Racism now, racism tomorrow, racism forever!
Seriously. From N.D.B. Connolly in the NYT:
The problem is not black culture. It is policy and politics, the very things that bind together the history of Ferguson and Baltimore and, for that matter, the rest of America.
Specifically, the problem rests on the continued profitability of racism. Freddie Gray’s exposure to lead paint as a child, his suspected participation in the drug trade, and the relative confinement of black unrest to black communities during this week’s riot are all features of a city and a country that still segregate people along racial lines, to the financial enrichment of landlords, corner store merchants and other vendors selling second-rate goods.
The problem originates in a political culture that has long bound black bodies to questions of property. Yes, I’m referring to slavery.
Slavery was not so much a labor system as it was a property regime, with slaves serving not just as workers, but as commodities. Back in the day, people routinely borrowed against other human beings. They took out mortgages on them. As a commodity, the slave had a value that the state was bound to protect.
Now housing and commercial real estate have come to occupy the heart of America’s property regime, replacing slavery. And damage to real estate, far more than damage to ostensibly free black people, tends to evoke swift responses from the state. What we do not prosecute nearly well enough, however, is the daily assault on black people’s lives through the slow, willful destruction of real estate within black communities. The conditions in West Baltimore today are the direct consequence of speculative real estate practices that have long targeted people with few to no options.
On the heels of any ghetto economy based on extraction comes the excessive policing necessary to keep everyone in place. Cities that are starved for income have found ways to raise revenues by way of fines and fees exacted from poor, underemployed African-Americans and migrants of color. These include property taxes and court costs. In Maryland, in particular, these come in lieu of property taxes that many of the state’s largest employers are not required to pay. The dangers of tax burdens and other unseen costs are as deadly to urban households as police brutality or fires set by “thugs.”
What a load of crap.
We often hear people on the Left saying that poor people are being exploited. The theory is that poor (black) people are poor because rich (white) people are stealing all their money. The flaw in that theory is that those people started out poor, so they didn’t have any money to steal in the first place.
Yes, there are slum lords who get rich. Guys like Tony Rezko, for example. But Tony did not get his money from ripping off the tenants, he got it from ripping off the government. He had powerful friends in Chicago who helped him get lucrative contracts to provide housing for poor people. Friends like Barack Obama.
Exactly who does the author think is doing the “slow, willful destruction of real estate within black communities”? It sure ain’t white people. Black people vandalize black neighborhoods. Black people sell drugs to other black people. Black men get black girls pregnant. Black people rob and steal from other black people. Black people murder other black people.
And the Left blames it all on white people.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with black people. I’m saying there is something very wrong with black culture. If that makes me a racist then so be it.
Last but not least – why are the Maryland’s largest employers exempt from paying property taxes? Because the state is offering economic incentives to those businesses in order to keep/attract jobs to the state.
Jobs – so that people won’t be poor.