The perils of OHWB-Owning Housing While Black


In a Houston neighborhood it is still illegal for some places to be purchased by African-Americans

Rule 21 of the “Article & Bylaws” of Northwood Park states that “[n]o lot in said Subdivision nor any interest therein shall ever be sold, leased or rented to, or occupied by any person other than the Caucasian race.”

Documents on the Northwood Park Civic Association website showed that the group made an effort to change the race-based restriction in 2004. But almost a decade later, the group explained in its newsletter than it was still collecting signatures for the effort.

“The 1957 deed restrictions protect the homeowners from those that would mutate a diverse residential neighborhood into a conglomeration of shops, non-residential storage and car lots, junk yards, trucking companies, trailers, and mobile homes that would ruin a residential neighborhood’s desirability and destroy the quality of life of the residents…..”

The reference above to diversity is only mildly amusing. In another case however, black homeowners living in a prosperous white neighborhood had difficulties selling their house

Everyone tells you it’s hard to sell a home nowadays. No one tells you how hard it is to sell a home while black.

Last March we did all the things you are supposed to do when selling a half-million-dollar Orange County, Calif., home. We packed items we were no longer using. We downsized our furniture. We painted baseboards and repaired walls. We even bought new wall art to neutralize the feel. After seeing several comparable homes sell within weeks of listing, we were certain we would only be on the market for a month at most. We were wrong…………….

In the end, we sold our home. It took longer than planned and cost us both emotionally and financially. Our experiences showed us that while we could change everything about our home, we couldn’t change the color of our skin, nor the stigma attached to it. From the onset, we knew that black-owned homes were deemed less valuable. But we underestimated the impact that would have on our sale in a predominantly white neighborhood.

We have added this to our lessons learned. Now we know better than to underestimate the power of anti-blackness.

Post racial America is still very much not!

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Texas ain’t so bad after all


texas our texas

texas our texas (Photo credit: jmtimages)

I’m not a fan of Texas’ governors Rick Perry or former governor George Bush.  Their shoot from the hip attitude probably contributed a lot to Raul Rodriguez’s belief that he could confront someone on their property, and then shoot and kill them while claiming he had no obligation to retreat from his victim’s property because he was in fear for his life.

What senor Rodriguez wanted to do was a police action of sorts that would end up with a result that he wanted but instigating a fight, recording it and killing someone is not the way to win friends and influence people, and especially the jury of his trial.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.  He will have to serve 20 years of that sentence before he is eligible for parole.  That’s a good thing.  No one should be able to pick a fight with you because of a personal dislike they have for you or for what you are doing that is not a violation of the law,  then kill you when you try to defend yourself or your property from their intrusion.  (Perhaps Rodriguez went too far in considering himself a member of the police department of his town, since it appears police are usually the ones  who carry that attitude of unlimited trespass upon personal property and unaccountable murder of the owners of that property when they respond.)

But if you don’t know where I’m going with this, the point is this case has implications in the Martin/Zimmerman case in Florida where George Zimmerman is using basically the same right to ‘stand his ground’ after he followed, pursued, encountered a completely innocent up to that point Trayvon Martin and then shot and killed him when Martin did, what to most accounts will probably show, a pretty good job of defending himself against Zimmerman. It’s people who are legally armed and make such arguments as Zimmerman and Rodriguez who scare me and give other law abiding gun owners a bad name.  I cringe at examples like those two, knowing that the chorus for gun control will do doubt ring out calling for  ever more strict laws against gun ownership.  The Zimmermans and Rodriguezs of the world  are just as criminal as they people they arm themselves to defend against.  Thankfully, the jury in Texas got it right!

*Don’t mess with Texas*

Rodney King, part deux, or this happens all the time


Fifteen year old Chad Holley was found guilty of burglary and sentenced to 2 1/5 years probation, until he reaches eighteen years.  Holley was a first time offender who was charged along with several other accomplices for a crime whose notoriety was not in what he did, but rather what was done to him, and which resulted in the termination of 4 Houston police officers.

Essentially what you see in the tape below is an assault carried out by the police against an unarmed man, who was lying prone, unresistant, in full compliance, and who was the target of police rage.  He had no weapon, nor had he assaulted a police officer, his only crime was running from the officers after being a suspect in a burglary.  Had such a beating been visited upon anyone else by anyone else it would have resulted in charges against the perpetrators.  Luckily the police chief of Houston saw it that way in this case and four officers, are being charged for what you see on the tape.   In that respect, kudos to police chief Charles McClelland for ridding his department of four very bad apples.  You can read about just how bad they were, here.

What this speaks to however, is a wider problem with American society and that is opposition no matter what form it takes is met with inappropriate force to serve as an example of what happens to people who some consider ‘out of line’.  Holley in the video below is purely compliant, assumes a non-aggressive stance, with no report of him being verbally abusive towards police, but that is not good enough.  He had to be, in the minds of these officers, humiliated, humbled, terrorized because of his act of defiance….an act that did not merit the physical punishment he had to endure.  That has become the way we operate in general in today’s America.  If you resist, you must pay for your “crime” in the worse possible way; if physical punishment is not appropriate, then verbal harangue or litigation (as in the recent case of Jimmy Carter, which you can read about here) will be brought to bear with every available means in order to make you feel subjected to the power which you rebelled against.  This is the language we speak to one another today, that of wholehearted subjugation.  No one does it better than government, and no one is a better enforcer of that than the media and the police.

A Disturbing Trend


New York Has the Most Millionaires
Robert Frank

According to the new Metro Wealth Index, created by consulting firm Capgemini, the New York Metropolitan area had 650,000 high-net worth individuals, or people with $1 million or more in investible assets in 2009. That is 18.7% higher than in 2008.

Once again, the New York area topped the list of metro-area wealth centers. Its total was greater than the combined total of the next three runners up–Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.

Of the top 10, Houston posted the the fastest growth, at 28.9%. But all enjoyed strong growth.

Here are the tallies of millionaires for the top 10, along with the percentage growth:

New York – 667,200, +18.7%

Los Angeles – 235,800, +13.3%

Chicago – 198,100, +15.1%

Washington, D.C. – 152,400 +19.3%

San Francisco – 138,300 +14.5%

Philadelphia – 104,100, +20.1%

Boston – 102,300, + 14.4%

Detroit – 89,100, +12.1%

Houston –- 88,200, +28.9%

San Jose — 86,500, +24.5%

What are the takeaways?

First, that the U.S. taxpayers’ bank bailouts certainly helped those on Wall Street (though why New York still has huge budget problems given the wealth surge in 2009 and much-publicized tax burden of the wealthy remains a mystery).

Second, that finance, technology and oil remain the main sources of wealth in the U.S.

Third, while New York, D.C., Houston and San Jose are now above 2007 levels, the rest are still below the 2007 heights.

Fourth, that 2010 may not be as rosy as 2009 when it comes to minting new millionaires or re-minting the old ones.
What patterns do you see in the numbers?

The seat of government, Washington, DC,  placed in the top five American cities with millionaires and that should say something about what government has done to its citizens.  In a city where the only business is government which then goes and has a steadily increasing number of millionaires from one year to the next but was virtually deadlocked and or engaged in acrimonious debate on increasing unemployment benefits for the country’s unemployed says something about what many people in government think is their role.  The war on terror has led to the enrichment of many private citizens whose wealth depends on a fearful government willing to empty out its coffers to fight or demonize people who either don’t exist, mean them no harm or are incapable of inflicting harm, at the expense of the majority of the American people.  In this case, the expression ‘follow the money’ has meaning!