Segregated Housing in 2016

My first interaction with the concept of segregated housing came in my freshman year from a friend of color on campus. They confided to me once, while discussing the topic of race, “Sometimes I wish there was housing just for the students of color…it’d be so nice to just have a place where you could chill with your people.” I was pretty taken aback with this concept, as the idea of outright segregation was something of the Jim Crow era. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a news article about Cal State introducing segregated housing as an option for … Read more

Every. Single. Day.

Every. Single. Time. I got a campus safety alert in college, I crossed my fingers and hoped it was not a black or brown man. I remember hearing people say to stay away from sketchy neighborhoods in Allentown, which at the time didn’t look too different from where I grew up. I heard people talk about going to White Wawa instead of Black Wawa or “Blawa.” Some people would drive out of their way to exclusively go to the former. These instances are a symptom of a larger problem, black and brown bodies being seen as dangerous. Police brutality is a … Read more

Predisposed to Disaster: Institutional Racism and Hurricane Katrina

I was only 9 years old when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, so I do not remember that much about the coverage of the disaster at the time. My parents largely tried to shield me from the extreme tragedy that took place in the city. I knew that a hurricane had hit, and I knew that it was bad, but I had no conception of the extent of the damage and lives that were lost as a result of the storm. Over time, I began to learn more about the staggering effect of the hurricane on the city and its … Read more

Race & Poverty: It’s Different in America

While in Barcelona over spring break, I found myself thinking a lot about our discussions in Contemporary Racism. The points about the history of the racial caste system in our country that were highlighted in the New Jim Crow readings were put into context when I visited Spain. Although race relations are troublesome universally, it seems when you step outside of this country that poverty may impact minority populations to a greater extent here in the United States than in other nations. I visited Barcelona for eight days last week with a couple of friends and we spent the majority of our … Read more

Hurricane Katrina: Facts We Lost in the Storm

In August of 2005, a devastating storm, Hurricane Katrina, shook up the southeastern United States in a way that no one could have predicted…. Or could they? Behind news stories through televised reports, newspapers, and social media, there was an unspoken controversy that many people did not know about – race and race relations between the authorities running the institutions (such as the FHA and FEMA) and the Black population in New Orleans. Through reading an article called, “Institutional Discrimination, Individual Racism, and Hurricane Katrina,” by Henkel, Dovidio, and Gaertner (2006), the class learned about an alternate narrative of the … Read more

Racism in the Opposition of Affordable Housing

This week, a friend approached me with a news article from her hometown that she knew I’d be interested in. Upon reading it, I found that the ties to our class material could not be ignored. Chappaqua, New York is a wealthy town in Westchester county. Its citizens include former president Bill Clinton, along with many others who have large yearly incomes. The town, however, like most of Westchester county, is predominantly white. The lack of diversity in Chappaqua and Weschester county is so pervasive that a desegregation settlement was passed for the county in 2009. As part of this … Read more

Missed opportunity

Our discussion this past week, regarding the Lipstiz and Adams article, made me think about different moment s in our history, where if the proper steps had been taken, the fight against oppression for minorities could be much better off. The Federal Housing Act of 1934 is a good example of a chance that was squandered to aid in this uphill battle.  This act, as described by Lipsitz, put the credit of the federal government behind private lenders to help fund loans for homes in America.  Racist criteria in confidential documents blocked many loan requests by black people, resulting in … Read more