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Anti-lynching law


Anti-lynching bill


Black Missouri Drivers


NYC Hair


White interns


HUD Segregation Tool


HUD Fair Housing Rule


Disparate impact



Discrimination: Racial

Racial issues often have little to do with attitudes. It is systemic racism - policies that fail to take into account situations that have occurred in the past - that further racial inequality.

In this section we report on how the government is dealing with the issue of systemic racial discrimination.

Related Issues


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Biden signs anti-lynching law

2022-Mar-29By: Barry Shatzman

President Joe Biden has signed a law making lynching a federal crime.

Thousands of people were murdered by lynching in the United States since the end of the Civil War. Most were in the south, and most were African American. Virtually none of the cases resulted in convictions.

While lynchings do not typically take place today as they had in the past, thousands of hate crimes continue to occur.

The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in 2020, but could not reach agreement with the Senate on the wording, so it did not become law. In fact, Congress repeatedly has attempted to pass a similar bill for the past 100 years, but until now all have failed.

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House passes anti-lynching bill

2020-Feb-28By: Barry Shatzman

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make lynching a federal crime.

Thousands of people were murdered by lynching in the United States since the end of the Civil War. Most were in the south, and most were African American. Virtually none of the cases resulted in convictions.

The bill was named after Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy who was tortured and murdered by a white mob in Mississippi in 1955. He had been accused of assaulting a white woman (the woman later admitted she had lied about the incident).Two men charged with the killing were acquitted.

Effects were (and are) widespread

Lynchings were used to terrorize black people into refraining from exercising their rights such as voting, or to leave their homes.

A consequence of that was racial tension in the north, as displaced blacks competed for jobs in cities such as Detroit and Cleveland.

This law, of course, does nothing for past victims of lynching. And lynchings as they took place in the past do not typically occur today. Still, in 2018, there were more than 7,000 hate crimes affecting almost 9,000 victims.

Opposition to the bill

Four representatives - Justin Amash, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Massie, and Ted Yoho - voted against the bill. Sixteen members did not vote.

Yoho said the bill takes too much power from states and is redundant. Massie said that labeling lynching as a hate crime "tends to endanger other liberties, such as freedom of speech."

Will this bill actually become a law?

A similar bill - the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act (S-488) - was unanimously passed by the Senate on Feb. 14, 2019.

The House and Senate bills would have the same effect, but are not identical. The differences must be resolved before the bill can be sent to the president to be signed into law.

The White House has indicated it would sign the bill. Because the bill passed with large bipartisan support, a veto likely would be overridden.

Update 2021-Jan-02: Neither bill received a vote in the opposite house of Congress, so neither became law.

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MO: Black drivers 90% more likely to be stopped

2019-Jun-10By: (External links)

Black Missouri drivers 91% more likely to be stopped, state attorney general finds

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NY City bans discrimination based on hair

2019-Feb-18By: (External links)

New York City to Ban Discrimination Based on Hair

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Interms for top Republicans almost exclusively white

2018-Aug-29By: (External links)

Exclusive: here's the photo of a very white summer intern class the White House didn't release

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HUD takes back door to suspend anti-segregation program

2018-May-18  (Updated: 2018-May-31)By: Barry Shatzman

Earlier this year, the Trump administration suspended an Obama administration program requiring cities to reduce racial segregation.

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) program worked by providing a tool to help cities see where pockets of poverty and segregation were occurring. In order to receive federal money for housing, communities were required to use the Local Government Assessment Tool to help them plan that housing.

The suspension gave cities six additional years to begin complying with the policy.

When fair-housing advocacy nonprofits sued the administration - claiming the suspension was unlawful and would damage civil rights oversight in about a thousand jurisdictions - the administration withdrew the suspension, reinstating the program.

However, it revoked the tool developed for the program that communities used to assess their degree of housing segregation.

The effective result is the same as with the original suspension. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has told communities to return to what they were doing before the AFFH program. And communities can continue to receive federal money regardless of whether they can show they are working to reduce segregation.

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Administration lays out new rules to encourage neighborhood integration

2015-Jul-08By: Barry Shatzman

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a new set of rules to make it easier for cities to become more racially integrated, and to make it harder for them to encourage segregation.

The 1968 Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination, but it also requires cities to work toward becoming integrated. Integrated cities provide better opportunities for education, work, and transportation for all residents.

One of the ways HUD works is to provide money for communities to build affordable housing. Without HUD enforcement, communities often place that housing in areas where there already is a concentration of poverty. HUD effectively had stopped enforcing this in the 1970s.

The new rules, called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), provide data to communities so they can see areas where poverty is concentrated. They require communities to accurately report to HUD where they are providing new affordable housing. They also allow HUD to withhold funding from projects that thwart diversity.

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Supreme Court: Discrimination doesn't need to be intentional

2015-Jun-25By: Barry Shatzman

The Supreme Court ruled that housing policies can violate the 1968 Fair Housing Act if they result in discrimination - even if the effects are unintentional.

Among the law's provisions, it states that it is unlawful...

To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.

The court ruled that the phrase otherwise make unavailable or deny means that the results of a policy can be taken into account, without a need to show any intent - referred to as disparate impact.

The case stems from criteria used by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in awarding federal tax credits to developers of low-income housing. The criteria resulted in perpetuating segregated communities.

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