New HUD Housing Guidance

This move will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to the country’s gradual leftward (and totalitarian) drift over the last few years. The Supreme Junta’s recent decision in Texas v. Inclusive Communities no doubt made possible the (re)release of the Integration Kraken.

Obama administration to unveil major new rules targeting segregation across U.S.

The crux of it:

[O]n Wednesday, the Obama administration will announce long-awaited rules designed to repair the law’s unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore.

Superficially, a worthy goal, the “promotion of racially integrated neighborhoods.” Ghettos suck, and ghettos are largely poor and monoracial. So the logic follows: integrate the ghettos (or in the alternative, make exit an option for ghetto denizens), and interrupt the cycle of poverty and degeneracy. Simple enough.

Scratch the surface of this argument though, and you’ll find some serious questions.

First up: ghettos weren’t always ghettos. They became ghettos over time. So, the questions become: (1) what causes previously non-ghetto locales to degenerate into ghettos? (2) What’s to stop newly integrated areas from degenerating into ghettos in due time? Do the ghettos create the people? Or do the people create the ghettos? If the answer to this question is the former, then perhaps pro-integration arguments have some merit. If the answer to this question is the latter, then it would call into question the wisdom of another federally mandated push towards integration. It would also call into question what the true purpose of such a push could be, if not to subvert, destabilize, and destroy recipient neighborhoods by unleashing within them the forces of ghettoization.

Secondly: federally mandated integration didn’t work the last time it was tried. Though it’s difficult for American Leftists to accept that history didn’t begin in 2008, here’s the history: forced integration in the public school setting (busing) was a spectacular failure, accelerating the creation of ghettos through “white flight” and intensifying racial strife. So why should it be presumed that it will be any more successful in the housing context, when we already know that people tend to relocate in response to even the most minor of demographic shifts? No matter how aggressively the diversity & multi-cult agenda is pushed, the consensus remains clear: diversity is overrated. Those who have the option of exit will exercise that option, and will spend down to their last penny to escape diversity. Those without the option will be left to their own meager devices, and to those who view them as prey.

Thirdly, segregation has been misidentified as “the problem.” While de jure segregation should not exist, de facto segregation is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, people have been shown to favor segregation and will self segregate if given a chance.  In group preference defies social engineering. Segregation doesn’t matter so long as the majority of the residents of a community are capable of bringing value/capital to that community and fostering growth within the community. Those communities incapable of doing either will always view segregation as an evil, realizing as they do that their success is directly pegged to the success of certain types of people tending to be residents within more productive communities. Which is why the residents of Baltimore will always decry segregation while the residents of Silver Springs will always be largely indifferent to its “ills.” The problem is not segregation itself, but the suckiness of segregated communities wherein certain types of people tend to predominate.

Fourthly: is it discriminatory that market forces keep people out of neighborhoods in which they realistically cannot afford to live? Should it be the government’s job to ensure that Section 8 vouchers can be used to obtain housing in Super Zips?

Lastly, and most importantly: what will the directionality of this integration look like? If segregation is “bad,” then it must necessarily be bad wherever it is found, in both majority-majority locales and majority-minority locales and all must be subject to integration. Flows from decrepit majority-minority communities to tony majority-majority ones will be a given, as the recipient communities practically sell themselves. However, the integration of decrepit majority-minority neighborhoods will prove substantially more problematic. It’s difficult to see how this aspect of integration will be managed, short of heavy subsidization/incentivization or outright force.

The new rules, a top demand of civil-rights groups, will require cities and towns all over the country to scrutinize their housing patterns for racial bias and to publicly report, every three to five years, the results. Communities will also have to set goals, which will be tracked over time, for how they will further reduce segregation.

Will Baltimore be held to the same stringent standards as Bethesda? You tell me.

Officials insist that they want to work with and not punish communities where segregation exists. But the new reports will make it harder to conceal when communities consistently flout the law. And in the most flagrant cases, HUD holds out the possibility of withholding a portion of the billions of dollars of federal funding it hands out each year.

My prediction: communities wealthy enough to do so will reject federal funding and become independently funded-and racially exclusive-townships, hastening racial Balkanization. Helloooooooo, partition!

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.

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