Monday, June 1, 2020

Adding history, context to WTMJ-4 redlining report

Props to WTMJ-4 News and reporter Shaun Gallagher for airing a segment Monday evening about redlining in Milwaukee that adds context to ongoing protests about inequality and racism.

Redlining - a discriminatory real estate and lending practice that devalued property and limited the accumulation of wealth in African-American neighborhoods - is an important matter that deserves more attention across all media platforms.

Two related points:

1) Redlining was more than a practice implemented by lenders and real estate interests: it was official United States legal and governmental policy for decades. A discussion about some of that is here:

For the record, redlining was the systematic denial by the private sector and public officials of residential lending to African-Americans which enforced segregation and multiple levels of unequal opportunities from housing to employment to schools, and so on.
A 'Forgotten History' Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America
...the Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods — a policy known as "redlining." At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites — with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans. 
2) Redlining was related to a variety of discriminatory transportation, public planning and municipal boundary and governmental policies and politics in Wisconsin and the Milwaukee region, so let's not be satisfied with explanations of racial realities that focus on Milwaukee as if the issues begin inside the city border:
I am adding to [a] post about environmental justice and government-enabled discriminatory planning in SE WI the schedule of an important television documentary about the destruction of African-American homes, business and neighborhood cohesion by I-43 construction from Milwaukee to the northern suburbs:
[Updated from 1/8/19 - - with news of litigation alleging racial profiling in a traffic stop on a stretch of interstate highway reminiscent of another outburst in Waukesha County which ended in hate crime convictions.]
There should be widespread dissemination of yet another report focusing on Southeastern Wisconsin's worst-in-the-nation segregation, but let's add some history and information to the discussion - - especially with a new Governor more attuned to the needs of cities and their residents.
As I have noted often on this blog, the disparities have been fueled by multiple actions by multiple layers of government as far back as the 1950's - - and 50 years later - - and often involve transit, such the Robin Vos-led prohibition against regional transit authorities which can move people to jobs and housing across local jurisdictional lines, to repeated threats to the sparse bus connections which do link urban workers with suburban employers.
Transportation inequities, like discriminatory housing and educational policies practices, have fueled racism in SE Wisconsin and elsewhere.
In fact, civil rights and public health organizations had to force the Walker administration via litigation to provide a welcome, but hardly restorative sum - - $13.5 million in a billion-dollar project - - for transit during Zoo Interchange construction that would put the work into compliance with federal law. 
I am also calling attention to this 2008 item about regional segregation... 
More here, too:
Governments have enabled Milwaukee region's biases


Anonymous said...

Madison police should release the names of the outside agitators and others causing mayhem and terrorism. The troublemakers are using the insecurities caused by the pandemic to commit crimes. Instead, the news media reacts to the stupidity of a couple of crackers and the garden variety of crimes - weapons violations, car thefts and sexual assaults, etc. - that blacks commit. The vandals and looters aren't juvie perps so the perpstrators can't escape from the the criminal activity by being processed through the juvenile justice system. Serious crimes have occurred and the perpstrators held accountable. Otherwise it's a catch and release program. Let's hope for the best from the largely unprecedented curfew.

Katrina said...

Also part of redlining was white real estate agents using land contracts to help finance black home ownership. They charged very high interest rates and when people couldn't pay, got the homes back including the improvements made to bring property up to code. A lot of wealth was lost to these schemes.

Anonymous said...

Don't vote for Donald Trump, he's a Bible thumper! They had to destroy Madison (whatever city) to save it. MLK preached peaceful demonstration. Madison provides brand-new apartments (Tree Lane Apartments and elsewhere and the city is rewarded hundreds of police calls. Shiela Have a Ham Sandwich Stubbs, Mandela Barnes and the new L&S dean are doing well. Former Madison police chief before Koval didn't complain. Redlining from the 80s is no excuse for violence, theft and destruction in 2020. Whenever or wherever crime occurs it's still a crime.

Anonymous said...

They just changed the name Redlining to gerrymandering. Shrink and cut up districts so even if they win their numbers in the capital are still small. We need to redraw this state now to get equal and fair representation.