In Fight Over Dallas' Racist Housing Policies, HUD Threw the Whistleblowers Under the Bus

Categories: Schutze

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Wait. How do you know when you have the right Castro?
If the editorial in The Dallas Morning News this morning has any credibility, and I am sure it does, HUD has agreed to throw the whistleblowers under the bus in the Lockey/MacKenzie racial segregation complaint against the city of Dallas.

It's not a surprising outcome, because paying off the two developers who first accused Dallas five years ago of having a secret racist housing policy has always been the city's sticking point.

Last month I told you Dallas was basically saying uncle on accusations that they systematically kept low-income housing out of downtown. But even back then they were saying they didn't want any money to go to the guys who ratted them out.

It sounds as if Mayor Mike Rawlings has succeeded in selling HUD on a deal, which he is outing first, of course, on the editorial page of the city's official newspaper. I suspect part of it will be that Dallas will not have to sign on the dotted line saying it did anything bad. But look at the deal.

What you will see in the settlement itself is a total reversal of decades of housing policy. For years, any housing that might be occupied by poor non-whites was jammed into the already segregated southern half of the city. That will have to stop, and that's a good thing. As assistant city manager Theresa O'Donnell told me last month, the settlement will provide Dallas "a tremendous opportunity" to carry out steps toward reform that "I don't know we would have taken had this not occurred."

Cutting the whistleblowers out of the deal, however, is a depressing outcome at several levels. This is the first major action taken by HUD under its just-sworn-in new secretary, Julian Castro, and it pretty much smears egg on the faces of HUD's fair housing division, charged with enforcing the anti-segregation portion of HUD's institutional mandate.

What this deal says is that HUD will enforce fair housing if somebody forces them to, but they'll make sure whoever does it gets tossed in the ditch before it's over. In this agreement, HUD basically agrees to play the dual parts of back-stabber and fool.

If you don't believe me, look at the language in the News' editorial, blaming the entire situation on federal bureaucrats gone daft: "The thing that might be clearest when all is said and done," the paper says, "is just how frustrating, even incomprehensible, it can be to do business with a federal bureaucracy."

Yup, that's who made us practice racial segregation. Those federal bureaucrats.

The paper calls Lockey and MacKenzie "two inexperienced developers," and they say "the city's economic development team, the Downtown Connection TIF board and anyone else at City Hall with a modicum of business sense turned the deal down flat."

No, no, 'fraid not. They all did business with them. HUD vetted Lockey's group and cleared them for a $52 million loan. Lockey, the principal, was sailing smooth and clear with City Hall until he told them he was going to obey federal law and provide the legally required ratio of affordable units. That's when City Hall yanked the rug, a fact HUD confirmed in its own four-year investigation.

The News chides Lockey for putting his deal in bankruptcy, but the city put the deal in bankruptcy by pulling promised funding after they found out there were going to be black and brown people living there. All of that has been confirmed in the HUD investigation as well.

For months HUD was adamant that the city had to make Lockey whole as part of this settlement. The only thing that changed, frankly, was the swearing in of Julian Castro.

What lasting effect here and elsewhere does this outcome have? Huge. It costs millions of dollars to mount the kind of complaint and litigation Lockey and his lawyers have brought. What this settlement tells the next whistleblower is, "Bring us this kind of evidence -- evidence that forces us to act -- and we will pay you back by slitting your throat on the courthouse steps."

That is not an aggressive posture on racial segregation, but it's great news for racists all over the country. Hey, even if HUD catches you, all they're going to do is give you more money.

None of this is over. Lockey and his attorneys have a new fair housing lawsuit loaded and ready for bear, and when that gets going all of the central characters in the HUD complaint will find themselves going back over their stories, only this time with their hands on the Bible in a federal courthouse.

Lockey tells me his false claims suit, kicked out of court twice now but without prejudice, will be back in court soon, amended to answer the judge's objections. But you know: that's his business.

Here's mine. The reason Dallas continues to struggle with racism is that it has always succeeded in not facing it, in not looking itself in the mirror and doing the hard spiritual work people had to do a half century ago in the movement cities. Dallas thinks that makes it cute. I think it's a plague.

Now it's all right back to the same old arrogant language spewing from the daily newspaper, spewing from City Hall as if none of this had ever happened. Thanks a lot, Julian Castro.

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41 comments
stifki
stifki

Below is the link to watch the recording of Castro's HUD Confirmation Hearing. Its very interesting to watch in its entirety, but if you move the timer to 15 minutes you will hear Castro mention some very important goals of his , including "enforcement of Fair Housing Laws." He also mentions his mother worked for the San Antonio Housing Authority...............and that he lived in public housing with his single mother and brother.......question asked by Senator about his position on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing @ 55 minutes.........another remark by Castro to provide more opportunity by the creation of desperately needed affordable housing @ 34 minutes....



http://www.c-span.org/video/?319983-1/hud-secretary-confirmation-hearing

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Is this a DART bus these whistleblowers were thrown under?

Cause I'm thinking that could be another expensive lawsuit.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

I agree with you Jim that in the settlement as outlined, HUD is not acting correctly in how it treats Lokey and McKenzie: they should be rewarded, not penalized, for exposing the misdeeds that occurred.

However, to point the finger at Julian Castro, who has been HUD Secretary for a whole 2 days now, may be premature.

I don't expect that this specific case was the no. 1 item on the "to review" list upon Castro becoming head of HUD. Could be, but a huge presumption to say it was.

Let's give it a few weeks and see if his fingerprints are on this settlement and the treatment of Lokey and McKenzie before you throw him "under the bus".

James080
James080

The new phrase for the week: "Movement Cities." Interesting descriptive. 


My problem with Jim's narrative on this entire HUD story is his unwillingness to address the active complicity of minority city council members, and minority city staff, in locating new housing projects funded with HUD money into minority council member's districts (where the council member could extract his/her share of the spoils).

Was it really racism when say, former city manager John Ware directs city staff to support a black council-member's request for a new subsidized housing project in her district?

Is this story really about race, or is it class, or merely white, black and brown council and staff finding expedient means for putting federal dollars in their own pockets or the pockets of their friends, family and supporters?


Is it racism when John Wylie Price allegedly used his office to steer county business to a white owned firm rather than a minority owned firm?


I suppose that, to a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

At this point on Wednesday morning, to my surprise, I find this situation is not as clear as I thought it was when I wrote yesterday. I assumed the News knew for sure, via the mayor, that the mayor had a deal. I can say now that at the very least, that is not a certainty. He may have no deal at all, and, as  a commenter has suggested on the nNews editorial, this may be a bluff to hustle the council into backing the mayor's bargaining posture. If so, it's a case of the News using an editorial to deceive readers as well in order to help the mayor advance a political agenda. I'm not saying I know yet whether that's what this is. I can say this: it's not dead certain that the mayor has a deal in hand with HUD. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

" As assistant city manager Theresa O'Donnell told me last month, the settlement will provide Dallas "a tremendous opportunity" to carry out steps toward reform that "I don't know we would have taken had this not occurred." "


What?!?!?


If I understand this quote correctly, the City staff has no apparent problem with allegedly violating federal law concerning housing and would not take steps to comply unless they were forced to.


Wow, that is just mind boggling.  Why do I hear Rod Serling's voice in the background?


"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension—a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the City Hall Staff Zone."  (with apologies to Mr. Serling)

rpc0
rpc0

Dallas needs to realize despite what happens with them paying the whistleblowers, they have already lost, big. When this settlement happens with HUD, it will be a landmark settlement that is covered nationally. The details of that settlement cant be kept private and will be known to all, including those looking to move companies and their people to a large city. Dallas will lose some of those companies because of this really bad history of segregation and racism that still plaques this city in 2014. Considering the litigation still to come it will keep this in the news for years to come so its just a big loss and sad that such a large city would do such things in this day and age and put its reputation through the mud like this.  

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

It's not always about race.

It's about money.

People with it don't want to live with/next to people without it.

There's plenty of different skin colors in Plano and Frisco, but they do share the common color green.

boltr
boltr

So the ex-mayor of San Antonio does a deal with his fellow Mayor of Dallas to pour out the whistleblowers. Is this suppose to be big news? Isn't this expected by politicians that could care less about the people but care deeply about their political career?  

burganse
burganse

We see in the comments section that Rudy Bush is the author of the editorial. Does he still office in that closet at City Hall? City Halls boy carrying more water for the guilty party............some things never change........... 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Montemalone

You'll want to avoid LiveLeak today.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@mavdog

You may have a point, but this is supposed to be the biggest landmark settlement  of its kind in HUD history.

tentogo
tentogo

@mavdog


Castro has authority over all departments at HUD so the buck stops with him. If HUD throws the whistleblowers "under the bus" then Castro has to shoulder the blame. He had the power to make it happen or stop it from happening, simple. This fact cannot be denied. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@James080

You raise an important issue -- the complicity of elected black officials in segregation in Dallas, Believe me, that's one of the issues at the core of the HUD complaint. The problem for Dallas is that Dallas can't opt out of de-segregation because the old black leadership in the old segregated black neighborhood is OK with it. All that means is that Dallas is weird. But all of these questions about segregation and de-seg have been asked and answered by America as a nation. Segregation bad, de-seg good. Pointing to all-black neighborhoods in Southern Dallas and all-white in the North, a pattern that has existed since Jim Crow, a pattern that derives from slavery, and then saying, "Oh well, that's not race, that's just class:" No, we've had that conversation as a nation, we have debated it, and the nation has concluded that government policies that enable and reinforce these patterns are wrong. Again, Dallas is not an island. Dallas may be anomalous, but anomalous is not a defense..    

86753099
86753099

Yep, Dallas will be the home of the landmark Walker segregation case from decades ago, and now the current champion of modern day 2014 segregation from this landmark settlement!

Big-D making quite a name for itself - serial racist/segregationist! Home of both landmark cases with more to come.

riconnel8
riconnel8

@Montemalone it's more complex than that.  I don't care if my neighbor is green, blue or purple what I care about is that they have the same basic understanding that we live in a society and need to be considerate of other peoples boundaries  physically, aesthetically and psychologically.  Today our homes are our only place of refuge and to have our sense of boundaries invade by some "entitled" jerk is beyond offensive.  Your "rights" end where mine begin.  I don't want to hear your noise, see your garbage or burned up/overgrown lawn and your children need to play in front of your house...on your lawn.  Park your cars in your garage/driveway/in front of your house don't think because there's an open space in front of my house you have the "right". 


Those are what I see as the problems.  It doesn't have anything to do with race or money but perhaps with the way one was brought up.  You'd think the nicer neighborhoods would provide relief but that isn't always the case.  There's always at least one person in the neighborhood who thinks he/she is "entitled" and will place their child's basketball hoop so that when the kid misses the basket he has to travel across my lawn to get it.  That's just rude.  Nike got it wrong....there are rules.


That's my opinion on why things are the way they are.

maxim2
maxim2

Its already been publicised that HUD is a political stepping stone for Castro, obviously so are the minorities of Dallas Texas.

keepinitreal1
keepinitreal1

@JimSX @mavdog


Info coming from City Hall: HUD is giving-in on almost all demands. People at City Hall declaring victory over HUD/Whistleblowers/Schutze. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@JimSX They only question I would ask is: If we take it as a given, that government policies enabling or reinforcing segregation are bad, are we so sure that government policies the attempt to force de-segregation are good?

Forced de-segregation has not been a success, from what I've seen.  There may be successes that arise from it here and there, but on the whole, it seems to have caused many more problems than it solved.  Perhaps this point of view comes from looking at the situation from my own perspective; that of a white dude.  I have read in the press, seen and heard Blacks saying the same thing though, so there must be something more than myopic white-ness at work here.

I've pretty much determined that the role of government should not be to force de-segregation or to enable segregation, but to remove barriers preventing people from having free choice.  Not entitlement, choice.  Choice comes with responsibilities and consequences that must be borne by the chooser.  Entitlement lays those responsibilities and consequences on everyone but the chooser.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

won't let me edit

maxim2
maxim2

Everything between HUD and Dallas will be made public in time. Then, we will know exactly what happened.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Not necessarily, though he makes several good points.

There is a quiet race war already, it's just not seen as progressive to acknowledge it.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

The piece is chock full of "good points".

if you read the article titled "The Coming Race War Won't Be About Race" and came away with the conclusion Abdul-Jabbar focused on race, you should reread it.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

One man's several is another man's chock-full, I suppose.

The statement about existing race war wasn't a conclusion about the article, just my opinion.

As to Kareem's article, I could agree that class warfare is coming, because it's been here forever.

Couple things tho...

"... unless we want the Ferguson atrocity....,

Strong word without knowing full fact in this case.

And this:

"Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized... So, it’s crucial that those in the wealthiest One Percent keep the poor fractured by distracting them with emotional issues like immigration, abortion and gun control so they never stop to wonder how they got so screwed over for so long."

The wealthy are distracting the poor with the news, making it harder to organize them.

Kareem was a helluva ball player.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

 I could agree that class warfare is coming, because it's been here forever

it comes and goes, if one looks at the early part of the 20th Century very little happening, until the Depression when it was a strong undercurrent. After WW2 very little at all until the 80's, and now after the Great Recession and strong growth in income inequality it is again a growing trend.

The killing of an unarmed civilian, who by all accounts had their hands in the air, by a policeman IS an atrocity. period.

apparently the comment on the 1% and "distracting" issues went right by you. it isn't "the news", it's the use of the issues.

Kareem was one of the greatest ball players ever. He is proving that he has a very high level of insight and  intelligence also.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

I'd withhold comment until the extent of the officer's injuries are fully known, how many witness accounts contradict the initial reports (apparently a dozen so far), and the results of the 37th autopsy before using assuming language.

His piece has been written dozens of times in my lifetime, standard pap.

Were it not for the author's name, it wouldn't have been published in Time.

Helluva ball player.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

I'd withhold comment until the extent of the officer's injuries are fully known

why, will he have some additional "injuries" today that weren't there before?

how many witness accounts contradict the initial reports (apparently a dozen so far)

really? can you show those that "contradict" the deceased had his hands up and was unarmed?

and the results of the 37th autopsy before using assuming language.

the "37th" won't be different than what has already been shown, the deceased was shot many, many times and he's still dead...and the killing will still be an "atrocity".

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

The science is not settled in this case, it may well be justifiable defense, that's what the ongoing investigation is for.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

where are those "witness accounts [that] contradict the initial reports" that you mentioned?

yes, it will likely be determined to be "justifiable defense", as the officer is here to paint the right picture to defend himself, and the person who was shot cannot be there to provide any rebuttal as they are dead.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

I can't mention my sources because that would expose me to ridicule, but there is this tweet from a St Louis reporter, for one

---Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop’s version of events in shooting #Ferguson

— Christine Byers (@ChristineDByers) August 19, 2014 [St Louis Post-Dispatch]---

As to your contention that the dead man cannot legally testify, you're only partially right, according to many cop shows I've seen.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

wow, very surprising, as ridicule never stood in your way before.

the tweet doesn't say that the witness accounts are inaccurate, the cop's version of the events doesn't dispute the fact the guy was unarmed or that he may have held his arms up in the air.

that's the best you got?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Let's brass the tack and punish the lad, I say. Drawn or quartered?

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