Woody Guthrie Despised His Landlord Fred Trump – Donald’s Father

No real surprise there – it’s safe to assume that the hard-travellin’ leftist folk radical had little sympathy for a New York real estate capitalist. It’s still interesting to read the piece over at Gawker, as the story sheds some light on the racism at the core of the Trump empire:

“What Guthrie discovered all too late was Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of the FHA’s guidelines for avoiding “inharmonious uses of housing” – or as Trump biographer Gwenda Blair puts it, “a code phrase for selling homes in white areas to blacks.” As Blair points out, such “restrictive covenants” were common among FHA projects – a betrayal, if ever there was one, of the New Deal vision that had given birth to the agency.

Only a year into his Beach Haven residency, Guthrie – himself a veteran – was already lamenting the bigotry that pervaded his new, lily-white neighborhood, which he’d taken to calling “Bitch Havens.””

Stories like this are also a reminder that segregation was (and in many ways still is) not just a Southern issue.

Mayor Bloomberg Responds to Kendrick Lamar’s Control Verse (by jasirix)

I’m a big fan of the political podcast This Week in Blackness, and appreciate friend of the show Jasiri X, a really, really, realyy good conscious rapper. I’ve linked to their collaboration 10 Frisk Commandments Remix before. He also did a great track in tribute to Trayvon Martin when the teenager’s killing frist made headlines.

Now Jasiri X penned a response to that Kendrick verse – and took on the persona of no other that Mayor Bloomberg. And he’s on fire. 

The idea that racism lives in the heart of particularly evil individuals, as opposed to the heart of a democratic society, is reinforcing to anyone who might, from time to time, find their tongue sprinting ahead of their discretion. We can forgive Whitaker’s assailant. Much harder to forgive is all that makes Whitaker stand out in the first place. New York is a city, like most in America, that bears the scars of redlining, blockbusting and urban renewal. The ghost of those policies haunts us in a wealth gap between blacks and whites that has actually gotten worse over the past 20 years.

But much worse, it haunts black people with a kind of invisible violence that is given tell only when the victim happens to be an Oscar winner. The promise of America is that those who play by the rules, who observe the norms of the “middle class,” will be treated as such. But this injunction is only half-enforced when it comes to black people, in large part because we were never meant to be part of the American story. Forest Whitaker fits that bill, and he was addressed as such. I am trying to imagine a white president forced to show his papers at a national news conference, and coming up blank.

I am trying to a imagine a prominent white Harvard professor arrested for breaking into his own home, and coming up with nothing. I am trying to see Sean Penn or Nicolas Cage being frisked at an upscale deli, and I find myself laughing in the dark. It is worth considering the messaging here. It says to black kids: “Don’t leave home. They don’t want you around.” It is messaging propagated by moral people.