Reality Check

Back in May 2013, it dawned on me that, crazy as it sounded in those more innocent times, the Establishment was gearing up to make transgenderism into the next big thing. Lately, my Spidey sense for zeitgeist trends has started tingling again, telling me that my old jokes about how the “equity” that the Diversity-Inclusion-Equity racket wants is your home equity aren’t funny anymore.

For example, the mainstream media is ramping up the antiquarianist articles about how ancient inequities in real estate practices mean that in 2021 it’s your fault that black neighborhoods have low property values and, therefore, you must pay. Redlining, which was abolished 53 years ago in 1968, is the usual suspect, but the latest fad is to emphasize racial covenants in home deeds, which the Supreme Court ruled unenforceable in 1948.

That was 73 years ago, but who’s counting?

For example, the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal splashed a long article on May 1 entitled:

Why Black Homeownership Lags Badly in Minneapolis

Restrictive property covenants once helped keep people of color out of neighborhoods around America. The effects have compounded.

The WSJ propounds:

A trove of new research suggests that one factor is a tool of discrimination from 100 years ago: racially restrictive covenants that were attached to thousands of Minneapolis homes in the early 20th century, prohibiting sales to many minorities.

As I pointed out a few weeks ago, it’s human nature to imagine you deserve to be rich because, knowing what you know today, your great-grandparents should have bought the magic dirt that was cheap then and is valuable now (even though you or your more immediate ancestors probably would have frittered it away in the intervening decades before it turned into pay dirt).

It’s particularly likely that blacks, who on average spend more on conspicuous consumption relative to their incomes than other races, would have blown through potentially valuable property inheritances before they fully matured.

Moreover, there is the Heisenbergian factor: If a lot of blacks had moved into the neighborhood, it wouldn’t have gone up in value as much. The fundamental reason that homes don’t appreciate as fast in blacker neighborhoods is not their tragic dirt, but because blacks tend to be lousier neighbors. Fortunately, there is an obvious win-win solution: If blacks want to make more money off home ownership, they should work harder at being better neighbors.

Unfortunately, nobody is supposed to mention any such bracing realities to African-Americans. It is widely assumed that blacks can’t handle the truth. Instead, everybody is supposed to reassure them of how oppressed they are.

Not surprisingly, black behavior, as measured by objective standards such as their murder rate relative to other races, hasn’t much improved, and indeed blacks’ already horrific murder rate worsened sharply as soon as the racial reckoning was declared last year.

In any case, the WSJ article about Minneapolis is self-evidently absurd. Why? Because there were almost no blacks living in Minneapolis during the covenant era. The Wikipedia article “Demographics of Minneapolis” notes:

From the 19th century until about 1950, Minneapolis hovered around 99.0% white.

The further we get into the future from the civil rights era of the 1960s, the more we are lectured about the increasingly distant past. How come?

One reason is because, the fewer who can remember them, the easier it is to mislead contemporary Americans about the Bad Old Days. For example, with Minneapolis constantly in the news for its black riots, it’s getting harder to recall that Minneapolis was once perhaps the most orderly big-league city. In 1973, Time magazine ran a cover story on the “Good Life in Minnesota” about how it was “the state that works.”

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