Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal for White Americans Only

analytical Essay
2081 words
2081 words

"Life is all right in America", "If you're all white in America" --- From the song "America", a well-known song from the musical West Side Story. The birth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal opened new opportunities to Americans who had suffered through the long Great Depression. One of the new opportunities afforded to Americans were the policies that made it possible for more Americans to own their own homes. However, there was an important qualification that needed to be in place to experience the benefits of these policies: you needed to be white and middle class. The exclusion of African Americans from these policies was perpetuated by the establishment of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), who discriminated against African Americans by deeming African American neighborhoods unworthy of credit and denied African American families of federally backed loans and mortgages. African Americans soon gained the reputation of hurting the property values of any land they inhabited, resulting in a widespread housing segregation. As a result, although the unequal housing market is often thought of as a by-product of deep-rooted racism against African Americans, it was in fact due to federal policies and private practices that served to promote and encourage already existing racism. This promotion of racial inequality reinforced both the racist actions of individuals, but also allowed realtors to take advantage of African Americans who desperately to achieve the America...

... middle of paper ... to gain from participating in these agreements. The banks knew the loan would be detrimental in the long run, “banks and brokers targeted vulnerable longtime homeowners and lured them into needless and rapidly recurring mortgages they clearly couldn’t afford and from which never stood to gain.” Similarly, the contract sellers knew people buying on contract would never be able gain equity on the homes they sold to them, because with the impossibly high payments the seller would almost always get the property back.

Works Cited

Thomas J. Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (New York, 2008), p. 204.

Beryl Satter, Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America (New York, 2009), p. 40.

Kai Wright, “Mortgage Industry Bankrupts Black America,” The Nation, July 14, 2008.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the birth of franklin delano roosevelt's new deal opened new opportunities to americans who had suffered through the long great depression.
  • Explains that the holc and the fha were the main determinants of whether a family was able to buy houses, but severely crippled home ownership ability for african american families.
  • Explains that the establishment of these policies contributed to a state of unequal and segregated housing among african americans and whites.
  • Explains that contract selling was a practice of selling homes to african americans at inflated prices. the terms of the contract gave the owner the right to evict the buyer if they failed to make the payments on time.
  • Explains how contract selling perpetuated and strengthened stereotypes of african americans as dangerous, uneducated, and destructive. overcrowding led to overcrowded schools and deterioration of communities.
  • Explains that the contract buyers league (cbl) was instrumental in trying to abolish contract selling by withholding house payments. the big holdout had many implications in various facets of society.
  • Compares the subprime loan industry to contract sales because it targets african americans and their desire to own a home.
  • Analyzes how the holc and the fha's policies restricted african americans from buying houses through "neighborhood security maps".
  • Cites thomas j. sugrue, sweet land of liberty, and beryl satter, family properties.
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