Housing Discrimination Said to Persist in California
- Author: Kelly Cooke
- Posted: 2023-02-23
Section 8 is one of the federal government's more well-known programs, while also being one of the most under-performing. The federal government funds Section 8 through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Joe Biden slashed HUD's budget completely in half soon after he took office. This means states don't have enough federal funding to increase these programs, and that's leading to long waiting lists in states like California. According to some activists posing as journalists, like Andrew Khouri, it's also leading to increased housing discrimination against minorities.
Khouri released a popular piece this week that addresses alleged racial discrimination in California's Section 8 program. He cites activists and state officials' proclamation that many landlords are refusing to accept Section 8 housing choice vouchers from black Americans. The funny part about Khouri's claims, however, is that he uses individual examples from people who were already on Section 8 housing choice vouchers. Though when they wanted to move to new areas, the landlords denied their vouchers and instead went with people who were paying cash.
Apparently, in America now, you have to choose to accept Section 8 vouchers or else you're a horrible racist discriminating against people. It's funny how that works.
A Lot of Talk, Very Little Data
Most people are perfectly aware that discrimination exists in America. It's a country of well over 300 million people; obviously some of those people have prejudices against race, gender, sexuality, etc. Some hate redheads and short people. It's just what you get with an incredibly large society. Unfortunately, some of these hateful people work their way up through the ranks in companies and end up in charge of hiring others. Or they may become big-wig professors in colleges, or they may buy up apartments, etc. And in these positions, people can and will discriminate. However, individual acts of discrimination are not the claim made by the mainstream. The claim is that America itself is a wholly racist, white supremacist institution that's holding back minorities in every single walk of life. For this monumental claim, one would expect to see evidence equaling the severity of its implications. However, no one ever presents this evidence. The basic gist is that some governmental body or some NGO will say "Not enough black Americans have housing," and finish that with "Therefore systemic racism."
Most Americans are sick of these nebulous, catch-all smears thrown, and that's because they are necessarily smears. These organizations and looking at Americans and saying "You are a problem; you need to do better," and most people in America are nowhere near a position of power. Most Americans are struggling to keep their own homes and are powerless to prevent any supposedly oppressed demographic from moving into a home. So, what is the point of tossing this smear around? Many suspect that it's financially beneficial for the people making the claims. Others contend that it's just an easy (yet wrong) answer for a multifaceted issue. Whatever the case may be, there's always someone out there like Andrew Khouri claiming that an individual case of supposed discrimination makes Americans bad people; and people are truly fed up with being accused of discrimination.
Housing discrimination based on race, religion, gender or sexual status is prohibited under federal law. It's also illegal to rob a bank. So, people still rob banks from time to time. Does this mean that America has a systemic bank-robbing issue? Logically, of course not; it's preposterous to even submit such an idea. Bank robbers are hunted and punished for their criminal actions. The same holds true with people who discriminate against others in the housing market. They are punished. In a society that was set up to discriminate against some groups of people, there would be (a) no punishment at all for doing such, and (b) a whole lot more discrimination that Khouri could find beyond individual anecdotes that no one even knows are entirely true.
Section 8 is a program that needs massive expansion. Instead of shipping out over $100 billion to foreign nations, that money put into Section 8 would help tens of millions of Americans have stable, permanent housing. Though the more one looks into these situations, the more cynical one becomes. It's almost as if the government refuses to fix the issue and amplifies the calls of "systemic racism" so that a group of people are blamed for something of which they're not guilty, rather than the government being blamed for its gross inaction.