You need to log in to create posts and topics.

Evidence of Fraud as a weapon of white supremacy in Black communities

12

Fraud is a weapon of white supremacy and colonialism that touches every area of Black life. Unfortunately, the guilty go through great lengths to hide their crimes. This thread will expose how fraud has been used against our communities using evidence from your local area. Do some research and post your findings below. You are looking for:

  • Lawsuits that have been filed and won on behalf of groups or individuals in your community for financial crimes
  • Evidence of redlining - a discriminatory practice that makes home loans unavailable in Black neighborhoods
  • Disparities between the wealth of Black population of your area and other racial groups

To keep everything organized, copy and paste the format below and add your research.

City / State / Country:

Evidence:

Nashville / Tennessee / Divided States of America :

Evidence:

One of the greatest cases of Fraud present here in Nashville as well as a multitude of other States, is the Highway Act of 1956. Now, on the surface if you were to Google the Act, it appears like a great accomplishment by President Dwight D. Eisenhower; however the implications have been far from celebratory in this community and a vast amount of others.

Here in Nashville I have seen with my own eyes, in my short year living here, as well as heard from members of the community, and have read countless articles on the disparagement this has caused, and will get into that here:

Firstly, there is the fact that it has been said by scholars, "that in both Memphis and Nashville, many public policies had racial implications and racial intentions." As well as evidence being revealed over a decade after the cases left court, that "the original plan for the Nashville stretch of the road had been redirected to the North, where it carved through the center of the large North Nashville Black community." Though this might not sound like a big deal, it's actually quite the opposite.

Within one year of the project completion, most businesses in the neighborhood surrounding the road had suffered financially, and some closed while property rates declined by nearly a THIRD. More than 620 Black homes, 27 apartment buildings, and 6 Black places of worship were demolished; in addition to dead-ending 50 local streets, disrupting traffic flows, introducing increased noise and air pollution (declining the clean air available and subsequently our health), as well as separating our children from their playgrounds and schools, parishioners from their churches, and businesses from their customers. As if this was not tragic enough, the highway build was announced so far in advance that property value plummeted, as well as the incentive for owners to maintain and invest in these homes way before any construction even began!

So let's fast-forward to 2020.

Back in March THIS YEAR, a deadly tornado struck Nashville. As mentioned previously, I had just moved here less than a year ago and did not completely understand the magnitude of just how torn apart our infrastructure was, until after that night where I was on the floor, crouched between a small bathroom and my bedroom/music studio leaving voicemails on the phones of my loved ones (who were peacefully asleep in EST) in case I did not make it out alive. I live across the street from 2 of 3 of Nashville's HBCU's and found out real quick which side the city, as well as its people were on. See, this area, known as North Nashville (the same targeted area mentioned earlier in this writing) got grossly different treatment from the precious East Nashville which is now heavily gentrified. While I was sitting here with food spoilage, powerless, without heat, and no way to cook, hoping that today would be the day that the power company "got to us", citizens were RUSHING to East Nashville to assess the damage and help with clean-up. While we in the North had abandoned bricks spewing out from already abandoned, or scathingly used buildings and not so much as a traffic light working...East Nashville was hosting benefit shows, drinking in bars, and literally had so many volunteers that they sent out emails asking people NOT to show up. The HBCU's themselves suffered tremendously, including Tennessee State University who had a complete destruction of their Agricultural Center, which was already underfunded and just now playing catch-up to the University of Tennessee with a 30-50 MILLION dollar loss. For context, volunteers were literally scoffing at having to sew masks out of t-shirts for Coronavirus at the time; as it was believed to be an old-people's disease and "phase" to soon pass.

Now, what does this have to do with redlining and fraud?

Well, not only did we receive SIGNIFICANTLY less support in the aftermath of the tornado, not only did the HBCU's suffer more than their white counterparts (as there was a small glimmer of hope to catching up financially and resource wise right before the storm), but you also had developers knocking door-to-door trying to buyout people who had just lost their homes! North Nashville was planned this way. The Highway Act of 1956 caused a massive amount of people to move out to the suburbs because of the urbanization it caused, but redlining prevented this for Blacks. Restrictive covenants prevented homeowners from selling  to "certain types of people", and denied QUALIFIED people jobs because they were Black. This project led to secondary ghettos because people were pushed out by the declining values of homes, as well as nobody wanting to live in the middle of a highway!

Now in 2020, business owners and long-time residents are saying that this is all a repeating pattern. They are getting offers multiple times a week from developers and independent buyers looking to gentrify the area, and MULTIPLE have expressed fear of retaliation from turning down developers. Fear of being reported for Code violations or other horrendous acts, some silenced from telling their stories.

In conclusion:

Not only has Fraud been utilized here, but Prosecution as well. If we know Prosecution also involves "using the law as a weapon" then we can take a look at the various trials leading up to this atrocity. Including judges and lawmakers denying the Race factor as an involvement behind their motivations. And MOST importantly, our people not even being alerted about the proposal! This case had been flipped many times, bouncing between courts, littered with falsehoods and denials, and for our people that did know, many of them were Black professionals already battling (and on alert for) racial VIOLENCE and had never considered having to organize against the Highway department! This shows you how deep this really goes, a silent destroyer of sorts. AND, many did not protest because they had no clue that this was affecting other  Black communities outside of their own, and that it was indeed not unique to Nashville. *queue PAN-AFRICAN segway...* / (Herein lies the importance of knowing the Diaspora's struggles as a collective, and not just our own locally.)

 

Thank you for your time, I know it's long, but literally as condensed as I could keep it lol.

Here are some sources:

https://www.nashville.gov/Portals/0/SiteContent/Planning/docs/trans/EveryPlaceCounts/1_Highway%20to%20Inequity.pdf  <-Official City Website

https://www.newschannel5.com/news/jefferson-street-gentrification-exposes-racial-fault-lines

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/03/07/tornado-clobbers-historically-african-american-neighborhood-in-nashville/  <-Local News

https://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/08/19/americas-most-segregated-cities/  <- America's Most Segregated cities (2015)

Uploaded files:
  • You need to login to have access to uploads.

Landstuhl / Rhineland-Palatinate / Germany:

Evidence:

According to an article found on the http://www.dw.com site, "more than 1 million people of African descent live in Germany," (n.d.) including myself. However, we are the most under-represented within Germany when it pertains to discrimination, but over-represented in menial jobs that focus on 'services.'  This evidence dates all the way back to the 1880s pertaining to Black wealth and the segregation associated with the black diaspora that is not talked about enough in this country.

Additionally, the fluctuating fortunes of the Weimer company made it hard and nearly impossible for black people to find employment, coupled with increasing levels of racism. This lead to black people turning to performance in order to better provide for themselves and their families. Performers such as Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson increased the need and love for our culture shedding a light on people of African descent being exotic and/or primitive. Our skin may have always been an issue throughout history but our culture has always been imitated, stolen and held in high regard as long as it is within a controlled area (the media).

Nazi Germany - With the outbreak of World War II (WWII), Black Germans were in danger of heightened levels of violence, incarceration and the threat of their children facing sterilization.

In conclusion, the black population that had survived Nazi Germany were scattered, smaller, forced to go into hiding, exiled, separated from their families or incarcerated. Issues of identity did not emerge for Afro-Germans until the 1980s (not that long ago) where a vocal Black community would be established. However, both articles below prove that there is a lot of work to be done and how far behind we still are as a unit.

References

(www.dw.com), D. (n.d.). What's life really like for black people in Germany?: DW: 25.04.2020. Retrieved July 04, 2020, from https://www.dw.com/en/whats-life-really-like-for-black-people-in-germany/a-53159443

Research. (n.d.). Retrieved July 04, 2020, from https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/in-action/projects/being-black-in-nazi-germany

Madison / Wisconsin / America : 

Evidence: 

Systemic racism has deep roots in history and Madison fits the trend for cities with discriminatory zoning and housing.  I have provided a map of Madison from the 1930's that shows clear indication of Redlined area   

Redlining determined which neighborhoods were worthy of resources.  According to the map below showing how Madison was Redlined, we can still see many of the impacts in Madison today. The red areas were designed to have lower property values, a lack of modern conveniences, undesirable businesses and industries and unpromising future literally transcribed in the original plans.  On that same map, the blue and green areas were meant to be the more desirable, wealthier places to live. The areas highlighted in those colors tended to be newer areas with good transportation, access to many conveniences, good opportunities for growth, etc.  Even in 2020 in Madison WI we still feel the effects and they are becoming increasingly obvious. 

Poverty in Dane County doesn’t mean that people aren’t working. Unemployment is at 2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that the people that are in poverty are working jobs, but are getting paid poverty-level wages.  In Madison the economy as a whole is overall is in healthy shape but when you break it down and look at the statistics by race and ethnicity you can really see the divide.   

When you combine the poverty level wages with the disproportionate rate of unemployment it is very clear why Black home ownership in Madison Dane County is almost non-existent.  The report from the NAR found that Wisconsin's black home ownership rate of 23 percent is greater than only Montana and North Dakota. Maine is tied at 23 percent while Iowa and Minnesota were only marginally better at 24 percent.  The county-level data shows Dane County is one of the largest contributors to the gap in Wisconsin. With a rate of 10.1 percent, only Brown County (3.7 percent) has a lower black home ownership rate among counties with more than 65,000 people.  City data showed that between 2006 and 2016, applicants of color were denied by mortgage lenders three times more frequently than white home buyers.  Wisconsin has nation’s 3rd worst African-American home ownership rate. 

In conclusion: 

As you can see in Madison Wisconsin there are definitely clear examples of Disparities between the wealth of the Black population and Redlining.  There is still tons of work to be done so we can start to repair some of the many damaging effects of redlining to bridge the economical gaps.  We haven't even got started on the subject of education, disproportionate number of African American arrest for non-violent offenses, and lack of black business owners yet.  I believe the first step in solving any problem is admitting that we have one to begin with.  Then to find a solution we cannot allow ourselves to try and fix that problem with the same Mind Set we had when it was created. 

Sources: 

https://www.channel3000.com/redlining-madison-expert-describes-how-cities-were-designed-to-put-people-of-color-at-disadvantage/ 

https://madisoncommons.org/2019/06/12/poverty-in-dane-county-madison/ 

https://wkow.com/2020/02/25/we-have-to-do-more-wisconsin-has-nations-3rd-worst-african-american-homeownership-rate/ 

Uploaded files:
  • You need to login to have access to uploads.
Quote from zahair on June 30, 2020, 5:42 am

Nashville / Tennessee / Divided States of America :

Evidence:

One of the greatest cases of...

THIS is how its done, Family! Great research here @zahair !

Levittown / Pennsylvania / America

Evidence:

The history of Levittown, PA, located about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia, is very interesting. I found out about its history while watching a documentary film about Black wealth. The filmmaker gave a history of Reconstruction, Freeman's Bank and a quick clip of Abraham Levitt.

Levitt & Sons, (William and Alfred) built several Levittown communities along the east coast, the first was Levittown, New York from 1947 - 1951. Their homes were mainly for WWII veterans who bought many of them.

Since Levitt was financed by the FHA, Federal Housing Administration, they gave him the stipulation that they could not sell any homes to African Americans. This part was shocking to me as I sat there watching the documentary.

Levitt & Sons started construction of Levittown, PA in 1951 and by 1958 they built 17,311 homes.

Well my father bought a house in Levittown in 1967 from a black family that was moving out. There was a few Black families near us around that time but not many for the amount of homes in our section. My family lived there for about 30 years.

I found that the first African American family to move in Levittown, PA was William and Daisy Myers in 1957. Despite discriminatory harassment and mob violence, they stayed put with the help of state security.

Salisbury / North Carolina / United States:

Evidence:

I found a few articles showing disparity and discrimination in health care, housing, education, and arrest towards the black population in comparison to the white population in Salisbury.  Most were somewhat vague. However, I did come across an article written by the local newspaper, The Salisbury Post, on June 28, 2018, discussing the finding of a study performed by the city's fair housing department that found minorities were more frequently denied rental and home purchase opportunities and that the minority population was also "more susceptible to predatory-style lending". The study also the town of Salisbury had insufficient fair housing tests and enforcement of the fair housing regulations.

Attached is a link to the article which gives a more detailed account of disparity between people of color and their white counterparts when seeking rental opportunities.

https://www.salisburypost.com/2018/06/28/study-finds-rental-discrimination-in-the-city-of-salisbury/

 

Madison/Wisconsin/America

 

Anthony, the president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, said the organization has been working for years to increase homeownership rates among people of color.

"Homeownership is the key to wealth building," Anthony said, "Homeownership is the key to the American Dream. We have to have more here in Madison and in this state."

The report from the NAR found that Wisconsin's black homeownership rate of 23 percent is greater than only Montana and North Dakota. Maine is tied at 23 percent while Iowa and Minnesota were only marginally better at 24 percent.

The county-level data shows Dane County is one of the largest contributors to the gap in Wisconsin. With a rate of 10.1 percent, only Brown County (3.7 percent) has a lower black homeownership rate among counties with more than 65,000 people.

"We can be part of the solution. I think we need to be part of the solution," said Jim O'Keefe, Director of the Madison Community Development Division. "I think that the disparity in homeownership that you describe is just not acceptable."

O'Keefe said Madison is addressing the problem, in part, through a $1.25 million program that provides loans to first-time homebuyers.

"We make loans available at attractive terms to prospective new homebuyers that are qualified and those loans can be as much as $20,000," O'Keefe said.

 

Explaining the Disparity:

 

While Dane County may not be known for having a plethora of affordable property and O'Keefe said that is a factor, he added that it is not that simple. Going even further, he said city data revealed that it is not a matter of racial minorities not having enough money. O'Keefe said city data showed that between 2006 and 2016, applicants of color were denied by mortgage lenders three times more frequently than white homebuyers.

"Even among moderate- and higher-income applicants, there is a significant disparity between denial rates between persons of color and white households," O'Keefe said.

It is also not as simple as saying high homeownership rates are the end goal. The nation's highest black homeownership rate is Mississippi's 54 percent and that state has one of the country's highest black poverty rates. That report from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds Wisconsin has the country's second-worst black poverty rate.

 

Summary:

In summary the numbers of Black families becoming homeowners is low compared to the number of families living in poverty. The Urban League here in Madison are trying to give the African diaspora community a chance by creating first time Homeowner programs. I open the floor to ask why the housing loan as to be a 15 year long instead of something shorter. Would this not in return give a better turn out of for other black families to jump on becoming first time home buyers? It just seems like 15 years is a long time, almost sounds untrustworthy of becoming successful homeowners.

 

Reference:

 

https://wkow.com/2020/02/25/we-have-to-do-more-wisconsin-has-nations-3rd-worst-african-american-homeownership-rate/

 

I kept it short. The full article is in the URL below.

More than 50 years ago, public housing residents filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Housing Authority, claiming the CHA preserved racial segregation in the city by purposely keeping African-Americans away from “opportunity areas.” The lawsuit is named after the lead plaintiff in that case – the late Dorothy Gautreaux – who, along with others, won the case against the CHA.

https://news.wttw.com/2019/01/23/gautreaux-housing-discrimination-case-chicago

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 

I will be posting a few examples that I'm aware of from various Canadian cities.

The first. Africville - Halifax, Nova Scotia https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/africville

Excerpt taken from the source above.

In 1848, William Arnold and William Brown, both Black settlers, bought land in Africville. Other families followed and in 1849 Seaview African United Baptist Church was opened to serve the village’s 80 residents. The church was called “the beating heart of Africville” and was the centre of the village to both church-goers and non church-goers. It held the main civic events, including weddings, funerals and baptisms. The church’s baptisms and Easter Sunrise Services were well-known. African-Nova Scotians, as well as white Nova Scotians, would line the banks of the Bedford Basin to watch the singing procession leave the church to baptize adults in the basin’s waters (see Baptists). After much petitioning by Africvillians, a school opened in 1883. A local resident had taught many of the children in Africville before the City school opened.

The City of Halifax collected taxes in Africville, but did not provide services such as paved roads, running water or sewers. In 1854, a railway extension was cut through the village. Several homes were expropriated and destroyed. Some homeowners protested that they had not been paid for their land and that the speeding trains posed a danger and polluted the village. More land was expropriated for the railway in 1912 and in the 1940s. In the first half of the 20th century, such municipal services as public transportation, garbage collection, recreational facilities and adequate police protection were non-existent.

The City of Halifax continued to place undesirable services in Africville in the second half of the 19th century, including: a fertilizer plant, slaughterhouses, Rockhead Prison (1854), the “night-soil disposal pits” (human waste) and the Infectious Diseases Hospital (1870s). In 1915, Halifax City Council declared that Africville “will always be an industrial district.” Many Africville residents believed anti-Black racism was behind these decisions.

The 1917 Halifax Explosion shelved plans to turn Africville into an industrial zone. The disaster levelled much of the north end and damaged Africville. A global relief effort brought in millions of dollars in donations to rebuild the city, but none of the money went to rebuilding Africville. Halifax did not survey Africville for damage, but oral history records that several homes were badly damaged and lost their roofs. About four Africvillians died, although it’s thought that they were in the north end when the explosion hit.

Throughout the 1930s, residents petitioned the city to provide running water, sewage disposal, paved roads, garbage removal, electricity, street lights, police services and a cemetery, but were largely denied.

Ultimately the denial of services led to the demise and lack of funding led to the demise of the city.

 

12