In the last editorial I talked about one of the elements that lead to the destruction of our communities. Although there are many that remain, I have chosen to highlight two of them. Integration was addressed in the last issue. One of the other factors that aided in the destruction of our neighborhoods was when the Fair Housing Act was passed. In order for our readers to gain a better understanding of the Fair Housing Act, I think it is important for me to provide some background insight into when the law was signed into effect, as well as what was signed. During the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, Congress passed the act. This came shortly after the assassination of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The language of the act states that it was designed to protect buyers and renters of a residence from seller and landlord discrimination. According to www.HUD.gov, “The Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) introduced meaningful federal enforcement mechanisms.”
These enforcements are said to have outlawed, “the: refusal to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin in the terms, conditions or privilege of the sale or rental of a dwelling, advertising the sale or rental of a dwelling indicating preference of discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin and coercing, threatening, intimidating, or interfering with a person’s enjoyment or exercise of housing rights based on discriminatory reasons or retaliating against a person or organization that aids or encourages the exercise or enjoyment of fair housing rights.” Now to people that don’t know any better, they would think that the terminology and representation found in the language of this act was the best thing since apple pie. But We MUST Understand that you have to break down things in order to fully understand all of the intentions. So my point is… When the Fair Housing Act was signed into effect Black folks started leaving and selling out our land to buy into other folks’. But what many of them didn’t realize after all of that; is that every time they moved into the other neighborhoods and communities it ended up being predominantly Black, afterwards. If our White counterparts were living there when Black people started moving in they would just migrate right on out. The same thing would happen within the school systems. You would have thought that some of our people would have taken the hint years ago. But apparently, not so! But you can’t tell some of our people anything!
However, they got a new system that has been incorporated with this act. It’s called the Homeowner Association! And with it, they have a way of policing these mis-educated African-Americans to a point where they keep them in place. Because even though there are a lot of Homeowner Associations in Black neighborhoods, it’s mostly White folks that govern and control them. So, at the end of the day, what I’m saying is all of this has helped towards the destruction of our communities. Because when Black folks were given the ok that they could go live with anyone other than their own, they took the first train smoking. Now here we are in 2016 with dying historical communities and neighborhoods throughout the city of Houston. Simply because of a lot of our mis-educated African-Americans have abandoned the community to go live in other communities. Why? Because they are hung up on location – location – location – location!!!! It never ceases to amaze me the thought pattern of some of our people.
They believe and act upon by evidence that every location is a good location except for ours. But the sad part is when others go out and buy, renovate or reconstruct the property that Black folks abandoned, it is then that they are ready to come back to it. If you think I’m lying, just look at Houston’s Fourth Ward. Never mind, Fourth Ward no longer exists – it’s Mid-town now! Concluding, We MUST Understand that life is not like a keyboard or computer. There is no backspace or deletion buttons and we cannot go back and rewind the times to do things differently. We can only move forward and empower our future generations to do better. We as Africans living in America, have to wake up and start realizing that every new and innovative idea that comes along, shouldn’t just be bought into so easily because it seems like it’s something so different. We have a long-standing history of forsaking the precious commodities of our own and selling out for what we believe are cherished elements from our counterparts. There is an old saying that suggests that everything that shines ain’t always gold. So I urge the members of our communities to really examine these various: ideas, bills, acts and other things that are brought to your table to gather your support on. Believe or not, some of it very well may contribute to the destruction of your community or lifestyle and you just going along to get along.