Eddie Glaude Jr. in his latest release, “Democracy in Black” posits that in America there exists a value gap. This asserts that white values and norms are worht more and valued higher than those of Black America’s norms and values. Simply, the premise is that, that which is White is worth more than, that which is Black. This idea has been constructed and implanted into the conscious and subconscious of White America since the first slave ship set sail for the eastern shores of the United States. Further, this value gap has tacitly or overtly been accepted into the minds of far too many in Black America. Such a pernicious ideology has plagued the United States since its inception. One such example of this idea put into practice is seen in the housing and urban development policies of this country.Ta-Nehisi Coates is the foremost authority that highlights this value gap in housing and urban renewal. But despite all of this and evidence to the contrary, Ben Carson, now the newest secretary of HUD, believes the best thing he can do for Americans is to get them off of government welfare.
Being black is not a matter of pigmentation – being black is a reflection of a mental attitude.
Ironic as it is, Ben Carson has been nominated to a post that has the mission to enforce anti-discrimination laws, assist low-income applicants in obtaining home mortgages and operate more than 3,000 local public-housing authorities. This is an irony because the person who nominated Secretary Carson, President Trump has a proven past of discrimination against African-Americans in housing. Even more, Secretary Carson has the audacity to seek cuts and/or dismantle programs that sustained his own family while he was growing up.
This showcases the Steve Biko quote, that being black is more than a matter of pigmentation, but instead a matter of consciousness. I myself do not consider Secretary Carson to be a member of Black America and I advise you at the very least to question him as well. We can only expect Secretary Carson to continue a stale Republican narrative, that government assistance takes away a man or woman’s work ethic and ensues dependency.
Secretary Carson with no government, public policy, or public office experience is now expected to lead an agency with over eight thousand employees and command a 47 billion dollar budget. With the tax-slashing republican as the Speaker of the House, Black America can expect no push-back from Secretary Carson when the issue of budget cuts comes to HUD.
Black America must stay woke and resist the urge to sleep on Secretary Carson. Most wealth in American families comes from home ownership. HUD obtained its mission under the LBJ administration and the Great Society programs which were meant in part to offer the “American Dream” to Black America through wealth in home ownership. Call, tweet (yes members of Congress have Twitter accounts now), Facebook mention, Instagram mention, write, visit, lobby and pester your representatives in Congress to protect and advance the mission of HUD. If Housing and Urban Development is going to see a reduction in budget and importance, as per usual, Black America will be the first to feel the effects.
Should you be at a loss for words and not know exactly what to pester your member of Congress about, I will provide one of many policies to advocate for. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, that was put into place under Secretary Castro, is one such rule that needs be protected and advocated for. This rule puts the teeth back into the Fair Housing Act passed in 1968. Equity and equality are only words, but through action and persistance they are cornerstones to an American promise that must extend to Black America. In turn, Secretary Carson will only persist the status quo of inadquacies and inequalities in Black America, unless a determined Black America pens a different narrative. This has been a word of caution.