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 the channeling of this wealth to the white community.  This resulted in the widening of the wealth gap between races and provided minorities with inadequate resources.

In my opinion, this was a great opportunity for the government to step in and provide the nation what was due to them regardless of their race.  If more minorities were granted loans during this time, it would have be a great sign of progress and would have shown intent from the United States Government to end segregation.  A home provides stability, hope, and a community for the occupants.  Without adequate living conditions and already facing job security issues, the black community was set back tremendously by this unequal act.  Minorities were now faced with unemployment and poor living conditions. With segregated neighborhoods growing, another stereotype for minorities was created.

If the Federal Housing Act had equal guidelines for loan approval for all races, how much different would society be today 80 years later?

1 thought on “Missed opportunity”

  1. I think the question you posed is almost impossible to answer – every act of legislation creates a ripple effect (be it positive or negative) in lawmaking and in society. The question here I think is how we change current legislation such that we stop missing these kinds of opportunities right now and in the future. As somebody who is not extremely politically active, I wonder how these types of large-scale, value-based changes will be made and how we, as the voting population and the upcoming generation of politicians, can affect change that we will be able to see in our lifetimes.

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