Friday, July 03, 2020

Boston: Study shows Black renters, voucher holders face egregious housing discrimination

Blacks tend to be poorer and more violent so there will always be a presumption against them.  It is similar in Australia with Aborigines and Maori.  As an Australian landlord in the 80's and '90s, I was aware of the adverse probablities with them but still accepted them where my judgment of them personally suggested that they would be OK.  I judged the individual, not the race.

I eventuallly tired of Maori because of their disruptiveness when drunk but contiued to accept Aborigines until I gave up landlording. So I am one of the "good" landlords who did accept minorities.  But I did so on the basis of a personal interview.  If I had to leave the judgment to an agent, however, I would have put in place a mechanism for rejecting minorities. The risk would have been too great to delegate the decision to an agent.

And that is the reality. You can try to make prospective black tenants more desirable by way of anti-discrimination laws but owners will find ways around such laws.  An undesirable tenant will remain an undesirable tenant and will rarely be accepted.

The pity of course is that some minority tenants will be perfectly OK.  Two of my best tenants were black.  But most blacks will be rejected because of their ethnicity.  So an intelligent solution to that problem is needed.

Making eviction easier would be one such measure.  If you can easily get a bad tenant out, owners and agents would be more likely to take a risk.  Higher rents and deposits for minorities would also work but would send the Left into a frothing rage.  The left go for coercion despite the much greater effectiveness of incentives

Researchers fault real estate professionals who illegally ghost, steer away qualified renters

An undercover investigation released Wednesday found that Black people posing as prospective tenants in Greater Boston were shown fewer apartments than whites and offered fewer incentives to rent, and that real estate agents cut off contact when the renters gave Black-sounding names like Lakisha, Tyrone, or Kareem.

The white “testers” in the study posing as would-be renters, on the other hand, easily secured tours of properties, were wooed with discounts, and got preferred treatment — such as the opportunity to view additional units — when looking at apartments.

In subtle and overt ways, Black renters experienced discrimination by real estate brokers and landlords in 71 percent of the cases tested in the study by Suffolk University Law School, titled “Qualified Renters Need Not Apply: Race and Voucher Discrimination in the Metro Boston Housing Market.”


The Problem of 'Anti-Racism'/b>

It requires denial of reality
Today, the nostrum goes, it is not enough for Americans to be not racist. They must be “anti-racist.” This woke terminology has infused our lexicon. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., recently declared from the well of the Senate: “Being race-conscious is not enough. It never was. We must be anti-racists.” What, pray tell, is the difference between being against racism and being anti-racist? Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be An Antiracist,” provides an answer: Racism is no longer to be defined as the belief that someone is inferior based on race. Instead, racism is to be defined as the belief that any group differences can be attributed to anything other than racism. Thus, any system that ends with different outcomes must be racist. Indeed, Kendi contends, “Racism itself is institutional, structural, and systemic.”

To be anti-racist means to tear down these systems. Any obstacle in the pursuit of equality of outcome must be torn down, assumed to be a product of discrimination. Basic decency, then, means that we must oppose even institutions that have been considered hallmarks of freedom. Those institutions, after all, have exacerbated inequalities, or at least failed to rectify those inequalities.

This means that America’s culture of rights — a culture that suggests an obligation on the part of individuals to respect the rights of others, even if they disagree — must come under fire. That culture reinforces hierarchies and inequalities, after all. The classical liberal says that rights fall equally on the just and the unjust alike; the anti-racist suggests that rights are merely tools of power. Anti-racism, in its essence, is merely reworked neo-Marxism from the 1960s: Herbert Marcuse would have been ecstatic to see his concept of “repressive tolerance” — “intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left” — revived under the banner of race rather than class.

The self-proclaimed “anti-racist” left — a left that sees all of human relations reduced to a rudimentary correlation of skin color and inequality, an analysis we used to call racist — has decided that the culture must be cleansed of all of those who will not be drafted into its woke army. Its march through the institutions began with college campuses, where cowardly administrators quickly caved to the bizarre notion that campuses were unsafe, cruel bastions of bigotry requiring speech codes and training in microaggressions. Next, the woke army moved on to the halls of institutional media, where editors were forced to announce their own white privileges along with their resignations, turning over the instruments of informational dissemination to radical racialists.

Now the woke army has targeted corporations. Corporations are, by nature, risk-averse; they seek merely profit and lack of controversy. The hard left has targeted them as the weakest link in the chain of free speech: If corporations can be bullied into pulling their money from social media networks, those social media networks can be bullied into restricting their free-speech cultures. Remove advertising bucks from Instagram and watch as Instagram censors those the woke want censored.

Indeed, such a campaign is now front and center in the culture wars: Major corporations from Coca-Cola to Target have stopped advertising on social media networks, citing the need for more “hate speech” regulation on those platforms. Obviously, those who target corporations will not be satisfied until all non-woke speech is limited or banned; corporations will be unpleasantly surprised when those they have been seeking to appease turn on them as remnants of the evil system. But corporations have neither the principle nor the will to deny the demands of the loudest and the most militant.

The product of the woke crusade will not be a less racist America but a more polarized one. That’s because the woke crusade is not truly about reducing racism; it is about attacking fundamental institutions, American history and our very culture of rights. All the things we share must be eviscerated. So we will share nothing. And then the true ugliness begins.


Strange interpretations from SCOTUS

Once again the Supreme Court has strayed from declaring what preexisting law is to making law.

Impatient with the pace of legislative action on amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual-orientation discrimination, the Supreme Court has rewritten the statute via interpretation. In Bostock v. Clayton County (a 6-3 decision), the Court held that Title VII’s prohibition of workplace discrimination based on “sex” encompasses sexual orientation. Hence, a person fired because of homosexual orientation or transgender status may now bring a claim under Title VII. Although many Americans agree with the policy result reached by the Court, all thinking persons should lament that six unelected lawyers have usurped the role of Congress.

When engaging in statutory interpretation, the Court is supposed to implement congressional intent by examining the plain language of the statute. A statute’s plain meaning is determined by reference to its words’ ordinary meaning at the time of the statute’s enactment. In reaching its decision in Bostock, the Court asserted that it was simply enforcing the plain terms of Title VII as those terms would have been understood in 1964. It cited the late Justice Antonin Scalia and assured readers that it was engaging in a textualism that would have made Scalia proud.

The Court conceded that “sex” as used in Title VII would have been understood by an average person in 1964 as meaning biologically male or female. However, the Court followed up with a remarkable statement: “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

This is balderdash. (Or better yet, “interpretive jiggery-pokery,” as Scalia once said.)

If, for example, an employer fired all lesbians working for his company, he would not be discriminating because the targets of his wrath are biologically female but on account of their sexual orientation. Sex discrimination and sexual-orientation discrimination are two distinct categories of discrimination. The former falls within the plain meaning of Title VII; the latter does not.

For most of its history, this has been the common understanding of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination. As Justice Brett Kavanagh pointed out in dissent: “in the first 10 Courts of Appeals to consider the issue, all 30 federal judges agreed that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.” For the first 48 years of its existence, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charged with enforcing civil rights laws against workplace discrimination, viewed sex discrimination and sexual-orientation discrimination as separate matters.

Congress certainly viewed sex and sexual-orientation discrimination as different. Over the years various bills have been introduced to add sexual-orientation discrimination to Title VII. At different times majorities in both the House and Senate have approved such a change, but they have yet to come together to send a bill to the president. In many other federal antidiscrimination statutes, Congress has specifically included sexual orientation. Thus when Congress wants to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, it knows how to do so.

Bostock is yet another Supreme Court decision that teaches Americans the wrong lessons. Rather than engaging in a debate, proposing legislation, and garnering votes, we are taught that the easiest way to obtain a desired policy result is to run to the judiciary. It’s a lot less work to convince five lawyers rather than 218 House members, 51 senators, and the president.

Of course, under separation-of-powers principles, all legislative authority is supposed to reside with Congress. If the people desire a certain policy or object to a policy enacted, they can use the franchise to oust members of Congress and to elect representatives more to their liking. But the people have no such power when it comes to the federal judiciary. The Court can discover new constitutional rights hitherto unknown in American history or make law through tricks of statutory interpretation, but the people have no recourse.

Bostock is but the latest example of judicial overreach. It shows why the Court should allow policy matters to be worked out in the elected branches of government.


Christian Political Schizophrenia: The American church is far too silent on the most pressing issues of our day

Where is the church? Where is the church? In this racial, political, socialist, communist, and Marxist climate in America, where are God’s people? I thought being “bold as a lion” was the theme of the Christ follower. I thought “more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus” was the standard of the church. What in the Shadrach, Meshach, and Adednego is going on here in American churches? Should the church be involved in politics or not?

I was invited to a small group this past Sunday evening and the topic of Scripture was from 1 John 3. The Bible spoke for itself in verse 13: “Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” Hate is such a strong word in today’s climate. Christians don’t want to be hated; they want to be admired. Why do so-called Christians believe they are to be loved and adored for their faith when the Bible clearly speaks of opposition? We claim the only way to true salvation. Don’t you understand that in and of itself ignites a proverbial line in the sand with all types of worldly religions? I guess what I’m trying to say is, where’s the fight? It seems like the coronavirus and the color wars have shut the doors of the church, literally. The physical church doors are shut for the most part and so are the mouths of many so called crusaders for Christ.

At this small group, I was led to speak out against the Black Lives Matter “organization” — to their dismay. I was the only “black” person in the room, so those thoughts coming from me made everyone somewhat uncomfortable and at the same time relieved. They wanted to open up about it because it’s affecting everything around our daily lives. As I shared what BLM was really about — left-wing branch of Marxist communism with a dash of LGBT — they were alarmed. Corporations are jumping on board, NCAA coaches are joining in on the trend, and the church is … silent. Well, except for the “Christian Chicken” CEO Dan Cathy “washing the feet” of a black Christian rapper to show a humble attempt of racial reconciliation. It was a “fail” in a major cringe-worthy way in my humble opinion. Let us all let go of this Christian-Politico Schizophrenia and choose this day whom you will serve; God or the world.

Christians who vote Conservative need to be put on alert that this nation wasn’t formed by cowards sitting on the sidelines. This nation was formed through blood, sweat, and tears. Republicans were the party who thought that slavery was wrong; the party’s foundational platform was based on the “abolition of slavery into American territories.” This wasn’t for the faint at heart. This nation ended up going to its bloodiest war to settle its slave matters.

Should this matter to American Christians who vote conservative values?

Not only should the church be involved in politics, but [it] should dominate politics. Every industry should be impacted by Christ followers. Whether it’s the industry of arts and entertainment, sports, law, literature, education, financial services, or politics, there should be a presence of those who name the name of Christ. So what are you waiting for? Get off your Sunday soap box and impact the lives and industries around you. Stop waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to pass and get out of your pajamas and head to your local assembly. Stop making excuses for watching the livestream instead of joining God’s team. We are being marginalized from within. Don’t miss the greatest weapon that God gave us to destroy the enemy — the Word of God. God bless you and Happy Independence Day!



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here.

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