The Disturbing History of the Suburbs

“This is not fair. I did not get to pick which colour I was.”

“That’s right. Noone does.”

Adam Conover, a cast member and writer at a comedy site, CollegeHumor, published a video on the history of redlining of blacks in America.

This video discusses the major role that the government played in redlining by implementing “racist Federal policies”. The government deliberately drew out maps of cities separating areas based on race. They then gave loans for housing to predominantly white communities. No loans were available to black communities.

One could argue that by “working hard” a black person could acquire wealth and own a house in the white suburbs. But this was not possible because there were actual constitutional laws to prevent blacks and minorities from owning houses in white communities. Only people of the Caucasian race were allowed to live in certain neighbourhoods.

Over time, the advantage of whites became clearer. White neighbourhoods attracted businesses and economic productivity. They were able to build upon and increase their wealth because of the property they owned and could pass on this wealth to their future generations.

Although the laws were eventually changed, the effect of redlining is still felt. Predominantly black communities are poor and can hardly afford the homes and amenities in white neighbourhoods. Sadly, schools are affected too. Segregation exists in schools because children can only attend schools that are close to their neighbourhoods. Therefore black children will attend the predominantly black schools and white children will attend predominantly white schools.

How can this problem be solved?

I believe that over time, with individuals within the black race finding agency for themselves and fighting to reach the top, the effect of redlining will eventually wear out. Can we rely on time to heal this wound alone? The answer is no. Since the problem began with institutions and government policies, they would have to solve the problem as well. Banks and financial institutions have to be fair when giving loans to whites and blacks. Everyone must be truly equal before the law.

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