*The Color of Law*

The author is Richard Rothstein, and the subtitle of this excellent and important book is the apt A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.  The upshot is that twentieth century segregation had a lot more to do with government restrictions — and not just government toleration — than many of us had thought.  Here is one bit of many:

Calling itself the Peninsula Housing Association of Palo Alto, the co-op purchased a 260-ranch adjacent to the Stanford campus and planned to build 400 houses as well as shared recreational facilities, a shopping area, a gas station, and a restaurant on commonly owned land.  But the bank would not finance construction costs nor issue mortgages to the co-op or its members without government approval, and the FHA would not insure loans to a cooperative that included African American members.  The cooperative’s board of directors, which included [Wallace] Stegner, recommended against complying with the demand that the cooperative reconstitute itself as an all-white organization, but the membership, attempting to appease the government, voted…to compromise.


At the time [immediate post-war era], the Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration not only refused to insure mortgages for African Americans in designated white neighborhoods like Ladera; they also would not insure mortgages for whites in a neighborhood where African Americans were present.  So once East Palo Alto was integrated, whites wanting to move into the area could no longer obtain government-insured mortgages.

Furthermore, a bit earlier, many of the New Deal agencies shared a commitment to residential segregation, and were willing to enforce it.  Keep in mind that residential integration started moving backwards in 1880, through the middle of the twentieth century.

Recommended, and here is NPR coverage of the book.  Here is coverage from Slate.  Here is an earlier MR post on the roots of racial segregation in Baltimore.


' A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America'

Government? Reading what the most loyal commenters write, segregation is a natural human trait, and it is only government that prevents people from segregating completely.

'twentieth century segregation had a lot more to do with government restrictions — and not just government toleration — than many of us had thought'

You can really tell you did not grow up in Virginia. An excuse which does not work as well for those who did, as most white Americans from the Commonwealth are willfully ignorant of their state's history up to the current day.

It's not just Virginia. In a lot of states there were racial covenants in property deeds. In Bethesda, almost every home built prior to the mid-1950s was only sold to White Americans and you can see in the trust deeds struck out language similar to the following, "...this house/property can not be sold to anyone of the Negro persuasion...." My father experienced something similar in San Diego after WW-II. He and a fellow project manager in the aircraft industry started an architecture firm. HIs Greek partner was permitted to buy land in La Jolla but my Jewish father was not because of the covenant clause in the property deed. This was all done in the absence of any government policies.

Great example of how jews try to jump on the victim wagon.

Courts could not enforce a racial convenant after 1948 .

You could also agree not to sell you house to a member of the hebrew race until the civil rights act. You still can, but if you sell if to someone else you might be in trouble.

I think the operating question on the mortgages is how many houses had federal assistance.

Given our recent history, it would seen prudent not the insure some houses.

I have no doubt that in 50 years we'll be hearing that the federal flood insurance laws were racist.

'Courts could not enforce a racial convenant after 1948 .'

Yet redlining continued for considerably longer than that - one can be confident that it was just a coincidence that the maps for redlining corresponded to what was written in the deeds. And careful about racial convenant use, as noted here - 'Despite the Supreme Court decision declaring the enforcement of racially-based restrictive covenants (see Shelley v. Kraemer), the practice remained commonplace. The Court found that the covenants themselves were not invalid, thus allowing private parties to continue to voluntarily adhere to the restrictions.

These “unenforceable” covenants served as powerful signals to potential homeowners, realtors, and insurers about who was welcome in a given neighborhood. Government agencies also continued to rely upon the covenants as substitutes for overt exclusionary practices.

As a result of continued use of racially restrictive covenants and “steering” of black residents to non-white neighborhoods by real estate agents, access for minorities to purchase homes remained severely limited. It was not until 1968 that the actual inclusion of racially-restrictive covenants into deeds was deemed illegal, although many such covenants can still be found within the language of deeds today.' http://www.bostonfairhousing.org/timeline/1948-1968-Unenforceable-Restrictive-Covenants.html

Yet redlining continued for considerably longer than that –

That's called a business decision. If there were business opportunities missed by these rules of thumb, there was ample opportunity for other lenders to capture them. The population of commercial banks, savings banks, and credit unions in the United States in 1966 was in five digits.

Just to note the history isn't actually forgotten by most black people. It's always fascinating to me to see people go through the stages of denial on these issues. First they'll insist it didn't happen, then that it did but it was isolated, then it wasn't isolated but it was a long time ago, then that it wasn't that long ago but it doesn't matter, and finally "well what about the Irish / Asians". Very amusing.

I would be amazed if they did forget, so long as guilt remains a renewable resource that translates into actual resources for people employing it. The narrative is profitable, therefore the narrative must stay, even at the cost of never getting to that post-racial America some people wanted when they voted for Obama. Unfortunately, Black people in America might not have forgotten, but they have allowed themselves to be out-hustled by other groups, including African immigrants, to receive privileges (affirmative action in University) and resources without having the same historical and moral claim that the descendants of the slaves have. I blame the African-American elites.

People was so eager to forget the past, as if good intentions were enough. However, you need to know past structures to be able to dismantle them. As the book author tells, the outcome is not random on an inherent property of the system.

The attitude of "it was a long time ago, let's forget and be happy" brings the US very close to the average post-dictatorship life of many countries around the world.

It was a long time ago: over fifty years, and every year it recedes farther into the past. But you don't have to tell us your people won't be forgetting it.

For any middle aged black person this was their parents generation. Parents that are hoping to retire but don't have the ownership / equity / wealth that the government went out of it's way to grant to one group of people over another. It's a divergence that grows over time rather than receding.

A black generation is fifteen years. This is a middle-aged black person's great-great-great grandparents generation.

The median age at which a non-hispanic black woman has her first child is 23.0. It's lower than it is for white anglo women today (26.0), but about what it was for such women in 1964. The total fertility rate for non-hispanic black women is 2.1 children per woman per lifetime - i.e. just the replacement rate.

Absolutely. Which is why I met a forty-year old great-grandmother today. Don't dwell on the math, it's depressing.

Reading comprehension is a problem for you. And arithmetic.

If it's normal for a woman to give birth to her first child at 23, one's first grandchild arrives at 46. That's young, but not exceptionally young. I can name five people among my proximate relations whose first grandchild arrived between their 43d and 49th birthday.

Art Deco mocks my reading comprehension, doesn't understand the difference between grandmother and great-grandmother. And I didn't say "in her forties". I said forty.

So, if y'all actually remember that bigotry was enforced by government power over private enterprise, why in the world do y'all run out and vote for government power over private enterprise? Are you under the delusion that you're now a majority of the electorate, or is it you believe that white people have turned into angels who will never again use the government they control against you?

Just to note the history isn’t actually forgotten by most black people.

Yes it is. Historical knowledge is something hobbyists cultivate. Most people cannot be bothered. I think if you carefully questioned people, you'd find attractive social fiction is a good deal more prevalent than history in people's heads. (And, of course, written history is forever being revised by academic specialists).

But obviously the greedy private sector stepped to finance integrated projects because banks see only the color green and always dodge every regulation, find every loophole.


We have a winner. Congratulations, mulp!

Well, there is such a thing as private mortgage insurance, which isn't free, but still....

The excerpts didn't mention the Democratic Party. How so?

Because segregation in America transcends parties, as Chief Justice Rehnquist demonstrates so eloquently. 'Chief Justice-designate William H. Rehnquist was informed in writing by his attorney a decade ago that the Vermont property Rehnquist was buying contained a covenant barring its sale to any member of the "Hebrew race," according to correspondence made public yesterday.

Rehnquist sent a copy of the 1974 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday but continued to assert, as he did during his confirmation hearings last week, that he did not recall anything about the restrictive covenant.


The second sentence of the two-page letter says: "The property is also subject to restrictions relative to use, width of rights-of-way, construction on the various parcels, and ownership by members of the Hebrew race."

"While I do not doubt that I read the letter when I received it, I did not recall the letter or its contents before I testified last week," Rehnquist told Thurmond.

Some Democratic senators were said by aides to be concerned about the disclosure, which is likely to rekindle the debate over Rehnquist's credibility as a witness.

Rehnquist testified last week that he was unaware of a similar covenant barring sale to minorities -- which is also illegal and unenforceable -- on the deed of his former house in Phoenix, which he bought in 1961 and sold, with the restriction, eight years later. Rehnquist, a Supreme Court justice since 1972, told Thurmond he has asked Willis to have the restrictive covenant removed from the deed on his Vermont house.' https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1986/08/06/rehnquist-told-in-1974-of-restriction-in-deed/06e595e0-ec19-41cc-bb55-e5c3a0b76b76/

Of course, those involved with the Reagan Administration made an art form out of not being able to recall anything..

Did Rehnquist impose the restrictions?

The restrictions were illegal based both on a Supreme Court case and the Civil Rights Act before he bought either house.

You live in Germany. How many Germans live in houses stolen from dead Jews?

'Did Rehnquist impose the restrictions? '

No, merely allowed them to continue to exist until reminded at his hearing to be Chef Justice, after having forgotten that the Jewish one that had been pointed out a dozen years previously.

'The restrictions were illegal based both on a Supreme Court case and the Civil Rights Act before he bought either house.'

Which undoubtedly explains why it took until 1986 for him to actually strike the anti-Jewish text from the deed in Vermont - 12 years after being informed of its existence by his lawyer. Really, no big that a Justice of the Supreme Court cannot be bothered to actually remove the text concerning the prohibition of property 'ownership by members of the Hebrew race.'

The point being that both Democrats and Republicans were fully on board with such text to ensure segregation in deeds, as segregation in America has little to do with party affiliation.

'You live in Germany. How many Germans live in houses stolen from dead Jews?'

Not too many actually, as the Allies bombing campaign was quite effective in destroying German cities (particularly in the western part of Germany), which is where most houses stolen from Jews existed. Luckily, I don't live in the East Germany of a couple of decades ago, where you had houses stolen from Jews by the Nazis, sold off by the Nazis, then stolen again by the DDR, leaving the tenants in the state owned housing in a very interesting situation.

"No, merely allowed them to continue to exist"

You don't understand anything about law or title to real estate.

They "existed" as words only without legal effect. Nor could he "strike" the words or "actually remove the text" from an already recorded deed.

The restrictive covenant was imposed by the allotter/developer and no subsequent owner could do anything to change the covenant or "strike" it. The law did by making it without force or effect.

they also would not insure mortgages for whites in a neighborhood where African Americans were present. So once East Palo Alto was integrated, whites wanting to move into the area could no longer obtain government-insured mortgages.

So preserving Black neighbourhoods for the Black community. So on the one hand they could not get loans to buy homes. But on the other White racism meant that extremely nice housing was reserved for Blacks.

Hard to measure the overall impact of that. But there were large parts of New York and other cities that are slowing becoming more White. Spike Lee has been complaining about Blacks being pushed out of Brooklyn. Blacks have largely been pushed out of Compton. All due to the end of red lining.

What a crime against blacks: setting up a system where they could afford to live right next door to Palo Alto, the heart of global economic progress.

"The upshot is that twentieth century segregation had a lot more to do with government restrictions — and not just government toleration — than many of us had thought."

I think the only news in there is this being about California - I think that everybody knows that, in the "Old South", segregation was enforced by law (or, at least, by the public authorities).

What proportion of blacks today live in neighborhoods that were black in 1948?

Consider the history of the Los Angeles suburb famous for gangsta rap: Compton. In the late 1940s, it was nice enough that two future Presidents lived in Compton: the Bushes, father and son. Then the California supreme court banned enforcing discriminatory contractual provisions, and this conveniently located suburb close to high paying manufacturing jobs in aerospace with a superb climate shifted heavily toward blacks.

But the blacks of Compton became world famous for shooting each other, so more responsible black parents have been moving out, and now Compton is 65% Latino as of 2010, although black politicians still run the place.

In other words, all sorts of well-known stuff has happened since Ta-Nehisi Coates stopped reading his history books, but we know from Rothstein and Coates that everything that has happened in Compton since then is still the fault of whites, because racism.

You see, when the Bushes lived in Compton, it had Magic Dirt. But they took it with them, leaving only Tragic Dirt. Now that Compton is majority Latino, however, it has Boring Dirt.

Geologists should get a huge grant to study this phenomenon.

Can all alt-righters stop complaining about affirmative action now?

Absolutely. I support housing affirmative action for all black americans redlined by FDR.

Or did you mean the affirmative action for people who never suffered from these policies, at the expense of people who never benefited from them? In that case, no, still gonna complain about racial spoils systems as both immoral and politically toxic.


Ah, the new "neocon"

Learn what an "alt-righter" is please. Hint, its not everyone [nor even a majority] of those on the right.

Yeah, let's stop complaining about discrimination that occurs now because of discrimination that ended fifty years ago.

Why should there be a federal agency insuring mortgages in the first place?

A bit of history - 'While Americans had previously opposed government intervention in housing, they began to seek federal assistance to help revitalize the housing market which was so badly hurt during the Great Depression of 1929. Few people were able to purchase new homes, and many who already owned homes lost them due to forced sale and foreclosure. The government made many attempts to boost home ownership.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a government agency, established by the National Housing Act of 1934, to regulate interest rates and mortgage terms after the banking crisis of the 1930s. Through the newly created FHA, the federal government began to insure mortgages issued by qualified lenders, providing mortgage lenders protection from default. If a borrower failed to make their payments, the FHA was required to cover the unpaid balance. The government-insured mortgages provided stability to the housing market and increased the availability of funding for home building and purchasing.

The FHA adjusted several aspects of the housing finance system, such as increasing the maximum allowable mortgage, which made ownership widely available to many Americans. In order to obtain a mortgage, however, the FHA required that the mortgage, property, and borrower meet certain requirements, some of which led to the perpetuation of racial discrimination and urban disinvestment (see redlining).' http://www.bostonfairhousing.org/timeline/1934-FHA.html

Of course, such a government program has a drawback, and the following would certainly be the sort of information that some people would not want broadly known - 'FHA is the only government agency that operates entirely from its self-generated income and costs the taxpayers nothing. The proceeds from the mortgage insurance paid by the homeowners are captured in an account that is used to operate the program entirely. FHA provides a huge economic stimulation to the country in the form of home and community development, which trickles down to local communities in the form of jobs, building suppliers, tax bases, schools, and other forms of revenue.' https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory

Planet Money did a bit on long mortgages, and I learned that every country that has them, has them as part of a government program, of one sort or another.

You can have a 30 year loan, or a free market, but not both.

Now maybe fewer loans, and less home ownership would be economically efficient .. but many people do like broad home ownership as policy.

For their corps of business reporters, NPR tend toprefer in their hiring academic cachet with a dollop of lefty ticket punching. The current crew include graduates of Brandeis, Georgetown, Princeton, Brown, Emory, Berkeley, GW, and Reed College.They actually hired someone out of Evergreen State College, perhaps because she'd make great hash brownies for office parties. Their employment histories includes stints at Mother Jones, The Guardian, Frontline, and Oxfam. As for their interests, just about every last one followed courses in the humanities, the literary end of the social research disciplines, communications and journalism, or some combination of the above.

I'm sure their accuracy and critical engagement with the subject matter is beyond reproach.

I don't know if you just made up what you wrote about the undergraduate courseload of NPR business reporters or if you actually researched their transcripts.

I'm also not sure which would be weirder.

There are capsule biographies of the lot of them on the NPR site, as well as Linkedin profiles, not to mention material all over the place on Paul Solman, the business-reporter-for-life for PBS. All checked in a time period measured in minutes.

When he said what he learned (which seemed odd), I was interested in who was doing the teaching. The answer is, that articulate people are doing the teaching, not knowledgeable people. Thomas Sowell would have predicted as much.

Evidently you do not find it at all interesting that our 'public' broadcasting services

1. Pulled about 60% of their business reporters from a pool of people who passed through private research universities and swank private colleges. Perhaps 10% or 12% of those shuffling through baccalaureate-granting institutions receive a degree from a place like Emory or like Reed. Of the other 40%, one attended a 'public ivy' and another one attended a state college famous for recruiting fruit-loops.

2. Hired not one person who ever studied economics, business, finance &c but hired multiple people who'd studied comparative literature. Leaving aside those with (generally supplemental) training in communications or journalism, virtually everyone in their crew of reporters was drawn from disciplines (or omnibus programs) which account for perhaps 20% of the baccalaureate degrees awarded in a typical year in this country, disciplines which fall into two categories: those where quantification is absent and those where it's quite atypical if not on the margins.

Just what is it that NPR and PBS are selling to their audience?

That seems a lot of energy directed at messenger not message.

On message, what do countries without government mortgage support look like?

My suggestion, fella, is that you assemble a bibliography of literature in the economics and finance of housing and review it, rather than relying on English majors from Brown to give you a bollocks treatment of the subject because they haven't the tools to do any better.

Of course, "government" is a reflection of the fine folks who control it. Implicit in Cowen's post is that folks with nefarious motives use the power of government to achieve their nefarious purposes. That may be true, but do the folks with nefarious motives need the power of government to achieve their nefarious purposes. I would argue that folks with nefarious motives usurp the power of government when it suits them, using the power of the purse to control the power of government, their minions, in office making the laws and on the court interpreting and enforcing the laws, willful collaborators. I suppose some would argue that the only good government is a very weak government, and many do, preferring instead that power be held and exercised by the fine folks who have achieved their position of power through the purse rather than the popular will at the ballot box. I would argue that critics of democracy don't like the competition of the popular will, especially when the popular will doesn't suit their nefarious purposes.

East Palo Alto is 60=% Hispanic and 15% African-American. The median home price is $255,000.

Palo Alto, right next door, is 60% white, 30% Asian, and the median home price is almost $2 million.

Revealed preferences, Tyler.

The rate of alcoholism, opioid addiction, and suicide has been sharply increasing in the last two decades among middle aged white males.

Revealed preferences, AG

You're in the wrong thread.

You're in the wrong, full stop.

Nope. Revealed preference is people will pay an awful lot more for white/Asian neighbors. Your wife understands this even if you don't.

Revealed preference is also that middle aged white guys want to be drunk and opioid addicted and kill themselves as well. We're both right.

East Palo Alto used to be majority black and it was a cesspool these numbers are actually an improvement.

The homicide rate in East Palo Alto bounces around a set point of 20 per 100,000 (4x the national mean). The analogous figures for forcible rape are 60 per 100,000 (v. a national mean of 30 per 100,000); for robbery, 302 per 100,000 (v. 137 per 100,000); for aggravated assault, 585 per 100,000 (v. 277 per 100,000); for burglary, 1,051 per 100,000 (v. 722 per 100,000); for auto theft, 664 per 100,000 (v. 317 per 100,000).

The figures for Palo Alto are as follows: murder, 1.6 per 100,000; forcible rape, 8.6 per 100,000; robbery, 59 per 100,000; aggravated assault, 57 per 100,000; burglary, 427 per 100,000; auto theft, 125 per 100,000.

Let's not forget Woodrow Wilson and the progressive racists.

I call bullshit. As a recovering libertarian, this is the kind of thing I would have fallen for in college, though.

Yep. Libertarians tend toward magical thinking, which is why it works on the young and the dependent class, like college professors and their grad students. It is a luxury item.

Customarily, when calling bullshit the caller states some reason he or she believes the claims are bullshit. Care to elaborate or your call?

This article defends the Home Owners Lending Corporation, the authors say the government policy was not racist because........everyone talked and acted that way.

"The role played by the HOLC in the perpetuation and growth of segregation in today’s cities may not be in the lending it did or in the creation of race based labeling practices, but in the ways in which the ethnic and racial labeling used by the agency and by other actors was incorporated into the housing market. Put simply, the HOLC was neither immune from the racial divisions of American society in the 1930s nor quite as dominant an actor in advancing neighborhood segregation as many have assumed. The agency’s mapping and neighborhood security records provide an important look at the direction in which residential real estate was moving at a critical point in the development of urban housing policy. Allocating responsibility for the institutionalized attitudes and practices of appraisers, real estate brokers, lenders, public and private investors, and various mortgage insurance entities, while important, requires that attention be paid to the ways that these elements interact with each other and with the nation’s broader sociopolitical context."


Might have something to do with the tendency of integrated black-white communities to approach the condition of Detroit without such restrictions.

Very few core municipalities are at all like Detroit, Mr. Kersey.

What year is this anyway? 1967?

Oh, wait, it's 2017 and the Fair Housing Act was passed 49 years ago.

The Cult of Ta-Nehisi Coates has fashioned much attention on FDR's redlining and the like, but events since then have been shoved down the memory hole.

A good book from 2008 "Our Lot" by Alyssa Katz recounts the results of the Fair Housing Act of 1968:


My in-laws belonged to a pro-integration activist group in the late 1960s in Austin, on the far west side of Chicago, which was rapidly integrating due the Fair Housing Act. They and their fellow members promised each other to make integration work. After the third felony committed against their children, they finally sold, losing half their net worth.

One extremely interesting fact is that right next door to post-apocalyptic Austin is prosperous, liberal, very gay Oak Park, which was saved from Austin's fate by illegally imposing upon realtors a "black a block" racial quota.

This kind of quota system deserves more study.

Up until a couple of years ago, Harlem was as safe as Utica and the most troublesome sections of New York City (Bed-Stuy and Ocean Hill / Brownsville) were as safe as an average neighborhood in Rochester. We don't need intervention in real estate markets at all bar and some modest planning and zoning ordinances and some standard procedures governing transactions and conveyances.

What we need is a commitment to order maintenance on the part of public officials, and one that flows all the way down through the police force and the school apparat. You didn't have it in Chicago in 1967 and you don't have it in Chicago today.

Of course, New York City is the one place where there was major BLM activity in late 2014, leading up to two NYPD cops being assassinated, at which point the NYPD did a soft mutiny against the mayor, who eventually kowtowed to his conservative Police Commissioner. And everybody in NYC agreed not to care about BLM locally, but instead redouble concern for BLM in Ferguson and Chicago.

It's almost as if important people live in NYC, so NYC gets the kind of policing important people deserve, while the losers in loser cities get the kind of policing that the winners in NYC think they deserve.

Plenty of important people live in Chicago, and the staffing of the police department is ample (which it is not in Baltimore or Detroit). What's lacking is people at the top who care.

So that's the reason white/Asian suburbs are so safe: the cops stop and frisk the moms and dads on their way to the subdivision clubhouse, and aren't above the occasional smackdown.

Your point is what? That we shouldn't enforce the law because slum boulevardiers are more dangerous than Michelle Kwan?

The Chicago homicide rate has gone through the roof since November 23, 2015 when the video of that bad police shooting was made public due to BLM agitation.

The homicide rate was spiking in NYC in early 2015, but then the Mayor caved in to the cops that there wouldn't be a serious investigation of the NYPD. The cops got back to work and NYC's homicide rate dropped back to its usual post-Dinkins relatively low level.

My point is the fundamental problem isn't lack of policing. The fundamental problem is people who need policing to enforce the most basic rules of a sustainable civil order. They don't pay taxes, so how motivated are the cops and the taxpayers supposed to be about sticking their necks out to save them from themselves?

You have a choice:

1. Hire police to deal with the problem.

2. Pretend a lot of wage-earners just getting through life deserve to live in a state of chronic anxiety because you've got this notion in their head that you're better than they are and they fu**ing deserve it.

So let's say the government insured these mortgages. You have integrated neighborhoods and schools but whites and others move out as the schools decline, crime increases. Now the gov't is on the hook for the mortgages. If the gov't is flush it could in theory engage in this expensive social policy that denies reality but during the depression when the FHA was formed, that would be a dumb idea.

Not for nothing most of the housing collapse actually affirms the prudence of redlining but of course we can't admit that today. That's racist.

The upshot is that twentieth century segregation had a lot more to do with government restrictions — and not just government toleration — than many of us had thought. Here is one bit of many:

Again, racial covenants have been unenforceable for nearly 70 years. There has been some deconcentration of settlement among blacks, but most continue to live in an agglutinated pattern. This monograph,


published nearly 50 years ago but incorporating survey research conducted thirty years earlier, will give you a clue as to why the covenants were tolerated in the 1930s: about 85% of the adult population surveyed preferred it that way. Not very congenial and driven to a great extent by disagreeable caste attitudes. Also driven by a reality-based appraisal of the dynamics of social relations in urban settings.

Urban geographers and applied mathematicians have been producing literature on this question for some time. Segregation does not require much racial hostility. Modest preferences over who you would prefer to have as a neighbor are enough to generate a pattern of racial agglutination. If you don't like that, you need to address what generates those preferences to the extent that they can be addressed with the common-and-garden tools of public policy. That means school choice, sequestering incorrigible youths in day detention centers, and vigorous law enforcement. Advocating any one of these is status-reducing the the faculty rathskellar and it runs contrary to the emotions-driven impulses of soi-disant libertarians, so we'll see no papers on it out of the Mercatus Center.

Very few blacks lived in West Side of Chicago neighborhoods like Austin until Martin Luther King came to town to demand housing integration. Suddenly, violent crime descended upon Austin like the morning dew and white residents flighted, taking all the Magic Dirt with them.

Across Austin Blvd. in Oak Park, however, the city fathers pushed through a series of legal and illegal measures to prevent Oak Park from tipping all black, and today the homicide rate in Oak Park is one to two orders of magnitude lower than in adjacent Austin.

I suggest we should study the very different fates of these two adjoining neighborhoods for lessons about policies that can help American be a little more like Oak Park and less like Austin.

The blacks have to live somewhere.

For the most part, you have a wage-earning population of varying degrees of prosperity (as well as a modest salaried corps who seldom live in racial agglutinations unless they're very unusual sorts of neighborhoods, like Rochester's 19th ward) and varying degrees of inclination to be congenial to non-blacks in situations where blacks have reached a critical mass. You also have a wretched lumpenproletarian population. The name of the game is to contain the damage the lumpenproletarian population and various and sundry feral young men do to the world around them. . 'Black-a-block' does not address that. The day-to-day operation of housing markets induces a racial agglutination which separates non-blacks from criminal blacks and from non-criminal but noisy-and-rude blacks as a matter of course; black-a-block is superfluous outside situations where you have sudden disequilibria and neighborhoods shift to a different ecosystem. That type of thing hasn't happened in my home town in nearly 50 years.

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