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NYTimes Editorial Board Connects the Dots Between LI Housing Discrimination and Schools

November 22, 2019

As noted in a post yesterday, Newsday investigative reporters recently provided evidence that realtors on Long Island discriminate in a way the prevents prospective minority home owners from seeing homes in predominantly white communities and vice versa. The result: persistent segregation.

Today’s NYTimes editorial, “Jim Crow South? No. Long Island Today“, elaborates on the damage that results from this steering toward segregated neighborhoods and towns:

In a country where homeownership has long been the way to build wealth, discrimination in housing is uniquely harmful. It is the chief reason behind the deep segregation in New York’s public schools, which is among the worst in the country.It also helps explain the startling racial gap in wealth in the United States. The median wealth of white Americans is $134,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The median wealth of black Americans is $11,030.

Americans would find it unfathomable if schools or water fountains were labeled “White Only,” as was commonplace across the South just several decades ago. They would be kidding themselves to think this kind of discrimination in housing, without the labels, is any less pernicious.

The editorial board goes on to offer a solution to the problem that is on the books but not in full effect:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a former head of the federal housing department, said in February 2016 that New York would launch a “fair housing enforcement program,” using paired testing and beginning in Buffalo, Syracuse and New York City’s northern suburbs. But Newsday found that the state has not conducted any additional paired testing after that initial round of 88 tests.

Oops! I guess enforcement costs money and the Governor wouldn’t want to spend money to enforce laws that would disrupt housing patterns! Better to use the money to disrupt the way schools operate. You see both the Governor and the NYTimes editorial board see the “solution” to the “deep segregation” in NYC and elsewhere as being “disruptive faces” like school choice and the takeover of “failing schools” by privatizers.

The NYTimes editorial board has connected the dots between housing discrimination and public schools… will they connect the dots and realize that without an infusion of funds the effects of this discrimination will not be readily overcome?

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