Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 22, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT

8:00 am
10/22/19 10/22/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> they are trying to fullest. it is enough. let them leave us alone. we need a new life. amy: mass protests in lebanon have e entered their sixth d das hundreds of thousands are taking to the streets to demonsnstrate against dire economic conditions, austerity and corruption, demanding the country of lebebanon'leaders
8:01 am
step down. we will get the latest. then as the home ownership rate for african-americans falls to its lowest level since 1950, we speak with professor keeanga-yamahtta taylor, author of the new book "race for profit: how banks and the real estate industry undermined black home ownership." >> an examination of federal policieses enacted after the federal government taught prpractices of redlinining to te previous s several decades in te way that created new wayays for explploitation and predatory practices involving real estate in african-american communities. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. turkish president recep tayyip erdogan is meeting with russian president vladimir putin in sochi, russia, today as the
8:02 am
five-day ceasefire between turkey's military and syrian kurdish groups expires at noon eastern time. restart thet to offensive and crushed the heads of syrian kurdish forces if they don't withdraw from the turkey-syria border. the turkish invasion into kurdish-controlled areas of northern syria began after president trump spoke to erdogan on the telephone october 6 and then announced he was abruptly withdrawing u.s. troops from the region, clearing the way for the offensive. convoys of these u.s. troops have been departing northern syria for western iraq, where the pentagon says they will be re-stationed. but the iraqi government says the u.s. does not have permission to station those troops in iraq. meanwhile, president trump now says some u.s. troops will remain in n northern syryria in order to p protect oil f fields. "the new york times"s" also
8:03 am
reports despite president trump's vow to end endless wars, about 200,000 u.s. troops are deployed overseas and that there are now more troops deployed to the middle east than when trump first took office. in washington, the top u.s. diplomat to o ukraine, william taylor, is slated to testify to congressional lawmakers as part of the ongoing impeachment hearings. text messages released by house committees show taylor repeatedly questioned the decision to hold up millions of dollars in funding to ukraine as part of a potential quid pro quo aimed at pressuring ukraine to investigate trump's political rival joe biden and his son, hunter. on september 1, taylor texted -- "are we now saying that security assistance and white house meeting conditioned on investigations?" gordon sondland, the u.s. ambassador to the european union and a wealthy oregon hotel magnate who received the
8:04 am
ambassadorship after donating $1 million to trump's inauguration, texted back, "call me." on september 9, taylor also texted -- "i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign." on monday, president trump lashed out at utah republican senator r mitt romney for signaling that he might be open to president trump''s impeachment. pres. trump: they are vicious and they s stick together. they don't have mitt romney in their midst. they don't have people like that. they stick together. you never see them break off most of you never see somebody republicans have to get tougher and fight. amy: house democrats blocked asked republican resolution monday to censure intelligence committee chair adam schiff over handling of the impeachment inquiry. the resolution had been introduced last week i republican arizona
8:05 am
congressmember andy biggs. "the new york times" reports the united states has been quietly withdrawing some troops from afghanistan. on monday, the top american commander in afghanistan said abouout 2000 u.s. troops have lt the country over the last year. there are still between 12,000 and 13,000 u.s. troops stationed in afghanistan. in canada, prime minister justin trudeau's liberal party held on to power in monday's tight national elections. the liberals did not win a majority, with the conservative party gaining seats in parliament. the election was widely seen as a referendum on trudeau's four years in power, including his highly controversial approvals of new pipelines, including the trans mountain oil pipeline expansion project. an occasional scandal, i includg photos of him appearing i in blacace. in israel, prime minister benjamin netanyahu has faileledo
8:06 am
form a coaoalition governmentt fofollowing last m month's s el. netanyahu's rival, former army chief of staff benny gantz, will now have a chance to assemble a majority of lawmakers. netanyahu and gantz's parties both won a nearly identical number of seats in september's elections, with neither winning a controlling majority. in chihile, massive prprotests continued across the capital santiago monday, where the government has extended the curfew for the third straight day. 11 people have died in the ongoing unrest, which was sparked by a subway fare hike two weeks ago and has grown into a mass uprising against rising high cost of living, and privatization. on monday, the protests spread to argentina, where demonstrators gathered outside the chilean consulate in buenos aires. this is argentine protester juan carlos giordanano. >> they talked about the chilean economic miracle until it all exploded. they raised the subway fares,
8:07 am
there was a rejection and the government reversed itself. the capitalist plans are terrible. the people say they don't have access to water, electricity. everything costs the same as the first world and the salaries are in the third world. northern ireland has decriminalized abortion and legalized same-sex marriage. the changes came after northern ireland's regional government collapsed in 2017, giving british lawmakers the opportunity to mandate the changes in an amendment to a bill passed in july. on monday, lawmakers in northern ireland met for the first time in nearly three years, but were unable to stop the changes from taking effect at m midnight. in indonesia, president joko widodo has asked opposition leader and former military commander prabowo subianto to join the cabinet. general prabowo lost to president widodo in april's elections. presidency,ned the they p pn the massss arrest of opponents. the general has been implicated in mass killings in east timor,
8:08 am
papua, and aceh, as well as the kidnapping and torturere of activists in j jakarta. he alslso worked directly with e u.s. defense intelligence agency and u.s. special forces in indonesia. to see our full coverage of the indonesian elections and general prabowo, go to in new york, exxon mobil is going on trial today over accusations it deceived shareholders over the financial risks of climate change. in 2015, a damning report by "insideclimate news" and "the los angeles times" revealed that exxon knew that fossil fuels contributed to climate change as early as the 1970's, i did not take any action even as it covered up the science. in ohio, four major drug companies have reached a last-minute deal to settle with two ohio counties that sued the drug distributors and manufacturers over the opioid epidemic. the $260 million settlement
8:09 am
includes companies amerisourcebergen, cardinal health, mckesson, and teva pharmaceuticals. just hours after this settlement was announced monday, a group of state attorneys general said they had reached a tentative $48 billion agreement with the same four companies and johnson & johnson. it's not clear whether the lawyers for the 2000 cities and counties that have sued over the opioid epidemic will accept the nationwide deal. the clothing retail store macy's says it will stop selling fur products by early 2021 after years of pressure from the humane society. macy's announcement comes after other major companies, including michael kors and gucci, also stopped selling fur products i n recent years. and in new york city, former city council spepeaker melissa mark-viverito and six others were arrested monday at a protest demanding that the
8:10 am
museum of modern art, moma, cut ties with trustee steven tananbaum, whose vulture fund owns at least $2.5 billion of puererto rico's debtbt and has profited off the island's financial crisis. goldentree asset management is one of the top three holders of puerto rico's debt. former city council speaker mark-viverito said --- "we cannot allow these cultural institutions to be used as a way of whitewashing money. puerto rico is suffering, people are losing their pensions, there are privatization of resources, schools are closing down. these practices must end." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. mass protests in lebanon have entered their sixth day, as hundreds of thousands around the country are taking to the streets to demonstrate against dire economic conditionsns, austerity and corruption,
8:11 am
demanding the country's leaders step down. the protests sparked last week when the government announced a tax on whatsapp calls, but the massive demonstrations have since grown into a call for revolution. more than one million demonstrators flooded the streets of beirut, tripoli, and other cities over the weekend. on monday, prime minister saad hariri revoked the whatsapp tax and announced a package of economic reforms, but protesters are continuing to call for his ouster. this is one of the protesters majed al-darwish in tripoli. people are going to the streets for their future and the future of their children. in reality, the political class we have has left them nothing. before this uprising, if you can call it that, the government tried to pick the pocket of every poor person until they were left with nothing. amy: lebanon has one of the highest debt to gdp ratios in the world and a staggering
8:12 am
unemployment rate of nearly 40%. the country is home to 1.5 million syrian refugees and nearly half a million palestinian refugees. as anti-government protests continue to rage i in the stree, massive wildfires are also engulfing lebanon, sparked by an extreme heatwave linked to climate change. our next guest, lebanese journalist kareem chehayeb, wrote e in a recent pipiece fore washington post" -- "this week, lebanon has seen two unprecedented events sweep across the country: rampant wildfires and sudden street protests against the government erupting across lebanese cities. both tell a common story -- of how the government's crippling austerity measures, failed policies, and economic corruption have left the country vulnerable." kareem chehayeb joins us now from beirurut. welcome to democracy now! why don't you describe what is happening in the streets now and how it all began.
8:13 am
thank you for having me, amy. this thursday night, protest have swept beirut following the decision to add further regressive taxes to help balance that lebanese budget, which is going to -- has a massive deficit. news outlets used a whatsapp t t as the straw t that broke the camels back. what happened that night started with the protest that went around beirut, but following an incident where the bodyguards of the education minister fired warning shots in dispersing the crowds. we suddenly heheard and saw protest your rugs like never before across major cities and towns and people blocking major highways across the country. juan: these protests have occurred not only in beirut, but in other areas of the country where hezbollah is the main political and governmental force. protestering, are the
8:14 am
now spreading throughout the country? >> absolutely. following the incident of last thursday night, we have seen protest across the country, including areas considered plea -- he political areas for groups like hezbollah and others. this is rather unprecedented. it is unprecedented considering many have been critical about parties, especially one. it has never been seen in those areas in particular. we have seen people attacking the signs and offices that mps belonging to both parties. this is something that is very unique for lebanon because despite lebanon having a relatively vibrant city, it is central to the capital. we are seeing protests across the country calling for at least the vast majority calling for the downfall of the government. juan: i am wondering whether
8:15 am
the folks in lebanon are being influenced or are aware of the mass protests that have broken out in many countries in the past year. we are seeing examples in hong kong and puerto rico and now we are seeing chile in argentina before that, sudan. these are mass protests either against austerity measures were corruption in government. do you get a sense that folks are aware of these other outpourings of people power across the world? i am not entirely sure about that. i know over the past year or so, especially in hong kong, we have seen folks on social media share the tactics they've used to gather momentum and resist any force from the police and other security forces. however, there have been sporadic protests over the years when the lebanese government did announce austerity measures are required in order to slow the economic crisis, but nothing
8:16 am
that spread across the country like this and have lasted this long. amy: lebanese prime minister saad al hariri announced a reform package monday night. this is what he said. forhese decisions are not bartering. they are not to ask you to stop protesting or expressing anger. we are not giving a deadline and i will n not allow anyone to threaten or intimidate you. you have to know your voice is being heard. if early elections are something you want in order to make sure , , ivoice is being heard will persosonally support you in this demand. amy: kareem chehayeb, if you could respond to what he is saying? basically on friday evening, prime minister hariri spoke to the protesters and basically appealed to the protesters and said he will give himself and cabinets 72 hours to implement -- to pass an economic
8:17 am
blueprint that would implement sweeping reforms and solutioions to the ecoconomic crisis.s. followgg t that speech, people began n to riot. yeyesterday, following a cababit meeting around noooon and his presentation of these reforms, people were quite upset. people wanted him to resign and start with the new slate. ife protesters told me that he could implement or pass such reforms in 72 hours, when were they doing it for the past three years? -- economisttnests have described this as chair theatrics. amy: if yoyou could also respond to the issue of the refugees, so often used as a scapegoat to explain economic crises. you have a massive population of refugees. >> absolutely. lebanon definitely has a massive
8:18 am
population of refugees, the lalargest number per capitaa anywhere in the world. the moment has dececased, below 1.5 million mamargin that has bn used for quite some time now. however, it is true there has been a systematic scapegoating of refugees, especially in that media and the government, as one of the key problems of the economy despite the economic crisis being a produduct of neoliberalism that was imposed following the end of our civil war. the fact of the matter is, there are some small c competition between refufugees and working-clasass lebanese. but the bulk of the problem comes from the economic and political system that comes in lebanon, which does not even guarantee some of the most basic rights for people, whether it is potable water, electricity, access to education. juan: aside from the retraction of the tax, the whatsapp tax and the announcement they're going to cut salaries of top government officials in half, what are some of the other
8:19 am
reforms that the prime minister has announced? and why do you feel -- the public feel this is not enough? some of the other reforms andude taxing the banks ending regressive taxes in 2020 to ensure the end of 2020 marks a bit of a near zero deficit, as they describe it. they are also cutting the budget of some small government councils as well. people are n not necessarily buying it because they feel the government is so inefficient, so ineffective, and unable to come to a compromise e in order to benefit the working-class and what is left of the middle class. they have lost complete trust. they feel these are more empty promises that they have been making and they feel they have been giving them empty promises for so many years and they feel enough is enough. internationalthe agreement that was reached with the imf and other outside
8:20 am
financiers? could you talk a little bit about that and went it occurs? >> absolutely. lebanon and8, members of the international community met in paris. the conference basically ended with the national community pledging an $11.1 b billion inn multi-loans and soft grant, primarily from the world bank, as well as the eu and among the countries present were saudi arabia, qatar, and russia. the idea was lebanon has to reform its economic and political system and a much more modern state in order to unlock this aid or loan that would help improve its infrastructure. some policy researarchers of lebanon believe the provisions are extremely implicit. a lot of these reforms, they are
8:21 am
not focused on social welfare. they do not seem to be compatible with lebanon's power-sharing government. amy: can you talk about these twin situations happening right now? you have the economic crisis that is taking place in lebanon. you have the mass protest in the streets. and now wildfires. how extensive are they? and it can you talk about the issue of the climate crisis that your country is facing today? sure. just to clarify, the wildfires are no longer happening. they happened last week. it was a devastating couple of days for the people of lebanon. what b basically happened is we are facing relatively hotter periods with wind.. was ststarted as a small fire in beirut expanded across the
8:22 am
coununtry. 355 fivivment's they had to use militaryy helicopters. eople opening the dodoors for those e who lost thr homes, donatating food come andd volunteer firefighters are not paid trying to put out the fire. two people died andnd many lost their homes. usually in a natural catastrophe, think of a solemn moment where everyryone gets together. in reality, therere is a a lot f anger toward the government for not making sure the basic services to protect its green landscape and rural population were ready to be used. lebanon is going for a very tough environmental period. the c cedar trees are dying out. there is extensive water pollution w wther through coastal landfills or land reamation for argrguably illegal construcuction projects s the ls ofof the mountains are being destroyed for rock pressures. it seems the environment a
8:23 am
policy of lebanon, like many other things, is poorly regulated. people usingtag his "lebanonisburning. i want to turn to another protester in the streets. this is hoda hafez. >> this is the most important thing we want to say, we are continuing in this movement. we won't back down and we won't leave the streetets until other people's demands are met. our demands are right and we have reached a point where people have suffocated. there is no coming back from this point. wrapkareem chehayeb, as we up this discussion, what do you see happening in the streets right now? where do you see this going? we were just covering the protests in a wrapper over 100 people were killed, 3000 injured. what about the response, the police response to your protests and again, what you ultimately see happening?
8:24 am
>> the police response this time around has surprisingly been that of restraint. there been a couple of riot that but nobody in beirut has been killed. there have been cases of armed groups affiliated with political parties in the south or former mp in the north shooting at protesters, and there have been some confirmed deaths among them. is --e interesting thing this t time around, the fact a t of people want them to step down. the question is how is the lebanese government going to respond? many of these parties are warlords that have reformed political parties after the civil war. it is hard to predict what is going to happen. right now the international community has been pressing lebanon to stand firm and implement processes. it is early days.
8:25 am
the momentum is still on the streets. it is only a matter of time to see where this really goes. amy: kareem chehayeb. thank y yu for being with us lebanese , independent journalist based in beirut. we will link to his piece for middle east eye is headlined "lebanon's hariri vows reforms in speech that falls flat among protesters." this is democracy now! when we come back, race for profit. how banks and the real estate industry undermined black homeownership. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:26 am
amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to the housing crisis. recent census data reveals the home ownership rate for african-americans has fallen to its lowest level since before
8:27 am
the civil rights movement. in the second quarter of this year, the rate fell to just 40%, the lowest level since 1950. amy: a new book by keeanga-yamahtta taylor examines the roots of this crisis. it's titled "race for profit: how banks and the real estate industry undermined black home ownership." the book has just come out and has been long listed for the 2019 national book award. keeanga-yamahtta taylor is an assistant professor at princeton and joins us from philadelphia. welcome back to democracy now! when you talk about black homeownership, can also link this to african-american wealth and the difference between wealth and income. talk about why you decided to write your book "race for profit." thanks for having me on. understand really why racism in the housing market
8:28 am
continues even after the passage of fair housing. so a lot of histories recently, and even in the popular media, have focused on the role of the federal housing administration perpetuating- racial segregation and really thering an explanation disproportionate rates of homeownership between african-americans and white americans. and it has been pretty consequential in trying to understand this and call the racial wealth gap that most people have concluded is rooted in the disparities between access to homeownership. and so the history tends to stop around 1968 when the fair housing act was passed. one of the questions that i often encounter as someone who
8:29 am
teaches about the history of housing discrimination is, what happened after that? i wanted to really look at why even after the federal government stopped its practices, racism one thing i try to look at in the book is how the federal government doesn't really of the the consequences of segregation, just as from this point on, segregation is not legal without actually dealing with the issues that precipitated that moment. and the conditioions that are created after decades of disinvestment, neglect, exclusion, and isolation really become the basis upon which lenders in the real estate industry in total treat black
8:30 am
consumers differently. and the result is that for african-americans, even those who are able to access homeownership, that it is done on different terms, that it is more expensive, that it is typically confined to a a market that is seen to have less value. even those black people who are able to purchase a home, it comes to mean something different than it does for their white peers where the houses become an asset that accrues in value over time. often for african-americans, it becomes a debtbt burden and not been accruing asset for which -- that which can be passed on to their children. i was interested in looking at why these patterns of inequality continue to exist, even when the lalaws formally change. juan: in your book, you go through -- you refer to the earlier periods of the 1930's,
8:31 am
1940's, 1950's when in essence you had a dual market. he had a private market for homeownership and then you had the federal government, especially as part of the new deal, building public housing, largely even then segregated. why public housing and black public housing. but around the 1970's, you get the rise of these public-private partnerships. then you talk about what happened, especially in the 1970's come in cities like philadelphia, detroit, st. louis, and others where the failures of the federal government's attempts to promote homeownership among african-americans. i'm wondering if you could expound on that? >> sure. i think the popularity of public-private partnerships really derived from the johnson administration. i mean, there's a whole entire history of their private sector in collaboration with the
8:32 am
federal government to do everything from build railrlroas to -- to its original homeownership programs in the 1930's. that aspect is not new, but there is -- the newness of the programs that i have looked at are the ways these partnerships produce to build a and low income housing. but what is different with the johnson administration is that it is caught between the bind of vietnam and the pressures at home. the mass rebellions that happened route the 1960's. -- throughout the 1960's. to avoid a larger deficit becoming even larger, johnson engages in these partnerships with the real estate and banking industries to kind of shift the production of low income housing
8:33 am
, whether it is homeownership or whether it is rentals, to the private sector. and they're all sorts of problems with that. the main one is that it is the real estate and banking industries that have been largely responsible for the dearth of good and affordable, safe and sound housing in african-american communities in the first place. so what does that mean that for the federal government to partner with these institutions for which racace, racism and racial discrimination, has been so critical to its bottom line in the first place? keeping white neighborhoods exclusively white and keeping black people locked in deteriorating and dilapidated housing. and because of segregation and the enclosure that it ensures means that black people have very few options, and in many ways, our a captured audience. so what does it mean for the federal government to empower
8:34 am
with its resources, mortgage guarantees, and subsidies this particular sector? i think there's a more fundamental problem that i definitely locate in my research, which is that there are two really opposing sets of objectives here. you have private real estate corporations and banks that are primarily interested in making money. why is there no real affordable housing in the united states? what is this a perennial problem that is never been solved? because there is no money in creating portable housing. there is no money to be made. when that is left to the private sectors to fulfill, it always comes up short because there is money to be made and housing those kinds of people. so you have the profit motive from the private sector, but
8:35 am
what is the public policy for? it is to promote public welfare. these are two opposing goals -- profiteering and public welfare. and to put them together your reps into a million different kinds of contradictions that play themselves out in these programs. one of the biggest problems that emerge is the inability of the federal government to actually enforce its own civil rights regulateaggressively its programs. if you are in partnership with these entities and the federal government itself has divested from creating housing, from producing housing, managing it on its own on a nonprofit basis, then it has become completely reliant on the private sector to produce this housing, then it makes it difficult to police and punish its private partners when
8:36 am
they begin to engage in fraudulent and corrupt practices. and so all down the line, i found conflict of interest and contradictions that could not be overcome in these policies. series ofsults are a not just failed programs, but a host of tens of thousands of foreclosures that are centered in african-american working-class communities that then work to devalue the surrounding properties and that generation later becomomthe basis uponon which these communities and the people who live in them are declared to be subprime. amy: we are talking to princeton professor keeanga-yamahtta taylor, whose book is just out called "race for profit." you quote president nixon who famously said, "if they own their own homes, they won't bring the cities down." so you talk about the shift away from excluding black americans
8:37 am
from homeownership in the 1960's and early 1970's, and you say racist exclusioion gave way too predatory inclusion. explain what you mean. >> sure. ofhink that a basic tenet liberalism i in the period after the second world war, really through the 1960's into the eaearly 1970's, is that americas basically a good society. the problems that african-americans are facing is one that comes from exclusion. esessentially, if black people e included into the same institutions that have produced this enormous white middle-class after the second world war, and those institutions can play the same role in black communities. so the problem is exclusion and all we need is inclusion.
8:38 am
the problem for that outlook is that it doesn't actually allow us to understand the institutions that we are suggesting black people be integrated into. and so from the purview of housing, the problems with this idea of just shifting from exclusion to inclusion become very clear. i describe the inclusion of african-americans into conventional real estate practices and mortgage banking as predatory. it is really a way to understand how the previous period impacts the contemporary moment, meaning the decades of disinvestment, of racist exclusion of african-americans from the conventional real estate market,
8:39 am
you know, create a tremendous amountnt of distress in black communities, is at the root of substandard housing in black communities. and those become the basis upon which even when african-americans are included, for them to be treated differently, for them to be seen as more risky, and the whole notion of risk gives the banks and real estate industry an excuse to charge african-americans more, to subject them to less secure banking methods -- all of which and outputting african-americans -- making them vulnerable to new predatory practices that aren't exactly like the previous examples like, you know, these subcontracts in the conventional
8:40 am
mortgages. chicago is one example. they're not quite that way, but it means african-americans have to rely on unregulated mortgage banks as opposed to commercial banks with better interest rates and better situation overall. so it is really trying to look critically at the institutions and practices themselves, and not just whether oror not afafrican-americans arare preset and able to actively participate. we need to look at the institutions themselves and the practices themselves to determine whether or not this is the best way to increase social mobility for black people. with onein your book homebuyer dennis johnson in 1970 trying to get a mortgage, and
8:41 am
fha mortgage. you live in philadelphia. philadelphia was actually the incenter of the fha crisis 1970's. i remember i lived there in the 1970's. there were about 35,000 abandoned homes, federally owned abandoned homes, and acute toatter's movement developed reclaim those homes. how did that happen? how did so many homes, federally insured by the government, all in a paving the way for gentrification? because once all those people were expelled from the inner cities, that is when the massive gentrification movements began in many of those cities. >> the weather programs that i look at -- the way the programs i look at look, they are greeted by the 1968 housing and urban development at all stop the most -- there are two programs probably were the most prolifically used in a city like
8:42 am
philadelphia. section 235 of the 1968 act and act.f the 1968 pay $200 aseople to a down payment. the mortgage was 20% of their mortgage, so not the value of the house, and interest rates were capped at 1%. the issue that made this all operational was the federal government for the first time stepped in and said we will ensure the mortgages of all of these homes that are purchased under the terms of these programs and the inner city for the first time. so what mortgage insurance meant, the fha was not lending money, but it told the banks that if someone defaults or goes into foreclosure, we will pay the loan off. it essentially removed all the risk from the banking industry.
8:43 am
and this really helped to crack wide open the urban housing market and completely unprecedented ways. now you have speculators coming in who are buying up properties, many of which had already been condemned, or they were in very poor condition. they do a cheap rehabab, which often just involves a quick coat of paint, and they would flip them to poor and working-class families that were desperate for housing. and one of the things that i look at in the book is the way that black mothers -- black women who were living in public housing who were welfare recipients, were particularly targeted by the real estate partners in this program. it was on the hope they would go into default and they would foreclose because the banks were making their money not just
8:44 am
because the loans were insured, but they make their money for every loan that they secured and on the closing costs of selling the house in the first place. so the more foreclosures, the more they could take the same house that was in poor condition and sell it and repeat this process over and over again. so many of these families when they w would move into these hos , within a matter of weeks and months, realizing they were in such deep disrepair and themselves being on extremely fixed income, we just walk away. were not theams basis for all of the abandonment in cities during this time. there are a lot of factors that include the outmigration of whites, that include the beginnings of the movement of some african-americans to the suburban peripheries.
8:45 am
there are many different pressures that are existing within the housing market and neighborhoods at this time. cannot bele of hud underestimated because one of the issues that arises is that as these properties -- many of which the value has been inflated because hud has hired part-time real estate agents as appraisers who it is a low-wage job, they are susceptible to bribes carla state agents bribe them to inflate the value of the home. so when his heart -- houses go back to hud, they cannot be resold because they been overvalued. that is why hides housing reserve becomes so large. what they do is they start selling -- having open auctions for these houses, selling them for anywhere between one dollar and $100, which then invites
8:46 am
speculators to come back into by the houses and begin the process all over again. even if hud wasn't responsible for all of these abandonment issues that are happening in the cities at this time, these actions certainly were not helpful. juan: i am also, there are some housing advocates, especially in the african-american and latino community, who have claimed for years there was a political biasse as well as a racial in federal housing policy. they point to the 1974i think community development act as specifically set out a goal of spatial d concentration of the inner city. in essence, because as you pointed out, the government was so worriried about riots and unrest in the inner-city that there was a political project to remove african-americans and latinos from the inner-city, in essence to defuse the danger to
8:47 am
urban america. >> there certainly was a debate about it. i don't think there was a consensus position -- you look within them nexen administration, daniel patrick moynihan, the mysterious liberal who ended up coming up with all progrgramsnservative and favored d a political projet of d concentration meaning pushing african-americans and to the suburbs at the moment when black people are concentrated in cities, which for the first time become the basis of political power. in this coincides with what was the as the emergence of the black political class, black officials, new mayors, african-americans being voted to congress, congressional black caucus forms informally in 1969 and formally a 1971.
8:48 am
this is all happening at this time. but for someone like nixon, there's a problem, which is that he has spent the first term of his administration carefully ofating the coalition disaffected, angry white suburban homeowners. and part of the appeal he makes to them is that, i will keep your neighborhoods a and commununities white. and so there is a big debate about where -- because one of the things the hud act does is it mandates congress to produce 26 million units of new and used housing, rehabilitated housing, within a 10 year period. and so one of the debates that emerge is, where will this housing go? it is very expensive to build in cities because of insurance costs, because of land costs. so this means to keep this
8:49 am
housing cheap and where there is plenty of space, should be built and suburbs. white people in the suburbs don't want affordable housising, low income housing in their communities because they know that will bring african-americans in to those neighborhoods. within black politics, there is a debate among those who see the potential for the development of black politics and black elected officials based on the concentration of black people in cities, but black people in search of housing know that as a captured market within the city that it limits their housing choices, it places downward pressure on the conditions of the housing an upward pressure on the price of housing when they are confined to one aspect of the market. so manany african-american working-class and poor african-americans want housing wherever they can secure it. so all that is to say this is a
8:50 am
highly contested issue were african-americans should live, both from white conservatives and white political operatives, but also within the black community itself. gotta breakoing to and come back to this discussion. i want to ask you about bernie sanders wealth tax and also this for the anniversary of the growth of the black lives matter movement. keeanga-yamahtta taylor is a professor at princeton university. her new book is just out called "race for profit: how banks and the real estate industry undermined black homeownership." this is dedemocracy now! back with her in a minute. ♪ [music break]
8:51 am
amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we're continuing our conversation with princeton university professor keeanga-yamahtta taylor, author of the new book "race for profit how banks and the real estate : industry undermined black homeownership." michelle alexander set up your book, "a horror story of racial capitalism." i would in turn to presidential ,andidate bernie sanders massive turnout this weekend, the biggest of any rally this year for president.
8:52 am
queensbridge, new york, 26,000 people came out to queens. but last tuesday when he was in the debate, cnn host erin burnett questioned sanders about his wealth tax proposal. >> senator sanders, when you introduced your wealth tax, which would tax the assets of the wealthiest americans, you said, "billionaires should not exist." is the goal of your plan to tax billionaires out of existence? >> when you have half-a-million americans sleeping on the street 87 million people uninsured or underinsured, when you have hundreds of thousands of kids who cannot afford to go to college and millions struggling with the oppressive burden of student debt, and then you also have three people owning more wealth than the
8:53 am
bottom half of american society, that is a moral and economic outrage. in the truth is, we cannot oford to continue this level income wealth inequality and we cannot afford a billionaire class whose greed and corruption has been at war with the working families of this country for 45 years. so if you're asking me do i think we should demand that the wealthy start paying the .1%, start paying their fair share of taxes so we can create a nation and a government that works for all of us, yes, that is exactly what i believe. amy: that is bernie sanders. professor keeanga-yamahtta taylor, your response to his wealth tax and not only his plan for housing and the connection between wealth and homelessness in this country, the vast inequality that is only growing here, the plans of other
8:54 am
candidates as well? why bernie-- that is sanders has 26,000 people coming out to hear him speak. that is why despite the strange media brownout of sanders, the underreporting on the significance of his campaign, he continues to raise more money from many more donors -- most of whom are working-class people that he was referencing in his response on cnn. he is absolutely right. inlionaires are in obscenity a society that experiences crushing amount of wealth inequality within this country.
8:55 am
it is absolutely inexcusable in the richest country really in the history of the world. and sanders campaign continues to be buoyed i think by continuing to come back to this point. it is not just the question of the wealth tax, which i think is incredibly important and is at the root of so many of our issues, the absolute reluctance entire political class, regegardless of party, of taxing the rich, of taking back our money that goes to line the forets of the rich to use the social needs across this country. and fofor him to come out t andy that forthrightly is why so -- people are so attracted and drawn to his campaign. his willingness to accept the anger and hatred of the
8:56 am
billionaire class on the behalf of the working and poor people in this country. it is not just on that issue. if you look across sanders , ifform, these are policies implemented, that would transform the lives of poor and working-class people, a disproportionate number of whom, i might add, are african-american and latino. i think this is bringing to light the connection between the systemic forces that drive inequality and the impact that they have in people's lives. for something like housing, i think it shows how sanders' connection to a social movement, to the people on the ground did not get reflected in the policies -- then get reflected in the policies he proposes. sanders is the only candidate who mentions within the democratic field, who mentions in any meaningful way, ending
8:57 am
segregation, housing segreregatn as a political objective. no one else talks about that. bullock set the segregation in our cities almost as a natural phenomenon of life, almost as an expression of nature itself. and sanders repeatedly, throughh his housing plan, talalks about the crisis of segregation in the policies that need to be implemented to actually begin to grapple with this issue that deal mostly with rigorous, aggressive enforcement, and ruthless punishment for thohose within real estate and banking who continue to engage in these practices. i think that kind of forthrightness, that kind of clarity, exists throughout bernie sanders platform. the other part of it, which i think isis so critical is his understandings that we actually need more than a plan. plans are good, it is good to
8:58 am
have an analysis, good to understand why this inequality exists and good to call it out as he and elizabeth warren have done. but it is not enough just to have a plan. we need a social movement. i think bernie sanders understands that more than any other candidate that is running. that is what he means when he talks about the political revolution. that is s what aoc means when se comes out and endorses him and says she wants to be a part of the political movement that can make these plans -- these platforms actuaually come to li. because we know and bernie sanders knows he could be elected president tomorrow and if we don't have a mass movement on the ground to actually force the congress that is full of millionaires, that is full of people who have gotten fat and lazy on the status quo, if we don't have a mass movement to force them to listen to us and to implement new policies that actually will improve the
8:59 am
quality of life are people on the grouound, it won't happen. so -- join amy: we have to leave it there. we thank you so much for being with us. we will do part two about five years after black lives matter. keeanga-yamahtta taylor, her new book of race for profit."
9:00 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on