Sunday, September 16, 2012

Affordable Safe Housing

One of the key points in the proposed economic bill of rights that FDR proposed was the Right to safe affordable housing. When this was proposed the ideal of a McMansion for everyone was not the ideal rather it was the ideal of a reasonable home in a safe neighborhood.  But what is an affordable safe home?

The usual ideal of public assisted housing refers to the housing projects where the economically deprived are warehoused in apartments. This is not the answer. It usually leads to predatory behavior of a few on the downtrodden. I am not talking about the gangster mentality that so many have in mind but rather the limitation of opportunities and a higher cost of just getting by where a few individuals take advantage of those with more to lose.

Here in these neighborhoods you will find a high concentration of payday loans and check cashing business. In these neighborhoods you will find that fuel is usually more expensive by a few cents and that food stores are far and few between resulting in higher food prices and that on those again who can least afford it.

The other problem tends to be the diversity of these neighborhoods. Unfortunately for what ever reason it tends to divide up racially,. this tends to lead to a distorted view of racial equality. The African American and Hispanic cultures tend not to trust whites or anyone not of their specific race because of their lack of dealing with the other races this leading to further isolation.

Well as usual I am getting too long winded. Bottom line you don't concentrate folks racial or economically in little islands to which they tend to identify themselves with. Rather you disperse folks throughout the neighborhoods in an attempt to develop better relationships in understanding how other races think.

It is not just the cost of living in sergated communities that is a problem. It also has it safety issues which are apart of FDR Economic Bill of Rights. A concentration of the economically and on racial lines result in the predators coming out of the woodwork. It is a case of where a start up is a new line of designer drugs, or a new way of home invasion or a new way of car jacking. Here is an personal example of what I am talking about.

Recently my youngest son moved from a neighborhood that was slowly moving from a racially diverse neighborhoods to a primarily African American concentration. These were relatively new duplexes and rent was for our area reasonable if not a little high.

On the last day of his move he was loading his pickup when two young black men decided that they were going take advantage of the open garage door to get access to the duplex to steal most likely the appliances and copper wiring as well as what he had on his truck if not his truck, a 2010 Ford F150 Crew Cab. My son had set my youngest grandson down in the house with an ipad to play with while he loaded the truck. My son said all he could think about was how Adam was in the house as these two guys did a bums rush on him.  Unfortunately for them they didn't make it into the garage as he stopped both men knocking one down with his fist and shoving the others head through the drywall. They decided they needed help.

My son quickly finish tying down the load put Adam into his car seat just in time for the same two guys and three other to decide to make another move on him. He had his significant other on the phone at the time and gave the phone to Adam and told her to talk to him and keep him occupied while he dealt with the situation.

He shoved the keys to his put into his pocket and before he could get in to his truck he  had face these 5 men  all black as they came after him. Doing as I've told my boys to do in a situation like this he made them come to him by funneling them one at a time to him to deal with but his back was still exposed.

The first one the same one he had shoved into the drywall of the garage he again knocked down knocking his head into the side of the pickup. The second guy he punched in the face and solar-pelex putting him onto the ground . The third guy got behind him and hit him in the side with a piece of pipe bruising his ribs and shoulder. Jim took this from him and laid him out. Then the fourth guy a big one Jim said started forward stepping over the two he had taken out. He pulled a piece of 2X4 from his truck and smacked the guy up the side of the head. He said the guy took a step back and just shook his head and started forward again but now pulling out a pistol. Jim said he thought o crap picking up the piece of pipe the other guy had dropped and knocked the pistol from his hand and kneed the guy hard enough in the groin he went down. Meanwhile the fifth guy who Jim said had been telling these other guys they didn't need to do this reached down grabbed the gun and ran across the road taking the gun from the equation. This gave Jim the opportunity to get out of there.

During this whole time it was happening a crowd of about 10 to 15 people had gathered to watch and egg on the bad guys. They were all black and were making fun of the assailants for getting whipped by one little white guy. I want you to think about that they at no time tried to stop it but merely were there to watch and encourage them on. What is wrong with that?

This is what happens when a neighborhood becomes singular and not diverse. I firmly believe that if they neighborhood had been more racially diverse this would never had happen that a crowd would gather to not to encourage but to stop it. Maybe I am just being naive but I hope not. All I am saying when you have a neighborhood that is segregated into racial groups a ideal of us against the other attitude results.

Enough for now on Safe and Affordable housing and on the next blog I hope to add some ideals ot what we as a society and government can do.


  1. A Terrible experience--but we are insanely tribal in this country now---only to become worse--I feel for your boy and what the future may bring there...If necessary my plan has been to hooch up behind a bankrupt business or plant in a small used trailer--maybe even be lucky enough to parasite onto their water and power if it was still running and get a rental PO box for an address rather than fight the tribes---you'd probably be safer behind an abandoned building that deal with what he has to deal with---tell him to watch his back and double secure everything.
    Hoping the best for your boy and you

    1. Thanks Warren - he is fine and I fear you are right. - we seem to have a collective memory so that which happen to our distant relative is the same as happen to us - that is what the tribal in fighting in the Middle East as well as in places like Kosovo and Croatia - I have also thought that if I had to I would do the same with an old travel trailer or bread van.