The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. case for the third time and news anchor Melissa Harris-Perry thinks we should all be “very afraid.”
This case has somewhat challenges the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that determined no one could be denied a place to live based on their race, culture, religion, and today, sexual orientation. The above case however is a reflection of that law 45 years later.
“When the court rules on this case…it could be amongst one of the most historic and consequential choices ever made about an issue at the heart of American lives and dreams…the place we call home,” Harris-Perry said this weekend on her “Melissa Harris-Perry Show.”
Here’s a little back story and why Harris-Perry is sweating bullets over it (and you should be too). The Inclusive Communities Project began to make noise last week around the Texas Department of Housing getting away with grouping minorities of color into “pre-existing ghettos” that are farther away from the good schools and high-income jobs. The TDH argued that by not placing families (a majority of them of color) into subsidized housing, it would cost the state too much money to re-construct those low-income housing into respectable situations or to relocate current residents all together. There has also been the hypothetical issue that if projects were to get upgraded, new families not used to the rougher conditions of those neighborhoods, would be made to feel uncomfortable by such surroundings and wouldn’t want to live there. What the The ICP vs. TDH case is being examined by the Supreme Court is whether intent can be researched or determined when it comes to why people are living where they do.
It’s a sticky situation that left observers like Harris-Perry to question if this has also become a bigger example of institutionalized racism (“residential discrimination”). The ICP vs. TDH represents the many households across America that live in the projects of “bad” or broken neighborhoods. Of course it’s better to have a home than none at all, but some of these housing projects have really fallen under due to government negligence.
We regularly use the job market as a means to talk about racism in America, but we sometimes forgot how where we live could also be up for discussion. This case has uncovered the way the government disregards laws and continues to segregate communities from a better way of living. Getting out the hood isn’t just a hip-hop fantasy, it’s a real life dream. The government may not want to acknowledge they don’t want to uphold the projects to the same iota that they do the rich, or well-to-do towns, but both locations are representative of their city. To see that one side of town is not very cared about should be embarrassing to city officials, and the residents of those dilapidated homes sometimes feel ashamed and lose hope. And then occasionally, there is also no balance. Governments either have their residents in shambles, or push them out all together through gentrification.
We appreciate that Harris-Perry has brought to story to the airwaves, and we’re wishing for the best that more people are given a fair chance for decent homes, which will definitely lead to brighter dreams and more fruitful opportunities within reach.
Watch her entire video above.