who highly oppose racism need to use Donald Sterling as a symbol of fear for current racists and those who will choose to be racists in the future about what can happen to them.  Although Donald Sterling will remain an incredibly rich man even if the NBA’s Board of Governors votes to force him to sell the Clippers, a resounding message will be disseminated to other racists: you may pay a prohibitive political, social and economic price for your racism that could inevitably lead you to being bankrupt.

NBA fans and the American people in general must place significant pressure on the NBA’s Board of Governors to mandate that Sterling sell the Clippers.  There must be a willingness by NBA fans to boycott NBA games, team and league sponsors and businesses that support the league and its teams if the Board of Governors does not vote out Sterling.  This message must be communicated to the Board of Governors in various ways, including through social media, television, radio, newspapers, letters, protest rallies across the nation, and etc.  The Clippers’ players need to involve themselves actively in influencing the decision of the Board of Governors.  Players from all other NBA teams and from across all teams in other sports need to demand that the Board of Governors vote out Sterling.  The members of the Board of Governors love money and NBA fans, as consumers, have to use their money as a weapon against the members of the Board of Governors and their strategic interests.

Again, Sterling will be a very rich man no matter what the members of the Board of Governors decide, considering he made a highly lucrative and clever investment in the Clippers and made many auspicious investments in the real estate industry.  The Board of Governors can, however, discontinue his ability to increase his wealth through his ownership of the Clippers and greatly diminish his power and prestige in the real estate industry and other industries he may attempt to pursue. He will no longer be able to increase his wealth from the labor of Black male bodies in the NBA.  Sterling’s personal use of plantation ideology in the NBA will be extinguished.

When we are able to expose other racists in the same or similar ways as Sterling was, we should make every effort to cause them to face bankruptcy.  If you want to cause a serious decrease in the power and prevalence of racism in America, then you must significantly reduce the economic and social incentives of it.

Let’s not become so consumed in discourses specifically about Donald Sterling and the venom he spewed out of his corroded mouth; let’s use his case to inaugurate a new movement against racism.

Bankrupting racists must become a grand political strategy employed by individuals of all political persuasions and ideologies.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madision

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s Unremitting Hypocrisy and Discrimination

Black Greek Lettered Organizations

(Photo Credit: Mase TV)

On October 28, 2013, Erica Green, a writer for The Baltimore Sun, reported that a Morgan State University undergraduate student, Brian Stewart, asserted that he was rejected membership into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. because he is openly gay.  When it comes to discrimination based on sexual orientation, Kappa Alpha Psi arguably has the worst record of all Black Greek Lettered Organizations.  Brian Stewart has an impressive academic record and a demonstrated record of service.  Kappa Alpha Psi was founded for the sole purpose of achievement.  Unfortunately, many chapters of the Fraternity are not living up to its founding purpose.

Brian Stewart’s case is not an anomaly—it’s exponentially becoming the norm. 

Many Black undergraduate and graduate males who have outstanding records are being denied membership into Kappa Alpha Psi for bigoted reasons, especially if some Kappas know or suspect that they are gay.  This Fraternity was founded in response to the unsettling racial discrimination experienced by Blacks on the campus of Indiana University in 1911.  Today, many of the organization’s chapters are embracing discrimination and employing it as a tool of oppression to prevent diverse candidates from joining.

While many Kappas claim that they are committed to achievement, they are voting against candidates who have strong records of demonstrated achievement, and they are voting for candidates who have poor academic records and limited community and extracurricular involvement.  Some of the fundamental reasons why these candidates with poor records are being voted into the Fraternity are they agree to be hazed, they are not noticeably or openly gay, they do not have records that make the corrupt members envious, and they represent the type of inadequate achievement that numerous extant members champion.

Many Kappas are devoted to the good of the Fraternity and do not discriminate against any candidate.  They vote based on what the Founders have delineated as the qualities of effective Kappa Alpha Psi members.  Those expressed qualities do not excluded candidates who are gay or who are thought to be gay.  Kappa Alpha Psi has numerous openly and undercover gay and bisexual members.  With this being the reality, why do many members in various chapters across the nation have such hostility toward gay candidates?  Are the heterosexual members of the Fraternity afraid that they will have sexual intercourse with new gay members? Perhaps.

Many current members of Kappa Alpha Psi were rejected for discriminatory reasons, including being openly gay or being suspected as gay, as undergraduates and had to find alumni chapters at other institutions to be admitted into the organization.  By no means does this indicate that alumni chapters do not discriminate—they do.  This means that the only way they became members was they had to locate an alumni chapter that did not discriminate. 

One of the most unacceptable cases of an alumni chapter of the Fraternity discriminating against an exceptional candidate occurred at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The Madison Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi rejected a candidate who had credentials that were superior to most of the members of this chapter.  Unfortunately, this great candidate is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a department with two professors who are members of the alumni chapter and who are also envious of this young man.  They worked tirelessly to sabotage his candidacy for membership by telling blatant lies about him, including that “he is gay,” “a crazy Marxist who will blow the building up,” “does not complete his work,” and “does not do good work.”  One of these two professors told the other that the candidate “was talking bad about him” and told him that the candidate said that “he cannot teach.” 

This lead to the two aforementioned individuals (with the help of another graduate student in the same department who is a Kappa) convincing enough members to reject this young man.  When this young man informed the National Headquarters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. about what happened, he was told the Fraternity’s leadership would investigate the situation and contact him.  It has been over three years and he has not received a response, although he has contacted the national officers several times each year to follow-up about his case.

Similarly, the alumni chapter at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia rejected an excellent candidate for membership because enough members suspected that he was gay.  This candidate even had recommendation letters from a couple of the leaders of the alumni chapter, but they wrote the recommendation letters only to fool him that they were going to support him and vote for him.  This young man with a fine academic and community involvement record was rejected because he “looks like he’s gay,” “is feminine” and “acts like he’s gay.”

At Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, an undergraduate student with a remarkable record was rejected by the undergraduate chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi because “he’s gay,” “he already thinks he’s a Kappa,” and “he ain’t gonna pledge.”  All of these were assumptions made by some of the undergraduate leaders of the chapter who influenced enough people to reject him.

The aforementioned cases highlight the hypocrisy and discrimination that is taking place in many chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi across the country.  Without higher education administrators intervening to stop discriminatory practices used by many Black Greek Lettered Organizations, including Kappa Alpha Psi, this egregious discrimination will persist.  It’s time for higher education administrators to require that candidates for membership into Black Greek Lettered Organizations be voted on solely by national officers at their respective national headquarters.

More people who have been discriminated against by Black Greek Lettered Organizations should come forward and share their stories and evidence.  You can fight effectively against this discrimination by promulgating your experiences to higher education administrators and state and national politicians. 

Today, call upon Kappa Alpha Psi and other Black Greek Lettered Organizations to change the way that membership voting takes place.

Contact Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.’s national officers right now.  Let the national officers know that no form of discrimination by any of their chapters and members is acceptable.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wilcox County High School Continues Its Racist Legacy and Agenda

Steve J Smith Wilcox County High School

Racist Pastor and School Leader (Photo Credit: Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Georgia is the site of the racially segregated proms reported about in the national and international media.  After having racially segregated proms since its inception, Principal Chad Davis, Steve J. Smith, Superintendent of Wilcox County Schools, and the Wilcox County Board of Education have decided to host the first school-sponsored racially integrated prom in 2014.  The only reason they agreed to discontinue having racially segregated proms is the tremendous outrage expressed by people from across the nation and world.  Numerous people were appalled at the reality that this school was still having racially segregated proms in the 21st century.  Don’t be fooled by their decision to host a racially integrated prom, however.  Jim Crow still lives at Wilcox County High School.

One thing racist Principal Chad Davis, Superintendent Steve J. Smith and the Wilcox County Board of Education wanted is for time to pass to allow people to forget about the national and international media focus on the racially segregated proms at Wilcox County High School.

Revolutionary Paideia is committed to ensuring that the national and international community never overlooks the unfairness, discrimination, and undercover scandals that have and are taking place at this institution and in the school system in general.

As unsettling as the racially segregated proms are at Wilcox County High School, these injustices are just snapshots of the vast discrimination, unfairness, illegal activities and criminal activities that have and are occurring at Wilcox County High School and in this school system in general.  Superintendent Steve J. Smith has made the decision to move the only remaining certified Black person at Wilcox County High School to the Wilcox County Middle School.  The Black male Assistant Principal at Wilcox County High School has been forced to move to be Assistant Principal at Wilcox County Middle School.  The Black male Assistant Principal has 32 years of experience as a K-12 Teacher and School Administrator (with over 17 years of experience as a School Administrator).

It’s Superintendent Steve J. Smith’s desire to have an all White administrative staff at Wilcox County High School.  By forcing the Black male Assistant Principal to move to the Wilcox County Middle School, it becomes easier for Superintendent Steve J. Smith, Principal Chad Davis and the Wilcox County Board of Education to continue their racist legacy and agenda.  The Black male Assistant Principal will no longer be able to witness their corruption, which is the chief motivation for forcing him to move to Wilcox County Middle School.

The coerced move of the Black male Assistant Principal at Wilcox County High School results in a reduction of his salary, which functions as a demotion; this is a demotion without any justification.

Superintendent Steve J. Smith claims that the decision to move him to the Wilcox County Middle School is in the best interest of the Wilcox County High School students.  Superintendent Smith and the Wilcox County Board of Education hired the School Counselor, Nathan Gibbs, who is a White male, to be the new Assistant Principal of Wilcox County High School.  Nathan Gibbs has no administrative experience.  Wilcox County High School is considered a “Priority School,” which is a designation given to schools that are academically underperforming.  This school also has received a federal School Improvement Grant (SIG), which is only granted to schools that have serious academic underachievement.

Why hire a new Assistant Principal with no experience at Wilcox County High School, especially when it’s an academically underperforming school and the Principal has limited administrative and teaching experience?  The answer is racism.

Superintendent Steve J. Smith, Principal Chad and the Wilcox County Board of Education desired to promote Nathan Gibbs to an Assistant Principal position.  It would seem logical that he would be the one to transition to the Wilcox County Middle School.  Instead of conducting a national search for a new School Counselor to replace Nathan Gibbs, Superintendent Smith and the Wilcox County Board of Education continued their legacy of nepotism by hiring a White relative of an extant employee who has no experience as a School Counselor.

Why hire a new School Counselor with no experience at Wilcox County High School, an academically underperforming school?  The answer is racism.

Superintendent Steve J. Smith claims that by keeping Nathan Gibbs at Wilcox County High School, he will be able to train the new White School Counselor who has no experience.  He also asserts that hiring these White individuals who are inexperienced in these positions is what’s best for the students.

Which students?

In the last two academic years, Superintendent Steve J. Smith has terminated all of the minority faculty members at Wilcox County High School.  He has no interest in creating a diverse school and working environment.  Why is this?  His decisions and policies reflect that he’s a racist.  Guess what?  He’s a Pastor.  What a bigot and hypocrite.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wilcox County High School Students Host First Racially Integrated Prom

Integrated Prom

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, Wilcox County High School students hosted their first racially integrated prom.  Wilcox County High School is located in Rochelle, Georgia.  Steve Smith, Superintendent of Wilcox County Schools, Chad Davis, Principal of Wilcox County High School, and the Wilcox County Board of Education denied the request of 2 Black female and 2 White female Wilcox County High School students to host the school’s first racially integrated prom on the campus of Wilcox County High School.  Steve Smith, Chad Davis and the Wilcox County Board of Education continue to endorse racially segregated proms at Wilcox County High School.

Because of the great love and support numerous people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds from across the nation and world showed Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace, and Keela Bloodworth, the four girls who led the effort to make history by having the school’s first racially integrated prom, many Wilcox County High School students were able to enjoy their first racially integrated prom.  They held their prom in a nice location in Cordele, Georgia.  The prom was a tremendous success and many media sources covered the prom, including CNN.

People across the world should continue to voice their outrage at Wilcox County High officials (Superintendent Steve Smith, Principal Chad Davis, and the Wilcox County Board of Education) who refuse to support racially integrated proms.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Governor Deal Supports Racially Integrated Prom at Wilcox County High School

Governor Nathan Deal

(Photo Credit: colorlines.com)

The racially segregated proms the Wilcox County Board of Education, Superintendent Steve Smith and Principal Chad Davis support at Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Georgia have drawn a response from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.  Governor Deal is proud of the two white and two black female Wilcox County High School students who have spearheaded the effort to end racially segregated proms at the school, and he wants the educational leaders in Wilcox County to find a long-term solution to this problem.  Read Governor Deal’s statement of support here: Governor Deal on Racially Segregated Proms at Wilcox County High School.

Superintendent Steve Smith hoped that this issue would be swept under the rug like so many other racist and discriminatory things in the past have been done at Wilcox County High School, but this issue has gained national and international attention and outrage and is not being swept under the rug.  Since his support of racially segregated proms has received such significant attention, more investigation of Superintendent Steve Smith, Principal Chad Davis, and the Wilcox County Board of Education is going to reveal just how they have created a culture of racism, discrimination, nepotism, and corruption at Wilcox County High School.

If we’re going to continue to strike mighty blows at racism and discrimination, we have to keep issues like racially segregated proms at Wilcox County High School in our discourses and demand and work for justice.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

NAACP Meets with Wilcox County Board of Education

NAACP

(Photo Credit: jacksonville.com)

On April 9, 2013, the Georgia Chapter of the NAACP, led by Chapter President Edward O. DuBose, addressed the Wilcox County Board of Education and Steve Smith, Superintendent of Wilcox County Schools, at the Wilcox County Board of Education’s office in Abbeville, Georgia about racially segregated proms at Wilcox County High School and other issues pertaining to racism and discrimination.  When the Wilcox County Board of Education saw that the NAACP and 11 Alive News (a NBC affiliate) planned to attend the meeting, they cancelled the scheduled Board meeting and turned it into a closed work session.  Edward O. DuBose and other NAACP representatives informed them that they had traveled over 3 hours and 30 minutes from Atlanta, Georgia to speak to them and they were not going to leave until they spoke to them.  Superintendent Steve Smith informed the NAACP members that the Board’s meeting was canceled and rescheduled for next Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

After seeing that the NAACP members were passionate about speaking with them, the Wilcox County Board of Education and Superintendent Steve Smith agreed to hear what they had to say.  The 11 Alive News cameras covered what transpired.  Watch the 11 Alive News coverage of this event here:  NAACP Urges Wilcox Schools to End Segregated Proms.

The Georgia Chapter of the NAACP has expressed that it will continue to investigate issues pertaining to racism and discrimination at Wilcox County High School, and told the Wilcox County Board of Education and Superintendent Steve Smith that if they don’t make changes concerning racism and discrimination that they plan to help the people of Wilcox County to obtain the justice they deserve.  The Georgia Chapter of the NAACP is investigating issues that go beyond just the racially segregated proms at Wilcox County High School—the organization wants answers to many other questions involving racism and discrimination at Wilcox County Schools in Rochelle, Georgia.

I urge the NAACP to continue a zealous investigation into racism and discrimination at Wilcox County High School.  If the organization needs evidence of discrimination at Wilcox County High School, I can certainly provide it with the evidence it seeks.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison