‘Color-Coding the Suburbs: The social engineers come to Scarsdale’
That’s the title of a Wall Street Journal editorial over the weekend. The editorial concerns a settlement last week whereby the Obama administration forced Westchester County, New York, into quota-focused “fair housing” efforts. The editorial decries the agreement, both on its own terms and because of what it portends for future administration policy.
The Journal is right. Take a look in particular at pages 6–8 and 22–27 of the settlement. Perhaps most disturbing is the requirement on page 25 that the county adopt a policy statement that among its official goals is “the elimination of de facto residential segregation.” The courts have always, and quite correctly, drawn a sharp line between de jure discrimination and de facto racial imbalances, but apparently that distinction doesn’t matter to the administration.
The Journal also does not exaggerate what this action portends. The administration’s own press release calls this “a historic civil rights settlement,” and the Journal quotes HUD deputy secretary Ron Sims as calling the agreement “a model”: “We’re clearly messaging other jurisdictions across the country that there has been a significant change in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and we’re going to ask them to pursue similar goals as well.”