Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Terrified of Racism

Civil War 300x222 Why Did the Civil War Happen

The Civil War was instructive for Republicans. It showed the costs associated with standing up for a principle, and those costs were measured in the currency of death.

Painful lessons endure. Republicans to this day are overly sensitive in weighing the costs of their principles. Republicans will compromise when pushed. It is a weakness that political opponents exploit (much to the chagrin of those in the Conservative camp).

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) knows how to take advantage of this weakness. HUD trades in our contemporary political currency: the currency of racism.

This press release is a demonstration of HUD’s technique. HUD has the power to stop a bank from offering mortgage loans. It couches that power in this mission statement:

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
Does that mission statement seem to be wearing a hair shirt? Here is what HUD Assistant Secretary John Trasviña has to say about the action against First National Bank of St. Louis:

Families struggling to get ahead in today's tough economic climate need access to quality banking services where they live.
Do you think Quicken Loans shares Mr. Trasviña’s view? HUD thinks struggling families need a local lender to satisfy their mortgage needs. Is that the direction the industry is headed in the 21st century? What is wrong with this picture?

An agency of the federal government wields power against a local bank and congratulates itself in a press release. HUD is pleased that it has modified the economic model of a bank that has been in business for over 100 years.

HUD flexes its muscle, and underneath the covers is that unspoken charge of “racism.”

I know, “Just compromise and move on…”

UPDATE 5/18/2011:
You might be wondering, “What does this post have to do with anti-Republican culture?” It is just a simple tale of extortion, right?

The issue is the use of racism as a political proxy. Let me provide the context.

Let’s assume that it is important for our culture to have people qualify for mortgage loans. Buying a home versus renting a home creates “pride of ownership” and makes people better citizens.

The only problem is that the borrower must qualify for the mortgage.

Traditionally, lenders qualify buyers based on their credit score (willingness to pay), their income (ability to pay), and their down payment (incentive to pay). Based on the combination of these factors, lenders can accurately predict the security of their loans: the probability that there will not be a default.

What are compelling reasons to adjust the qualifying factors? One is the business climate. If the housing market is robust, home prices are increasing, and the risk of default goes down because collateral (the home) is increasing in value. Qualifying factors can be eased.

The opposite is true in a declining housing market. Qualifying factors have to be tightened.

But should skin tone be a criterion for loosening qualifying standards? Does it make sense for First National Bank of St. Louis to provide $500,000 in subsidies to St. Louis home buyers based on their skin tone? (See Chapter VII, Section F of the HUD Conciliation Agreement.)

It does if you understand that those subsidies will be going to people who vote against Republicans.

Our culture promotes various social initiatives based on their anti-Republican impact. We promote amnesty programs for illegal immigrants, as long as the expectation is that the amnesty recipient will vote against Republicans. We promote programs that benefit people with dark skin tone, as long as we know that 90% of those people will vote against Republicans. We encourage increases in entitlement programs, assuming the recipients will vote against Republicans.

What if it becomes known that illegal immigrants tend to vote for Republicans? What if people with dark skin tone switch back to the Republican Party? Will our culture still find that these groups need special help?

I don’t think so. The need for social reconstruction applies only so long as it increases the power and authority of the Democratic Party.

If people with dark skin tone in St. Louis start voting with the Republican Party, the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council will cease to exist. HUD will be disbanded.

And maybe when it becomes obvious that taxpayer dollars are being used in this simple conduit of political power, Americans will begin to question the validity and fairness of the institutions in our “raaaaacism industry.”

UPDATE 5/21/2011:
Linked by Left Coast Rebel!  Thanks, Tim.

UPDATE 7/18/2011:
Now the Department of Justice is doing the extortion.

UPDATE 8/31/2011:
Mary Kissel in the Wall Street Journal sees the DOJ connection to extortion.  Now if she just begins to see that DOJ is not working to support minorities in general, but precisely those minorities who vote against Republicans, she might glimpse the larger picture.

UPDATE 9/7/2013:
Ed Asner highlights a tactic of the Democratic Party in Hollywood:  "Support the war or you are a racist!"

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