Economy, Regs, & Taxes

Welcome to Mr. Obama's Neighborhood

Obama's new race-based housing rules could change a lot of communities.

Allyne Caan · Jul. 9, 2015

Having spent years perfecting the art of inciting race warfare, Barack Obama and his administration released new housing rules that will define, qualify and categorize every community across the country by race, with the aim of forcing every neighborhood to comply with government race quotas.

It sounds ominous because it is. But it’s hardly surprising from the narcissist who pledged to “fundamentally transform” America.

Under the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH), announced by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro this week, the federal government will amass and centralize nationwide public data on communities, including “patterns of integration and segregation, racially and ethically concentrated areas of poverty, disproportionate housing needs, and disparities in access to opportunity.” Big Brother doesn’t just want to look over your shoulder; he wants to move into your home.

HUD claims the rule will “equip communities that receive HUD funding with the data and tools that will help them to meet long-standing fair housing obligations.” In truth, however, AFFH is a stealth move to socially engineer every street in America and to force compliance with what Obama thinks communities should look like — namely, more “affordable” housing in affluent neighborhoods.

But as political analyst Marc Thiessen noted, “[W]e believe in diversifying communities, too, as conservatives. The way you do that is through economic opportunity. … It’s not by building more affordable housing in the affluent communities. It’s by helping more Americans afford housing in affluent communities. And right now the problem is that people at the bottom of the Obama economy can’t get ahead.”

Still, Washington wants to take over local zoning authority to impose racial quotas on communities. And as Ethics and Public Policy Center Senior Fellow Stanley Kurtz warns, “Once HUD gets its hooks into a municipality, no policy area is safe. Zoning, transportation, education, all of it risks slipping into the control of the federal government and the new, unelected regional bodies the feds will empower.”

Nevertheless, Liberty aside, The Washington Post’s Emily Badger heralded the new rules as a way to “repair the [Fair Housing Act’s] unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore.” Funny she mentions those particular cities. While she points to Chicago’s “decades” of segregation as evidence that AFFH is needed, Badger fails to note those same decades were spent under solely Democrat leadership. Similarly, Baltimore has been led by the Left since Lyndon Johnson was president. Coincidence? We think not.

Also not coincidental is the way the government and media have remained largely mum on what the administration’s real plan is. Kurtz notes, “Obama has downplayed his policy goals in this area and delayed the finalization of AFFH for years, because he understands how politically explosive this rule is. Once the true implications of AFFH are understood, Americans will rebel.”

And rebel they should. As if Washington putting on a lab coat and stethoscope weren’t bad enough, now Obama wants to become zoning authority, landlord, realtor and public transportation chief combined. He’s leaving no racist rock unturned in his quest to undermine Liberty.

Making matters worse, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Texas Fair Housing case — in which a liberal majority said groups claiming housing discrimination no longer need to prove their case on the merits but only to claim “intent” to discriminate — means the real implications of AFFH will be a racially charged free-for all, with no gray areas and everything defined in black and white (pun intended).

Forget Martin Luther King’s noble notion of judging people by the content of their character. Obama wants to judge entire neighborhoods by the speciously calculated color of their skin. This is not the way of Liberty or of opportunity; it’s another giant leap down the road to statism, and it has no place in a nation that promises equal opportunity, not equal results, for all.

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