AFFH Before AFFH

27 03 2017

Memphis

Get the scuba gear, because we’re going deep diving.

In today’s case, an almost nine-year old long form in The Atlantic about how an AFFH progenitor program and how it manifested in Memphis resulted in the spread of black violent crime throughout the city.

I’ll only blockquote the interesting parts.

Let’s get it, man, let’s go!

Memphis has always been associated with some amount of violence. But why has Elvis’s hometown turned into America’s new South Bronx? Barnes thinks he knows one big part of the answer, as does the city’s chief of police. A handful of local criminologists and social scientists think they can explain it, too. But it’s a dismal answer, one that city leaders have made clear they don’t want to hear. It’s an answer that offers up racial stereotypes to fearful whites in a city trying to move beyond racial tensions. Ultimately, it reaches beyond crime and implicates one of the most ambitious antipoverty programs of recent decades.

Early every Thursday, Richard Janikowski drives to Memphis’s Airways Station for the morning meeting of police precinct commanders. Janikowski used to teach law and semiotics, and he still sometimes floats on a higher plane; he walks slowly, speaks in a nasal voice, and quotes from policy books. But at this point in his career, he is basically an honorary cop. A criminologist with the University of Memphis, Janikowski has established an unusually close relationship with the city police department. From the police chief to the beat cop, everyone knows him as “Dr. J,” or “GQ” if he’s wearing his nice suit. When his researchers are looking for him, they can often find him outside the building, having a smoke with someone in uniform.

Richard Janikowski is Memphis’s equivalent to Richard Rosenfeld at UMSL.

Janikowski began working with the police department in 1997, the same year that Barnes saw the car with the bullet holes. He initially consulted on a program to reduce sexual assaults citywide and quickly made himself useful. He mapped all the incidents and noticed a pattern: many assaults happened outside convenience stores, to women using pay phones that were hidden from view. The police asked store owners to move the phones inside, and the number of assaults fell significantly.

Had they all waited a few years, pay phones would have gone out of style, and none of this would have mattered.  Cuz errwon got dey sail foam now.

About five years ago, Janikowski embarked on a more ambitious project. He’d built up enough trust with the police to get them to send him daily crime and arrest reports, including addresses and types of crime. He began mapping all violent and property crimes, block by block, across the city. “These cops on the streets were saying that crime patterns are changing,” he said, so he wanted to look into it.

When his map was complete, a clear if strangely shaped pattern emerged: Wait a minute, he recalled thinking. I see this bunny rabbit coming up. People are going to accuse me of being on shrooms! The inner city, where crime used to be concentrated, was now clean. But everywhere else looked much worse: arrests had skyrocketed along two corridors north and west of the central city (the bunny rabbit’s ears) and along one in the southeast (the tail). Hot spots had proliferated since the mid-1990s, and little islands of crime had sprung up where none had existed before, dotting the map all around the city.

Janikowski might not have managed to pinpoint the cause of this pattern if he hadn’t been married to Phyllis Betts, a housing expert at the University of Memphis. Betts and Janikowski have two dogs, three cats, and no kids; they both tend to bring their work home with them. Betts had been evaluating the impact of one of the city government’s most ambitious initiatives: the demolition of the city’s public-housing projects, as part of a nationwide experiment to free the poor from the destructive effects of concentrated poverty. Memphis demolished its first project in 1997. The city gave former residents federal “Section8” rent-subsidy vouchers and encouraged them to move out to new neighborhoods. Two more waves of demolition followed over the next nine years, dispersing tens of thousands of poor people into the wider metro community.

If police departments are usually stingy with their information, housing departments are even more so. Getting addresses of Section 8 holders is difficult, because the departments want to protect the residents’ privacy. Betts, however, helps the city track where the former residents of public housing have moved. Over time, she and Janikowski realized that they were doing their fieldwork in the same neighborhoods.

About six months ago, they decided to put a hunch to the test. Janikowski merged his computer map of crime patterns with Betts’s map of Section8 rentals. Where Janikowski saw a bunny rabbit, Betts saw a sideways horseshoe (“He has a better imagination,” she said). Otherwise, the match was near-perfect. On the merged map, dense violent-crime areas are shaded dark blue, and Section8 addresses are represented by little red dots. All of the dark-blue areas are covered in little red dots, like bursts of gunfire. The rest of the city has almost no dots.

Betts remembers her discomfort as she looked at the map. The couple had been musing about the connection for months, but they were amazed—and deflated—to see how perfectly the two data sets fit together. She knew right away that this would be a “hard thing to say or write.” Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore, and Betts and Janikowski figured that the same thing must be happening all around the country. Eventually, they thought, they’d find other researchers who connected the dots the way they had, and then maybe they could get city leaders, and even national leaders, to listen.

So, it took the fortuitous circumstance of a University of Memphis criminologist sharing a bed with a University of Memphis housing expert in order to figure out what any garden variety white supremacist bigot could have told you for free before doing any of this.

Betts’s office is filled with books about knocking down the projects, an effort considered by fellow housing experts to be their great contribution to the civil-rights movement. The work grew out of a long history of white resistance to blacks’ moving out of what used to be called the ghetto. During much of the 20th century, white people used bombs and mobs to keep black people out of their neighborhoods. In 1949 in Chicago, a rumor that a black family was moving onto a white block prompted a riot that grew to 10,000 people in four days.

I wonder why they were so upset.  It’s just an amazement to me that white people actually used to engage in race riots for their own racial interests.  In fact, before 1963, almost all race riots in the United States that involved white people and black people were white-led and anti-black.  After 1963, flip the script.  What it proves is that race riots are not expressions of hopelessness, but impressions of perceived power.

In 1976, letters went out to 200 randomly selected families among the 44,000 living in Chicago public housing, asking whether they wanted to move out to the suburbs. A counselor went around the projects explaining the new Section8 program, in which tenants would pay 25percent of their income for rent and the government would pay the rest, up to a certain limit. Many residents seemed dubious. They asked how far away these places were, how they would get there, whether the white people would let them in.

But the counselors persevered and eventually got people excited about the idea. The flyers they mailed out featured a few stanzas of a Gwendolyn Brooks poem, “The Ballad of Rudolph Reed.”

I am not hungry for berries
I am not hungry for bread
But hungry hungry for a house
Where at night a man in bed
May never hear the plaster
Stir as if in pain.
May never hear the roaches
Falling like fat rain.

“Where at night a man in bed?”  A “man” in bed?  With so many black public housing and eventually Section 8 clients being single black women with kids?  How ironic is that?

Also note that the very existence of the Section 8 program is the result of the Federal judiciary.  I didn’t blockquote that part, but it all started because some Chicago public housing client was upset that public housing was the only option for public housing, so she (with the help of ((())) attorneys, no doubt) filed a lawsuit.

This was a risky decision. One later stanza, omitted from the flyers, reads:

By the time he had hurt his fourth white man
Rudolph Reed was dead.
His neighbors gathered and kicked his corpse
“Nigger—” his neighbors said.

They needn’t have worried.  By 1976, white men had fundamentally lost their balls.

Starting in 1977, in what became known as the Gautreaux program, hundreds of families relocated to suburban neighborhoods—most of them about 25miles from the ghetto, with very low poverty rates and good public schools. The authorities had screened the families carefully, inspecting their apartments and checking for good credit histories. They didn’t offer the vouchers to families with more than five children, or to those that were indifferent to leaving the projects. They were looking for families “seeking a healthy environment, good schools and an opportunity to live in a safe and decent home.”

“Screened the families carefully.”  Make a mental note of that, because that’s going to come back to haunt this narrative much later in the paragraph count.

A well-known Gautreaux study, released in 1991, showed spectacular results. The sociologist James Rosenbaum at Northwestern University had followed 114 families who had moved to the suburbs, although only 68 were still cooperating by the time he released the study. Compared to former public-housing residents who’d stayed within the city, the suburban dwellers were four times as likely to finish high school, twice as likely to attend college, and more likely to be employed. Newsweek called the program “stunning” and said the project renewed “one’s faith in the struggle.” In a glowing segment, a 60 Minutes reporter asked one Gautreaux boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I haven’t really made up my mind,” the boy said. “Construction worker, architect, anesthesiologist.” Another child’s mother declared it “the end of poverty” for her family.

Nobody at the time stopped to think that these results would suffer from the problem of a low sample size and also from the fact that the sample was “carefully screened” fourteen years prior?  Give me a moment, and I’ll insert the requisite cynicism.

In 1992, 7-year-old Dantrell Davis from the Cabrini-Green project was walking to school, holding his mother’s hand, when a stray bullet killed him. The hand-holding detail seemed to stir the city in a way that none of the other murder stories coming out of the high-rises ever had. “Tear down the high rises,” demanded an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, while that boy’s image “burns in our civic memory.”

HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros was receptive to the idea. He spent a few nights in Chicago’s infamous Robert Taylor Homes and subsequently spoke about “these enclaves of poverty,” where “drug dealers control the stairwells, where children can’t go outside to play, where mothers put their infants to bed in bathtubs.” If people could see beyond the graffitied hallways of these projects, they could get above that way of life, argued the researchers, and learn to live like their middle-class brothers and sisters. Cisneros floated the idea of knocking down the projects and moving the residents out into the metro area.

I promised you some cynicism a moment ago, and now I’m going to pay that off.

Some of us think that AFFH is something new.  I don’t think it is — I think that some time in the 1980s, the real “deep state” power brokers of this society made the decision that they wanted American cities to be more like continental European cities, wealth and opulence in the central cores, and the violent bums in the suburbs, which was the opposite of the way it was in the United States at the time.  At the time, the one big road block in their way was Ronald Reagan, and his eerily Ben Carson-esque HUD Secretary.  But everyone knew he couldn’t be President forever.  When Reagan left and Bush 41 came in, that’s when things opened up.  In fact, 1989 was when the effort started to move project blacks far far far away from Chicago using Section 8 vouchers, in fact, all the way to Dubuque, Iowa.  By 1991, the same year of the Gautreaux study, the media were already complaining about white people in Dubuque organizing to try to put a stop to it.

My cynicism tells me that everyone principally involved in the Gautreaux research knew about their methodological problems.  They just didn’t care.  They just wanted something that looked like and smelled like social science research that “proved” that shoveling black people out of cities and into suburbs/exurbs/rural areas/towns/wherever was good for black people.  So they had “science” to justify what the American deep state power establishment decided on in the ’80s — Get blacks out of cities.

My cynicism also tells me that the only reason why there was ever any selectivity to the first round of the Gautreaux program is precisely because those who were arranging it that way deliberately wanted the pioneers of the program to be better than the average bear, so that when they were inevitably studied, there would be “proof” of the program’s “success,” and therefore, it would create political inertia around the continued existence and growth of the program itself.  That, and the propaganda went like this:  “See?  These people are turning out alright!  So there shouldn’t be any problems with the rest of them.”  Hoping that nobody finds out the first wave of beneficiaries was “carefully screened.”  So when the undertow behaves like it usually does back at the big urban high rise, run with it and scream about how they need to be moved to the suburbs.

AFFH, or programs that smelled like it, before our OCGE and Ben Carson shut it down, (until the next Democrat or establishment Republican President is in the White House), used the same scam:  “Carefully screen” the initial beneficiaries for the expressed purposes of creating junk social science proving the benefits and propaganda to neutralize further opposition, then at that point, move the real undertow and the real problems.  And hope that none of the rubes puts the pieces together or thinks too quickly — But if they do, the Feds can always nail the rubes with Fair Housing Act civil or criminal cases.

The federal government encouraged the demolitions with a $6.3billion program to redevelop the old project sites, called HOPE VI, or “Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere.”

HOPE:Bill Clinton::AFFH:Obama.

Wrecking balls began hitting the Chicago high-rises in the mid-1990s. Within a few years, tens of thousands of public-housing residents all over the country were leaving their apartments. In place of the projects, new developments arose, with fanciful names like “Jazz on the Boulevard” or “Centennial Place.” In Memphis, the Hurt Village project was razed to make way for “Uptown Square,” which the local developer Henry Turley declared would be proof that you could turn the inner city into a “nice place for poor people” to live. Robert Lipscomb, the dynamic director of the Memphis Housing Authority, announced, “Memphis is on the move.”

“Nice place for poor people to live.”  Further down in the paragraph count, you’ll read something which borks that.  I’ll spoil the ending and state that in the developments in Memphis that replaced the black ghetto projects, just like the developments in every other big city that replaced the ghetto projects, including St. Louis and Chicago, the Feds allow the property managers to be very strict about which former residents of the former black ghetto projects get to turn back around and live in their “uptown” replacements.  Meanwhile, these same Feds will come down suburban property managers like a ton of bricks if they engage in any of these same strict criteria when taking applications from former urban ghetto project dwellers, or anyone else.  So, when the Feds allow place A to be restrictive when it comes to tenants but forces place B not to have any real restrictions, what do you think the intent is?  Right, to force ghetto bums to move away from place A and move to place B.

Therefore, if a place like “Uptown Square” in Downtown Memphis was a “nice place for poor people to live,” it was only because there were very very very very very few of them, very carefully screened and selected, to live isolated among all the young white professionals.  Even at that, as you will find out further down in the paragraph count, it didn’t turn out to be all peaches and cream.

In the afternoon, I visited an older resident from Dixie Homes who lives across the way from Shaw. Her apartment was dark, blinds drawn, and everyone was watching Maury Povich.

“Everyone was watching Maury Povich.”  Which should tell you a lot by itself.  Who beez my 48th babydaddy?  Maury Povich personally sped up the economies of scale of the DNA testing industry by an order of magnitude.

I drove down to Northside High, a few blocks away, where the grandson had gotten beaten up. TV crews and local reporters were already gathered outside the school, and a news chopper hovered overhead. There had been two school shootings in the neighborhood that month, and any fresh incidents made big news.

School shootings, at black high schools?  According to problacktards, that never happens!

Clark’s grandson is named Unique, although everyone calls him Neek. Outside school that day, Neek had been a victim of one of the many strange dynamics of the new urban suburbia. Neek is tall and quiet and doesn’t rush to change out of his white polo shirt and blue khakis after school. He spends most of his afternoons in the house, watching TV or doing his homework.

Neek’s middle-class habits have made him, unwittingly, a perfect target for homegrown gangs. Gang leaders, cut loose from the housing projects, have adapted their recruiting efforts and operations to their new setting. Lately, they’ve been going after “smart, intelligent, go-to-college-looking kid[s], without gold teeth and medallions,” said Sergeant Lambert Ross, an investigator with the Memphis Police. Clean-cut kids serve the same function as American recruits for al-Qaeda: they become the respectable front men. If a gang member gets pulled over with guns or drugs, he can hand them to the college boy, who has no prior record. The college boy, raised outside the projects, might be dreaming of being the next 50 Cent, or might be too intimidated not to join. Ross told me that his latest batch of arrests involved several kids from two-car-garage families.

Neek generally stayed away from gang types, so some older kids beat him with bats. No one is sure whether a gun was fired. As these things go, he got off easy. He was treated at the emergency room and went back to school after a few days.

I hope for Neek’s sake that he used those “middle-class habits” to hire himself a lawyer on the day he turned 18 to give himself a better more middle class-y first name than “Unique.”

And, as this states, the preppy college boy middle class types still feel enough lumpenproletarian pressure to want to be “the next 50 Cent,” so that they easily fall for the gangs’ sales pressure.  That’s a matter of Galtonian “regression to the mean.”

In the most literal sense, the national effort to diffuse poverty has succeeded. Since 1990, the number of Americans living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty—meaning that at least 40 percent of households are below the federal poverty level—has declined by 24percent. But this doesn’t tell the whole story.

You’re damned right it doesn’t tell the whole story.  Because de-concentrating poverty isn’t the same thing as eliminating poverty.  It’s just spreading around poverty.  Based on the bullshit theory that spreading poverty around is both a gateway and a prerequisite to eliminating poverty.  Which hardly ever works.

Recently, the housing expert George Galster, of Wayne State University, analyzed the shifts in urban poverty and published his results in a paper called “A Cautionary Tale.” While fewer Americans live in high-poverty neighborhoods, increasing numbers now live in places with “moderate” poverty rates, meaning rates of 20 to 40 percent. This pattern is not necessarily better, either for poor people trying to break away from bad neighborhoods or for cities, Galster explains. His paper compares two scenarios: a city split into high-poverty and low-poverty areas, and a city dominated by median-poverty ones. The latter arrangement is likely to produce more bad neighborhoods and more total crime, he concludes, based on a computer model of how social dysfunction spreads.

In much the same way that when locusts are in a barren field, locusts aren’t destroying any crops, and therefore aren’t eating, and therefore, aren’t prospering, and therefore, aren’t reproducing, but when they move on to more fertile fields, then they are doing all those things.

Studies show that recipients of Section8 vouchers have tended to choose moderately poor neighborhoods that were already on the decline, not low-poverty neighborhoods. One recent study publicized by HUD warned that policy makers should lower their expectations, because voucher recipients seemed not to be spreading out, as they had hoped, but clustering together.

I think they’re spreading out at first, but wind up re-clustering together when the white people they move next to do the feet-don’t-fail-me-now thing and move away.

Galster theorizes that every neighborhood has its tipping point—a threshold well below a 40 percent poverty rate—beyond which crime explodes and other severe social problems set in. Pushing a greater number of neighborhoods past that tipping point is likely to produce more total crime.

And, per Steve Sailer’s “running out of white people” doctrine, it’s getting harder and harder not to reach that threshold.

The “Gathering Storm” report that worried over an upcoming epidemic of violence was inspired by a call from the police chief of Louisville, Kentucky, who’d seen crime rising regionally and wondered what was going on. Simultaneously, the University of Louisville criminologist Geetha Suresh was tracking local patterns of violent crime. She had begun her work years before, going blind into the research: she had just arrived from India, had never heard of a housing project, had no idea which were the bad parts of town, and was clueless about the finer points of American racial sensitivities.

What is it with all these social scientists from India?  Raj Chetty is from India, too.  Chetty is another one, while we’re on this subject, who is a willing deceitful participant in methodologically unsound social science research to “prove” the benefits of AFFH-style programs.  Chetty is a lot of things, but dumb is not one of them.  I’m sure he figured out in short order what powerful people want to hear, so that’s what he did — He told powerful people what they wanted to hear, backed up with some stuff that looks like science, because science.  Because of that, powerful people have made Raj Chetty both important and noteworthy — Chetty was a high adviser to both the HRC and Jeb! Presidential campaigns, so, until our OCGE came along and pissed all over everybody’s cereal, Chetty thought he played both sides well enough not to lose and to be guaranteed some Federal executive-level policy formation responsibilities beginning on January 20, 2017.

In her research, Suresh noticed a recurring pattern, one that emerged first in the late 1990s, then again around 2002. A particularly violent neighborhood would suddenly go cold, and crime would heat up in several new neighborhoods. In each case, Suresh has now confirmed, the first hot spots were the neighborhoods around huge housing projects, and the later ones were places where people had moved when the projects were torn down. From that, she drew the obvious conclusion: “Crime is going along with them.” Except for being hand-drawn, Suresh’s map matching housing patterns with crime looks exactly like Janikowski and Betts’s.

Again, it took importing an oblivious maladjusted non-assimilated dot Indian to tell us what any garden variety white supremacist bigot could have told you for free before the fact.

Nobody would claim vouchers, or any single factor, as the sole cause of rising crime. Crime did not rise in every city where housing projects came down. In cities where it did, many factors contributed: unemployment, gangs, rapid gentrification that dislocated tens of thousands of poor people not living in the projects. Still, researchers around the country are seeing the same basic pattern: projects coming down in inner cities and crime pushing outward, in many cases destabilizing cities or their surrounding areas. Dennis Rosenbaum, a criminologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told me that after the high-rises came down in Chicago, suburbs to the south and west—including formerly quiet ones—began to see spikes in crime; nearby Maywood’s murder rate has nearly doubled in the past two years. In Atlanta, which almost always makes the top-10 crime list, crime is now scattered widely, just as it is in Memphis and Louisville.

Nobody is claiming that “vouchers” are the single driving factor.  We’re claiming that the black undertow is the driving factor.

In the case of Atlanta, their downtown negro removal took on special urgency, because of the 1996 Summer Olympics.

After the first wave of housing-project demolition in Memphis, in 1997, crime spread out, but did not immediately increase. (It takes time for criminals to make new connections and to develop “comfort zones,” Janikowski told me.) But in 2005, another wave of project demolitions pushed the number of people displaced from public housing to well over 20,000, and crime skyrocketed. Janikowski felt there were deep structural issues behind the increase, ones that the city was not prepared to handle. Old gangs—the Gangster Disciples and the LeMoyne Gardens gang—had long since re-formed and gotten comfortable. Ex-convicts recently released from prison had taken up residence with girlfriends or wives or families who’d moved to the new neighborhoods. Working-class people had begun moving out to the suburbs farther east, and more recipients of Section8 vouchers were taking their place. Now many neighborhoods were reaching their tipping points.

Chaotic new crime patterns in suburbia caught the police off guard. Gang members who’d moved to North Memphis might now have cousins southeast of the city, allowing them to target the whole vast area in between and hide out with relatives far from the scene of the crime. Memphis covers an area as large as New York City, but with one-seventeenth as many police officers, and a much lower cop-to-citizen ratio. And routine policing is more difficult in the semi-suburbs. Dealers sell out of fenced-in backyards, not on exposed street corners. They have cars to escape in, and a landscape to blend into. Shrubbery is a constant headache for the police; they’ve taken to asking that bushes be cut down so suspects can’t duck behind them.

So, basically, spreading out the black undertow makes the worse in the aggregate than cloistering them in small areas.  That may be so, but it doesn’t matter to real estate developers who have shiny new profit margins to point and smile at, and it doesn’t matter to urban politicians who have a shiny new urban core and gentrification to point and smile at.  To all of them, all this is a feature, not a bug.

If replacing housing projects with vouchers had achieved its main goal—infusing the poor with middle-class habits—then higher crime rates might be a price worth paying. But today, social scientists looking back on the whole grand experiment are apt to use words like baffling and disappointing. A large federal-government study conducted over the past decade—a follow-up to the highly positive, highly publicized Gautreaux study of 1991—produced results that were “puzzling,” said Susan Popkin of the Urban Institute. In this study, volunteers were also moved into low-poverty neighborhoods, although they didn’t move nearly as far as the Gautreaux families. Women reported lower levels of obesity and depression. But they were no more likely to find jobs. The schools were not much better, and children were no more likely to stay in them. Girls were less likely to engage in risky behaviors, and they reported feeling more secure in their new neighborhoods. But boys were as likely to do drugs and act out, and more likely to get arrested for property crimes. The best Popkin can say is: “It has not lived up to its promise. It has not lifted people out of poverty, it has not made them self-sufficient, and it has left a lot of people behind.”

First off, if “the poor” were “infused with middle-class habits,” then the “higher crime rates” wouldn’t exist.  Second, this follow-up study to Gautreaux showed worse results than the original Gautreaux because the study subjects weren’t as well selected as those in Gautreaux.  But, once again, nobody will ever be held to account for what they got wrong, because they were serving people to whom these things are features and not bugs.  Being wrong in the process of serving the powerful is the functional equivalent of being right.

Researchers have started to look more critically at the Gautreaux results. The sample was tiny, and the circumstances were ideal. The families who moved to the suburbs were screened heavily and the vast majority of families who participated in the program didn’t end up moving, suggesting that those who did were particularly motivated. Even so, the results were not always sparkling. For instance, while Gautreaux study families who had moved to the suburbs were more likely to work than a control group who stayed in the city, they actually worked less than before they had moved. “People were really excited about it because it seemed to offer something new,” Popkin said. “But in my view, it was radically oversold.”

See, I told you the small and highly selected sample size of Gautreaux would come back to haunt this.  And, as we find out now, the benefits were overrated and overstated.

But, I have to keep coming back to the same thing.  All these things which are obvious now are things that could have been seen when the original Gautreaux research was being done and upon the issuance of the final report.  But nobody considered the very small sample size, or that it was highly selected and selective, and that even the benefits were somewhat blown out of proportion.  All they wanted was something that had an academic veneer that proved the benefits of moving ghetto blacks out of the cores of cities and to somewhere else.  So that the system could hit the gas on urban negro removal.  The same cycle is repeating today — Nobody cares that Raj Chetty Chetty Bang Bang is shoveling bullshit, everyone cares that we have more “proof” that giving L’Booshondria and her eight kids a Section 8 voucher and shipping her from Brooklyn to Chappaqua will make her kids a lot better off.  When all it will really do is make Brooklyn and developers better off.

HOPE VI stands as a bitter footnote to this story. What began as an “I Have a Dream” social crusade has turned into an urban-redevelopment project. Cities fell so hard for the idea of a new, spiffed-up, gentrified downtown that this vision came to crowd out other goals. “People ask me if HOPE VI was successful, and I have to say, ‘You mean the buildings or the people?’” said Laura Harris, a HOPE VI evaluator in Memphis. “It became seen as a way to get rid of eyesores and attract rich people downtown.” Phyllis Betts told me that when she was interviewing residents leaving the housing projects, “they were under the impression they could move into the new developments on site.” Residents were asked to help name the new developments and consult on the architectural plans. Yet to move back in, residents had to meet strict criteria: if they were not seniors, they had to be working, or in school, or on disability. Their children could not be delinquent in school. Most public-housing residents were scared off by the criteria, or couldn’t meet them, or else they’d already moved and didn’t want to move again. The new HOPE VI developments aimed to balance Section8 and market-rate residents, but this generally hasn’t happened. In Memphis, the rate of former public-housing residents moving back in is 5 percent.

Look above when I started a response with “nice place for poor people to live.”  As you now know, that was the intent all along.

A few months ago, Harris went to a Sunday-afternoon picnic at Uptown Square, the development built on the site of the old Hurt Village project, to conduct a survey. The picnic’s theme was chili cook-off. The white people, mostly young couples, including little kids and pregnant wives, sat around on Eddie Bauer chairs with beer holders, chatting. The black people, mostly women with children, were standing awkwardly around the edges. Harris began asking some of the white people the questions on her survey: Do you lack health insurance? Have you ever not had enough money to buy medication? One said to her, “This is so sad. Does anyone ever answer ‘yes’ to these questions?”—Harris’s first clue that neighbors didn’t talk much across color lines. One of the developers was there that day surveying the ideal community he’d built, and he was beaming. “Isn’t this great?” he asked Harris, and she remembers thinking, Are you kidding me? They’re all sitting 20 feet away from each other!

What I noted above:  In the new developments, there were garden variety white yuppies and very carefully selected black former residents of the jungles the new developments replaced.  Even with all that, they still don’t mingle.  In spite of the fact that the white yuppies there all say they love diversity and hate white racism.

And of course the developers thought it was great, because they just made a lot of money, on all ends of the deal.  Real estate developers wield a really big stick in politics and campaign financing.  Politicians give developers a set of circumstances using laws, policies and regulations to create as much work and business for developers and possible.  The developers of Uptown Square made a lot of money on that project.  It meant that the ghetto blacks that used to live in Hurt Village are now Section 8 voucher clients in semi-suburban apartment complexes. And that in turn chases the white people who are there away from there, and they move to fresh new outer suburbs…which are developed by…real estate developers.

The only kind of politician who won’t do the bidding of real estate developers is the one rich enough personally not to have to beg them for money.  Like our Orange Crowned God-Emperor.  Although he made his fortune being…a real estate developer.  But thankfully, not the kind of real estate that would make him think it’s a good idea to do things like HOPE and AFFH.  Remember, he left his father’s line of real estate development, semi-suburban and suburban residential, because of the problems the tag team of the Feds and the black undertow were starting to cause in the late 1960s.  That’s why young Donald Trump crossed the river over into Manhattan, and the rest is history.

But I also met La Sasha Rodgers, who was 19 when Dixie was torn down (now she’s 21). “A lot of people thought it was bad, because they didn’t live there,” she told me. “But it was like one big family. It felt like home. If I could move back now, the way it was, I would.” She moved out to a house in South Memphis with her mother, and all the little cousins and nieces and nephews who drift in during the day. She doesn’t know anyone else on the block. “It’s just here,” she said about her new house. Rodgers may not see them right out her window, but she knows that the “same dope dealers, the same junkies” are just down the block. The threats are no less real, but now they seem distant and dull, as if she were watching neighborhood life on TV. At Dixie, when there were shots at the corner store, everyone ran out to see what was happening. Now, “if somebody got shot, we wouldn’t get up to see.”

I am going to posit a taboo and uncomfortable theory to why Miss Rodgers thought that Dixie Homes felt “like one big family.”

Because it actually was.  To put it more accurately, it was probably one big moderately inbred extended family.

I have hinted around my theory in this space in the pastAnd then some. To put it more succinctly, when you live in the projects all your life, and you’re the kind of people who procreate in ways where paternity is uncertain, (remember, they all watch the Maury Povich show, you know, who beez my 29th babydaddy), then it’s easy to see how people as closely related as half-siblings might hook up and jump in bed and have kids without even know that they’re half-siblings.  Over a long enough time, everyone in a given set of projects become fairly closely related by blood and more related to each other than to anyone outside the projects.  Therefore, their gangs are more or less tribal militias.

The city’s deep pride about the downtown renaissance makes the issue more sensitive still. CITY, COOL, CHIC read downtown billboards, beckoning young couples to new apartments. Developers have built a new eight-block mall and a downtown stadium for the Grizzlies, the city’s NBA team. In 2003, The Commercial Appeal likened downtown Memphis to a grizzly bear “rumbling back into the sun.” The city is applying to the federal government for more funds to knock down the last two housing projects and build more mixed-income developments, and wouldn’t want to advertise any problems.

Shiny new downtown, developers.  Same ole story.

Not every project was like Cabrini-Green. Dixie Homes was a complex of two- and three-story brick buildings on grassy plots.

That’s the thing about the projects.  The corridor from the northeast to the Great Lakes, and reaching as far south as St. Louis in the periphery, think of “projects” and envision very tall almost skyscraper residential towers, like Cabrini Green, Pruitt-Igoe, and the dozens in New York.  In reality, in the South and West, the projects were never high rise affairs.  But they were just as bad.

Betts’s latest crusade is something called “site-based resident services.” When the projects came down, the residents lost their public-support system—health clinics, child care, job training. Memphis’s infant-mortality rate is rising, for example, and Betts is convinced that has something to do with poor people’s having lost easy access to prenatal care. The services remained downtown while the clients scattered all over the city, many of them with no convenient transportation. Along with other nonprofit leaders, Betts is trying to get outreach centers opened in the outlying neighborhoods, and especially in some of the new, troubled apartment buildings. She says she’s beginning to hear supportive voices within the city government. But not enough leaders have acknowledged the new landscape—or admitted that the projects are gone in name only, and that the city’s middle-class dreams never came true.

And beyond this, what? The social services Betts is recommending did not lift masses of people out of poverty in the projects.

“Site-based residential services.”  Betts seems to want so much of these peoples’ lives to occur where they are that you get the feeling that she really doesn’t want them to leave where they are.

You know another word for a place where everything you need is within one structure or one property such that it never occurs to you to leave the place?

A prison.

I’m convinced that a significant plurality of black people need a living arrangement akin to just short of a minimum security prison.  And, with the way certain people structure their do-gooder activism and advocacy, that’s exactly what they’re demanding and giving them.

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10 responses

27 03 2017
Nightowl2548

I say rebuild the Robert Taylor Homes along the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago and clean them out of Danville, Rantoul, and Champaign which have become infested with these welfare louts over the past couple of decades. When the Air Force moved out of Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul Chicago shipped their project dwellers down onto what was left of the base with $275 a month 3 bedroom apartments. Since welfare queens don’t work, the high unemployment that racked the town was no barrier to such a relocation.

28 03 2017
Truth-hammer

I am familiar with all of these locations having worked in and out of them over the years. I remember Iowa, before it became a dumping ground for the jigs out of Chicago. I remember Memphis when the Mall of Memphis was still a great place to go with its ice-skating rink and what not. I read the study above years ago and had to laugh that the stupid SWPL Eloi who created it were so surprised and disturbed by their findings that they did the study a second time and came up with the same results. So true that your garden-variety Klansman could have told the SWPL dumb-asses for free and in two minutes what it took them months or years and tons of money to figure out. YT’s ability to be willfully obtuse when it comes to the darkies would be funny as all get out if their stupid schemes and contortions to deny the obvious did not result in so many white people as nigger crime-victims. I hope that there is a special place in hell for SWPL YT’s.

28 03 2017
High Arka

The plethora of crud atop, left, and right of the content is not a particular bother when you do short snarky posts, but when you do long ones like this that have better reading value, I really wish the format were cleaner so I could share them with normies.

28 03 2017
Harlan

Thank you for this!

28 03 2017
Avenge Harambe

Epic post. When Daley, Jr. kicked over the projects in Chicago, the locusts were spread to the collar suburbs but, like you wrote, the seeds of this destruction go back a ways.

I grew up in an adjacent northern Chicago suburb that was well know for having a large population of a certain (((ethnic))) group.
(They even made a TV movie about a certain event that took place there when
I was growing up in the late 1970’s) Out of nowhere, in the late 1970’s we suddenly got a few new black kids in our school. Now, looking back they must have been part of this: “Starting in 1977, in what became known as the Gautreaux program, hundreds of families relocated to suburban neighborhoods—most of them about 25miles from the ghetto, with very low poverty rates and good public schools.”

I can also attest to the demographic decline of the town getting worse starting in the early 1990’s. Bush Sr.’s HUD opened the flood gates, and Clinton and Bush, Jr. finished the job. Today, the town I grew up in has a severe negro problem (as well as a Muslim problem) and is well on it’s way to Ferguson status. Strangely, starting in the 1980’s, the population of that certain (((ethic))) group has dropped noticeably.

28 03 2017
countenance

The younger Mayor Daley, like Bush 41, first took office in 1989.

28 03 2017
countenance

This said that Memphis the city proper has a greater land area than New York City. I checked it out, and it’s true — 315 sq mi for Memphis, to 303 for New York.

What it also means is that Memphis (and New York) is way bigger in land area than St. Louis (62 sq mi). Therefore, this HOPE program, and whatever AFFH is called the next time there is a Democrat President, in terms of Memphis, meant that the former downtown project blacks were being spread out, but they were still in the city of Memphis. That’s because Memphis is large enough such that a lot of it has a semi-suburban and a regular suburban feel, of course, I knew that already. In contrast, very very very very few places in the city of St. Louis have a true suburban feel, and a scant few feel semi-suburban. Just about everything feels urban core big city, even if it’s not actually that big in terms of population or area.

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